Hello fellow bookworms and page turners! I am happy to say that today’s post is an interview with Award Winning Urban Fiction writer Shiloh Walker (AKA J.C Daniels). Who despite being on vacation and having a lot on in her schedule, still managed to squeeze in time for an interview with me!
Most of you would know Shiloh from her novel series, The Colbana Files. Which, is a fantastic series full of heart shredding and intense situations, and has one of the strongest female lead characters I think I have ever read!
Anyway that’s enough from me, lets crack on with the interview!.
Please introduce yourself to our readers, and tell us you tell us a little about background and career journey?
Thanks for having me. This is one of the questions that I always feel weird answering…stories have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. One of my clearest memories from childhood is when my brothers and I were all bunking on the living room floor and Mom was telling us a ghost story. My dad bought me the first book I can really remember getting into. That was Little House in the Big Woods. Then I got hooked on Bunnicula, then Sweet Valley Twins and then it was books like authors like Mercedes Lackey and then I found romance. I started writing my own stories in middle school. By the time I’d graduated I’d written probably four or five full-length books–handwritten. In spiral bound notebooks. Some were fantasy, some were romance. All of them were pure crap, but I’d already decided that I wanted to be a writer.
I’m very much drawn to character-driven stories and I’ve got die-hard love watching people find each other…I married my high school sweetheart, so maybe that’s part of it. I’m an unabased romance reader. I also adore fantasy, particularly urban fantasy.
I submitted books the way a new writer does, I was rejected the way any new writer is and ended up catching my break with an electronic press back in late 2002. It’s kind of been a ride since then.
You are indeed a prolific Author, so much so that I quickly ran out of fingers and toes when I attempted to count the number of novels and novella’s you have written over your career. How on earth do you stay so productive without burning out? do you have a little army of book sprites that scrawl it all down as you dictate to them? what is your secret?
LOL. Book sprites. If they exist, send them my way. Please. I don’t have a secret, though. What I have is ADD and a lot of voices in my head. I just listen to them and write down their stories.
I am sure many are all looking forward to your next Colbana Files Novel, However I am looking forward to getting my hands on your Latest Short Story, Final Protocol which comes out in July this year. Could you tell our readers what to expect from this short fiction? and where you draw your inspiration in order to write strong and interesting female lead characters, do you do this by building them on real life experiences?
Ah, honestly, I can’t remember what inspired Silence, the heroine of Final Protocol. I adore a good character-driven science fiction book, but they aren’t always as easy to find as I’d like. This story is pretty dark–the heroine is an assassin, although not by her own choosing. She’s a slave and if she refuses to follow her handler’s orders, she’s going to be terminated, thanks to the ticking time bomb that’s wired into her brain. But Silence was never very good at following orders.
It’s a mix of science fiction and romance and it’s got some…rough material.
As to strong female characters? Who’d want to write anything other than a strong female?
If you have dinner with any of the characters you have created over the years, which one would it be and why?
Can we make it a dinner party? I’d love to talk with Kit, Damon and Chang. Or Zach and Abby from my Barnes Brothers series. I love so many of my characters, but Zach and Abby stole my heart and Kit and Damon are just fun. As to Chang? Well, he is still a mystery, even to me. I want to get inside his head more, but he’s holding out.
What do you feel are the key elements to a good story?
First off? Good characters. Without them, the story is nothing. Then an interesting journey…for the characters. What’s interesting for you or me, or even too hard for you or me may be exactly what that character needs. It all comes back to the characters.
As you are both a Novelist, and a writer of short fiction, which comes easier to you? and which do you prefer? do you believe a story should be long and savoured? or is your opinion the same as Edgar Allan Poe – “a story is a thing that can be read in one sitting”?
Eh, I don’t think there’s any easy definition of what a story is. I’ve written stories that are twenty or thirty pages and they are well-written, fleshed-out pieces (in my mind…most of them, anyway). I’ve written vignettes that I’ve never posted anywhere that are just a few thousand words that are very solid. You tell the story using exactly how many words are needed for that story. If you need two pages, then use two. If you need twenty, use twenty. If you need, four hundred? Then use that. Don’t use less than you need, but don’t use more, either.
Do you think that the illustrated cover plays an important part in the book buying process?
Yep. I’ve picked up books solely on the cover. I’ve also bypassed books because of the cover. I know I’m missing good reads, but covers are a huge part of what grabs the reader’s attention, so it has to have impact.
And finally, what are you reading at the moment?
I don’t think my edits count…I’ve got two books, one I’m reading, The Doomsday Key by James Rollins and one I’m going to be starting soon, Her Mad Hatter by Marie Hall.
If you wish to find out more about Shiloh Walker , you can follow her on Twitter, and have a look at both the her Official Website, all of which are listed below.
Until next time, read more books..