Welcome Shawna K. Williams, an inspirational novelist who loves telling a story through flawed characters – the only kind she can relate to.
Shawna: I love Romans 8:28. "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Shawna: I don't know that I ever really made a conscience choice. The moment I decided to write I knew that it would be inspirational. It's just who I am, and I don't think I can write a story without some kind of spiritual message. My thoughts always gravitate toward what God's purpose might be in pretty much everything and I can't turn it off. When I'm writing I think about my characters, what they'd learn from their experiences in the story and how it would affect them spiritually.
I do have several story ideas that could be pitched to the general market, but even in those I'm quite sure that there will be a spiritual message woven in.
Shirley: Tell us what gets you started on those first five pages of a brand new story. How about the last?
Shawna: The beginning is always so hard. I try to write out goals that I want to achieve, and then I just have to start. I revise the beginning more than any other part because my tendency is to try and cram too much history in at first. As the story progresses I find more natural ways to reveal things, so I'm able to go back and revise. Basically though, getting started is just a matter of rolling up my sleeves and getting after.
The last pages I love! This is the easiest part because at this point I know the story well, and how I want things to wrap up. The last pages are like a final sprint, and it feels great knowing that the story is out of you and into words!
Shirley: What is your best advice to other authors writing up a proposal and synopsis?
Shawna: Honestly, I'm a fairly new writer and don't feel like I have enough experience to offer any worthy advice on this topic. I should probably be asking for it. I'm still surprised I ever got anything accepted based on my proposals. I think it helped that I was able to include sample chapters with No Other. The story proposals I've submitted since it was contracted have gone to the same publisher and the EIC is familiar with my writing now, so that helps. I plan to pitch some stories at the conference in September, so I need to work on this. What kind of advice do you guys have? I need it!
Shirley: What do you do during the waiting period when editors are looking over your manuscripts?
Shawna: Once I've submitted I'm pretty good at not thinking too much about it and working on other stuff. What gets me nervous is when I see an email come in. Then I have to psych myself into clicking on it to read. I always wait until everyone is in bed because that's just my way. If the news is bad I'd rather be by myself for a little while.
Shirley: After you finish your present project, what plans do you have in the oven?
Shawna. I want to get something ready to pitch at conference. I have a several story ideas that I want to play with. I'm going to take a break from 20th Century historicals to try my hand at a contemporary suspense and eventually a scifi (though it's going to be awhile before I can grasp the full extent of the scfi. It's definitely going to be a series). I still plan to write historicals and have another in mind, too. I don't have an agent, so I'd like to use one of these to help me find one. I also have a couple of story ideas that are a good fit for Desert Breeze and plan to continue submitting to them as well.
Shirley: What would you like to ask this week about either writing or for someone who just loves to read?
Shawna: I'd love to know what readers would like to see more of in Christian fiction, be it genres, issues, and whatnot. I'd also love to know if anyone has ever really felt like a Christian fiction book impacted their life in a profound way. As for writing, what are some of your unique methods for capturing a scene or character's personality? Here's a couple of mine: I character journal to get to know my characters. I also personality type my characters so I can understand where the relationship weaknesses would be, and exploit these to my advantage in the interest of creating tension. (Evil author syndrome). I like to picture scenes in my head like a movie before I write, too, because it help me describe the scene interactively from the character's perspective.
I currently have three books out and I'd love for the winner to pick the one that interests them most. Here are links: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-86/No-Other/Detail.bok http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-118/Shawna-Williams-In-All/Detail.bok
Shirley: Thanks so much for coming , Shawna. Please let us know where else we can find you and your numerous books.
Shawna: Sure! Here's a link to my website: http://shawnakwilliams.com/ My blog: http://shawnawilliams-oldsmobile.blogspot.com/ Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/shawnakwilliams And Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Shawna-K-Williams/236629884245
My books can be found at Amazon, B&N, CBD, Borders, Kobo, Sony Reader Store, iBookstore, Books on Board, Allromance Ebooks, and the Desert Breeze storefront. Thanks so much for having me, Shirley! This was fun! God bless, Shawna.
WE HAVE APPRECIATED YOUR COMPANY!
Shawna has offered one of her books to you. Can you take a moment to pursue her question? I'd love to draw your name in a few days. Here it is in three parts. Pick one to answer, or all three.
Congratulations to Joy Hannabass of Moneta, Virginia. YOU have just won Shawna's BOOK! She'll be in touch with you soon.
1. I'd love to know what readers would like to see more of in Christian fiction, be it genres, issues, and whatnot.
2. I'd also love to know if anyone has ever really felt like a Christian fiction book impacted their life in a profound way.
3. As for writing, what are some of your unique methods for capturing a scene or character's personality?