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Author Interview with TJ Shortt

Why do you write?
– I write because it’s a part of who I am. You could say I’m almost compelled to write.

Where do you get ideas for your books?
– I love to play the “what if” game when I get bored and that leads my imagination into all sorts of hijinks and adventures. For example: I was walking down a dark street with a friend last week and a light floated towards us. I knew it was a flashlight on a runner’s belt, but I asked my friend “What if that light coming towards us is a fairy?”.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
– I try to get up around the same time and do some type of workout. Then I check emails, social media, etc. Then I’m on to writing. I aim for a couple hours or set a word count, whatever feels right that day. My afternoons are for marketing. Although, if you ask my husband he’ll say I’m always doing something writing related. I tend to get obsessive when the writing is flowing.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
– Shiver Cove, Part 1: Tamyra, I actually started back in about 2008. It took me a few months to write and then a whole lot beta readers and their suggestions and then a whack of editing. The book was finally “finished” once I implemented the professional edits suggested to me.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
– I’m a people person. I like hanging out with my family and friends. I love reading, going to movies, gardening, swimming and meditating.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
– I’ve written 8 novels now. I think my favorite will always be my first book, Where it Snows in May. It’s an adult horror story and I doubt it will be anything more than a wonderful learning experience.

Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer? If so, what are they?
– Make the time to write. You have to carve out that time, put your butt in your chair and do it. And read a lot.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
– A vet. I love animals. On a school career day in grade 7 I witnessed a dog (who was healthy, but supposedly a biter) get put down. I threw up and cried. And that was the end of that.

Do you work with an outline, or just write?
– I work with a very loose outline. A couple of words per chapter is about it. Just enough to keep me on point. I love when the characters start doing and saying things I didn’t plan on.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
– Follow your heart. If a novel seems too daunting, then go for short stories.

Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
– Yes. I am the first editor for all of my work. After writing something I step away and then edit with fresh eyes. I do about 2 or 3 rounds of editing before my beta readers see my work. Then I implement any suggestions I like from my beta readers and then a professional editor goes over my work. Edit, edit, edit. Can’t stress that enough.

Who designed your book cover/s?
– Jason Shortt. My husband. If you want to check out some of his art click the link: Jason’s art on Facebook

What is your favorite motivational phrase?
– “You gotta kick at the darkness ‘til it bleeds daylight.” Barenaked Ladies, Lovers in a Dangerous Time

With Love and Gratitude until next time,
TJ Shortt