Saturday, April 30, 2011

Interview With Shawna Hill

Shawna Hill

Interview with Shawna Hill

I just finished reading and reviewing Shawna Hill's books, and I loved them!  I wanted to find out more about one of my new favorite authors and thought you might too!

For my interview, I gave Shawna Hill a list of 21 questions.  She had the choice to answer whichever questions she would like.  Here is what she had to say!

Can you tell me more about yourself. 
I am a single mother of 2 children, work full time, go to school full time…and write. I would love nothing more than to be a stay at home mom and write full time! I am also a gamer and play just about every night (Xbox 360). I am not very good at it, but I enjoy playing with my significant other…even when he tells me I suck at it.

How did you get started writing
I have been writing since about the age of eight. I can remember my very first story book that I made. I punched holes in some paper, wrote some silly story on it and bound it all 4 pages together like it was a real book. I showed it to my great grandmother, who’d introduced me to books and the library, where I soon became a permanent resident of, and she encouraged me to create more. So, I did.  If I wasn’t writing, then I had a book stuck in my face whenever you saw me.

What kind of books you like to write
I write what I like to read, mostly. There isn’t any real specific type of book. I like books that take me away from my real world and allow me to live in the worlds that I create. I love books that have suspense, a lot of sexual tension, and provide escapism. I have been toying with the idea of writing a paranormal romance. I love PNR’s!  I do have one that I have been working on called Dark Whispers, but it’s still in draft form right now. Speaking of romance, my books could be considered romance, but they don’t exactly fit that particular formula to be considered romance. The main reason being, my main characters are not monogamous throughout the book. In romance, that seems to be a BIG no no…but hey, its reality!

Do you have any rituals that you use when you are writing?
I don’t have any specific writing habits. I mostly write in spurts. I can only sit for about a half hour and write at any given time. Then I get up and walk around and think about which way I want to take the story. I don’t write from an outline. I just sit down and write and let the characters tell me what they want to do. I give them free rein to a certain extent, unless they veer off from where I want to go and I can’t work in what they are doing. At that point, I put their “meddling and wandering” off for maybe another plot to another story…perhaps their own.

What are you reading now?
I just finished reading Jeaniene Frosts’ Halfway to the Grave and also One Foot in the Grave from her Night Huntress series. I’m in just the beginning of the third one in the series titled At Grave’s End. Awesome books.

What are some of your favorite books and authors?  
My all time favorite book is A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux. I read it in my early teens and that is when I fell in love with PNR’s and romance. I’ve loaned it out many times and never got them back, so I just keep replacing it. I own a copy of it to this day. Now, that there are so many books out there and so much variety to choose from, especially from the self published authors,  I don’t really have a favorite author or book anymore. I like to read them all if they can hold my interest.

Has writing your own book changed the way that you read
Yes, it actually has changed my taste. I need something to grab me from the beginning. If a book has too much narration or too much backstory at one time, without action or something to keep it moving, I lose interest fast. I like to just get to it, fast paced stories. That is what I look for in what I read. I even look at my own stories that way. If there is nothing going on, then it’s a waste of words. That is just my opinion and my own style of reading and writing.

Are you able to read when you’re writing and if so what books inspire you when you’re working on a novel
I can read other stories while I write, but I don’t really like to because some residual plots, storylines, or actions can creep into mine and I want my work to be original as can be. The only books that really inspire me while I write would be to read “how to” books…for example: how to create a plot that is captivating, or how to write memorable characters, etc.  Those type of books push me to make mine better, and there is always room for improvement.

What is a typical day in your life like?
Early morning starts getting my two children together for school, then head off to work (ugh) to get my 8 hours in. I usually try to work out everyday to stay healthy and clear my mind, then head home with the kids, homework, surf the Internet (which I do at work as well LOL!), get on my Xbox with my other half, then call it a night. That is a typical day/night.

Did you know what you wanted the title of the book to be?  How involved were in choosing the name of the book
Choosing the title to me is very important. Choosing a title is just as time and thought consuming as writing the book. I come up with a title and then come up with a story that goes with it, not the other way around.

Who was your favorite character to write, and why did you like that character?
The person you love to hate, then maybe love again because of her dramatic ways, Naomi. I liked her because she did and said things that I wouldn’t do and didn’t care about the outcomes of her actions. I could put her in situations or create situations because of her and watch how people reacted to her.

What’s next
The third installment of the “Naomi” series. I really had no intention of going any further than the first one, but people fell in love with the drama and her character, I was asked for the next one, and the next one, and the next. LOL! So as long as people enjoy her, I will continue her adventures. I am also developing a few of the secondary characters too because they have stories too…maybe just as interesting as Naomi, Savannah, and Kevins’ stories.

What three artists would I find in your Ipod or CD player
Sade, Marsha Ambrosius,  and Mary J. Blige right now.. and my fav… old school hits like Keith Sweat, Cameo, Atlantic Starr, Slave, Toni, Tony, Tone, etc. I like to mix it up. I also like Neo Soul too.

If I came to your home and looked in your refrigerator what would I find
A fridge full of health foods. No junk in this household. We all try to eat healthy.

What famous person do other people tell you that you most look like
I have been told that I look like Michelle Obama but I seriously don’t see it.

Choose a book title for the story of your life
Full Circle and Still Here … because I have been through a lot in my life that would drive a normal person to the edge, and over it….but I’m still here by the grace of God, and still kicking, finally happy, able to embrace who I am, faithful in my abilities and strengths, have a strong partner that supports me no matter what, beautiful kids… and thrilled that I have been given a talent that I can share and others enjoy.

Thank you so much Shawna Hill for taking the time to answer my interview questions!  I am also a mother of 2, and I know it's tough trying to juggle that and work!  When I saw what age you started writing, it makes me think of my 9 year old!  She loves to write and is very good at it.  She also loves to read a lot.  You just never know where your hobbies can lead!  Oh,  and I love paranormal romance books.  I want to know when you are finished writing Dark Whispers Shawna because I want to read that one!  You know what, I thought you looked familiar.  Yes...I really do see that you look like Michelle Obama!  As far as characters, Naomi truly is one character that I won't soon forget!  I am looking forward to see what she is going to do next!

Want to know more about her books?  
My Review of Intimate Illusions
My Review of In Between Lies

Ebooks Available at:

Check out Shawna Hill's Website:

© 2011, Cheryl of Black Diamond's Book Reviews. All Rights Reserved. If you reading this on a site other than, Black Diamond's Book ReviewsUrban Image Magazine, or Cheryl's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

1 comment:

  1. Great interview. It's always nice to hear about the person behind the words. I am starting the series soon.