Name – Shane Ballinger
Age – 40
Where are you from – Baldwin City, KS
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I am a father of four (though, I do have 3 other children…long story) and happily married to an amazing wife who supports all that I do. I currently have been working for a printing company for nearly eleven years. I have owned two patents, but I was not able to finance them or further continue with them. I tried to start a business but quickly found it to be a bit more difficult then thought. Nearly two years ago from this date 1/26/15 I decided to give writing a shot. My first book was an autobiography. It was the most unprofessionally written book ever imagined, but it did open my love for writing and I since have taken it very seriously. I have always had a creative mind so it is nice to pick it apart and put it to better use. Knowing that I can publish for free, I figured why not do something I enjoy. It is a lot of work none the less and I am constantly learning as I go. By the way, starting out in writing, I truly would not recommend beginning with an autobiography/memoir. I believe those are for the great ones who have already been well established etc. I only wrote mine because again, it was free to do and I was tired of telling stories over and over to random people, friends and family. I have since moved on with my writing and completed my first novel which is 1/3 of the Stanley Swanson – Breed of a Werewolf series and finished a second novel (which was a huge challenge as it was not my genre) with another brilliant and talented author in TJ Weeks. It is a special edition of his original novel ‘Obsessed with the Kill’. I am currently working on the second book of the Stanley Swanson series title ‘The Uprising’ and a short story as well of two characters from the original novel.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I have an up and coming ‘romance’ challenge set for 2/6/15 with an amazing author in TJ Weeks. Neither him or myself write that type of jazz., so it should be interesting. I’ve implemented my romance short story to tailer to my Stanley Swanson – Breed of a Werewolf which I will encorporate as series through under the ‘Bloodlines’. Will be doing an anthology part as well with TJ Weeks on his ‘Grynn’. Outside of that, I have been working really hard on the second novel to the Stanley Swanson series titled ‘The Uprising’. Pretty much go to work, take notes, spend some time with my family and then back to writing.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have only been writing for two years, just a hair over actually. I first started because I was tired of telling my life stories of true events over and over. I stumbled across lulu.com which is free to write, so I decided to give it a shot with my first book which was an autobiography. Sometimes I regret doing so, but it opened my mind to take writing seriously and for me to tell fiction stories that I ramble through my mind. While my first book needs much work, I’ve kept it the same so it is an original I suppose.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After my first novel of ‘Stanley Swanson – Breed of a Werewolf’. Granted it still was not perfect with editing, but it has since been re-done and in submission along with a new cover. However, it was nice for the few reviews that I have had that the story was good enough to surpass the many editing issues. I feel with each book I write or continue to write is another step in growing as a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Was tired of telling friend, family or groups of my life. I will tell you this real quick or the best that I can with out taking much time, My ex-wife read it against my warning towards her to not buy it. Next thing I know is that she is calling me and my wife being held at gun point by her newly wed husband. We called the cops and she is still alive.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Hmmm? I would say that if I have any type of writing style it would be to bring out the most in the characters of my books (probably not so much in my first book of the autobiography), but everything else.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Hah, I tossed out many titles and new that I wanted my first serious book to be a series of three. It was my oldest daughter Sierra who came up with the Stanley Swanson as I kept Breed of a Werewolf. Everything seemed to fit in my mind and I stuck with it.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Was not geared towards that but would say that when I wrote my novel, I did so to bring a new dimention for werewolves. Not that they are some sort of hidious creature of night that kills people at a full moon per se or die by only silver bullets etc. I wanted to give a bit more depth to what they are through my visions.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Absolutely none. Maybe the romance as humans live or being a journalist maybe, but no.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
No. I wish though lol. Depends on what books. My autobiography then sure, but with my first novel in Stanley Swanson, no.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
There are a few. I mean there are really some great authors out there. Tawni Rae of ‘My Seven Gifts’ was mind blowing to me as it was an autobiography as well. To put yourself out there like that is a tough challenge. Terri Peake would be another on the autobiography. I do not read much but it seems every once in a blue moon another person comes into my life. Take TJ Weeks for instance. He is predominately a horror writer and I don’t read much and sure as heck don’t read horror. I was first given a copy of ‘Obsessed with the Kill’ by him which I had to read on screen (which I don’t like doing). His writing was so damn good that I kept glued to my screen and did not want to put it down and I didn’t. To me or for me, it is what makes a great if not amazing author. I since then bought two more books of his, Devild Days and Devil Rising. Brilliant in his writing style does not change and he stays true to himself. Then there is Rue Volley who I have yet to read a book of hers, but her inspiration in trying and SUCCEEDING is mind blowing. Good lord, I could go on and on.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m not currently reading a book at the moment, not because of this interview but because I am writing. Which I appreciate you Fiona giving me the opportunity to have an interview.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
TJ Weeks. I say that because of how he writes. A genre I don’t care for at all but am always anxious for his next book. I still need to order more of his that I don’t have. To capture a reader the way his writing does, very uncommon I believe.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
First book of the series of ‘Bloodlines’ titled ‘Uncommon Lust’ which is the romance challenge I have facing me. We shall see how that goes ugh. Then still working on the second novel of Stanley Swanson ‘The Uprising’. Trying to fit in the anthology of ‘Grynn’ by TJ Weeks. That is really it for the most part out of taking many notes at work along the way and posting them on my home office wall to keep track.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Damn, that is tough. From the beginning it has always been for that extra push by Brian, which is Tawni Rae’s husband.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Not at this point I don’t. I want it to be, but I just do not have the time. I would love nothing more though to make it my career. Very difficult as random thought plague me through the day and the night and I can only jot down so many notes wile also staying close to those that support me.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not a chance now that it has been re-edited by Kris Weeks and the cover by TJ. Absolutely not.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
From being a young kid. My genre of choice stemmed from that.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Current work…Glipse of my challenge I will share and it is not much.
