Shauna, if you were a vegetable, you would surely be an onion. There are many layers to you and your personal journey displayed in your writing. I peeled away at some of those layers in our previous interviews.
You also recently published a Self-Interview, where I learned even more about you. Kim Thompson also showcased you recently in her Pen to Page...
Today, I'd like to focus on what's been happening in your writing world...
1. What writing accomplishment are you proudest of and why...?
Shauna: Hopefully, I have yet to reach my proudest writing accomplishment. However, in thinking about what I’ve written to date, I’d have to say I’m most proud of a TV commercial I wrote for the Miccosukee Indian tribe in 1983 or 1984.
The reason I say this is because I discovered a year or so ago that the spot is still being aired. I was channel surfing one day and saw a familiar face. Lee Tiger, who when I wrote the spot was acting Chief, (his father was ill at the time) was speaking to me from the other side of the TV on a show called Florida Today. Naturally, I put the remote down and listened to what he had to say. After a bit, the show broke to commercial. I was thrilled to see my promo spot is still alive and well! They’ve since updated the video portion of the commercial, but the copy was unmistakably mine.
To discover that one of my commercials has withstood the test of time was a proud moment indeed!
2. I greatly enjoyed your book, Hearts and Rainbows, as did my best friend when I gifted her a copy. Please tell us what inspired you to publish this timeless collection of your poetry.
Shauna: I think finally being comfortable with myself is what inspired me to publish Hearts and Rainbows. The book is comprised of 80 of my original poems spanning decades, from 1974 through 2012.
Before then, I’d only let select people, whom I felt I could trust, read my poetry. Putting my thoughts on paper is how I dealt with my feelings as a young adult. They are very personal and I can remember the circumstances surrounding each and every one of them. I can even still picture where I was when I felt the urgency to grab a pen and something to write on.
I time-stamp all of my poems. Of course, I omitted them when I published the book, but when I first put them on paper, I note the date and time of day. That helps me to see myself and the emotional state I’m in at the time.
I decided to share my emotions with whoever is willing to read them in the hopes that they may inspire or provide comfort. In fact, a friend of a friend bought my book. She emailed me to tell me that she refers to it often when life gets to be a bit much. She told me she finds great comfort in my poetry.
How awesome is that?
3. Tell us the message behind, and your plans for, the story some of us are reading along with you called The Gifts of Faith.
Shauna: I didn’t begin the book with a message in mind. Actually, it didn’t begin as a book at all, rather a short story I posted on HubPages. After chapter one, it became apparent to me that there was more to it.
Although the title may lead one to believe it has a religious connotation, that’s not entirely true. Faith is the name of the lead character. She has the ability to see souls. Not auras, but the souls of living people. The story line is more paranormal and spiritual than religious.
I hope my readers come away with whatever message speaks to them. I won’t tell you what messages come to me from the characters because you’d have no reason to read the story if I did that.
As far as my plans for The Gifts of Faith, I intend to finish the novel and market it to an agent who will represent me. There will be no eBook version, nor will I self-publish. I’d like my first full-length fiction novel to be published and distributed the old-fashioned way.
I’ve already written the ending. There’s still so much more to tell before I get there. I have no idea how long it will take to complete. That depends on Faith, Sarah, and Nathaniel. Sometimes quite a while goes by before I hear from them.
To date, I’ve posted 16 chapters on HubPages. I’ve recently decided I’m going to leave it at that. I provided a cliff hanger at the end of chapter 16 which will, hopefully, result in my readers buying the novel when the day comes. Why would anyone buy it if the entire book can be read online?
4. Your website, Bravewarrior's Feathered Pen, is looking awesome. Can you tell us a story about some of the services you offer in your role as a freelance writer and copy editor?
Shauna: I’m a person who gets bored easily. Doing the same thing day in and day out puts life on automatic pilot for me. When that happens, my creativity suffers as does my drive. I’ve held many different positions in my working years for that very reason. I diversify to keep from getting bored. I’m also a quick learner who hasn’t found anything I couldn’t master.
I provide a range of services. On the writing side of the coin, I offer articles for any medium, creative writing, ghostwriting, product reviews, product descriptions, blogging… pretty much anything the client needs.
Another service I offer is a website ‘needs analysis’ report. For a flat rate, I’ll go into a client’s website and provide them feedback for what is lacking, can use improvement, etc.
I really love the proofreading/editing end of my business. It allows me time to work on my novel and blog, both of which have been a bit neglected of late. I’ve edited a thesis for a college student, an eBook for a popular blogger, helped a poet with her first collection, and have contracted with an author to edit her upcoming novel.
Recently, I was referred to a local interior designer to proof/edit his latest eNewsletter. He was so thrilled with my work that I will be working with him on all forthcoming newsletters and special projects as they arise. I’m pretty excited about that.
5. What are your dreams for 2015? Can you share any strategies on how you plan to make your dreams a reality?
Shauna: My dream for 2015 is to have my business sustain my overhead and give me some room for fun and whimsy. I’m working with Iris Draak who is giving me the direction and support I need to make my dream come true. As my business coach, she helps me define what I want from my business. She’s given me a different, friendlier approach to building relationships with clients, which is why I re-vamped my Hire Me page. I completely re-wrote the message and renamed the page Let’s Team Up.
Iris is also helping me with marketing, which is what’s been holding me back for the last two years. Marketing is very intimidating for me. She’s given me ideas on ways to market that are more comfortable for me and more in keeping with my personality. She’s a godsend!
6. Previously I asked if you had any advice for a new writer and loved your response. I hope you know you have always inspired me. The advice that you shared a few years ago is timeless and applies to all of our creative endeavors. Can you add anything to these pearls of wisdom today?
Best advice to a new writer...
Shauna: Sure, I can add to that!
It’s really important to surround yourself with other writers. Gain a camaraderie. Rub elbows, bump heads, bounce ideas off each other, and support your fellow writers. They, in turn, will support you and hopefully offer you sound advice, honest critiques, and leads.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re considering freelancing for a living, you need to make sure your business is sustainable. This means creating a business plan and marketing – no matter how much you hate it. Reach out to a business coach who can help you over the rough patches. I wish I’d have done this two years ago; I’d be a lot closer to my goal right now if I’d done so.
7. Sha, any final thoughts or perspectives you would care to share about the world we live in and life in general (thanks for the lyrics, Depeche Mode).
Shauna: Lordy Goshen, where do I begin?
Despite what’s going on in the world today, life is still pretty awesome. Make the best of it. Do what you love – don’t wait until tomorrow. Dream dreams you can achieve and work on making those dreams come true.
Dance, sing, laugh, walk bare-footed in the rain, and surround yourself with positive people. Be kind, love openly, and master the bear hug. Most of all, love yourself!
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