Interview: Shea Berkley

NRR: Can you share with us how you got started in writing?

Can I take a second and thank all of you at Nocturne Romance Reads for interviewing me. I’m always shocked when I crawl out of my make-believe world and real people want to talk to me. 

Okay, now to the question. I wish my “how did you start writing” were a spectacular story. It’s not. I was an English major in college and my professor was very encouraging when it came to my writing. I thought he was pulling my leg. You see, I never think what I write is good enough so naturally I thought he was building me up just to knock me down. (yeah, he was that kind of professor)

It wasn’t long after I left college when I got married and started a family and years went by with no writing expect filling out school forms. Then, when I was living in England, I began to go a little crazy. (okay I was already a little different) I had three children under the age of four and my husband was fighting a war. Not good. I turned to writing. Saved my sanity. (at least what was left of it) 

NRR: How were you inspired to write The Marked Son?

I searched my inner psyche and over many months of dream-creating I found the perfect blend of character and plot. 

Naww. I’m not that creative. 

I was inspired to write The Marked Son because my obnoxious children wouldn’t leave me alone. I guess they thought since I was a writer it was my duty to write them a story they wanted to read. I’ve never been so harassed by a bunch of whiny, self-serving milk wenches. It’s not pleasant. Seriously.

**Disclaimer: all references implying my children are the spawn of Satan or have criminal intentions or are evil in any way other than that cute impish way all children act when being darn adorable are just the figment of this author’s imagination. Really. Well …

Though I was chained to my desk and watched 24/7 under the chant of “Type, woman, type!” I was pleased to see Dylan’s story grow on the page. That they liked the end product got me my freedom. 

NRR: What is your guilty pleasure?

I eat chocolate every day. Peanut M&Ms. Ferrero Rocher chocolates. Chocolate fondue. There’s this chocolate cake I make that is so good, I can eat the whole cake in one sitting—yep, I have. Not proud of it, but I’m being truthful in this interview…well…sort of.

NRR: What was the most challenging part of writing The Marked Son?

The ending. If you don’t nail the ending people get really cranky. I’m not fond of cranky people. They need chocolate, but I won’t share my stash, so it’s a vicious cycle I needed to nip in the bud. 

Whether the ending works for everyone is debatable. I know I can’t please everyone and I know someone out there will absolutely hate my story, but then, I’m not writing for that person, so I can’t worry about that. I do what I can, and honestly, as a writer, all I can do is please myself. So really, the most challenging part of writing The Marked Son was pleasing myself. I’m my harshest critic. 

NRR: What advice can you give for aspiring authors?

Write. Every day. (actually, take one or two days off a week to recharge) Don’t stop learning the craft. If you think you’ve learned it all, you’re just kidding yourself and soon you’ll grow stale. The English language is constantly changing and growing and twisting back on itself. It’s so complex, but it’s fun to dive in and play with words. You’ve got to enjoy getting your hands dirty, ignore the sweat and embrace the loneliness in order to be a writer. 

NRR: Can you share with us the storyline to The Marked Son? Of course no spoilers.

Seventeen-year-old Dylan Kennedy always knew something was different about him, but until his mother abandoned him in the middle of Oregon with grandparents he’s never met, he had no idea what.

When Dylan sees a girl in white in the woods behind his grandparents’ farm, he knows he’s seen her before…in his dreams. He’s felt her fear. Heard her insistence that only he can save her world from an evil lord who uses magic and fear to feed his greed for power.
Unable to shake the unearthly pull to Kera, Dylan takes her hand. Either he’s completely insane or he’s about to have the adventure of his life, because where they’re going is full of creatures he’s only read about in horror stories. Worse, the human blood in his veins has Dylan marked for death…

NRR: What can we expect to see from you next?

Right now, I’m deep in the second book of The Keepers of Life series, but I have another book, Torrein: Age of Fear coming out in November 2011 from Variance Publishing. It’s an epic fantasy that was a blast to write and has a lot of cool creatures roaming its pages. So if you like historical, kick-butt stories centered around a boy who’s trying to find his place in the world and constantly getting into trouble, Torrein is a good bet. It’s appropriate for ages 10-110. In the meantime, anyone can find me hiding online. So connect with me at:

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