Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Hi there! I’m Shakyra Dunn, aged 24! Young writer.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Chicago, Illinois, and I am currently living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa!
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Well, I grew up on the southeast side of Chicago, I finished high school with honors, and life was relatively fine until right before I started college—then my mom suddenly passed away, and since then things have been a bit tumultuous. I carry on as a creator in her honor, because she loved books to pieces. I bet she never imagined that I would be an author so soon.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I just finished my first series, a two-part one called “The Final Lesson!” It’s a massive achievement for me in the two years since I’ve become an author.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
As long as I can remember, I’ve been creating stories, but I didn’t officially decide to take the plunge as a writer until I was fourteen years old. I went back and read some old stories from when I was about six or seven, spontaneously chose to try and write again, and the rest is history.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Since I was fourteen and finished my first true story.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I just felt like I was probably better at writing than I was at seven, so I thought I could put it to use through my love of anime and video games. Turned out okay for a first time.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Oh man, I don’t even think I remember the title of my first book, but I think it was probably something simplistic.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I have a style that can sometimes confuse people in my wording, but I love enhancing my character development, which is something that I treasure most in my style. Even if my plots aren’t as strong, my characters will be remembered. It can be a challenge to keep that in order, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I actually don’t base my stories or characters on anyone that I know or any particular events in my life, but I do give each character one trait of my own to utilize.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Nope! That’s the fun of creating a fantasy world—it’s all in the mind.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
That would be GermanCreative on Fiverr for “The Final Lesson” series and pretty much every cover so far! She does incredible work!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
“There is magic within us all—all that you need to do is grasp it with your own hands.”
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I like a variety of authors, but some new ones that have interested me lately include Alexandra Penn, Adelle Yeung, and many more! I don’t have a single favorite author, but most of the ones that I love have a way of pulling their characters from the brink and stringing them to life.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My creative writing teacher in high school, Kathleen Ryan. She was the first to read one of my stories and she gave many critiques on it. She was a driving influence for me to take the plunge and become a proper author, even if she doesn’t know it yet.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do. I always have. It’s the only thing that I could ever see myself doing.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Oh, I wouldn’t change anything about how I ended “The Sage’s Reign.” It was a fitting end to the duology.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned first and foremost that I don’t think I like writing trilogies, and that it’s fine to leave a book complete after two books.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I’ve always been a fan of animation, so if “The Final Lesson” duology was made into a film, I would want to see Laura Bailey play the leading character Leilana.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Never stop. It may be cliché, but that is one piece that you should hold on to with all that you have, especially on the days when it’s difficult or painful.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
You guys are the best, and I truly thank you for taking a chance on this still-growing writer. I hope that you continue to grow!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Right now, I’m beta-reading for a friend releasing in December! I’m also reading “The Mad King” by Jovee Winters!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The very first that wasn’t read to me? I believe it was Holes by Louis Sachar, to my earliest memory.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Honestly, there’s a lot that makes me laugh, but pure and utter frustration (and not being able to write) makes me cry and scream.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would love to have the chance to meet Laura Bailey. She’s always been one of my favorite voice actresses, and I hear that she’s truly pleasant. I’d love to thank her for being one of my first true tastes in becoming a voice-acting junkie. She made me want to research further about it.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Aside from writing, you can catch me playing video games and trying my best to explore!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I like a variety of movies and shows. My favorites right now for shows include Gravity Falls, The Flash, andMy Hero Academia!
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
In this order, pasta and anything with cheese, my favoritecolor is red, and I love listening to alternative rock and Japanese pop! …Wow, I realize how opposite those themes are.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
…I think I would lose my mind.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
What?! Don’t tell me something like that! I haven’t played Kingdom Hearts 3 yet! …Okay, truth be told, I feel like I would spend a lot of time chronicling that last 24 hours. I’d tell my thoughts, share my last feelings, etc.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“Lived creating magic, died thinking of dragons in the night sky.”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I do! It’s this one: https://authorshakyradunn.com
REVIEW BLOG: http://burningmasses.shakyradunn.com
Mailing List: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/q5i2w4
AUTHOR GROUP: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1660970617537336/
Freelance Services: https://www.facebook.com/TheAdventureLog/
The One Left Behind: Magic: www.books2read.com/OneLeftBehindMagic
First Words: Final Lesson: www.books2read.com/FirstWordsFinalLesson
The Final Lesson: www.books2read.com/TFL01
The Sage’s Reign: www.books2read.com/TFL2-TSR
Shakyra Dunn can’t stray away from the impression that there is always an adventure around every corner! When she isn’t playing the role of the Creator, she is marching through the worlds of her favorite video game characters or taking drives around her city to see the sights. Born in Chicago, Illinois, she currently resides in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, striving to experience more than the little town.