Exclusive! 50 Q&A Part 1 with Author B. A. Shields

Over the years I have had many questions about many different things, from, How did you come up with that, to how do you get published? I thought is would be fun to do a HUGE Q&A! 50 questions, and 50 (maybe) answers. This Exclusive! will have to be broke down into five individual posts, or it will be too long! So, here is part 1, the first 10 questions!

1. What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

Well, when I first started writing Pandemic Dawn Book I, I drove all over Michigan. I drove through old closed Air Force Bases (until I was asked to leave), a lot of desolate back roads, inner cities, especially the lower income areas, like where I grew up. I was always looking for inspiration.

2. What is the first book that made you cry?

Men never cry, however, if I were to do so it would probably have been when I read Pandemic Dawn Book I, when Dorothy found herself inside Makayla's mind reliving a traumatic experience. As a matter of fact, I probably would have cried while writing it.

3. What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

I would have to say it would be how the industry itself can make any book a number one, even when it isn't worth the paper it's written on while great self-published novels go unnoticed sometimes until the writers give up the practice. I have seen great books that were self-published, and some terrible ones that were published by big companies, and even hit #1 charts and they were trash.

4. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

I think it depends on what I am writing. Adventure and action bits are great, but when I get to the emotional and dialog parts, it can sometimes be draining. You have to think for multiple people in a conversation, taking into consideration everything they have seen, heard and know, it can be interesting.

5. What are common traps for aspiring writers?

To lose focus of their story they are trying to tell. When you are first stating out, you want everyone to love your work, and you try so hard to make everything perfect, you can sometimes lost sight of the story. I always think it's better to work through the story before you try to polish it. Don't get side tracked and lose the great story you started with.

6. Does a big ego help or hurt writers?

Personally, I don't think a big ego helps anyone.

7. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Time, or perhaps distractions. It's sometimes difficult to get a nice big chunk of time to write with no distractions. Since I am OCD, I get distracted very easily.

8. Have you ever gotten reader’s block?

To be honest, I have never heard of readers block. I will assume it means you don't read books for a while, or cannot get into them? Yes, sometimes I will go quite a while without reading, although I did just finish Fahrenheit 451 for the 20th time a couple of weeks ago.

9. Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

I decided when I first started writing Science Fiction that I wanted to use my real name. I am proud of my novels, and can not think of a legitimate reason to use a fake name for writing.

10. Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I focus on the story, and originality for me is key. I hope the readers will get what they want, but I think it is much better to stay true to the story and be as original as possible. Avid readers have already seen and read it all, so if you can come up with something they couldn't see coming, then they will be entertained and enjoy the book.

Well there is the first 10, I'll add the next 10 tomorrow!

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