…that for my very first post on my brand new blog, I get to tell you about the release of Myndi Shafer’s new novel!
Myndi has kindly shared with us some of the reasons she chose to write The Darkening, and I hope you’ll enjoy her answers as much as I have.
Hi, Myndi! Thanks so much for being here today. Could you give our readers a little teaser about your book?
As Aydan Fulbert settles into her new life in a new world, she realizes a few things. She’s healing from losing Brig. She’s coming to terms with her new home. And she’s lonely.
Rein Torvald’s return from his long absence helps alleviate her loneliness, but a darkness comes with him. Unsettling news about her father and the Sovereign has the potential to make her a fugitive all over again – from his world and hers.
Will Aydan allow her heart to be taken places she’s never been brave enough to go? Or will the threat of danger – of the Sovereign’s rage, and her father’s vengeful grudge, send her running?
That sounds really interesting! What was the inspiration behind The Darkening?
When I first wrote this story, Shrilugh and The Darkening were all one book, told solely from Aydan’s POV. When I changed the POV, the story really exploded, and needed to be divided into more than one book. Which is why the first book of the Saga ended rather abruptly, and why, if you read these two back-to-back, they’ll feel a bit like one piece of work.
So, really, the inspiration for The Darkening came from the same place as my inspiration for Shrilugh: an old silo on the farm where I was raised. There’s a ladder that extends up past the top of it that looks kind-of like a door, and I’ve always, always wondered where that door would lead. When I began writing Shrilugh that was my goal – to find out what kind of world was beyond that door.
I love that! How cool that you had that kind of inspiration to draw on from your childhood. What do you like most about writing and being a self-published author?
The fact that I can do a job, from home, that allows me to dig down into my creative self, and is THRILLING. Really, this is my dream job. I get to be with my kids, be the stay-at-home mom that I’ve always wanted to be, and still have the satisfaction of a creative outlet. The fact that this creative outlet helps to provide for my family is just a bonus. Really, I can’t even begin to tell you how blessed I feel to be able to do what I do.
Being a self-published author has been a really good fit for me. There are days where I wish I could pass the business-side of writing to someone else – all the marketing and networking and stuff like that…it just doesn’t come easy to me. But overall, it’s been a really fun ride. To see my books in the hands of readers, and to hear their enthusiasm…it’s so totally worth any and all of the effort.
I’ll bet there are a lot of women who wish they could do the same thing. Now that we’ve heard the best parts, what do you like least about being a self-published author?
Just the fact that I shoulder all the responsibility of every aspect of publishing – formatting, marketing, blurb-writing. None of that stuff comes naturally to me, and I’d love (one day) to be able to hire that stuff out. In the meantime, though, I suppose I’m simply earning my stripes. *grin*
I know how hard those jobs are, but I think you’re doing very well at it. Have you always been interested in being a writer?
Goodness, no! The thought never crossed my mind until about four years ago. I started writing on a whim. The Hubster and I were driving past the farm where I grew up, and I was staring at that silo with the ladder-door, and said to him, “I think I’m going to write a book.” He looked at me like I was crazy. But I started writing that night, and knew I’d found it – the thing that would be my thing for the rest of my life.
I expect that’s kind of how it hits all writers – not because of a silo – but you just know that’s what you were meant to do. So what made you decide to write fantasy?
It wasn’t ever a conscious decision. In fact, when I began writing, I didn’t know I was writing fantasy. I didn’t know there were genres like that. I mean, I liked reading (okay, loved reading), but I never paid attention to genres. I’d just read whatever I could get my hands on. I began writing with that same attitude, and the story just kind-of went where the story went.
I don’t think I’ll ever be a writer that sticks to a strict genre. I’ve got a couple new stories brewing in my head – one that’s a little dystopian (hmmm, is there such thing as a little dystopian?), and one that’s a sort-of rom-com with weird fantastical elements (the world around the protag shifts randomly into a pirate’s world). Mostly I think I’ll just write whatever sounds like fun at the time.
I’m glad I’m not the only one! I always figured I read different genres, why should I be struck writing just one. So good for you, Myndi! You have four kids. How does a busy mom find time to write?
Well, the time is there, I just have to plan for it. I keep a pretty tight rein on how I spend my time. If the baby is sleeping, I’m working. If I have a spare minute, I work. Any time that isn’t spoken for with family or cooking or cleaning, it’s pretty much given to writing. But it never feels like a chore – I love what I do, and it’s always been worth the sacrifice of my free time.
What’s one thing about you that will surprise readers most?
Oh my gosh, this is a silly question. I have the most tame, Beaver-Cleaver-type life you could imagine. I’m probably the least surprising person in the world. Well, okay, there’s this – I really enjoy folding laundry. I love seeing the tidy piles build up, and thinking about my kiddos and how they’ve grown, and the smell of clean laundry. It’s soothing.
*heavy sigh* I just re-read that and realized how lame I sound. I wish I could have had something way cooler like, “Oh, I go parachuting,” or “Big game hunting in Zimbabwe is totally my thing”. But nope. I’ve chosen to stun you all with laundry.
I don’t suppose I could get you to come to my house every week, could I? The only thing I like about laundry is seeing the clean clothes in my dresser. Let’s do another fun question. If money were absolutely no object, what is one place you would love to go with only your husband? And as a family?
The Hubster and I daydream about Europe – specifically Italy and France. Although I wouldn’t say no to something tropical and relax-y, either. There’s nothing quite like hot sand and warm water and salt on your skin…
With the kiddos – oh my goodness – Disney something-or-other. They’d come unglued with excitement if if that were to ever happen!
This time of year, something tropical sounds wonderful! So tell us what’s coming next?
Couple different things. I’ll be working on the third book in the Shrilugh Saga. Right now its working title is FRUITION, and I’m expecting to see its release in a year or so. I’m also working on a new series whose working title is called SALT MINE. It’s about a girl who has chosen to be mute, a government that’s after her secret, a dog that’s been ‘progammed’ to protect her, and a guy hell-bent on keeping his promise to her dead brother.
Where can readers find you?
I hang out on Facebook here: Myndi Shafer Stories
I chat on Twitter using the handle @MyndiShafer
And my website/blog is www.myndishafer.wordpress.com
Myndi Shafer is author of the best-selling book, Shrilugh. Currently she makes her home in Kansas with her husband and four children. Her second book, The Darkening, releases in February 2013.
Thanks so much for being here today, Myndi. I wish you much success with The Darkening, as well as with your other projects.