Thank you for joining me for the sixth installment of Authoring Arrowheads’s 2020 Author Interview series. For June, I’ll be interviewing local contemporary young adult and mermaid fantasy author, Shana Norris. Shana is a hybrid author, having published her books both traditionally and independently.
On the last Wednesday of each month in 2020, I will be hosting an author for an interview! These authors will range from indie friends I’ve made online to authors in my local area. Be sure to subscribe to never miss an interview!
Meet Shana Norris!
Shana Norris once dreamed of being a rock star, a ballerina, and an archaeologist. Then she realized she couldn’t sing, had never taken a ballet lesson in her life, and didn’t particularly like to get dirty. So instead she became a writer so that she could be all of those things and more.
Shana currently lives in eastern North Carolina with her husband, two dogs, five cats, and five chickens.
Visit her online at www.shananorris.com
Interview with Shana Norris, author of The Stolen Kiss series and Swans Landing series
Q1: When did you first realize you love writing?
Definitely as a kid. My mom said I was always making up all kinds of stories. I loved reading and then writing down some of my own stories, but it wasn’t until I was in middle school that I realized regular people could become writers! I always thought the authors were magical, special people (and I think they still are!) and thought I could never be like them because I was just ordinary.
Q2: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first published book, Something to Blog About, was written based on my history with online journaling and being found out by a college classmate. I first started an online journal on Geocities back in the day, lol, and then moved on to Livejournal. It was my Livejournal that was discovered and apparently my classmate mentioned it to one of our college instructors, who then mentioned it to my grandmother, who worked at the college. Several years later, that inspired the story I told in Libby’s book.
Q3: What writing project(s) are you currently working on?
Right now I’m dealing with a lot of writer’s block, which I’m not happy about! I have an idea I’m trying to work with and develop more of the story, but I’m just not having much luck at it. I think it’s my brain telling me to take a break!
Q4: Which authors (inside or outside your genre) have inspired your writing?
Ann M. Martin is one of my top inspirations. Reading the Baby-Sitters Club books made me want to write stories about friends like that. Sarah Dessen is an inspiration to me. And also J.R.R. Tolkein. I know, my books I’ve published so far aren’t like his, but he did capture my love of fantasy books and really planning out the history and backstory of the characters and setting.
Q5: What are your go-to writing snacks?
If it’s near the end of the year, definitely Little Debbie Christmas tree cakes, lol. I can’t resist them. But also ice cream and white chocolate covered pretzels.
Q6: Do you prefer indie or traditional publishing? What are the pros and cons you’ve discovered with either?
I like both traditional and indie publishing, but on the indie publishing side, I do like that I have the timeline for when my book will go live. Waiting a year or more for traditional publishing is hard! Also, being a graphic artist on the other side of my career and schooling, I like that I can design my own covers. On the other side, designing my own covers can also be my least favorite part! A lot of times it takes me several attempts to get something I’m happy with and I start to drive myself crazy. There is also the hard part of getting word out about your self-published books.
Q7: What advice would you like to share with first-time writers?
Just keep trying. You’ll hit bumps along the way, sometimes bumps that will make you want to give up. I have to remind myself to keep going and keep driving toward my goals. I’ve seen reviews in which people didn’t like my books, but I remind myself that writing them felt good to me and that’s one of the things to keep at the top of the list. Keep on going, don’t be afraid to start over or change the book around, and work toward your goals!
Thanks for stopping by, Shana!
Connect with Author Shana Norris at:
Check out her newest release,
When You Found Me
“Let’s just drive somewhere. I don’t care where.”
Still dealing with the heartache of her dad’s death, Harper Carlyle has a seizure in front of her best friend and entire gym class. Now she’s lost everything: her dad, her friends, her boyfriend, the life she knew and loved. Driving privileges are gone due to the seizures and she’s too afraid to get back on a horse, though not riding again will mean losing her place in a college equestrian team.
To escape it all Harper does something she never imagined: gives Sean McIntyre the keys to her car. Sean, who kissed her last year—and then was attacked by the guy who became her boyfriend, with Harper to blame.
But Sean doesn’t let Harper push him away easily. He pulls her into his group of friends, drives her where she wants to go, and Harper finds herself enjoying his company. As she spends more time in her car riding along with Sean, the two grow closer and Harper begins to share her deepest fears with him. When she is afraid she’s growing too close to Sean, Harper does something she regrets and wishes she could go back to change it all.
View the Book on Amazon!
Talk to Me, Arrowheads!
Have you read any of Shana’s books? If not, check out some of my past reviews for her books!
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.