Author A.B. Shepherd interview

Lifeboat, A.B. Shepard

 

 

Lifeboat synopsis:
Cass has lost everything; her husband, her son, and her will to live. She walks in the dark when sleep eludes her. One sleepless summer night she spies a UFO and discovers a new obsession. It gives much-needed focus to her empty life.

When natural disasters destroy the Earth, Cass and other survivors are rescued and taken to a new world where the human race can begin anew. But something is wrong here. This may not be the paradise they’ve been promised. Survivors are vanishing without a trace.

Can Cass unravel the riddle in time to save herself?

 

Can you tell me something about you that no one knows? 

If I told you, then someone would know – wouldn’t they? My life is (mostly) an open book. Yes, I write under a pseudonym, but it’s not very well disguised and if anyone tried hard enough I’m sure they could figure out my real identity. All of my family and friends know. Do you want to know something no one knows? Or something few people know? Or something that only those closest to me know?

Here’s something you might not suspect if you don’t know me well. I am an introvert. You might not guess that if you talk to me online, or even if you met me, because I don’t necessarily present myself as one. I don’t like crowds and I don’t like to be the center of attention. I’m uncomfortable in the spotlight. I love that people are starting to read my book and I love hearing feedback, good or bad. I love one on one communication and even small, intimate groups, which is why the internet is such a great medium of communication for me. You will most likely never see me do an author reading or any live media event to market my books though.

As a side effect of my introversion, one of the reasons I use my pseudonym is because so much of me goes into my writing and it is uncomfortable for me to expose so much of myself to the world. By doing it under a pseudonym I feel less vulnerable.

What are you reading now? 

I love to read Indie books as well as traditionally published books and I often flip back and forth between them. I’ve just finished Jackrabbit Junction Jitters by Ann Charles and loved it. She is so fabulous at writing mysteries with humor and quirky characters and making it all seem effortless. I’m about to start reading Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen. I’m not quite sure what to expect there, but he made the New York Times best seller list so I’m hoping it will be enjoyable for me.

Some favourite books and authors 

As I mentioned above, I think Ann Charles is a wonderful writer and I would probably read just about anything she has written. Some of my other favorites though, are YA series.

I loved The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. Unlike most fans of the series, I actually thought the third book was the best of the three.

I loved the Tomorrow Series and the Ellie’s Chronicles series by John Marsden. As a side note, I always want to call him James Marsden, probably because of the actor. Sheesh. I embarrass myself often with that mistake.

I really enjoyed the Divergent series by Veronica Roth, although I will say I didn’t think Insurgent was as good as Divergent, but I am still looking forward to the third book in the series.

As for adult fiction, James Patterson may actually have been the author who got me reading and loving science fiction. Yes, that James Patterson. Many years ago I was a fan of his mysteries and came across When the Wind Blows, and The Lake House by him. They were still mysteries, but they were science fiction mysteries and I was hooked. I’m not as much a fan of his more recent works. They are still good, but I hate that they are all collaborations now. I’m not sure how much of them he is actually writing. It puts me off a bit.

I also enjoyed the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich – at least the first ten of them. After that you figure out that they are really just the same book over and over again. It’s a little bit sad when authors fall into that trap just to keep pushing books out.

Is writing a new endeavour or a lifelong passion? 

Reading is a lifelong passion. Writing is a lifelong dream, only recently realized.

I’ve been an avid reader since I was a pre-teen and started reading my mom’s books. Mostly Harlequin Romances and bodice rippers far beyond my prepubescent years. It wasn’t until years later than I branched out into reading different genres. Now I love most of them.

Writing however – well that is a different story. I was in my early thirties (I’m 51 now) the first time I sat down and tried to write a novel. I ran out of steam pretty quickly. While my husband at that time (we divorced a few years later) tried to be supportive, I just couldn’t find the time or my mojo. I tried a few more times over the years only to run into the same kinds of issues.

