I’ve been reading books ever since I figured out what the squiggly characters on the pages meant. My first memory from when I was around three or four is of a... book. Losing yourself in a story with fascinating characters is a wonderful experience.
I’ve been writing novels and short stories for a number of years and to indulge this habit I write technical manuals and training materials. In the past I’ve trained subjects as diverse as computer systems, presentation skills, personal efficiency and a few other things I’ve long since forgotten. I could probably do with some personal revision on the efficiency materials.
My novels range from contemporary drama to murder and mayhem with the occasional touch of romance thrown in for good measure.
My latest novel, Writing the Stars is a romantic comedy. Anna King suffers a crisis of confidence in her abilities to write horoscopes when her life takes some unexpected turns.
I blog about writing, publishing, inspiration and life in general at www.shaunabickley.com and I’m on Twitter and Pinterest, but I am one of the few people on the planet who hasn't yet succumbed to Facebook, suspecting that if I did my writing time would fade to minus minutes.
My novels include:
Writing the Stars - romantic comedy
Still Death - murder/mystery
Lies of the Dead - mystery/thriller
Lives Interrupted - contemporary drama
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I'd had articles and short stories published in magazines, and mostly wrote my first novel to prove to myself that I could actually finish a novel. While writing the first novel (Driftwood) I had the idea for Lives Interrupted, and when I finished Driftwood I started on Lives Interrupted immediately, and left Driftwood to languish on my computer.
After finishing and editing Lives Interrupted I sent it out to agents and publishers. I received positive comments about it, and in some cases feedback on some changes I could make. I reworked it and was about to send it back to the publishers when I attended a writer's conference. One of the speakers was Mark Coker, who I have to admit I hadn't heard of at that time. That presentation totally changed my direction and I left the conference certain this was the way to go.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When someone writes or tells me how much they enjoyed one of my books, how they were drawn to the characters and the emotion of the story, or that they couldn't turn the pages fast enough but didn't want to miss a word. That's magic!
I love losing myself in a wonderful story and I've always wanted to be able to create that for other people. It means so much to me when someone tells me I've succeeded.
This book explains the steps required to format your manuscript for uploading to KDP and Smashwords. It gives practical advice on the Word settings to use, and those to avoid, and includes step-by-step guidelines to produce a clean manuscript ready for uploading.
It also covers the steps required to format your manuscript for a print book using CreateSpace.
Wren captures the voice of Charlie brilliantly and never misses a beat with it.
This is a wonderful adventure through rural New Zealand, with a wide variety of characters taking part.
Charlie is naïve but tough, and always tries to do what's right, even if it's not always seen that way, and mostly gets her into trouble. The climax builds to a heart-stopping ending.
George has a guardian angel, but he's not so sure he wants one.
Life might have been a bit dull before, but now things are definitely getting out of hand and moving faster than he would like.
Follow George and his wanderings around Panui and meet up with a few old friends.
Wren Harris has set several of her books in Panui, New Zealand, and I loved meeting up with some of the characters introduced in other books. It's like spending time with old friends.
Tessa has an intriguing past, and as we, and Tessa, find out more about events long since buried, but refusing to go away, so the tension builds. An excellent read.