Name: Barb Shuler
Where are you from: San Antonio, Texas, but I live in South Carolina right now.
A little about yourself `ie your education Family life etc
I’ve always been a stubborn person. It’s my inner Texan! For most of my childhood I lived in the back woods of South Carolina, but we moved back home to Texas when I was a teen. I attended school and graduated from Tom C Clark HS in San Antonio in 98. I’ve been working since I was 16, and in my short life I have had a total of 4 jobs. My current job (which was started right after high school) I have been at for 18 years. That’s a long time. lol
In general, I’m a simple gal. I like to read, watch horror movies, sew and play with my dog. Oh, and write. 🙂 I’ve always liked to make up stories, and now thanks to the support of my friends and family, I get to do that and enjoy it.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My third book, Shatter Me Whole was released last month. It’s one that stole my heart. I shouldn’t pick favorites, it’s like picking a favorite child but that one, got me in the feels.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve liked to write since I was a kid. My grandma gave me a diary once, and that was it. I never stopped doodling.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m not sure when, it took a while. The reality of it all sat in after my first book was released. I was 37 and finally living out one of my long time dreams, one I never thought imaginable. I have many of the people closest to me to thank for that. Without stumbling across the Indie book world, I’d never have thought I had a chance to be an author myself.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Ah, well life did. My mama was diagnosed with cancer of the lung and brain in November of 2015. That stress was unreal. We went through so much in the seven months to follow the initial finding that I picked up an old story I had started in ‘99, just to have something to focus on. I needed a positive way to deal with the roaring emotions inside me. Writing was a way to channel the anger, frustration, and worry.
I mentioned to my best friend, Emily, that I had been writing again, and it was her encouragement initially that got the ball rolling.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Not really. I have multiple books that are completed (just waiting to edit/publish) and they all seem to have a different style. My ‘voice’ changes with the story. Or it seems to be anyhow.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Oh, there are many answers here. So far, the stories I have written, and outlined have all been inspired by different things. Some of the titles are inspired by songs. For example, My Own Nightmare, my first published work’s title was inspired by the song, Nightmare by Avenged Sevenfold. That song spoke to my character, and I thought it over… and the title was born. In a way my character was living in her own nightmare.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Maybe? I like to write strong, take-charge women, even if they don’t see that quality in themselves at first. We are all fighters. We can do any dang thing we set our minds to, we just have to believe in ourselves enough to do it. I want every woman to see that, to know it, and to feel it in their bones.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There is a lot of my books that can be attributed to life in general. Some things have come from my life, some from others and a few that I have seen but not directly affected by.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Hmm… now that is a good question. I love many books. I love many authors, so it’s hard to say that any one book has influenced me. I do admire the tenacity and feelings the authors I read put into their books. I guess in a small way, everything I read influences me. They say you read and write what you love.
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?
I love books in general. I have favorites, and favorite authors (but that list is HUGE!). But one of my favorites is TAG by Shari J Ryan. That book is the one that introduced me to the world I love so much. I fell in love with the book, and the author – who is now one of my closest friends – is one of the sweetest people I know. We met because of that story. I sort of stalked her on social media… lol So she is an inspiration to me.
Anyone that knows me, knows my love for all things Stephen King. HE is the one and only author that I used to read. All through High School the love of his books grew. As an adult I was obsessed. Then I discovered others but his works have always been there to inspire me.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
The Indie Book World itself. I’ve been blessed to meet so many authors through social media outlets. You have a family with this book community and there are many that would do anything and everything they can to help you.
My friends are a huge help daily. My fellow authors are amazing. Annie Anderson (for whom I can NOT live without — Sorry Shawn, LOL), Shari J Ryan, Nancee Cain, Jessa Jacobs.. and many more that I have had the pleasure of working with. They lift you up when you need it. They are the cheerleaders we all need in our corner.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Maybe one day. I’d like that very much but for now, I am content to keep it as is. I will write everyday as I have been and keep hoping more and more people fall in love with the stories I bring them.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nothing. The story’s I bring are powerful in their own rights. They are a story that brings hope, love and the sense of family to the forefront. It’s a way to show anyone that love and happiness is possible, even if you have to fight for it. Everything is worth the fight.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Again i have to give the credit to my grandma all those years ago for giving me that little diary to write all of my secrets into. That started it all.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure! I have four at the moment… I’m a multi book writer (I think most of us are.)
