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EXCLUSIVE! Q&A FINAL ROUND of 50 Questions with Author B. A. Shields

This is the last of the 50 questions to the author. I will be placing all of these in a single post when I am finished, and put a link in my About page to help people find them.

41. What was your hardest scene to write?

.I have had a few actually. The most difficult scenes to write for me is dialog between two character in a heated conversation. In real life, arguments are usually filled with vague truth, and verbalized years of resentment, or just plain hateful speech back and forth. Though some of this in a book adds realism, it is also dull to read, and adds nothing to the story. It's tough finding the middle of the road with realism but still move the story forward.

42. Do you Google yourself?

No. But now that you ask, I'm going to. Yep, Author Bruce Shields, it's me.

43. What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

Nothing. I love my life and wouldn't change a thing. I would love to become a better writer, but not at the expense of anything in my life.

44. What are your favorite literary journals?

I used to subscribe to The New Yorker, but science fiction is more my speed. I do have a collection of L. Ron Hubbard and Alfred Hitchcock journals though. I knw that in the last 20 years many new journals have been released, and some look interesting and cutting edge, but as stated before, if I have free time I'd rather write, or read another novel.

45. What is your favorite childhood book?

Where the Red Fern Grows and Summer of the Monkeys. I met Wilson Rawls in 1982, and really enjoyed speaking with him about his books and being an author. I was thirteen at the time.

46. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Writing when the time is right. It's easy for me to wait until inspiration strikes to write, however, it may not be a good time to write. Once my family and I were on vacation and I was inspired to write, but I didn't want to separate from the activates, so I took ten minutes and jotted down a bunch of notes to use later when I did have time to write. It worked out perfectly.

47. Does your family support your career as a writer?

Yes. Thankfully I have been blessed with a wife that understands my eclectic ways and supports all of my ideas and adventures. Whether I decide to start a new business, write another novel, or design and build a contraption "just for fun". As far as I know, most of my family loves my books.

48. If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

This would take too long to answer. We have a life handed to us, and we make the best of it. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. I don't dwell in the past, it only causes one to become depressed and weighted down with "what ifs,' and I don't worry about the future, because that's where the anxiety and stress are hiding. Forget "what if," and live today the best you can, for none of us are promised tomorrow.

49. How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Some are written faster than others, depending on the complication of the storylines. Pandemic Dawn Book I was over 70,000 words and only took a matter of a few weeks. I wrote daily each morning, between 5-6,000 words, then re-writes, editing, but because there were only 5 storylines and the series was just beginning it went quicker. The more novels you write in a series, the more complicated because you have to ensure the storylines are correct, and with over 100 characters, it takes much longer to write now. With Losing Dani Strumm, I have worked on and off with this novel for nearly two years now.

50. Do you believe in writer’s block?

No. Never have. Writers are artists just like any other. You have to write when inspired, that's when you create. You cannot force art. Any artist will tell you that. Writer's block is simply the artist trying to create before it's time.

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