Discern, discusses her book, her journey as a writer, and self-publishing on Kindle.
DAVID WISEHART: What can
you tell us about Discern?
SAMANTHA SHAKESPEARE: Discern allows
you to have fantasy without having to travel too far from reality. Everything in
the book will make you consider--"Hey, that could have been the way history
really happened." The realism lets you slip into being a part of the situation,
a part of the world of Andrew Alexander and his family. As escapism is a great
reason to read, I am pleased to share this vantage of the world for each new
reader to escape.
DAVID WISEHART: How do you develop and
differentiate your characters?
SAMANTHA SHAKESPEARE: Developing my
characters was probably one of the hardest parts of writing this book. My
heroine, Haley Helms, went through many changes, especially during the editing
process. Her depth was very important to the story. I wanted the reader to be
able to empathize and feel for her. She struggles with many issues that face us
on a daily basis. She learns how to cope and that's what I want my reader to
see. That no matter what life throws at you, you can survive and what feels like
the end, may truly be the beginning of something wonderful.
perfected her characters, the others seem to take off themselves, without trying
DAVID WISEHART: Who do you imagine is your ideal
SAMANTHA SHAKESPEARE: My ideal reader would preferably be
between 16 and 50+. I don't recommend this book to anyone younger than 16. There
are no sexual scenes in this book, but there is violence and suggestive scenes
that are better left to an older audience.
DAVID WISEHART: What
was your journey as a writer?
SAMANTHA SHAKESPEARE: I have always
had an imagination and it seems my son has taken after me with all his wild
stories. Being the youngest of four children in a lower middle class family, we
had to entertain ourselves, so I created stories in my head. Unfortunately, I
never wrote any of those down and eventually lost my creativity until I was
older and had my son. I was given the opportunity to return to school to further
my education and it was then in my English 101 class, the love of creating my
own stories returned.
DAVID WISEHART: What is your writing
SAMANTHA SHAKESPEARE: To most, my writing process would
seem chaotic, but for me it works. I usually just begin with a conversation and
go from there. I build my story around something one of my characters says and
go from there. It can be difficult to be consistent sometimes when I'm writing
off their emotions, but it's how I prefer to write and I cannot imagine changing
DAVID WISEHART: What authors most inspire
SAMANTHA SHAKESPEARE: Charlene Harris, author of the Sookie
Stackhouse novels. Her books are raw and not sugar coated. Her writing is
descriptive and to the point.
DAVID WISEHART: What one book,
written by someone else, do you wish you'd written yourself?
SHAKESPEARE: I would say Orwell's Animal Farm...I love a book with
political undertones and Animal Farm is certainly something that I would
have written myself but if I do it now, I believe it's considered
DAVID WISEHART: How have you marketed and promoted
SAMANTHA SHAKESPEARE: We have a website: www.discernsaga.com. We have used facebook, twitter,
press releases, business cards, and obviously word of mouth is very important.
There is nothing better than telling a friend about a wonderful book you read,
them reading it and telling someone else.
DAVID WISEHART: Why
publish on Kindle?
SAMANTHA SHAKESPEARE: Times are changing and so
are the readers. They want instant access to books and Kindle does a wonderful
job at giving the customer what they want.
DAVID WISEHART: What
advice would you give to a first-time author thinking of self-publishing on
SAMANTHA SHAKESPEARE: I never queried an agent. When I
tell people this, they think I'm lying and don't want to admit to failure, but
'not. I feared that if I did get the chance to be published by a major
publishing company, how much of my book, the one I just put years into creating,
would they change? I would lose control of the creativity of my project, which
terrified me. I may not be an overnight success, such as Stephenie Myers, but I
had the chance to put myself out there and I did.
From what I read, many
authors query agents for years, waiting for someone to love their story as much
as they do. I say don't wait for an agent, who is only looking for a quick
profit to love your book, let the real critics decide--your readers.
may take time to get the results, but just be patient and believe in your
DAVID WISEHART: Thanks, and best of luck with your