Shakyra Dunn can't stray away from the impression that there is always an adventure around every corner! When she isn’t playing the role of the Creator, she is marching through the worlds of her favorite video game characters or taking drives around her city to see the sights. Born in Chicago, Illinois, she currently resides in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, striving to experience more than the little town.
1. Will you tell us about your most recent published work?
-As of August 9th, I’ve set up the preorders for the sequel to my YA fantasy novel “The Final Lesson.” This marks the official end of not only the duology, but my first completed series! The book continues to follow Leilana Erovina on her journey to become a Warlord and help to secure Adrylis’s fate alongside Prince Rem, Solus, and Sien, but looming behind them is a night where all shall fall.
2. What personal challenges do you face as a writer?
-My biggest challenge has to be marketing to the right people, but I think that’s something that every author struggles with. It’s also hard for me to focus on keeping up with my writing projects due to a nightly job commitment, but soon that will change!
3. What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
-I’m easily distracted. “Oh look, Candy Crush-Gotta write. *Roommate calls for me as I start* Ughhhh…” But once I’m out of distraction mode, writing becomes a cinch!
4. What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
-Honestly? Just give me a full week of absolutely nothing there to bother me and I can be completely disciplined without any trouble. Kill my social life. Just for a bit.
5. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
-When I first published, I was really clueless about what it really took to be a successful writer. Foolish little me didn’t have an editor, and I was even silly enough to not have the book description on the very first print because I thought Amazon printed it on for me. My process of writing increased to diligence on every single point of every moment in my writing. I kept on my toes about each word, each sentence… and so far, it seems to be paying off.
6. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? Will you tell us about them?
-Unpublished and half-finished? Where to begin… I have about three that I’m working on, two of which are novellas, and one that is a standalone novel that’s going to be roughly 100,000 words called “Gravekeeper!” Gravekeeper is the story of a seventeen-year-old boy named Elijah Beren that ends up becoming entangled with a new girl in his tourist town of Aliseum and embarks on a journey to become a scion of death called a Gravekeeper.
7. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
-I always read book reviews. When they’re good, they make me elated. When they’re bad, I first have to take a walk to breathe and keep myself from crying or getting too anxious, and once the hurt is over, I swing right back into my work.
8. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
-Let’s just say that there are always connections to other books from other worlds that I’ve written.
9. What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
-I have SO many friends that I’ve made since becoming published. Amazingly, I even became friends with Adelle Yeung, a voice actress that I’ve admired since I was about 15 years old that also writes in the YA fantasy genre. I never imagined that I could interact with such incredible people. It really helps you see a new world from the outside in to have other writers in your circle.
10. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
-“You’re going to mess up a lot, but you’re going to push on and become better and better as long as you believe that you’re capable.”
11. What are common traps for aspiring writers?
-Not having a proper editor or the right information before taking the next step. I know that was my issue.
12. What’s the best way to market your books?
-I’ll tell you when I find out.
13. What is your favorite childhood book?
-JUST ONE?! Well… “A Series of Unfortunate Events” is the main reason that I decided that I wanted to become an author. It has such a rich story, intriguing characters, but an unfulfilling ending, and it inspired me to want to make better stories with solid conclusions compared to that.
Social Media Links
REVIEW BLOG: http://burningmasses.shakyradunn.com
Mailing List: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/q5i2w4
AUTHOR GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1660970617537336/
Freelance Services: https://www.facebook.com/TheAdventureLog/