Q & A with E.A. Shanniak

Here is a new author that, I can recommend, her books are out now and ill be posting a review for you to read.

Here are some Q&A I had with her.

You can find more info about her here:
Author Link: Click Here    Facebook: Click Here
BOOKS: Amazon

What would you recommend today regarding publishing? The traditional way or go down the self-publishing way?

Whatever way works best for you. I am traditional published. I love it. I don’t have to worry about formatting paperback, ebook, pdf, whatever. My publisher and I work well together. We pick out covers together. We discuss blurbs together and everything else. My publisher is AMAZING! But it also all depends on who you work with and what you’re personally comfortable doing. I’m not comfortable with self publishing. It’s a big leap into a big pond with a lot of fish swimming around trying to get the big worm and get noticed. Trad publishing takes that out of my hands where my publisher markets for me and any marketing I do myself is on me. There isn’t a lot of stress which I like. I don’t handle stress well, I lose my hair and I like my hair (lol)


Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Energizes, especially when I am on a roll with an idea and its taking off. It’s a crazy, exhilarating feeling.


What are common traps for aspiring writers?

The only trap is yourself, thinking and or feeling wholly inadequate that you can’t do it or no one will like it.


What is your writing Kryptonite?

Constant interruptions. It drives me crazy. I lose all track of thought. I can literally see my character waving goodbye and saying “Until we meet again.” Every time I get interrupted.


Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym? And if so have you? And why?

Nope. I use my name. E.A. Shanniak. People already have a difficult enough time spelling and pronouncing my last name so I didn’t want to complicate myself further with a first name too lol. I won’t use a pen name because I am proud of my work and what I have done. Plus, I’m not clever enough to think of a catchy pen name.


Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I am original. I use experiences from my past and memories to create and establish characters and scenes. For example, in Calida’s Forge, coming out soon, Calida is a farrier. Growing up, my dad was a farrier and shoed giant draft horses among other horses as well. One was named Bart but I always called him Bert. So that memory, I put into Calida and made her a blacksmith with a draft horse named Bert. I think the more personal you make writing, the more real it seems to your readers.


Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

No. You have to feel emotions, a connection with your characters. You have to see it, feel it, smell it, describe it, all kind of things to create this person on paper. For me its kind of like a video game where you’re building your avatar. I need to see this person in my head, get a feel for who they are, act it out, if they can sing or dance or fight.


If you could tell your younger writing self, anything, what would it be?

I would have told myself not to listen to my parents and started writing a long time ago. I would have told myself that I was worthy, worth a damn and I am a good person, with good ideas. Instead, I let myself, my confidence, my life is hindered by someone else’s callous point of view. I had low self-esteem, no confidence, nothing, and it hindered me deeply. Now, thanks to writing, I have gained my confidence back and I know exactly who I am.


How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

You learn a lot of what to do, what not to do. I am SUPER repetitive so it hindered Jordie a lot until I got an edit and I learned that saying it once is good, twice is fine, three or more, shut up. I also learned, that if something doesn’t help tell the story, then its not needed. Editors are there to help you grow from a seed into a rose. Its up to you to either take their sunlight and water or stay hidden in the moonlight.


What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

$149.99 for Microsoft word, excel and powerpoint.


What did you do with your first advance?

Bought groceries lol


What do you owe the real people upon whom you base your characters?

My characters are pieces of my life. They are little snippets of memories. Some people in my life, I put into a book as antagonists like an ex-boyfriend who was icky. My husband, Bryan, is all the main male heroic characters. So far he is, Locryn, Graham and Kade (hahaha) and he is thrilled (sarcasm). My best friend Amanda, I made Calida because no matter how life knocks her around, she is always smiling and happy.


How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Unpublished books 2 – half finished 1

Now in a different world that I have lol – 3 finished, 2 half finished.


What does literary success look like to you?

Just doing it. Your success to me, is measured by just doing it, getting a book published. How much money you make shouldn’t matter because it’s a variable. Your work, however, isn’t. writing a book, getting it published is success. Its something tangible that will be around long after you’re not. Its something your kids will have and their kids and their kids after that. Its not about money to me, it never has been but a lot of people look at it that way.


What’s the best way to market your books?

I personally like to do signed book giveaways. Other people do anthologies, reviews, interviews. I like to market with a free book because it gets people involved but it also gives me a chance to get to know my audience.


What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Depends on what that book entails. For Calida, I spent HOURS looking up the correct way to forge, what to use, what things are called. I only used what I knew from reading, youtube, and other outlets in there. If I wasn’t sure about something, I didn’t put it in.


How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?

I am a stay at home mom, so I am still a part time writer until both kids are in school. Got one in, one to go lol. I started writing in April of 2017.


How many hours a day do you write?

Depends. Some days I get hours, some days its minutes. I take whatever I can and make it as productive as I can.


What period of your life do you find you write about most often? (child, teenager, young adult)

Teenage and young adult. It’s the most memorable part because as a kid we have different eyes and less of an understanding.


How do you select the names of your characters?

Holy bananas it take me HOURS!!! I have to use babynames.com or meaning-of-names.com to find the perfect name. some people foreshadow with writing, I use names. For example—Avalee means Voice in Persian. Calida means Fiery/Hot in Spanish. So with Avalee, you can guess: will she lose her voice? gain her voice? stand up for herself? With Calida, you can guess: is she nuts like fire? Is she crazy? Is she sexy? Is she a spitfire with an attitude?


If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

I would still be a hospice care provider if I wasn’t an author.


Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I don’t read reviews because I know I will take it personal. I read a bad one and it made me cry. And after that, I let it hinder myself esteem and worth. I didn’t want to feel like how I was as a kid growing up so I vowed never to read a review again. Its none of my business what people think of my book or not. Now I will say, I ask for them because I want to make the amazon, also bought list, but I won’t read it.


Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

Absolutely. But I am not telling.


What was your hardest scene to write?

At first it was sex, now its easy. Now its action. I struggle with it. think of it like the movie Gladiator with Russel Crowe or Brave Heart with Mel Gibson, I’m trying to create a battle scene or action and it have to take what is going on in my head and articulately describe it. I sometimes struggle with it.


Do you Google yourself?

No lol. I know where I’m at (LOL)


What is your favorite childhood book?

The Moor Child by Eloise McGraw


What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Only doing one idea at a time.


Does your family support your career as a writer?

Absolutely. My husband told me I should do something for myself and I said I want to be a writer. He said – what are you waiting for. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me, besides my kiddos of course.


If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?

Paid more attention in high school English. I got A’s but I had an inflated head and didn’t listen as well as I should have.


How long on average does it take you to write a book?

A month. Sometimes less if I get on a roll and don’t have interruptions.


Can you tell us anything about your next book?

Calida’s Forge is coming out soon. She is a fiery curly haired woman who is a blacksmith and works hard to provide for her little sister. She is funny, crazy, optimistic and basically that crazy friend everyone has. Her love Kade Bonteva is just as nuts. What do you get when you take two nutters and put them together? A nutter butter (its also a cookie lol)

Irie’s Strength will be out this summer. Its pieces of my life and experiences put into a novel. I took my brother and divided him into 3 people – Brock: who he would have been if he hadn’t gotten a TBI or done drugs. – Bremmer: my brother with his TBI and how he was right after. He knew he was different but couldn’t figure out why he changed. A piece of his was missing. – Brad: my brother on drugs. Irie is trying to discover who she is as a person because who she think she is, is not who she really is.


I would like to thank E.A Shanniak for taking her time with all the questions. I think it is refreshing and confirming.

If anyone has any questions pls comment below.