Primal Darkness (Paranormal Romantic Suspense/Psychological Thriller)
Finding Harmony (Contemporary Romance)
Shifted (Paranormal Romance)
Rescuing Innocence (Romantic Suspense)
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Keeping up with my idea of what I should write everyday. I do less some days, do more some days. I have had to learn to follow the muse.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not really. So far the areas I have books located in, I know well. (Most are set in some part of Texas.) I do have a Cowboy Series that is set in Wyoming. I would love to travel there but for now I have been able to get what I need from Google and the internet.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
One of my best friend, Shari J Ryan (who is a fellow author, I mentioned her before) she is my Cover Artist. She is the bomb.com, let me tell you. She is the owner of MadHat Books and does a wonderful job at taking what’s in my head and making it come to life.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
My need to make every single detail perfect… I drive my friends and beta readers NUTS. But they love me and deal with my OCD fits and ten thousand stupid questions a day. I’d be lost without them.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Yes. I never thought I could do it. I mean, I can write, yes. I can make up all kinds of craziness. But I never had the confidence to just let go and do it. Writing has made that insecurity somewhat a thing of the past. I know I can do anything I set my mind to (just like my grandma used to tell me). Seeing is believing, and all that.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead.
Now, that’s a good question, depending on the book. For each book I make a “bible” that has all of the information on who that character is, and a list of who the character reminds me of.
If I had to pick one (out of the ones written) I’d have to say my first novel being turned into a movie would be a dream. For that my leads(in a perfect world) would be Katie Cassidy and Stephen Amell. They are my Dani Lynn and Drew.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
I will give the same advice given to me of over the last eleven months. Be yourself. Write with the passion burning inside you, and don’t be afraid to write what you love.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you! Without readers, fans, and friends I couldn’t do what I do.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Okay at this moment (because I’m a multi book reader) is:
Undone by Brenda K Davies
Say You’re Sorry by Melinda Leigh
Dracones Thaniel by Sheri-Lynn Marean
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Yes and no. It was a Golden book. The ones all of us read as kids. Most likely it was the Disney books set as. My grandparents had a set.
I remember my first “big girl read” was Stephen King’s Pet Semetary. I was eight. Lol
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Animal movies. Movies about losing a family member. Two words: Steal Magnolias. That is THE ugly cry movie of the century for me.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
It’s always been a wish/hope to meet Stephen King. I mean, he is the man. I’m a huge fan and it will forever be a wish to meet him. Maybe one day, that wish will come true.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
She came, she saw, she conquered.
Because I was able to break through my own insecurities and do something for me, and only me, for which I’m proud of myself.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Yes, I love to sew and do crafts. They’re both relaxing to me.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Anything horror(ish) I’ll watch. TV or film. Dirty Dancing, Steel Magnolias, Pretty Woman, Footloose (both versions) and the Jurassic Park movies are on rotation in my house a lot.
I’m a HUGE TMNT (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), Marvel, Transformers nut! Oh, and anything with Patrick Swayze (RIP), Keanu Reeves, Kathy Bates, Chris Hemsworth, Kevin Bacon, Chris Evans, Julia Roberts, and Liam Neeson in it!
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Favorite foods are: Chicken, Turkey, lasagna and pizza
Favorite Color is yellow. (Fact about me. I’m color blind, with most colors. Especially dark colors but yellow is one I can usually see with no issues.)
Favorite Music: Has and will always be country. I’m from the old school as that’s what I was raised on. Nothing beats it. Though I love other genres and such.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’ve always wanted to be a nurse or a veterinarian… both of which I can’t do because blood and people or animals in pain would slowly kill me. I’m very content with me as a person, I don’t see me wanting to change it.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I have both. I’ve been blogging after all kinds of different things off and on since 2010. And my websites all new and pretty.
Website > http://authorbarbshuler.com
Author blog, all about my books is > http://authorbarbshuler.blogspot.com
I also have my book blog where we do promotions and such for other authors and promotional services > Paging Through The Days (http://pagingtheoughthedays.blogspot.com <> http://facebook.com/PagingThroughTheDays)