Please give a warm welcome to Author Joann M. Shevock!
- What genre are your books?
My primary field of work is fantasy fiction. I’m not sure of all the sub-genres so I really don’t know how to further classify my writings, but a lot of people say my works are dark and I love big epic fantasies. So, I would call them dark epic fantasy.
- What draws you to this genre?
My favorite feature is the ability to be God-like. I get to create entire worlds along with the people and the creatures that inhabit them. I control their fate and that makes me feel empowered.
- What project are you working on at the moment?
I currently have quite a few projects in the works. I’ll just talk about two of them. One is the sequel to a short story that I just wrote. The other is a novel that I’ve been working on and off for nine years.
- What’s it about?
It takes place in both an earthly and a heavenly realm. The story features conflict between the gods that filters down to the mortals by way of the son of a fallen god. The son who is weakened in his war against his godly relatives finds his way to earth. There he possesses a prince who is shunned by his father. The god controls an army of entities that kill off the king and the heir, which leaves the prince whom he “lives in” to rule the kingdom. The prince’s subjects rebel as the entity tries to gain total control of the prince. The prince is overthrown and exiled. The god and his host hide away in a place where the god grows strong enough to kill his host and begin his quest to take over both the earth and the heavens. As the army marches, word of the evil god’s return travels around the world. Mortals gather together to try and defeat the god before he can reach his “ladder” into heaven. The mortals have to call upon their secret weapon, the god’s sister that had been hidden away years ago. The gods search the universe looking for her, but it’s the mortals who can truly bring her home.
- Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is special?
My main character is Kalisdoom, the son of a fallen god who is killed. Being a god he has powers, but in the beginning they have been depleted and he has to take over a host body to regain his strength. He controls an army of shadow-like beings called Shamysts, but if they aren’t handled properly they could easily turn on him.
- Have you written anything else?
I write all the time, but my first published work, Aradace of the Surr-Nakki was featured in The Fantasy Writers Anthology 2015: Curse of the Heroines.
- What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I’d love to be able to quit my night job and write full time.
- Which writers inspire you?
A lot! I love the imaginations people have, but I think my top picks are: J.R.R. Tolkien, George R.R. Martin, J.K. Rowling, Frank Herbert, Christopher Paolini, Ursula Le Guin, Sarah Ash, Ann McCaffrey, and Mercedes Lackey. But, there truly are tons of authors that inspire me.
- When did you decide to become a writer? Why do you write?
I’d say probably when I was in junior high school, maybe a little earlier. Again, the empowerment of having something I control, especially in a world where it seems everything is in complete chaos. Sometimes that chaos extends to my own house, so my writing is also a bit of a getaway and gives me time to de-stress.
- Do you have a special time or place to write?
I write whenever inspiration hits me. I always carry a pen and notebook with me to jot down ideas. I mostly write in my bedroom or my makeshift office in the tiny spare room in my house. Occasionally I’ll write at the kitchen table or in the living room.
- Where do you get your inspiration?
- Do you work on an outline or do you prefer to see where the idea takes you?
I usually just let the idea take me for a ride, but if there is a word limit then at some point I usually find myself writing an outline.
- Do you ever get writer’s block? How do you overcome it?
Yes! I’ll go for a car ride to a place I’ve never been before. I’ll watch a movie, or listen to a new song or an entire CD. Sometimes just a trip to the book store or looking at people’s work on Deviant Art helps.
- What is the hardest thing for you about writing?
Spelling and grammar are my weaknesses. Sometimes it’s hard for me to start a story. I want the perfect attention-grabbing beginning, and I really fuss over it. Other times, I have a great idea or concept. I can see the scene play out like a movie in my mind, but I can’t turn it into words on paper. It’s very frustrating!
- How do you market your books? Why did you choose this route?
I’ve only ever put some of my writings on a Facebook page. I started it for my friends to read the things I wrote and give me feedback on them. I was just writing for myself, but I never tried pursuing a writing career until a few months ago when people started to like my page and comment on my work. That gave me the confidence to put myself out there.
- How much research do you do?
For my novel it was all fantasy, and I didn’t need to do any research. For my anthology story, I researched female warriors and found a ton of cool stuff. I used what best fit my character and her situation. I’ve also researched things for other projects. The more neat and interesting things I find, the more I find myself researching other topics. It also inspires me to start even more projects!
- Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I used a typewriter for most of my earlier writings, mainly because when I started writing home computers were still a pretty new thing and my parents weren’t really interested in getting one. Eventually I got a word processor, and didn’t start using a computer until I purchased one in 1995. I’ve always, even to this day, written things out on paper. I go through a lot of filler paper and note pads. I just recently got the Dragon software and I’m trying to figure out how to use it since I’m not very computer literate.
- What are some of your favorite books/authors?
Oh, there are tons! But to name a few: Lord of the Rings, all of the Harry Potter books, Game of Thrones, Earthsea, Eragon, and Dragonworld. Way too many to name!
- Are you currently reading any books?
Right now I’m reading Russell Kirkpatrick’s Fire and Heaven trilogy. I’m on the first of the three, Across the Face of the Earth. I’m about half way through and I love it. While writing, I don’t like to read a book in the same genre for fear of accidentally plagiarizing. While I was writing my anthology story I had to put reading it on hold, but now that I’m taking a break I can get back to it.
- How can readers discover more about you and your work?
All I have right now is my Facebook page: Joann M. Shevock and a few things posted on Wattpad and Deviant Art. Hopefully through these two anthologies I’ll get a lot more exposure and be able to get more of my work out there for people to discover. As I become more computer literate I can use some other tools as well.