My friend the amazingly talented Myndi Shafer has just released her second book in the two in her Shrilugh Saga. So today I have a short interview with her, come and meet Myndi!
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.
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 Her blog is really funny you should check it out 🙂
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.
How long did it take to write the book? What was the most challenging thing?
Since I basically wrote Shrilugh and The Darkening (and the two books that follow) all in one fell swoop, it took…um…years. Nearly four.
The hardest part of writing them is the editing process. I’m still learning so much about what makes a book tick that when it comes time to edit, I literally struggle over every word. It’s gotten easier and easier to cut what needs cut, and sharpen the dull parts, but the thing about the editing process is that you have to look at everything with a critical eye…and when I do that, all my trusty doubts come flying to the surface, ready to pounce on any insecurities I may have. It’s a tough battle – getting to a place where I’m confident in my abilities, but willing to see what my flaws are without getting all worked up over it.
How did 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.
You have four kids. How do you 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 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.
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?