Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Boobie Babble Author Interview with Shunkedra Zachery







Author Interview #3

Shunkedra has been captivated by romance and storytelling since she was a young girl growing up in East Texas. Devoted to the ART of reading, she became an Elementary Reading Teacher to inspire children to read. Creating stories about love, whether in book format or script has been a lifelong dream of hers. Shunkedra’s first novel “To Love Again?” encompasses love, forgiveness, faith, and family. The important things in life!!!
Shunkedra is a self-taught fiction novelist and screenplay writer from Texas. She graduated with honors from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX and has a BA in Communication with emphasis on Radio/TV. She is also a certified Public School Teacher. She taught in the classroom 4 years before deciding to venture out to pursue her dreams of becoming a writer. She currently resides in Georgia where she spends the majority of her time writing and learning daily about her craft.


Q. AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?

Although I dabbled with the idea of becoming a doctor or lawyer, for as long as I can remember, I dreamed of becoming a writer. In fact, I wanted to write for the Soap Opera General Hospital. Which is kind of peculiar for a young child, but I was so use to my mom watching All My Children, One Life to Live, and General Hospital every day. The characters were a part of my life. However, as I grew older, the realization that people would criticize my work steered me into another direction. Today, I realize the only opinion that matters is mine. If I enjoy my work, then that’s what counts. I am truly my harshest critic.

Q. WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT SELF-PUBLISHING?
My opinion of self-publishing varies, because it has its pros and cons. I will never regret self-publishing my first novel with Xlibris because it went beyond my expectations. For years I had been sitting on my story, unable to decide what to do with it. It wasn’t until I made contact with the company that I actually finished my book. To say the least, they drove me crazy, but I needed that. If I’m not mistaken, it took almost a year for them to finally convince me to submit my material. Every month like clockwork I got a call. Miss Zachery, are you ready to submit. What are you waiting on? If your work is done, why haven’t you submitted it? Finally, I just sent it. And in 2 weeks I had the finished product in my hand, and it felt wonderful.

The biggest fault of most self-publishing companies is they often charge outrageous amounts for their product. If you are a struggling writer, you can’t afford the cost of copy-editing, publicity, and many of the other things needed to make your book a success. And, after you pay all of this money, there is no guarantee that your book will swarm the market. So considering I just wanted to see my book in print, I decided against the extra things. Fortunately for me, the longer I held out, the more free perks they offered.

Q. WHAT KINDS OF BENEFITS COME FROM PARTICIPATING IN GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS?
I believe groups are an excellent motivator. I am a member of the Georgia Writers Association, and I try to attend as many workshops as I can at Kennesaw State University. Because I didn’t technically go to school for writing, I feel the need to learn as much as I can from people who are in the industry. I like to know how they got their start, and what steps they took. No artist path is the same, but it’s always great to have someone to map and model. It’s also great to simply get out and meet other people. US writers have the tendency to find a safe haven and hide away from the world. Being a part of a group, keeps you connected.

Q. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF WITH YOUR WRITING IN FIVE YEARS?
Where do I see myself in five years???Hum… Honestly, I have no clue. I know that writing will always be a part of my life from now on. There was a 10 year span in my life, in which the only writing I did was for class assignments. Now that I have rediscovered my love for words, the sky is the limit. I can say that I would like for my first screenplay “Gone, Not Forgotten” to be put on film. I also have a children’s book that I am working on, and at least complete one screen play a year during that 5 year period. I would also like to be a part of a writing team for a primetime television show. One thing that I have learned in my research is that there are opportunities out there. They may be hard to obtain, but they are out there. As you know, I wanted to write for soap operas when I was a child. There are actually contest with the ABC network that give you the opportunity to do just that. I didn’t know that when I was younger, and I probably would have spent the last 15 years of my life entering those contest and fellowship programs. I may not can say with specifics what will happen in 5 years, but I know that I will spend the next 5 years focusing on getting my work into the hands of people that can help me accomplish those goals.

Q. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE GENRE OF WRITING?
I love stories about love. I grew up reading romance novels at an early age, and I was always captivated by how the characters fell in love. What steps, or process, led the characters to discover that their life would be better off having this particular person in it… Authors like Nora Roberts and Julie Garwood were always outlets when I wanted to read a good story about love. As a Christian based writer, I try to forgo the steamy, and focus on the characters relationship. I hope with time and experience, I will become a great story teller like these ladies.


Q. HOW DOES WRITING HELP YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD?
I pray that my writing makes a difference in the lives of my former students. I want these children to realize that it’s okay to want more in life. I want them to dare to dream. I want to generate in others the desire to not give up on something you love. For so long, I had given up on writing. Whether or not my first book sells 1,000,000 copies or 100 copies, I am more proud of myself now than I have ever been.

www.shunkedra.com
www.amazon.com
shunz81@live.com

If you are in the East Texas Area, you can purchase a book at Williams Collision Repair off Hwy 59 in Jefferson, TX. Contact Sherry Williams at 903-665-3542

No comments: