I finished my first book of 2021 yesterday and I started my second book today. Both are audio-books as I find doing audio-books are much more easier for me to multi task. How about you? Have you finished your first book of the year? Let me know int he comments below.
A huge Thank You and a Loud Shout out to the Author – Skylar Shoar for agreeing to participate and kind enough to send prompt response to all my questions.
Skylar Shoar is the author of Duology – The Power of Us & The Perseverance of Us (Available on Amazon for purchase.)
–> A Brief Bio (As is written by the Author)
Thank you so much for having me here today. This is my very first author interview and I am beyond excited!!
I live in the UK with my husband and two sons. Skylar Shoar is my pen name and I write romance novels. My debut novel, The Power of Us, is the first installment to the Us Duology and is available on Amazon. The sequel, The Perseverance of Us, will be available on Amazon from 1 December 2020.
As a child, I didn’t really read to be honest. I grew up in South Africa only a stone throw away from the beach, so I spent most of my time there or in the pool. But I’ve always had a vivid imagination and I love to tell stories. It wasn’t until later on in my teens that I started expressing my thoughts and emotions through writing poems. Once that seed sprouted I fell in love with the satisfaction of bringing thoughts to life in the form of written words.
My favorite genre has to be romance. Life can be brutal and emotionally draining at times, so getting lost in a well-written love story is the best medication.
Question 1: What comes first, the plot or characters? How do you develop your plot and characters? How do you come up with the titles to your books?
Author’s Response: Definitely characters. At times, a plot idea may pop into my head but it can only come to life with a well-developed character or characters. To me, a new character is like making a new friend. I get to know them, and like with any relationship, this takes time. The characters from the Us Duology, Cassidy and Harly, have been with me for more than ten years, so I am ecstatic to finally introduce them to the world. Like me, they’re flawed and frustrating at times but that just makes them more real to me.
I’m currently getting to know the characters of my two future novels and it’s exciting! Having a great plot is golden, but in order to write a compelling story, you need characters with a voice. This is my driving force. The characters speak to me and I translate their messages into words. At times, the story writes itself – I’m just the messenger. Other times it’s daunting when you hit a wall, some might call it writer’s block. During these times, I find myself jumping to scenes further along and it’s a magical feeling when all of a sudden the haze lifts and you find yourself able to fill in the blanks.
Every story has a dominant message. That is how I choose my titles.
Question 2: Describe your writing space. What is the most difficult part about writing for you? What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? Who is the author you most admire in your genre?
Author’s Response: During the summer months, I love to sit in the garden and write. Unfortunately, life is hectic, so it’s not often that I get a lot of time to myself to do this. Most of my writing is done at night once the kids are asleep and chores have been done. Usually, there’s a bag of sweet treats or a huge chocolate bar close by. I’m a massive chocoholic!! I’m blessed with an amazing husband who supports me, so he’s used to me tapping away on the keyboard at night.
The most difficult thing with writing is finding the balance between wanting to lock yourself away in a quiet room and spending time with your family. There are days when the characters are screaming at me and all I want to do is write. But I also have other commitments and a family with who I want to spend time.
I’ve been known to wake up in the middle of the night to jot down lines on my phone and it’s frustrating because all I want to do at that moment is get up and reach for the laptop.
I’m a huge Nicholas Sparks fan. I’ve read the Notebook several times and each time I love it more!
Question 3: How do you do research for your books? Is writing your full-time career? Or would you like it to be? When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene, how do you get in the mood?
Author’s Response: I would love to be a full-time writer! Most of my career has been office-based but since moving to the UK three years ago, I’ve been a stay-at-home mum. This has allowed me the time to focus more on writing. Most of my research is done online and I find useful information on writing groups. The Power of Us is set in New York, and as I’ve never been to America, I had to research a lot of things from terminologies to spelling. The sequel, The Perseverance of Us, contains medical issues, so I spent a lot of time researching specific topics because I wanted the book to be as accurate as it can be.
When I’m writing, I picture the scene as if I was watching a movie. With that comes a soundtrack, so I have a specific playlist that I listen to when writing, especially with emotional scenes. For the Us Duology, it contained music from Avril Lavigne and Rachel Platten.
Question 4: Who is your favorite author and why? What are you reading now?What book is currently on your bedside table?
Author’s Response: My favorite author, as I’ve already said, is Nicolas Sparks but I’ve discovered that I love reading debut novels by Indie authors. I’m currently reading an ARC copy of Awakening by Jennifer Leigh Pezzano and I’m loving it! I can’t wait to write the review.
Question 5: Recommend three of your favorite books to the readers.
The Notebook by Nicolas Sparks – this has to be one of the best love stories I’ve ever read. I laughed, cried, and swooned all the way through. I’ve read this novel many times and it won’t be long before I reach for it again.
Beast by Eva. K More – this debut novel had me turning the pages faster than my eyes could read. It has tension, suspense, and hot chemistry.
The Diary Of a Young Girl by Anne Frank – this is a book I think everyone should read at least once. Anne was a happy and vibrant young Jewish girl until her family was forced into hiding from Hitler and his Nazi army. It’s an eye-opener and whenever I think of Anne, which is often, I’m so grateful for the family and life that I have.
Author’s Favorite Quote–
Of all the books I’ve read, my favorite quote has to be from A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” This quote has stuck with me for many years because it sums up my passion for bringing characters to life.
Until next time!
Lots of love,