Friday Favorites: Shrilugh, Myndi, and a heckuva fantasy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exciting? Adventurous? Awesome? YES.

That is Shrilugh, in three words.

Within the first few pages of starting Shrilugh, I knew this was something special. The story takes off right away, grounding you in the fantasy world and attaching you to characters that are so alive.

I had the joy of interviewing word warrior, Myndi Shafer, about her debut fantasy novel. She’s a big-time writer and a big-time mom. Much like her novel, three words to describe her are: exciting, adventurous, and awesome.

Are you a mom?

Yes. Big time. Four kiddos, from 10 years to 4 months. Our house is a never-ending circus with a missing ringmaster.

Are you a writer?  

Yes, although it’s almost always a hyphenated title. Sometimes it’s ‘writer-nose-wiper’. Other times it’s ‘writer-housekeeper’. Most often it’s ‘writer-chef-mommy’ because…well, I have four kids. We go through more food than a herd of gestating elephants. Those brief moments when my title isn’t hyphenated are wicked productive, though. If you can call sleeping productive.

 

How can you do both at the same time, and does it involve duct tape, cheerios, or hiding in closets? (no judgement here, we know that sacrifices have to be made for art.)

Oh, man. Adapt or die, right? I’ve had to learn to tune out the chaos, but it’s an imperfect method. When the crazy reaches fever-pitch I’ve been known to hide out in the bathroom to work, or in the back of the Mommy Rocket (aka, mini-van). Luckily, I’ve got a husband who’s more than supportive, and he willingly wrangles the kids in the evenings and on the weekends. Not to brag or anything, but he’s a great cook, too. And he helps with laundry. He’s also got other aspects that I’m fond of, but I’ll leave those up to your imagination.

Why do you write?  

I think the simplest answer to this question is, because I decided to. I didn’t always want to be a writer – it wasn’t anywhere on my radar screen a few years ago. I remember exactly when I decided to. The Hubster and I were in the car, on a date, and I remember saying to him, “I think I’m going to write a book.”

Why did you write this story? 

There’s this silo near the farm where I grew up with a ladder that extends past the top that looks like a door. Ever since I was little I’ve wondered where that door went. It was on that date with the Hubster that I decided I would finally climb the silo and find out. (Figuratively. I’m actually terrified of heights.)

Do you have a favorite character in it, and why? 

Ach. I’ve typed and erased an answer to this question like three times. I have a definite favorite, but if I tell you who or why it’ll totally spoil the next book. I’ll give you a hint: It’s a ‘he’, and he has a big something to do with the poem at the start of the book.

What is one of your favorite paragraphs in the book (please share:)

I had to really think hard about this one. I like this part because it’s the first time that we really see that Rein’s world is different than our own.

They followed a curvy, gravel path that led away from his house, edging up to a small pond, whose water gently bubbled up in the middle of it.  Rein looked at Æydan, who watched it with a mildly curious expression on her face.

“It’s a spring,” he told her, deciding they had found their stopping point.  “The start of the Prisca River.” He pointed to the other end of the pond, where it gave way and became a small stream, its water trickling happily over rocks and stones on its way to the Eoghanréad Sea.

Æydan walked to the grass near the side of the stream, arms wrapped around herself as she took it in quietly, just as she had the mountains and his garden.  Rein followed her, crouching by the pond, dipping his hands into the water.  Without drying them, he stood and turned back to Æydan, who looked at him in surprise as he gently took her hand in his, rubbing the moisture from the water onto her fingers.“Taste,” he instructed her, quietly.  Æydan stared, obviously thrown off by his odd demand, but after a moment’s hesitation, put her fingers to her mouth.  Rein was overcome by a surge of bittersweet pleasure when a small smile emerged on her face in surprise at the taste on her tongue.

“Salt?” she asked, finally breaking her silence.He nodded and sat, resting his elbows on his knees.  He was stalling, dreading the things he was going to have to say to her.  He looked out at the water, watching it bubble cheerfully in the middle of the pond, looking for some kind of inspiration to find the right words to begin.

What is in your future?

Any more books your hiding in your soul? Well, SHRILUGH is the first book of four. Hopefully it’s sequel, THE DARKENING will be out in October. After this series is done, I’ve got another in the pipeline that I’ve temporarily dubbed SALT MINE. Hopefully that title will get much, much better. I’m actually dying to get to work on it, though. I think it’s going to be a good ‘un.

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Have a great weekend, pirates. Happy reading!

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9 Comments

  1. Ellie! Thanks so much for having me! *big grins*

    Reply
  2. Great interview! So, The Darkening is out in October, when will the next two be out? Inquiring minds need to know!

    Congrats again on the book, Myndi!

    Reply
  3. Congratulations, Myndi. I can’t wait to start reading Shrilugh. BTW, awesome interview, you two :-) Ah, the writer-nose-wiper-housekeeper-homework-police sounds way too familiar.

    Reply
  4. Squee! Two of my fave gals together in one place! Myndi, I can’t wait to read your book. Got it on my computer, ready to load on my Nook. And last night I finished the book I was already reading, so off I go!

    I have a question: you seem so at ease with the self-publishing process – had you decided all along that you were going to self-pub, or did you try to get it published the traditional way first, and change your mind? What was your thought process in making your decision?

    I’m asking, too, because self-publishing scares the heck out of me, but that may be the way I decide to go with my own series, so your input would be SO helpful.

    Thanks,
    Kathy

    Reply
    • Hiya lady! I really hope you like Shrilugh – can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

      I AM at ease with self-publishing…but it took me a long time to get there. When I started writing, self-publishing still had a huge stigma associated with it, and I wanted nothing to do with it. But things have changed so drastically since then within the traditional market…honestly, I just didn’t like my chances there. Even if Shrilugh was the bestest, most perfectly written book (and trust me, it’s not), the chances of landing an agent and then a publisher and then keeping my books on the shelf long enough to sell…well, it just didn’t seem plausible. Here’s why: I’m a new author. I have no backlist. I have no credibility with readers, other than my blog which has a small to modest following. Bottom line is, I’m not a good risk, especially for an industry that can’t afford to take risks.

      I’m not at all saying that every newbie writer should take the self-pub route, or that agents are a thing of the past. Are there agents out there who would be willing to take a risk on a new author? Absolutely! And is that a good fit for lots and lots of writers? Yep! I just felt my own chances of success starting out were a little stronger going indie. That is not to say I wouldn’t consider an agent down the road. There are definitely aspects of it that are super appealing.

      Have a great day!

      Reply
  5. What a great interview! The book sounds wonderful. I am inspired by your ability to balance family and work. That has been my biggest struggle.

    Reply
  6. Fantastic interview! I really felt like I was sitting with Oprah and Gayle as they chit chatted about a great new book—not that you two ladies aren’t original, mind you. ;)

    Best of luck, Myndi. So glad you made that decision to write.

    Reply

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