This week's featured author is Shakyra Dunn!
Author to the series "The One Left Behind," Shakyra Dunn has been bound with chains to a life of fantasy. What was the crime? She couldn’t stray away from the impression that there is always an adventure down 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.
Shakyra has a book you might want to check out entitled, The One Left Behind: Magic. Here's what it's about:
Frayle searches through time for a way to save his best friend. After witnessing Relek Paladere's murder, the rogue Frayle is thrust twenty years into the past and meets Nova Avery, a Time-Jumper. She wanders the thin lines of fragmented memories and sends Frayle through the windows of the Phantasm. Together, they seek to save his friend, and unearth the mystery of the Guardians heading his world and the origin of one known only as the Creator.
We got to speak with Shakyra and asked her a few questions about being an author. Here's what she had to tell us.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Writing often energizes me, because it’s the only thing that I feel can keep me going through the stress of life. When I’m focused, I can sit back and write for hours and accomplish a lot.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
The most common that I’ve seen has to be lacking the right research. When a new author or writer decides to take their skill to the next level, they don’t consider the pros and cons behind their actions. Or they make my mistake and publish without much luck, no beta-readers, no editor, no nothing.
How have other authors helped you become a better writer?
I’ve definitely gained a lot of knowledge from other authors that will prepare me better for my next release. I couldn’t have gotten as far as I have now without them.
What is one thing you wished you had known when you first started writing?
That marketing your novel is like fishing for air. It’s easy to be swept in, but hard to return to the ground with confidence.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I’d love to create my own mascot! I can picture it having an aspect of Carbuncle from Final Fantasy!
What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?
The Cycle of the Six Moon series by Adelle Yeung. I’ve followed her works since her early days of voice acting (I think I was around 15 when I first started listening, and fast forward almost 8 years, yeesh), and I had to get invested when she mentioned she wrote novels! She was the first person that pushed me along with my work after I published, and to this day, I owe her a lot.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I try to look into names with meanings behind them, and sometimes it occurs by coincidence. For example, the main character of my debut series Frayle Mathur, his first name was chosen as a joke, but his surname is akin to his personality and it was chosen on a whim.
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I spend a lot of time hanging out with guys since most of my friends are guys and grew up as a tomboy, so I wouldn’t say I’ve had any issues with writing them. But I would say that the hardest part is trying not to let my feminine side kick in with the way that they behave and make them believable. It sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t. But I prefer writing guys anyways.
So there you have it. We want to thank Shakyra for answering our questions, and hope you will check out her links below.