Shauna M. Joseph
We’d like to introduce you to Ms. Shauna M. Joseph, an avid reader and writer. We’re so pleased to have her join our author community. Ms. Joseph’s commitment to her craft is an inspiration to new and seasoned authors.
- Where are you from originally?
I was born and raised in Freeport, Grand Bahama.
- Do you have a history of writers or authors in your family?
In my family I have lots of readers. Some of them do write but so far I’m the only published author.
- Well congratulations on being the first published author in your family! Did you excel in writing while in school?
In school I did excel in writing. I loved it more than math for sure! Writing gave me a way to express myself.
- How important is reading to you? Does it affect your writing?
Reading is very important to me. As a child it enabled me to travel around the world through books. Anything I wanted to learn I was able to find it in a book. In terms of it affecting my writing, well it actually helps me to deal with writers block. If I’m stuck I’ll simply read a book and I will find motivation to complete my work.
- That’s a productive way of overcoming a hurdle. So what works have you written?
I’ve written two books so far and they are a part of a series called The Fresh Start Series.
- Very interesting, are you currently writing another book now?
Right now I’m in the final stages of completing 3 books. The final book in the series, a stand-alone and a collection of encouraging stories.
- How long have you been writing books?
I’ve been writing books for over 10 years but only recently began publishing.
- Congratulations on publishing. I’m sure there is a massive community waiting to enjoy your books. What are your ambitions for your writing career?
My ambitions are to continue to get better and produce stories that encourage, strengthen and introduce my faith to my readers.
- That’s encouraging to hear. With so much negativity in print its refreshing to see young authors focused on writing positive material. Why do you write?
I write because I love it. As a child I would always be writing something and it just kept growing. I love to tell stories and it’s a way to express myself especially when I can’t do it verbally.
- Not every author has the same approach to writing, what is your process; do you create an outline before writing your books?
I guess my way would not be considered normal but I never have an outline. My first book came as a result of one sentence in my head. I wrote it down and built the book around it. I add characters etc. as I go along. The outline comes as I write so I’ll know who all the players are.
- Do you have a daily writing regimen?
No I don’t have a daily regimen. When the desire hits to write I begin writing.
- Sounds like you write a lot. Do you consider yourself a full-time or part-time writer?
I would say a full-time writer because I’m always writing something. It may not be a book but it’s something. I have the notepads and books to prove it (smiley face)
- For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
For my own reading I do like the ebooks because they are easier to obtain but I love the traditional book. There’s nothing like feeling the pages in your hand. I still go to the library and borrow books because I love the browsing and reading a physical book.
- How did you begin writing? Did you intend to become an author, or do you have a specific reason or reasons for writing each book?
I feel writing was a gift from God and it started as a child. I would write about what I was feeling or what was going on around me. I always knew I would become an author I just never knew when it would happen.
- How many hours daily to you devote to writing? Do you write a draft on paper, at a keyboard or from an audio recording of yourself?
I don’t have specific hours set aside to write I just write until I’m tired. I used to write on paper until I had to transfer it to the computer. Too much work, so all my writings are done on the computer from the beginning.
- Technology does have its benefits doesn’t it? Do you write every single day?
I don’t write every single day because I do have blank moments and also I do like to take breaks to give the brain a rest.
- I’ve got to ask you Ms. Joseph, does writing energize or exhaust you?
I will say that writing is exhausting when you are trying to complete a piece and when I’m done I feel energized.
- How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Writing a book varies because I can complete one in a week or I can take several weeks.
- That’s amazing, you really chug them out! What genre are your books?
My books are Christian fiction.
- What draws you to this genre?
As a Christian I wanted to be able to write stories that I wanted to read. Books about my faith but also about romance, comedy, drama and suspense.
- Sounds like a fabulous concept. How much research do you do when you’re about to write a book?
I typically would research as I’m writing because I don’t have outlines. My characters are developed along the way and that’s when I do the research.
- Have you written any books in collaboration with other writers?
No I have never collaborated with any other writers.
- What do you think are common traps for aspiring writers? I feel one common trap for aspiring writers is fear. Am I good enough? Maybe I shouldn’t because people won’t like it. Fear will talk you out of your dreams.
- How important is it for you to receive book reviews?
I feel it’s important to receive reviews because it can not only encourage you but can help you become better.
- How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
Well truthfully I haven’t been on a quest for reviews (in the back of your mind you don’t want a bad review) but I’ve ask my readers for feedback.
- Do you have a strategy for finding people to review your books?
No I don’t have a strategy for finding people to review my books. For me I’m still relatively new at this and I’m still learning.
- Why do you think that other well written books just don’t sell?
I do believe that everything begins and ends with great marketing.
- What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
My thoughts on good reviews is that they can boost your confidence and encourage you. Bad reviews hurt your feelings and can be discouraging but you can turn it around and become better at what you do. I always say that there is a lesson in everything you just have to find it.
- Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
No, never. I like my name (smiley face)
- Do you try to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I try to be true to me and be original.
- What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title?
A good cover and title is very important. It sells the book before one word is read.
- Have you ever designed your own book cover?
I’ve attempted to design my own cover but decided to leave it to the professionals.
- Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?
Yes I do because the cover is the first thing you see. Some people purchase books because the cover was that attractive.
- I know you’re still growing in your craft, but what do you think is the secret to becoming a successful author?
I have no clue what the secret is to becoming a successful author. For me it’s still a secret.
- Ms. Joseph if you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better writer as an adult, what would you do?
I would have tried to take writing classes geared towards writing books.
- Where can persons interested in your growing collection of inspiring fiction books find them?
My books can be found on Amazon.com
- How easy/difficult has it been getting your books in local store shelves?
My books are not in stores but it’s relatively easy to get them in stores once you agree to do it on consignment.
- What advice would you give aspiring authors on publishing and marketing their books?
My advice to aspiring authors is to believe in yourself and just do it. Keep learning and growing as you go.
- What is something most people don’t know about you?
Hmmm, something most people don’t know about me is I’m pretty good at cooking and baking.
Well Ms. Joseph, I’m sure our readers enjoyed hearing from you. We look forward to hearing more about your collections. I’m sure you won’t mind us pointing your readers to your author page to get a free preview of your books. All the best in your endeavors!