Name: Dorothy F. Shaw
Age: Is this a trick question? I’m in my 20, 20s plus a few more. 😀
Where are you from: Originally Danbury, Connecticut. But now I live in Phoenix, Arizona.
A little about your self. I.e. your education Family life etc: I work full time in corporate America as a technology manager. I have 3 kids, two boys and a girl. My oldest is 24, my middle is 13 and my youngest, the girl, is 11.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Well, my latest news is not the greatest…unfortunately my publisher, Samhain, is going out of business. I am currently a free agent and seeking a new publishing house. I have a line out on a few leads. Cross your fingers for me?
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing—accidentally—in 2009. I’d been doing a lot of reading the year prior, something I hadn’t done in years and was introduced to Twitter by a friend. On Twitter I met a ton of aspiring and some newly published authors. I never thought I could write, never had any desire to do so, but it happened. I had started a blog and the first thing I wrote, which was merely to vent something I was upset about at the time, turned out to be something like a poem. So…it began there. In the first year and a half I wrote over 100 poems. The poems led to short stories, which led to novels.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It took me a long time to consider myself a writer. The way I finally made it work in my head, where I allowed myself the honor of being called a “writer” was when I came to an understanding (on my own) that a person could write anything, and be a writer, but an author was published. At that time it was what I needed in order to give myself permission to call myself a writer. –A little strange, maybe to some, but for me, its how it worked.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I think due to my day job, my brain works in a logical fashion. So, as I stated above, the poems led to short stories, the short stories led to novels. I had written a few short stories and learned a lot. Then I wrote a longer short story and learned more. The next logical step was for me to write a novella. Well, the novella turned into a novel, which turned into a series. It sort of snowballed, but in a fantastic way!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I mostly write in 3rd person, past tense with multiple character point of views. I try to write as real and raw as possible.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My series, The Donnellys, was born from the hero’s last name in the 1st book, Unworthy Heart. The book titles in the series…well to be honest, I don’t remember where the “heart” theme came from, but it worked so I went with it. I try to equate each title with what the characters might struggle with. With my other books, sometimes its just an, “okay this sounds good,” situation. Other times its definitely related directly to the theme of the book.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There’s always a message in my novels. Not so much a moral of the story thing, but more of a, hey, guess what? You’re human, we all are, and as humans we sometimes do screwed up things before we figure out what it is we should be doing.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
And this is where I quote my good friend, author Megan Hart, “All of this is fiction, and all of it is true.”
Whatever has happened to me in my past, or happens to me in my future, is fair game. Anything I see in the street, anything I overhear…damn near anything can be used as fuel for a book. Do I use secrets people tell me? No. Do I use scenarios, situations, and emotions I’ve experienced or watched others experience, in a book, yep, I sure do.
Life is the best muse for an author. In my opinion, the more “real life” an author can pack into a book, the better it is. It’s what I like to read, so its what I like to write.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
The first book I ever read, Walk Through Cold Fire, by Cin Forshay-Lunsford, changed me forever. First off, it got me reading as a teen. It’s a YA novel and I don’t believe the author published again after it, or if she did, she’s doing it under a different name. The book is out of print now and is not available in ebook either. If you can find a copy, buy it!
But, I’ll tell you what, this book is filled with such teenage, realistic angst, heartache and tears that I read the entire book in one day, and I was not a reader. Not by any stretch.
It struck a huge chord in me and it’s stuck with me since. I’ll never forget it.
My mentor is probably Megan Hart. She’s an example of how to be an author. How to do this deal every day, no matter what.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Sadly there haven’t been any new authors that I’ve found recently; writing full time and working full time, and raising kids, doesn’t leave a lot of time to discover new talent out there.
But I do have my favorites and I save my reading time for them. My all time favorite is J.R. Ward – she breaks all the rules. All of them. And her characters are so realistic that I’ve contemplated a road trip to go hang out with them.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My managers at work. (Took me a minute to come up with that answer.)
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, and so that means I get to have two careers, which also means I don’t get a lot of sleep. Someday maybe I’ll be able to let go of the day job and write during the daylight. We shall see.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Pretty straightforward answer, huh? My latest release was this past January – Shattered Heart, book 3 in The Donnellys series. I love the characters and how amazing they are together.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I touched on this above, but ultimately it came from reading and then hanging out with a bunch of aspiring authors online.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Right now, I’m writing the 4th book in The Donnellys series. It’s titled Jaded Heart. Here’s a little titillating (un-edited) snippet for you, (I censored the curse words just in case):
Garrett killed another thirty minutes in his office, shuffling paperwork rather than completing it. Another hour and a half was all he had to endure and then the last band would be done. Hell, she might’ve already left for all he knew. Stalling until he couldn’t find anything else to “review,” Garrett pulled himself up by his bootstraps, cursed himself a coward for avoiding a hot woman, and made his way back downstairs.
