Today’s Author Interview hails from my favorite genre of scifi/fantasy. She’s in quite a few of the same groups as I on facebook, and it has been a pleasure knowing her. Introducing Shay Fabbro, a 2011 Indie Excellence Book Awards Finalist:
Shay Fabbro: The Chosen is the first of a scifi/fantasy trilogy. The Chosen are a special group of beings from four different planets (Earth is one) that have an enormous burden to bear: they must find a way to save the galaxy from the Mekan Hoard.
Terry C. Simpson: What inspired you to write this particular story?
Shay Fabbro: I had a dream while I was in graduate school that I couldn’t stop thinking about. It was maddening at times! I had all these questions about the man and the camel and the damn big machine that was descending on them. Once I started answering the questions and making up a back story, I realized I had something big going on.
Terry C. Simpson: What writer influenced you the most?
Shay Fabbro: I would have to say Tolkein, George RR Martin, and maybe a little Jim Butcher thrown in.
Terry C. Simpson: Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite? Why?
Shay Fabbro: I have a lot of main characters so I’ll tell you about my favorite planet. It’s the planet Volgon which houses a fierce reptilian warrior race. Their lives have been shaped by thousands of years of war, forcing them to live an existence based on survival alone. The decisions they must make seem cruel and heartless to outsiders, but they know that only the strong can help fight their enemy. It’s only when they meet their fellow Chosen that they realize that physical strength isn’t the only kind of strength.
Terry C. Simpson: How long did it take you to write your book?
Shay Fabbro: It took me about 5 years to complete the first draft. I was in grad school at the time so that didn’t leave me much time to write J
Terry C. Simpson: How much of a story do you have in mind before you start writing it?
Shay Fabbro: I actually filled a spiral notebook with all sorts of information about my different planets, characters, cultures, history, maps, lay-outs of the villages and towns, cool names I could pick from. I spent about a year on the planning stage before I ever wrote a sentence of chapter one.
Terry C. Simpson: What is your goal for the book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?
Shay Fabbro: There are a lot of things I hope people take from the book, and especially the series as a whole. The series will make people question the idea of destiny/fate versus free will. I want to delve into the notion of those that believe that each decision we make was already preordained, and those that believe our destiny is what we make it, that we succeed because we don’t give up. The various planets also gives rise to some very interesting internal conflicts between members of various alien races. They are so very different but I show that through a common enemy (the Mekans), they manage to work through their differences to vanquish their foe.
Terry C. Simpson: What was the most difficult part about writing the book?
Shay Fabbro: I had a pretty easy time getting the story down. I had synopses for all three books written before I started on The Chosen. But it’s the fine-tuning I have a hard time with. When my editor suggests trimming some stuff, I feel like I am cutting on a body part! Each word seems necessary at the time but I am learning to say more with less. Although I do still tend to get a little wordy with some stuff 😉
Terry C. Simpson: What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
Shay Fabbro: I write when I have time. I refuse to set goals. I am a biology professor at Colorado Mesa University and am busy with lectures, writing textbooks and lab manuals, grading, etc. I write novels because it’s fun. The minute I start forcing myself to write X number of words a day, I fear the fun will be lost.
Terry C. Simpson: What’s been the most surprising part of being a writer?
Shay Fabbro: How many people there are out there that truly support Indie authors, people such as yourself that will take the time to post interviews and guest posts, all to help us get the word about our books. It’s fantastic!
Terry C. Simpson: What advice you would give to an aspiring author?
Shay Fabbro: To be prepared for a tough road. NO author ever “makes it” instantly. Whether you go the more traditional route and opt to find an agent or whether you decide to find a small press, or even self-publish, there are frustrations and heartache with each choice.
Terry C. Simpson: What advice would you give other novelists about book promotion?
Shay Fabbro: Start before you finish the book! I can’t stress this enough. So many authors mistakenly think they can’t start a Facebook fanpage, Twitter account, website, or blog until AFTER their book launches. Nothing could be further from the truth. Authors need to start early to build a following, send out teasers in the form of sample chapters and cover art, doing blog tours, holding contests for free books, anything to get the word out! Start building those relationships with people, interact with them (don’t just spam with buybuybuy my book). And pay the kindness forward for other Indie authors.
Terry C. Simpson: How have you marketed and promoted your work?
Shay Fabbro: I do local signings, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, website, guest blogs and interviews, various contests.
Terry C. Simpson: What words would you like to leave the world when you are gone?
Shay Fabbro: To never give up on your dreams.
Terry C. Simpson: Have you written any other books?
Shay Fabbro: I have four books out currently: The Chosen (Book One of the Portals of Destiny), Shattered Destiny (Book Two of the Portals of Destiny), The Mad Lord Lucian (Portals of Destiny Novella), Dangerous Reflections (Adventures of Alexis Davenport, Book One).
Terry C. Simpson: Where can people learn more about your books?
Shay Fabbro: They can visit my website http://shayfabbro.com/ for sample chapters from all my books as well as author interviews, reviews, etc.