Saturday, October 19, 2013

Shelby Bach Interview!

Shelby Bach
Author of : The Ever Afters series
Shelby Bach
Official Bio:
Shelby Bach grew up reading every book she could find and writing stories in battered notebooks. She also rarely came home with a clean shirt and had lots of accidents that ended with a hunt for Band-Aids. Nowadays she writes on her laptop rather than in a notebook, but not much else has changed.

I am honored to say that Shelby Bach has agreed to an interview! Those of you who read my review blog probably know that I am a HUGE fan of Shelby's books. So... Thank you Shelby!
Without further ado, here is the interview.

Hey, Meghan!

Thank you so much for interviewing me, Meghan! 

What is something that most people don't know about you?

Hmmmm. Okay, this is the first thing that came to mind: I could whistle from a ridiculously young age. My mom said that she took me into the doctor for a regular check-up when I was six months old, and when he asked about my development, Mom was all like, Shelby can whistle—is that normal? The doctor didn't believe her…so my mom had me demonstrate. The doctor was shocked, and he brought in all the nurses to watch me whistle for them. 

Of course, I forgot how to whistle sometime in preschool, and when I relearned the skill in elementary school, I was totally proud of myself since I didn't remember being a whistling baby. And when I showed my mom, expecting her to be all impressed, she told me this story. 

What do you do in your spare time?

Oh, I'm boring. I read. I go to dinner or to the movies with my friends. I have a thing for needlepoint and for cooking. I watch a fair amount of TV (I'm currently hooked on Sleepy Hollow and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.). But mostly I read. 

I love to travel too, though, and since I'm still getting to know the Pacific Northwest, I sometimes take drives for little mini-adventures. For example, I went to my first Washington state beach, and I ended up  getting into a bit of an accident on the way home—on a dark road, in the middle of the forest. That WAS an adventure. 
-I'm glad to know you are ok :)

Who is your favorite author?

This is a hard question!!!! I have too many favorites! Can I do a top ten list? 

Here we go, in no particular order: Madeleine L'Engle, Robin McKinley, Gail Carson Levine, Kirsten Cashore, Sarah Addison Allen, John Green, C. S. Lewis, J. K. Rowling, Tamora Pierce, Neil Gaiman. Six of these have been on my favorites list since I was 13, so clearly, they have staying power. But if you asked me which new authors I loved the most, or which adult authors I love the most, the list would look very different. 

When did you decide you wanted to be an author?

You know, I don't remember ever deciding that I wanted to be an author. In second grade, I have a very clear memory of telling someone that I wanted to be either a teacher or a writer when I grew up, but once I started practicing more (ie. writing my own stories), becoming an author became center stage. By middle school, that was my number one goal, and I didn't really waver on it after that. 

What is your favorite thing about being an author?

It's a two-way tie: getting to know my characters and getting to know my readers. The first thing was something I always enjoyed about writing, but the second thing was a delightful surprise that came after getting published. :-)

What would be your dream come true?

Well, now that I'm an author, my dream HAS come true in a lot of ways. But that answer is pretty boring. 

Sooooooo, let's say: I would LOVE to win a trip—all expenses paid, maybe even with room for friends—to go to five countries of my choice: Japan, China, Morocco, Scotland, and Ireland. Or maybe Turkey, Czech Republic (Prague), France (Provence), Singapore, and Peru. And I forgot about Greece and Norway and Chile! I obviously have a hard time narrowing things down, even made-up choices like this. :-P

What is your advice to those who want to be authors?

I usually tell people to practice, but I'm pretty sure that you already do that, Meghan. I've also told young writers this year to figure out what makes them tick as a writer, and you've probably already read that too. 

So, here's a new one: learn how to listen to your story. 

I mean that in two ways: first, sometimes the story wants to go off in a direction that wasn't what the writer expected. For example, when I first started The Ever Afters, I knew Chase's dad would be important in Of Giants and Ice, but I never planned his mom's side of the family taking over Of Witches and Wind. I loved it, though. I loved learning about his backstory, and letting Chase and Rory grow when they dealt with certain issues (which I can't reveal since they're spoilers!). If I hadn't listened to the story and been open to exploring that part of Chase, I would have missed out on something that is now one of my favorite parts of the whole series.

Now, the second thing I mean about learning how to listen to your story is learn what your story wants you to do with it—especially in relation to the world. For instance, when I was in middle and high school, I wrote a ton of stories that did NOT want to be shared…even though a lot of friends were curious about what I was writing all the time. So, I kept them to myself. Then I wrote some stories that only wanted to be shared with a few of my friends—the ones who loved reading and writing as much as I did, and that worked out pretty well. Next, in college, I wrote one that was adventurous enough to be shared with strangers, so I listened and put it online. People seemed to like it (but not everybody). The Ever Afters came a few years after that, and it felt different from the very beginning. It burned to be told AND to be shared—which is why I worked so hard to get it published. I'm still a firm believer that not every story needs to be published, and I also believe that writers can feel the difference if they listen to their stories.

Once again, thank you Shelby Bach!

To see more of Shelby Bach click here.

To see my reviews on her books click here and here


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