Interview with Shari Lopatin

What are your five favorite books, and why?
In no particular order:

1) The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
2) The Kite Runner, by Khaled Husseini
3) The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls
4) 1984, by George Orwell
5) Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
What do you read for pleasure?
I prefer fiction books that fall into the genres of contemporary, dystopian, speculative, or drama. But really, anything that tells a great story with character development that makes you love, or hate, or pity the protagonist as he or she affects your everyday life will grab my interest. And smart. I like smart writing, smart ideas.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
Believe it or not, I don't own an e-reader. :) I probably never will.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Phoenix, AZ. I still live there. Arizona is a more conservative, Christian state. I am Jewish and tend to lean more liberal. Therefore, although I have many wonderful friends who are like sisters to me, in many ways I grew up as an outsider. I was also bullied. I turned to my stories to escape certain realities. This sense of being an "outsider," I think, has influenced my writing and characters in many ways.
When did you first start writing?
I have been writing for as long as I can remember. However, I wrote my first poem (that I can recall) at age seven. It was about the local garbage truck man.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I decided to become an indie author because of my frustration with the traditional publishing platform. I also read about many indie authors who chose to self-publish because of the creative control it gave them. I liked that. I want to be in full control of my writing--not just the stories, but the presentation, the branding, and the marketing. I work professionally in mass media and communications, so I wanted to apply my years of acquired knowledge to my brand as a writer and author.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The rush of creation, and the thrill of publication. I know technically those are two things, but they are equally as joyful for me. The creative process--as I'm writing--is both euphoric and exciting. I feel tranquil when I'm writing; I sort of disconnect from the outside world and live inside this new reality I've developed. Subsequently, I revel in readers' reactions to my work after publication. It's this profound feeling of pure accomplishment, and I enjoy watching others join me in the excitement of the story. It takes on a life of its own.
What do your fans mean to you?
Everything! OK, well not as much as my family, animals, and closest friends (no offense, guys). But otherwise, the fans are vital to my success. They are my ultimate ambassadors! They buy my work. They tell their friends. They spread the word. The fans fund my love of writing! And for that I am eternally grateful.
What are you working on next?
Let's just say it tackles the issue of the healthcare system in the United States (wink). As I say in my bio, I write stories that matter. :)
Who are your favorite authors?
Junot Diaz! He might be my favorite. If Junot ever praises my writing, I'll about die. I also love Khaled Husseini (The Kite Runner), Margaret Atwood (The Handmaid's Tale), George Orwell (1984), Aldous Huxley (Brave New World), Judy Blume (about every young adult book I read growing up), Pat Conroy (The Prince of Tides), and Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle).
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Outdoors as much as I can when it's not burning up here in Phoenix! Seriously though, I love hiking, traveling, photographing nature, photographing people. I actually obtained my minor in photography (my major was journalism). I love spending time with my boyfriend and my family, or baking delicious things I should not be eating, or binge watching an addictive show on Netflix, or decorating my house and backyard. Oh, and going to Broadway shows when they pass through town.
Published 2018-02-15.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Apollo Illusion
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 97,470. Language: English. Published: May 19, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Utopias & dystopias, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
"The Apollo Illusion" is a story for the hackers, the techies, the seekers, and the rebels of the world. A dystopian suspense for young adults and millennials, it follows bullied nineteen-year-old Flora into an isolated web of truth, lies, and survival when she stumbles upon a dark secret about her walled-off home state of Apollo.