It was not long ago that fate would place it’s course upon me. I’ve been through so much in my time that not even the oldest human would or could imagine. In my time I have witnessed sorrow and much love beteween all types, that it once made me feel sick. I’ve had my time with many for fun, relationships, sexual desires, one night stands and even the occasional exploration but I never loved. Why? Because my heart is dead, does not beat and is black as the blood it pumps through my veins as though not living.
It all would change on the most uncomprising situations imagined, even by me. How do you take what is not living and make it feel again? For me it was by no longer shredding tears that burned my face, but from those of my kind that hate. Her name was Natalie.
I am a changed being to say the least and I will always be in great appreciation of Stanley Swanson, for if not for meeting him or what took place I would never feel the beat of my heart as a living person as I once did over three hundred years ago. Granted, Natalies uncle Francais was opposed to what took place, it did not stop the dying love we quickly encountered.
Tell me what it would be like for you that reads this in being a young child burned and nearly dead? I will tell you that it was the worst pain one could imagine and it would take many years of my young age of twenty one to see myself as a beautiful young lady as I was meant to be. Scars removed and new capablities but while I grew up I never had someone or anyone show me compassion. To see that first hand and after showing this amazing person my past and what I looked like with 90% of my body burned, he truly cared for me. Was not because of how I looked meeting him, but because of his words of telling me that I am as beautiful then as I am now.
Seeing his own tears burn his face which healed over just as quick was enough of sincerity that I needed.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Heh, remembering character names. Not the powers, not the settings, just the names.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Anne Rice hands down. She wrote her short story over twenty years ago and implemented her young daughter that died in with the story which held true in ‘Inteview with a Vampire’. She held true to herself and had no remorse in the process. I wouuld imagine that it would have been hard to write about in my opinion. She taught me also patience. How beautifully done was not only the book but to incorporate it to film. Just amazing and it was done by how she wanted.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet, but hope to one day be able to.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
First cover was done by Robin of ‘Wicked by Design’ and the second cover was done (which I really love) by TJ Weeks.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The killing of those that I worked hard to write about. Even now while writing my responses it hurts me at times thinking of those that had to die. Correction, One that had to die. I actually cried when re-reading the part and please do not call me a wussy. Just hard as heck but I felt it needed to be done to get the story point.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
EDIT!!! That is so crucial. While most people judge a book by it’s cover, the editing is crucial in my honest opinion. If someonw where to go out and by the first edtion of Stanley Swanson – Breed of a Werewolf, there are many editing issues regardless if the story is good or not.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Patience and make it how you like. Don’t rush yourself just to put a book out. Those are you words to share with the world, so take it seriously. Ask questions and never be ashamed of what you are willing to share with eyes.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
With out the readers, I believe I would still write, but not at this amount of time. It is those who read that inspire those of us who work hard to put something out there regardless of genre. Understand that we as writers do put a lot in with writing either it be working, family or disabled even. Honor that as we do not get paid as much as you may think (unless you are already proven). I am talking more about the indie authors. Don’t judge a cover, critique the errors in editing or even reading a synopsis. You might find the next best selling author. Ultimately it comes down to you, as a reader. I along with many others who write, thank you for your support.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Oh GOD, Green eggs and Ham.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Laugh is simple which is seeing others smile and be happy. Cry, hmm, I am weak at the though of killing my own character off. I boo-hooed at the end of ‘Armegeddon’ Not sure I spelled that right or not, but the movie with astroids and Bruce Willis. Being a parent and seeing them make bad decisions. Romances do not! Note that please 🙂
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
That is tough. I would say my Grandpa Dewey Fadler. Even my father loved that man. His stories of war, what he came back to and how he handled things. I would want him to be proud of me. Touchy question friend.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I gave it my all. Why? Because I never gave up and always believe.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
NFL Football (GO CHIEFS), KU Basketball ( ROCK CHALK) and love bowling, fishing and camping. Previous two answers are not a hobbie, but to me it is.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Star Wars is my all time favorite movies and I refuse to miss an episode of Survivor. Hell, I even autitioned many years ago for that. A really boring night and when I am not writing, I will kick back with my wife and watch ‘cops’.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music \
Mexican food or pizza, not into all that crazy jazz of sushi or vegetables. Colors Red and Blue. Music….Anything but country (though I like a few old ones) and extreme Heavy Metal, where you can’t make out what the hell you are singing to which makes you bash your head in a mosh pit. Bring on Pink Floyd type era.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Create things and make something out of them or go back to the time that I was fresh out of highschool and join the military.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I don’t even know about blogging to be honest. My websites are as followes.