Welcome to the first Monday in March! Today we have a fun interview with an anime, video game, and bookish girl right after my own heart! Shakyra Dunn can't stray away from the impression that there is always an adventure around every corner! She made her debut in June 2016 with the first book in her coming of age fantasy series "The One Left Behind." 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.
Welcome to An Angell's Life, Shakyra! How are you?
~Right now, I’m feeling a bit sleepy, but I’m motivated and writing!
Awesome! That is always a great feeling for authors, to be writing! What is the current book you are promoting?
~I’m going to promote my debut novel “The One Left Behind: Magic,” the first of a series, released back in June 2016!
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
~My favorite character has to be my main heroine Nova Avery. I find her goal-oriented determination to be admirable, and when I read over her scriptures, I see a lot of myself in her personality—strong-willed, always looking at what’s in front rather than behind, keeps herself even in a bad situation. I just wish that I could be as wise and understanding as she could be.
Nova sounds like an awesome character, and I can definitely relate to her goal-oriented determination. Who is your least favorite character and why?
~My current least favorite has to be the character Stella. At first, I found that she was a sweet and almost endearing character, but along the way, she seemed to execute a twisted manner of resolving her issues that deemed her weak.
Oooh, sounds intriguing! What inspired this book?
~I started up the original concept of the novel when I was eighteen after the sudden death of my mother, a week or so before I was about to start college. But after things in life took another turn and I ended up staying at my now ex-boyfriend’s house, I stopped writing the novel and instead took to writing fanfiction with my friends. After a year, I reworked the entire novel series and ended up publishing it a year later!
I'm so sorry to hear about your mother's death. It's interesting how often we as writers find inspiration
in tragedy. I think it's because it helps us to tap into emotions and convey them better. What is your next project?
~My current project is one that I started up during NaNoWriMo this past year, a one-shot novel for a side-series called “The Final Lesson.” It is the story of a young Arcana (a female mage) that is granted the opportunity to traverse from world outside of the walls of her school, seeking out totems that are symbolisms.
Ooh, sounds like an interesting romp! I love doing NaNo Wrimo. So much fun! Who is your favorite fictional character and why?
~From anything? Oh gosh, Zack Fair from Final Fantasy VII. It’s painting it mild to say that I’m obsessed with him. He inspires me to be better, and to keep looking forward even in the face of overwhelming reason.
Where do you come up with your stories?
~I take inspiration from anywhere that I can, from friends and family, to dreams, to being inspired by other writers, but most of my characterization is inspired by playing Japanese video games, because they always take such pride in making sure that their characters are memorable. Even if I hate the plot, I always can remember one character from every game that I’ve ever played in that genre.
Cool. What is one great lesson you have learned as a writer?
~That making mistakes can be okay, because after your first try, you learn a lot. It’s okay to mess up a little. There are always others that can guide you.
I like that, being open to learning. Even after 7 books published, I am still learning! What is one thing you hate about being a writer?
~Marketing. So. Much. Marketing.
That seems to be a common struggle for many authors. If you could never write again, what would you do?
~Oh gosh, that question is terrible! I don’t know what I’d do without writing! Hm… maybe I’d end up becoming an English teacher or become a Librarian, I do love books too much to avoid them altogether in my life.
Ha, ha, that's awesome! I LOVE books too. I don't know if I could be an English teacher, though. It would break my heart seeing so many people who didn't enjoy reading. Tell us something unique about you?
~Hm, something unique… I’d have to go with the fact that I am one of the only people in my circle that can fawn over gore, stare at horror movies and video games without batting an eyelash in fear, and still turn around and watch anime about cute idol girls dancing within minutes.
Quite the eclectic tastes, huh? What is your favorite word?
~Tedious. It just rolls off of my tongue.
That is a fun word! Well, thank you for joining us, Shakyra!
If you are interested in learning more about Shakyra you can check out her website. If you love anime and video games like Shakyra, you might want to follow her on social media. She is on Facebook, Twitter, and as any good bookworm, Goodreads.
Want to see her own delightfully geekish blog where she talks books, video games and anime? Check out Burning Out the Masses