Author Jonathan Shipley
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Crimson Edge Press releases its annual anthology within the next few months. In preparation for this release, we’d like to introduce you to the authors of the stories contained within Maidens & Magic. Our first author introduction is Jonathan Shipley.
Name: Jonathan Shipley
Latest Release: Shadows in Salem: Wicked Tales from the Witch City
Genre: dark fantasy, urban fantasy
Jonathan Shipley is a Fort Worth writer of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Although he self-identifies as a novelist, it is short fiction where he is currently enjoying success. This calendar year, he has sold nineteen short stories to push his overall total over six dozen. He was a contributing author to the After Death anthology that
won the 2014 Bram Stoker award, as well as a finalist for the 2014 Washington Science Fiction Association’s Small Press Award. Jonathan maintains a web presence at www. shipleyscifi.com where you can find a full list of his publications.
1. How long have you been writing?
I finished my first novel in the 1980’s. Since that time, I’ve moved heavily to short fiction.
2. What kind(s) of writing do you do?
i write both novels and short fiction in the genres of fantasy, science fiction, and horror.
3. What are your goals as a writer, both small and large?
In writing, I want to complete another dozen novels (I have eight written so far) to flesh out the story arc I envision. I also would like to reach one hundred short stories published. My count is currently at 73.
4. What inspires you?
Often it is word play — a clever phrase combination that sparks an idea. Or it might be a vivid dream with an odd twist.
5. Have you ever fallen in love with a character? Tell us about this romance.
It may not be love exactly, but I have a small cast of characters that I have made immortal so I can use them repeatedly in stories and novels. There’s the vampire, and the demon-possesed kid, but also the
servants of the Light, the Excellenzi who were legitimately immortalized by a god.
6. How do you find or make time to write?
I need to write in blocks of time, so that ends up being more on weekends than during the week. Deadlines help enormously. If I have a basic idea and a deadline, the story usually gets written.
7. Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.
I tend to work from flashes of vision. I see certain scenes that seed the novel or story, then work outward, stringing the scenes together with a logically developing plot.
8. What projects are you working on at the moment?
There are several themed anthologies that I have ideas for, and there are several groups of stories that seem to be coalescing into novels as I write more episodes about continuing characters.
9. What process did you go through to get your work published?
Getting published has become faster and more convenient with on-line submissions , but the steps are still the same this century as last. You research a market, write or adapt existing writing to the market, then send it off.
10. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Finding the time and finding the will — probably the universal answer from all writers.
11. What do you enjoy most about writing?
I enjoy discovery. Within a created universe, there are backstories upon backstories that may or may not come out in the course of a storyline. When something unexpected does surface during the plot development, I am delighted.
[bctt tweet=”When something unexpected does surface during the #plot development, I am delighted. #amwriting @Robinsonwrites @crimsonedge #read #author #interview” username=”OurWriteSide”]
12. If you could have any fictional character(s), living or dead, on your survival team after an apocalypse, who would you choose and why?
Sherlock Homes, Gandalf the Grey, and Thor. That’s a team that should be equal to any post-apocalyptic challenge.
13. What is your favorite escape from day to day living?
It used to be reading, but now it is more likely writing or music or antiquing.
14. What are some ways in which you promote your writing? Do you find that these add or detract from your writing time?
I keep a blog and a webpage about writing, and I post about sales and publications on Facebook. I also post as an Amazon author. But I haven’t done any face-to-face promotion — book signings, lectures.
Yes, these activities detract from actual writing time, but I do count them as a professional time and feel I am moving my writing universe forward by pursuing them.
15. Who are some of your favorite authors? What impact have they had on your writing?
Marion Zimmer Bradley’s DARKOVER series had a huge impact on how I perceive and narrate psychic power. My sense of world-building comes from Frank Herbert’s Dune and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth.
16. Do you know the secret to originality in writing? Would you share it?
I think that’s there’s joy in writing. When the writer feels it, it comes though to the reader and energizes the story and characters. That may not be the same thing as originality, but old tropes can feel fresh and vivid when there is joy behind them.
17. What are you currently reading?
I’m not — just writing and editing. As I write more, reading for pleasure has become less a part of my creative process. Of course, professional reading and workshopping other writers continues, but those are different animals entirely.
18. What do you think is the future of reading/writing?
I think reading/writing as we know it now will continue but become less mainstream and more niche as alternative forms of storytelling develop and claim their own audiences.
Thank you for your time, today, Jonathan. We wish you much success in your endeavors. Don’t forget you can read one of Jonathan’s stories in Maidens & Magic, launching soon!
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