|Posted by Jean Brown on March 21, 2013 at 8:15 AM|
My special featured guest today is the talented author Shannon (S.I Hayes) Hayes. Welcome, Shannon and thanks for chatting with us today.
Shannon: You’re quite welcome, and thank you for the opportunity!
Jean: It’s my pleasure. Please Tell us who you are as a writer.
Shannon: Who am I as a writer? Well... I have been writing and telling stories of all kinds for so long as I can remember. Anyone who has spent enough time with me can pretty much vouch for that, especially if they’ve ever slept at my house. Now whether or not they admit to the kind of Bedtime Stories they wanted is up for debate. I've told a lot of stories on the fly that I wish I'd written down, sue me I'm not the best bard.
I have a mind that is easily distracted and prone to wandering. Tangents are my forte, and vampires have been an obsession long before they looked like Brad Pit or *gag sparkled. Don't get me wrong I love Anne Rice, and good on the other broad for making a buck. But if you think my characters are going to fit a cookie cutter shape of any kind, think again. They live, they love, they eat, sleep and F**k. whomever and where ever they please. I believe that people are inherently sexual creatures and my characters, be they human or something altogether else, are no exception.
Jean: I read a short summary of In Dreams The Road Unavoidable. The characters and plot sound very exciting, and I can’t wait to read the series. Would you mind telling us more about the In Dreams series, and how it came to be?
Shannon: Well it all started about four or five years ago as a D&D (Dungeons & Dragons) campaign I played with a few friends. Over the course of the game, the main characters of Morgan Braith and Amara Dagon took shape, with D&D being a role playing game they quickly developed rich back stories and lives which when the game was over I couldn’t just let slip away. I took my characters and reworked them to suit my world, our world. With the In Dreams Series, I hope to introduce more than just colorful characters, but also a sense of wonder for the world which is being shaped around them. For me the backdrops are as much a main character as the bipeds that walk its Roads. From the Soaring Mountains of Azure to the depths of the Brynmoore, the world bubbles and churns giving forth its essence in the form of the Ahurani Springs, if only Amara can figure out what to do with them.
Jean: As a character driven author, I love books that introduce me to characters that think outside the box especially with intriguing backdrops. What inspired or motivated you to write?
Shannon: My inspiration and my motivation are very separate entities. I am inspired by the simplest of things and the most complex alike. An odd shape in the floor, the theories of plate tectonics. the science of sleep and the metaphysical manifestations of the soul all can, and have found their way into my writing. As for what motivates me to actually write? A need to sleep? Not writing, for me is like taking speed. Everything keeps going and going, and although I am standing still, I can see the things going on around me as though I am in a drag race, and until I get it out of me, I can’t stay still, but once it’s out and I’ve steadied my hands, exhaustion takes hold and I drop.
Jean: I can relate to getting the story told or suffer the consequences of sleep deprivation. Besides your writing functioning as a sleep aid and your natural love of storytelling, is there anything else that creates the desire for you to want to write?
Shannon: Compulsion. I am compelled to write, always have been, always will be. I write in cycles, sometimes I am putting a chapter on three or more projects in the same week, and at other unfortunate times, I won’t write for a year. Oh, I’ll dabble, but it won’t be anything substantial. It is my blessing and my curse that I can not just make myself work, if I push it doesn’t feel the same, and my readers would know it, so I must wait until the pull is so strong that I, like my characters, can no longer ignore it.
Jean: Do you have a set time of day you write or do you just work it into your schedule whenever possible?
Shannon: I do not keep a writing schedule; if I did, I would ignore it anyhow, so it’s best that I do not put something into effect that I would only neglect. It would be unfair to the schedule.
Jean: You mentioned Anne Rice. Is she your favorite author?
Shannon: Anne Rice is certainly in my top favorites as far as authors go. I am also a fan of Oscar Wilde, William Blake, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelly and in my youth, I spent considerable time copying the dictionary, so I would say I am also a fan of Merriam-Webster. (Besides, I believe every writer should own a real Dictionary and a Thesaurus.)
Jean: What are you reading now?