As he passed the restrooms, the door to the ladies room swung open…and there she was. F*ck me. Without giving himself permission, he stopped. So did she. They stood there for a long moment, just taking each other in. Jesus she was pretty. Her almond shaped eyes were almost mesmerizing…but then her full lips arched into a small smile and Garrett knew he was f*cked.
She slipped out her tongue and swiped it over her bottom lip. “Hi.”
One word. That was it. That was all she said, and Garrett felt the single syllable arrow straight to his b*lls. “This isn’t a good idea.”
A look of confusion came over her expression. “I’m sorry?”
Garrett took two steps toward her, wrapped an arm around her waist and bent his head to her ear. “This—” he squeezed her side, “—isn’t a good idea.”
She placed her hands on his shoulders. “It kinda feels like a good idea.”
He walked them backward until her back hit the wall as he ran his palm up the small of her back into her hair. A gasp came out of her and her body went soft against him. Garrett drew in a deep breath. Jesus Christ she smelled good, felt even better. Somehow, he managed to place his other hand on the wall above her head, thank God, because if he didn’t he was likely to touch other parts of her he shouldn’t. Like her fine a$$ or her petite breasts or… F*ck! He ran his nose along the edge of her ear. “Trust me when I tell you.”
She smoothed her hands over his traps to the back of his neck. “But I don’t even know you. Why should I trust you?”
“I don’t know you either. Guess that makes us even, right?”
She giggled, God help him. The sound ripped through Garrett and his d*ck thickened behind his zipper.
“Right. Even is good.” She dropped one hand and slid it between them, finding his length behind his jeans. “But I’ll let you win, if that convinces you that this—” she squeezed his engorged c*ck, “—is in fact a great idea.”
Jesus. F*ck. God. Holy sh*t. At that moment, he’d give anything to be inside her. Anywhere and any way he could. But that was not going to happen. “Based on what you got in your hand, I think you’ve convinced him. But I may take a little more effort.” Garrett snaked his hand deeper into her hair and gripped the strands close to her scalp tight. “I’m going to let you go now. Then I’m going to walk away.”
Garrett didn’t hesitate. He couldn’t. If he did, he was likely to take her by the hand, pull her upstairs to his office and bend her over the desk.
He kept moving. Down the long hall and out to the main area to his spot at the bar. Self preservation was the game he was interested in. That was it. Because that little hot brunette he’d left in the hall was more than he could handle. One touch. One kiss. One night wouldn’t be enough. Based on the lust pulsing through his system, Garrett was pretty certain he’d never get enough of her.
Saving his ass was the only logical thing to do.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Every time I start a new book, I think: What the hell makes me think I can write a book? Then I get started and one or two chapters in I wonder if what I’m writing is making sense. Then half way through, I find my groove. And then when I near the end, I usually get a little lost and have to circle back to make sure its all working and will end as it supposed to. So basically, the whole thing. The whole process. It’s the hardest thing I have ever done, and I both love and hate it. But I can’t stop.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Only when I choose to. I love to go to book conventions, so I attend as many as I can. I love meeting new readers, and making new friends. I’m a tad extroverted so it works for me.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The cover designers at my publisher. The Donnellys books have had the same cover artist, Kanaxa. She’s brilliant!
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
See above. LOL. Short answer? All of it. But I wouldn’t trade it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learn things about the characters all the time that I wasn’t expecting. I love when that happens, I think it’s really cool and also makes me wonder if I’m a little nuts. lol
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead.
I have been asked this question before and I have to tell you, I can’t answer it. It’s too hard. I have a picture in my head of what my characters look like and its difficult for me to deviate from that.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
FINISH. THE. BOOK.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you! You’re awesome, and please, keep reading?
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m about to start J.R. Ward’s latest from the BDB series, titled The Beast. I plan on reading it this weekend.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Walk Through Cold Fire, by Cin Forshay-Lunsford.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Music, heartbreak, sarcastic humor, family, friends, Sunday dinners and unicorns.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe… Can you imagine the sexual tension in the room?
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Dorothy F. Shaw – She lived and loved in Technicolor.
Because I do, as much as I can. 😀
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Sadly, no. I do ride motorcycles, but time is limited for that and I need a new battery. I love to go dancing and try to do that when I can. I love to spend time with my closest friends and with my kids.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I tend to watch a lot of Netflix with my kids. Although, Banshee is on right now…so yeah. I’ll be watching that for sure.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
- Anything that my Noni cooked when I was a kid.
- All kinds of music. My itunes is packed full of everything from Metal to Country. If it moves me, then I listen to it. Music is a huge muse for my writing.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Someday when I grow up, I want to be an attorney. I love the law.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
UNWORTHY HEART –
DEFENSIVE HEART –
SHATTERED HEART –
AGAINST THE WALL –
THREE TIMES LUCKY –
Thanks for having me!