A couple of years ago I joined Goodreads.com and met some people through that site who encouraged me to become a book blogger, so I started with that and I really enjoyed it. Then, just before November 2012 I heard about NaNoWriMo – National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo.org). It’s run by a non-profit organization and the premise is to get people writing. Basically, you join their website (it is free, but donations are welcome) and for the entire month of November you write every single day with a goal of reaching 50,000 words by the end of the month.  You don’t edit, or format. You just write. The rest comes later. They have a fun tracking tool that lets you know how many words you need to write each day to meet your goal and there are lots of forums that are fun and great ways to get help if you get stuck with your work in progress. The timing was perfect for me and I thought – why not? So I signed up and by the end of November the very first, very, VERY rough draft of Lifeboat came to be.

I learned so much about myself and writing in the process and it is one that I highly recommend. The main thing I learned is that I don’t have to have the entire plot worked out in my head before I sit down to write a story. Just like in Field of Dreams where “If you build it they will come,” when it comes to writing if you sit down to write it the ideas will come.

Looking at things from a blogger and an author standpoint what has surprised you the most?   I actually wrote a post about this on my blog not long ago. When I was just blogging I thought writers were gods and goddesses and I was standing by waiting to be blessed if they asked me to read their book, or if they noticed my review of their book.

Now I’m straddling that fence and I find that my original views were not quite accurate. I still feel honored when asked by an author to read their novel, but I’ve found that the bloggers have more power than I had ever thought before. The balance of power is a lot more equal than I had previously believed it to be. The authors have to go hat in hand to bloggers and hope against hope that a blogger will grant them the favor of a review in exchange for the lowly gift of a book. I think the scales tip slightly more in favor of the blogger these days, but it is still a powerful thrill to be asked to read an author’s work.

Please tell me about your new book

My work in progress is called The Beacon. It is the story of a young woman who has wrecked her boat and finds herself on a tiny island in a lighthouse being cared for by the lighthouse keeper’s wife. The keeper is violently abusive and our heroine comes to the aid of her new caregiver which results in the death of the keeper at the hands of our heroine. After a long night wherein she is unable to get help, she drags the keeper’s body outside and tends to the injuries of her new friend who is unconscious following the beating she has taken. But when our heroine wakes in the morning things aren’t as they were when she fell asleep. The body is gone, her friend is gone, and the lighthouse appears to have been uninhabited for decades.

You can actually find a teaser of the first three chapters of The Beacon on my website, and at the back of all versions of my novel, Lifeboat. I hope to complete it soon and have it available for purchase before Christmas.

What do you have planned next? 

Following The Beacon, I hope to continue writing. I have made notes from a dream I had that I thought would make a good story, although when I’m ready to work on a new book they may no longer make sense to me. I also have an idea for a story based on an actual missing persons case from the 70s. But one thing I’ve found is that what I start out writing may not match the end result, so who knows? And of course, I plan to continue my blog and reading until my head explodes with knowledge. My personal motto is – never stop dreaming or reading. In fact, I’ve made that my tag line. 🙂

 


A.B. Shepherd grew up in Lansing, Michigan, but moved to Australia in 2009. She now lives in the Limestone Coast region of South Australia, with her husband and their imaginary friends. She can usually be found seaside at Port MacDonnell, or lost in a fantasy world. A.B. Shepherd author photo BW

Lifeboat is her debut novel. The Beacon, her second novel, has an anticipated release date of Christmas 2013.

If you’d like to learn more about A.B. Shepherd please visit her website at abshepherd.net.

A.B. loves to hear from readers. Feel free to contact her at TheRealABShepherd@hotmail.com with your thoughts regarding Lifeboat, or anything else that takes your fancy.

You can also connect with her on Twitter @ABHPShepherd and on her Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-and-Blogger-AB-Shepherd/336336493057737.

Buy links – Amazon print / Amazon ebook / Amazon UK / B&N / Smashwords / Kobo

  1. Thank you, thank you Jess for showcasing this author. I loved the interview and the books GREAT. Thanks for sharing A and I look forward to hearing more about you. 😆
    sherry fundin recently posted..My Adventures – Impatient Fisherman – Blue HeronMy Profile

  2. Great interview, and The Beacon sounds fantastic!

  3. Thank you for hosting me Jessica. You are a doll. 😆
    A.B. Shepherd recently posted..Curse of Ancient Shadows by Rod TysonMy Profile

    • Jessica ( frellathon )

      It’s totally my pleasure you’re super sweet so anything I can do to share about your work you let me know

  4. I might just have to read this one. Even though I dislike anything/everything alien related, lol.

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