Shannon: A LOT!! Especially as of late, on January 31, 2013 I launched The 131 Preview Review which is a blog where I read the first 131 pages of fiction material for an author and do a (the story so far) review, in the last month I have sampled books ranging from espionage to vampire strippers! It’s been great fun, and is opening me up to genres I have never really exposed myself to, such as women’s literary fiction.
Jean: The 131 Preview Review is a wonderful idea. What are some of your hobbies or passions besides writing?
Shannon: If I'm not writing I am often tweaking my website, or one of my blogs, as I have three. All of which connect to one another, so if you can find one, you have access to all. I like that approach, as opposed to having to look around and play hit or miss. If I'm not doing that, I draw. I draw almost as often as I write, sometimes more so. I find if I am stuck on a scene in my work that drawing it will often get me back on track. I am responsible for the work on all of my book covers and am considering putting some work up for sale on Deviantart, if I can get enough done. But working on the computer take hours and hours, it took me probably about 60-80 hours to complete the cover for Awakenings The Wrath Saga. Not that I'm complaining, considering that I work from scratch with my drawing tablet, I refuse to pay someone to do what I can for free with a bit of patience and luck.
Jean: I imagine you don’t have much free time with all your blogs and writing as I know you are a supporter of other authors as well. I’m very impressed with your multitasking. What type of music do you listen to?
Shannon: My musical taste is rather varied, From Metallica (before the Load album) & Cradle of Filth to John Michael Montgomery and Frank Sinatra. I got lucky in the family music department. My dad came up listening to Classical and Jazz as well as Honky-Tonk and Blues, where as my mother has an affinity for music from the Beatles and The Doors to Godsmack, with a bit of Janice and Hendrix as well. My brothers helped to spur me towards metal and rock, and I often joke that AC/DC taught me to read. Which isn’t all that much of an exaggeration, I knew all the words to Fly on the Wall and Who made Who, before I was four, so monkey see... monkey do. About the only thing, I don’t listen to really is rap, or mainstream pop, although I do have an appreciation for a bit of it. I admittedly liked DMX and Britney Spears in high school, even if it was only a couple of songs...
Jean: Oh yes. I also know all the lyrics to AC/DC and I have a very acute appreciation for rock. I make a music list for each book and listen to it as I write. It sort of sets the mood. What is your favorite movie?
Shannon: Oh there are so-so- many! From bloody to campy and everything in between! My love of movies is like my love of buttons! I want to press them all! I really liked the Swedish adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s “The Millennium Series” aka “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl who Played with Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest,” if you haven’t watched that Trilogy, you have surly missed out! I'm also an avid “Evil Dead Trilogy” and Anime Fan.
Jean: I loved the Swedish adaptations of the series and the books as well. Tell us about your writing style and any guidelines you go by while writing:
Shannon: What can I say about my writing style, that I have not already said or shown in just answering these questions? I am sometimes vague, often mouthy, colorful in my long flourishes of epic descriptions, when I write if I find myself saying maybe I’ve gone too far this time, I smack my self and go three steps farther. I write what I want to read. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s awfully painful, (for my characters), and always it comes from somewhere deep in the recesses of the cavernous gulfs of my all too fractured psyche. Behind every smile, upturned glance and jaded quip is a character fighting, some for love, others for revenge and often all for redemption, because at the end of the day, I think that we all need to believe that we can have those things, even if the only one needs them for or from is ourselves.
Jean: What advice would you give if someone told you that he/she would like to write a book?
Shannon: If you want to be a writer, you have in my opinion two options.
1: Go to school where you will learn structure, and tactics designed and aligned by dead famous people, and probably lose you taste for writing all together.
2: Pick up a pen and a notebook and just write! Write until your hand cramps up and the doctor tells you that you have Carpal tunnel. But say nay to the surgery because it will be of no use unless you plan to stop writing. If you are compelled to tell a story, simply tell it for the sake of the tale.
Jean: “Just do it” is great advice Shannon. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Learn more about Shannon and her work at the links below.
The Solitary Road (An online Serial Novella) http://indreamsthesolitaryroad.blogspot.com
Blog: A Writer?s Mind, More or Less http://shannonihayes.blogspot.com/
The 131 Preview Review http://131previewreview.blogspot.com/