I’m happy to introduce readers to Shawn McGuire, whom I met while writing for the Lei Crime Series of Kindle Worlds. Along with her own series called The Wish Makers, Shawn has written two books for Kindle Worlds so far. Her latest novella released May 18th called Out of Her League.
Please learn more about this lovely author and her books.
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Welcome to Eden’s Exchange, Shawn. Tell us a bit about where you live.
I live in Colorado, outside of Denver. The weather is beautiful, the scenery is jaw-dropping (nothing restores me like a weekend in the mountains), however it’s getting really crowded here which makes it harder and harder to enjoy the mountains. And, it’s too far away from the rest of my family in Wisconsin and Minnesota.
It must be tough to be far from family. 😦 If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I wish I could stop worrying so much about the future and live more in the now. There’s a lot of great things happening now, and if I’m not careful I miss them.
Here and now is definitely worth it. What profession other than your own would you like to try?
I’ve thought lately about opening a bed and breakfast, one where once or twice a year I could hold retreats for writers.
Great idea, I would come! What is one thing you want to do before you die?
Travel! The world is such a huge, wonderful place, I want to see more of it. I’ve never been to Europe and I’d love to see Bali. Also, I’d love to sail with my husband. Before we moved to Colorado, he used to sail on Lake Michigan. He misses that and it’s something I’d love to do with him.
Travel is wonderful. I’ve been to Bali and it’s a must-see. What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
My two sons. They are fine young men and they make me so proud. I’m grateful every day that I was able to stay home with them while they grew up.
What a sweet thing to say about your sons, Shawn. Let’s turn our attention to your first book for Kindle Worlds—ONE OF HER OWN.
|Book blurb: One of Her Own
Maui is the perfect place… for murder.
Gemi Kittredge, rising MMA star, is facing the fight of her career. She hasn’t heard from her flighty sister in two weeks. And, she’s just come across the body of a fellow boxer during her morning run.
While her friend, Consuelo Aguilar, helps Gemi stay focused on the match, Detective Lei Texeira is hot on the trail of the killer. But the closer they get to the truth, the more Gemi starts to fear the killer could be one of her own.
One of Her Own takes place after Shattered Palms, book 6 in the Lei Crimes series.
Excellent blurb, Shawn. What motivates you to write?
When an idea really starts to gel, or when the new world I’m trying to create starts feeling real, that’s when I start getting itchy to get words on the page. Then, as I’m writing there will come a moment when everything comes together and I can see the real story. It’s usually a sentence or a short scene during the first draft phase and I go, ah, that’s what my story is about.
I love when a story reveals itself that way. What is the best advice you’ve received as a writer?
To turn off my internal editor and just write. My best first drafts happen when I just blitz my way through and get the words down. Sometimes the story goes a little off-track, but if I stick with it, everything works out in the end. I call it “trusting the process” and it took me a while to be able to do that.
How much research do you do for your books?
That depends on the book. For my YA fantasy series, there wasn’t a lot since I was basically making things up. I did a lot of research for my two Lei Crime novellas, because I wanted to get details about Maui and the Yakuza right.
What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most and least?
I hate the first draft. That’s the other reason I blitz through it, because it would take me forever to write otherwise. I love the revision process. By the time I’ve got the first draft done, I really know the characters and the plot. During revisions is when the story truly comes to life.
I love the revision process too. Is it important for you to know the title or ending of a book before you write it?
The ending, yes. Sometimes the journey changes along the way, but my ending almost always stays the same from the start. I use that big scene at the end as almost a treat. I won’t allow myself to write that scene until the rest is done, it’s like a treat for me that keeps me motivated. Titles? I hardly ever know my title before I start.
Me neither. Do you outline, plot and structure, or do you just sit down and write?
I outline the big plot points and then let the characters take me on a journey as we head from point A to B, B to C…
|Book blurb: Out of Her League
Paradise has a dark side, and Gemi has seen it.
One month ago, life for Gemi Kittredge meant college classes and mixed martial arts title fights. Now, her sister is missing, and Gemi is prepared to do whatever it takes to find her, including putting on a cocktail dress and cozying up to Yakuza crime bosses.
Thankfully, she’s got Detective Lei Texeira on speed dial, because when violence breaks out between the two rival factions, even Gemi, a woman capable of taking a man out using only her thumbs, is going to need backup.
Out of Her League takes place after Shattered Palms, book 6 in the Lei Crime series.
Buy Links on Amazon
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Tell us more about your second and latest book for the Lei Crime Kindle World, OUT OF HER LEAGUE. Why should people read it?
This novella completes the mystery of what happened to Gemi’s sister. It’s fast-paced and, I think, takes the reader into a world they’ve probably never gone or possibly even known about – the Yakuza crime organization.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from writing it?
The lesson came from the first Gemi Kittredge novella, ONE OF HER OWN. Don’t end a mystery on a cliffhanger! While some readers were okay with that, many others really hated it. I had no idea!
Great lesson! What is the best way for someone to support your book, aside from buying it?
Leave an honest review and tell all your friends about it!
What is next for you, Shawn?
I’m working on a new project that will sort of marry my long-standing love of fantasy with my new love of mystery. As the ideas and the world start coming together, I’m getting really excited about it.
I’m sure your readers are excited too! Let’s finish with a fun lightning round.
Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire? The box in my office that’s stuffed with memories.
Favorite place you’ve traveled to or would like to travel to? I’ve never been overseas, and I’d love to go… anywhere.
Name a food you can eat everyday. Dark chocolate-covered almonds.
Salty or sweet? Salty and sweet. I’m Gemini and can never choose just one thing.
Coffee or tea or something else? Coffee in the morning, tea (hot in winter, iced in summer) in the afternoon. Did I mention the Gemini thing?
Cat/dog/other pet? We lost both of our kitties in the last year. I think someday I’d love a dog.
Favorite style of music? Depends on my mood.
Your most guilty pleasure. Being with my husband. I feel complete with him.
Favorite season. Spring. Fall is right on Spring’s heals.
Name something you cannot go a day without. Taking a few moments for myself.
Thank you Shawn for sharing with my readers. So great to learn more about you. Readers, please visit Shawn at her virtual homes below and say “Hello!”
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Connect to Shawn
Colorado-based author Shawn McGuire started writing after seeing the first Star Wars movie (that’s episode IV) as a kid. She couldn’t wait for the next installment to come out so wrote her own. Sadly, those notebooks are long lost, but her desire to write is as strong now as it was then. Her young adult novels deal with harder issues—dating violence, death of a family member, bullying, and teen suicide. Since those topics can be hard to handle, she infuses a good bit of humor as well because she believes that laughter can help you get through just about anything.