Shanna Hatfield is a hopeless romantic with a bit of sarcasm thrown in for good measure.
In addition to blogging, eating too much chocolate, and being smitten with her husband (Captain Cavedweller), she writes clean romantic fiction with a healthy dose of humor.
Shanna is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, and Romance Writers of America.
What inspires you to write?
Experiences and adventures.
I’ve always loved to write and find story ideas blooming from every day experience as well as out-of-the-norm adventures.
I tell people they better behave around me or they might end up in a future novel.
Tell us about your writing process.
I make it a point to write every day. Even if I’m not working on writing my next story, I write in a journal or one of my blogs. Always keep writing.
When I’m ready to write my next book, I start with the characters first. I think about their unique characteristics – everything from the color of their eyes and the way they smell, to any interesting habits they might have. One I get a feel for who they are, I search online through celebrity photos for a face to put with them. I’m a very visual person, so it helps me to be able to look at photos as I’m writing to stay on track. I also find photos related to the story. Sometimes I look for secondary characters or, if the setting is important to the plot, I look for a visual of a house or floor plan.
I’m definitely not someone who plans the story out chapter by chapter. I know where I want it to start and end, but the parts in between come to me as I write. The one time I tried using a structured outline I got so frustrated, I finally threw it away and went back to my “surprise me” method of writing.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I both listen to and talk with my characters while I’m writing. Some characters are more chatty while some are have to be drawn out. When I was writing The Cowboy’s Summer Love, I was convinced Tess and Travis were sitting on my shoulder whispering what should happen next in my ear. It is so much fun to get inside their heads (and let them into mine). It’s a part of the writing process that I really, really enjoy.
What advice would you give other writers?
Figure out what works for you and stick with it.
Don’t let anyone diminish your dreams.
Write every day. Even if you just get a few sentences down, at least you’ve done something that moves you forward.
Believe in yourself, even when others think you’re nuts.
If writing is truly your passion, what fuels your creativity and gives you purpose, never, ever give up.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
After a multitude of personalized rejection letters from agents that were both disheartening and encouraging, I decided to research self-publishing. I liked what I discovered and jumped in with both feet.
Self-publishing isn’t for everyone but it definitely works for me. Being something of a control freak, I like to make the decisions about every aspect of my book.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the future is hard to predict, but I do know this:
• There will always be good books to read, regardless of the format.
• There will always be great new authors waiting to be discovered.
• There will always be stories that need to be told.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Romance – Contemporary, Historical, Suspence. Non-Fiction – recipes, entertaining, dating, relationships.
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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