Sunday, February 17, 2013

Guest Author ~ Shawna Thomas

Today's post is an interview with Carina Press author Shawna Thomas. Her new book, Journey of Awakening, was released this past Monday. It's an epic fantasy, my kind of story. 

Shawna Thomas - Website
Winner of a 2011 RT Reader’s Choice award for her debut book, Altered Destiny, Shawna Thomas has been making up stories ever since finishing Gone With The Wind. Once she put her own ending in writing, there was no looking back. A wife and a mother of seven, (yes seven!) Shawna lives in California where she gardens, writes, and drinks lots of coffee.

Here is a short description of Shawna's Journey to Awakening
Trained from birth for one purpose, Sara must reunite three ancient stones to restore balance to the land but one of the stone keepers has other plans.
To get to know Shawna better, she has answered a few questions. 

Available at Amazon and Carina Press

1.     How long did it take you to write Journey of Awakening? Well, it depends which time. I started writing this story over ten years ago. It’s changed much since then. The last version was done like a speed round. I had a newborn who did not sleep and a two month deadline to rewrite the manuscript. It’s a blur.  
2.     How much research did you conduct for Journey of Awakening and what was the most interesting thing you did while conducting your research? Unfortunately, a lot of researched material ended up on the cutting room floor. But Sara is a healer, so I spent hours researching herbal cures for different ailments. I found it fascinating and I tried several of them. They do work!
3.     Why did you decide to write fantasy? I’m not sure I ever decided to write fantasy. Rather it’s the way my brain is wired. However, I did publish erotic contemporary romance and gave it up for a chance to write and publish fantasy.
4.     Do you write multiple drafts or barely need revisions when typing, The End? Hah! I write fairly clean. (Looking over my shoulder to see what my editor might say) but I love revision. The first draft is usually bare bones. The next draft I’m adding flesh and bone, the next I’m dressing it up. I guess I write in layers.
5.     When you are writing, who is in control? You or your characters? It depends. I give my characters a lot of say. I think it’s one of the marks of a writer that they can argue with a character. These people have personality and depth. We just bring it out. But ultimately, I’m in charge. LOL I can almost hear my characters arguing with me.
6.     Have you had any "ah ha" moments as a writer? Oh yes, some of them embarrassing. Ah ha, this isn’t poetry, it’s narrative. Ah ha, no one will read my book just to glance around my world, something has to happen...
7.     What advice do you have for other writers? Don’t compare yourself to others. I have to tell myself this often, especially in regards to productivity. I don’t have much time to write so I’m not typically going to publish a book every six months. (This year is an exception)
8.     What was the most exciting thing that happened to you after you signed your contract – besides receiving your first check as a published author? My sister works for a hotel chain. She was across the country and mentioned to one of the managers that her sister was a writer. The man had read my book! It was amazing and humbling and wow!
9.     How does your family feel about your career as a romance writer? Hmm... My kids think I’m playing on the computer. From time to time one of my daughters will ask me how much money I’m making. (As in can we get a pool yet) My husband loves it. I don’t think most of them really understand what it means.
10.  What do you want your readers to take away with them after reading the story? I want them to fall in love with the characters. I want it to plant a seed in their imagination. I want them to want more. I want them to say, Ahhhh.
11.  What was the defining moment that you considered yourself an author? Defining moment... I’m not sure there has been one. I think it’s been a gradual thing. I do consider myself an author, but it wasn’t the first or even second book published that did it. Maybe when I won the RT reader award. That was pretty epic!
12.  With so many changes in publishing over the past year, where do you see the future of publishing going? I think we’re heading more toward electronic books. Two years ago it shocked me that my family didn’t know what an e-reader was. Now most of them have one or at least know what it is.
13.  What makes a man attractive to you? A good sense of humor. Oh, and he must have nice eyes and a good voice.
14.  What is the most interesting thing you’ve ever done? LOL. Do you really want to know that? I’m not sure it’s the most interesting but I’ve trapped and skinned a beaver. I used to live in Washington State and there was Indian trapper that wanted to teach me how to live like my ancestors. He took me trapping, taught me to make moccasins. FYI: You only eat the tail. The rest of it is inedible.
15.  What’s your biggest dream? Ten or twenty things came to mind, but you know, I am living my biggest dream. I would like my books to be successful. So I guess my biggest dream is to captivate people with my words.
16.  If you were a millionaire would you still write? Oh yes. I write because I love it. Because it’s part of who I am. But I’d have a maid come in once a week to take care of the house. Okay maybe twice. And someone to come in a few hours a day to watch the kiddos.
17.  Seven children! How do you find the time? Coffee! Their ages range from 24 to 8 months. The older ones help out with the younger ones. With a new baby I plot and plan during diaper changes and laundry and write during nap time. But definitely coffee keeps me going.
      To tempt you even more, here is the back cover copy of Journey of Awakening.
      After her grandfather's death, Sara inherits an ancient pendant and a near-impossible quest—master the mysterious pendant's source of magic. Driven to do so, she must find the other two stones of power, long considered lost, while preventing an unknown enemy from finding her first.
      Unprepared and alone, she travels to where the keepers of the stones, the Siobani, were last seen. Along the way she meets Tobar, leader of the nomadic Heleini tribe. As Sara wrestles with feelings for this intriguing man, she is also invigorated with her grandfather's passion to find the ancient Siobani race.
      After a rival tribe kidnaps Tobar's son and heir, Sara must harness the stone's healing magic to unite the tribes and save the boy. But as the dark power stalking her gains ground, will she continue on her quest to reach the Siobani or risk everything to save the warring tribes from eliminating each other?

You can find Shawna on Twitter: authorSThomas and Facebook: Shawna Guzman (Shawna Thomas)
She also loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at 
Thank you Shawna!  


  1. Hi Shawna! I just finished reading Altered Destiny & I really liked it. I loved Selia & Jaden. I definitely went Ahhhh! at the end of the book & now I can't wait to get Journey of Awakening. Hope your next book is in the works too cos I'd definitely put it in my wishlist.

  2. Wow, interesting interview. (I'm still contemplating eating a beaver, well the tail...)Glad the books are doing so well!

  3. Hi Linda!

    I'm so glad to hear you loved Selia and Jaden! Yup, the next book is in production and I'm editing book three. I hope you enjoy them as much as you did Altered Destiny!


  4. Hi Veronica! Thank you for stopping by. Honestly, I only remember that beaver tastes a bit like ox tail... and to me that tastes like really rich beef. ; )

    Yeah, it's kinda weird to remember, but it was interesting.

  5. Fun interview! How exciting that the hotel manager so far away had read your book. That's so neat! Congratulations again. :)

  6. LOL It is Crystal! An interview is only as good as the questions and Ruth's are awesome! : )

    Hi Akatriel!
    It was pretty cool. : )

  7. What a great interview. I really enjoyed it. Tweeted.

  8. Thank you for stopping by, Ella, and for the tweet!

  9. Great interview, Ruth! Shawna, thanks for giving us so much insight into your writing life. I loved reading it!

  10. Hi Natalie! It was a fun interview! I'm glad you liked it and thanks for stopping by!