Check out this awesome interview with Tabatha Shipley!
What inspired you to start writing?
I have kind of an active mind. I am always imagining these crazy scenarios and how they would play out. At some point, when I was young, I started writing them down. Later, I decided to actually play a few of them out until they were books.
Which teacher was your biggest inspiration and why?
I had MANY great teachers over the years. One that really stands out is my high school band director, Dan Lindsey. He was a creative person, as a musician, but also very rules driven. He modeled the idea that a career in your passion also needs direction, goals, and rules.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years you’ll certainly have more of the Kingdom of Fraun series, if not all of the books!
If you could have one wish, any wish at all, what would it be and why?
I want to fly! I used to have great dreams about flying and spend a lot of time daydreaming about it. That wish has never really gone away.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It varies so much depending on life and the subject of the book. Breaking Eselda took me a staggering five years. 30 Days Without Wings took a shockingly short one year. Everything else I’ve drafted has taken somewhere in between those two.
Are you a plotter or pantser? (Do you like to outline, or do you like to fly by the seat of your pants?)
I am a plotter. When I’ve chosen an idea for my next work in progress my first step is to sit down and write a detailed outline. The outline can (and does) change but I work from that outline for the draft.
Who is your favorite character that you've ever created?
Jordyn, from Breaking Eselda. He has a lot of my favorite qualities from people I love rolled into one person. He will forever be a favorite. He is also the main character for the Kingdom of Fraun sequel, Redeeming Jordyn, which should (hopefully) be out sometime in 2019.
Which character in the literary world is your favorite and why?
I have so many favorites! Hermione Granger, because who doesn’t love a brilliant witch? Alex Cross because he balances family and work wonderfully. Mary Lennox because broken characters who change from the inside are a personal favorite.
What genre do you most like to write in?
Young Adult Fantasy
Is there another genre you are interested in trying out?
I have written (but not published yet) a Young Adult Science Fiction, which was so fun to write! I have toyed with the idea of trying a murder mystery and have even tried outlining two of them. Maybe someday I will try.
What are you working on now?
The Academy (tentative title) is about two girls who have a Magic spark inside them competing for the most coveted Magical position in the world.
Can you share an excerpt with us from one of our novels/projects?
Here’s an excerpt from The Academy, Chapter 1
I open the document and type into the heading. Name: Angela Terra. Occupation:
The cursor flashes, impatiently waiting. This is a touchy subject. Everyone in The Academy has an occupation already. It’s what we train for. What we were chosen for. What we are working toward. Everyone on earth is scanned the day they enter school for the first time. The second they spot Academy potential inside you, that little spark of magic, they take you up here. If they haven’t found you by age ten, you don’t have the spark. I’ve been here since a month before I turned five.
The Academy has a better scan. One that identifies the use for your spark. This scan can tell them exactly where your spark is the most useful. That becomes your occupation. They tell me I have one of the strongest sparks there is. So what’s my occupation?
Well, that’s complicated.
Every decade the person with the strongest spark becomes Magician. Just one. The Magician controls all the sparks. The Magician single-handedly controls the safety of the modern world by controlling all of the magic left on Earth. A new Magician is set to take over on January 1. I may be the most coveted occupation in the galaxy.
Or, my worst nightmare could come true. Because for the first time in history, there are two of us who have that strong spark. If she gets the job, I could just be the girl who was almost Magician.
Do you have any tips for other aspiring writers?
Keep writing! Some days are hard. Sometimes you don’t feel connected to the project you want to work on. Write anyway. I have notebooks full of random scenes, characters, or settings that I needed to record and don’t know when I will use. It’s good practice to write them down.
Is there anything you would like to share with us before you go?
Thank you for taking an interest in my dream and keep plotting the path to yours!
Tabatha Shipley is a former elementary school teacher. The mother of two and wife to the best guy alive is an irrational perfectionist and passionate cook who does not think she could survive without a book to read. Tabatha currently resides in El Mirage, Arizona. Breaking Eselda is her first novel.
Social Media Links: