Ordinarily on Mondays I feature a poem. Today, I am going to feature a POET who also writes Fantasy/SpeculativeFiction and is an artist. I think all these things go together quite well, don’t you? So, please welcome Shannon McRoberts as we discuss her series, Verses of Athine!
Gen: Hi Shannon! Thank you for dropping by! First, where did the inspiration for Verses of Athine come from?
Shannon: I was sitting at home one day thinking about some stuff and looking for something to do when the idea of Athine, my main character, just popped into my head. I personally think I have watched too many episodes of Xena, Buffy, and read too many Lady Death comics!
Gen: What is a one line synopsis for your book(s)?
Shannon: Take what you know about mythology and throw it out the window.
Gen: Now I’ve tortured you by making you reduce a series into a sentence, give us a more robust description complete with a genre or two.
Shannon: I hate putting myself into genre’s. I just usually say Fantasy or Speculative Fiction b/c that is what it is. The series is about Athine, an immortal born goddess, and her journey to figuring out her destiny. Was she born to destroy the world or save it?
Gen: I understand, I hate having to smoosh something into discrete boxes, too. Why did you choose the Fantasy world versus others?
Shannon: I didn’t write my story with a genre in mind. I just wanted to write a story with the elements I love. Strong female leads, mythology, twists, and turns. I guess fantasy just fits it best b/c I have always loved things in the fantasy world.
Gen: Do you have plans to expand upon the series?
Shannon: Yes. Verses of Athine is actually the first 4 books. I am writing the 5th one now. I have about half of it penned. Hopefully sometime soon I can finish it. I have plans for a 6th one.
Gen: Which character is your favorite to write and why? (Yes, you must choose. There can be only one! Wait—wrong series.)
Shannon: Athine because she was the first character I created that I really have had fun with.
Gen: If you had to pick an ice cream flavor to describe your favorite character what would that be and why?
Shannon: Food analogy? No, no. We don’t eat books! We don’t lick our characters either. Well, maybe SOME people write about licking characters, but that isn’t what my series is about 🙂
Gen: HA! Alright, as I mentioned above, you are not just an author, you are an artist and poet (though a poet is an author in my mind). Do you find it hard to balance your time amongst these or do you just go where the moment takes you?
Shannon: I go where the moment takes me. I carry a “writer’s bag” around with me for writing down ideas about story lines, poems, etc. I also use my cell phone when I am in a pinch. My fantasy art actually helps me write b/c when I make a picture of a character I immediately want to make the background or continue writing about that character. It is almost like a writer’s block preventative for me.
Gen: What is your favorite type of book to read, or do you have one?
Shannon: I like a lot of different things. If it has a story. I have read anything from erotica to fantasy. I’m not in a story for just blood, guts, sex, etc. You have to have something to keep me reading!
Gen: Can you share a bit about what you are working on right now?
Shannon: Cursed Bloods follows where Verses of Athine ends. It is the next in the Chronicles. I am trying to write it where it will be longer than a novella. I have about 26,000 words and I don’t even have all the chapters started. I wrote an outline for this one b/c I had to do a lot of research on how the characters were related. Isn’t it odd that an author would have to do research on her own made up world? ROFL. I wanted to avoid the pitfalls of someone going back and being like UHM NO, that isn’t what you said before. I redid a lot of those “sticky” points in Verses of Athine and while new readers may not know it, previous readers of my individual books may. I want consistency. I have found that it is much easier to write with an outline where I don’t have to stop every five minutes and go back into another book for a minute detail. Oh, and this book will expand on the vampires, dragons, and the N’Loron mythology.
Gen: What is your favorite music to listen to while writing? Is there a difference when you are in “artist” mode?
Shannon: I hate genres….I never can get the music or books I read into a genre. I listen to a wide variety of artists. Marylin Manson, Matchbox 20, Disturbed, Korn, Staind, Metallica, Evanescence, God Smack, A Perfect Circle, Tool, Brittany Spears, Selena Gomez, etc etc etc. For artist mode I don’t usually need music, but I generally listen to the same things. If I am going for a somber mood I may go for the sappy song or power ballad. That reminds me I need to rip my Aerosmith and Kid Rock CD. I have ADHD and for whatever reason I find that the music helps me focus. Maybe it occupies my brain LOL.
Gen: You and I definitely share a hatred of boxing ourselves and our tastes into little genre/type boxes! Here’s to the eclectic souls! Now I’m going to take a leaf from our author pal Lucy Pireel and ask you to round this interview out by just blathering on about whatever. I thought that was fantastic when she interviewed me, so I’m doing it here. Go on and tell us whatever you want in this space, a rant, a self-promo, blathering nonsense, whatever:
Shannon: I recently started a new blog and new web page. I have a newsletter on my blog 🙂 I also started uploading some of my pictures to Deviant Art to sell prints there. At any given time I have a lot of irons in the fire. I would love it if you went to my new website www.artistauthorpoet.com (also www.shannonmcroberts.com) and my blog at www.theobsidianpoet.com to browse. My non-blog site has excerpts of all my books, links, and some art!
Gen: Great! Thank you so much for telling us a bit about yourself and your work, Shannon, I hope you’ll stop back by sometime!
Everyone please check out Shannon’s links!
Artist, Author, Poet