Complementing my daily blog interviews, today’s Author Spotlight, the eighty-second, is of Jaidis Shaw.
Jaidis Shaw currently resides in a small town located in South Carolina with her husband and beautiful daughter. With a passion for reading, Jaidis can always be found surrounded by books and dreaming of new stories. She enjoys challenging herself by writing in different genres and currently has several projects in the works.
Her short story, ‘The Tower’, is published in the Twisted Fairy Tales Volume II anthology by Wicked East Press. Another short story, ‘Blind Justice’, has been accepted for publication in the Wicked Bag of Suspense Tales anthology, also by Wicked East Press.
Having previously only had short stories published, Jaidis entered the exciting world of self-publishing when she released her debut YA paranormal romance Destiny Awaits – book one in the Juniper Grove Chronicles. Although there are plans for other books in this series, each book is stand-alone.
When not reading or writing, Jaidis fills the position of Book Tour Coordinator for Nurture Your Books™, maintains the Juniper Grove blog and loves encouraging her daughter to let her imagination run wild.
And now from the author herself:
I began my writing journey with a timid attitude and being extremely self-conscious. I have always struggled with confidence issues where my writing is concerned and I allowed the fear of failure to rule over me, keeping my writing in the dark. After some much needed encouragement from friends, I submitted a short story to a publisher that was having an open submission call. Did I expect to be accepted? No. In fact, I was almost certain that my short story would be rejected but the mere act of submitting the story was my goal. I was a nervous wreck because I knew that someone would be reading and judging it. The courage to actually submit my story was what I was trying to achieve so that I could accomplish my goal of becoming a published author. When I received the email stating that my story had been accepted it was a beacon of hope. Maybe I could do this and it gave me the fuel to push ahead.
For me, the next step was to search out various open submission calls and find the ones that interested me. I was accepted to participate in a writing challenge where I would be given a prompt and genre and would have to build a story around it. I faced the challenge head on and created a story that I feel as though readers will enjoy. That short story, will be published in the upcoming Wicked Bag of Suspense Tales anthology by Wicked East Press.
With two acceptances under my belt and numerous hours spent building a platform on various networking sites gave me the confidence to pick up the manuscript that I had started while still in high school. Since I had grown as an individual I knew the story needed to grow as well and I did a complete rewrite, trying to create a world that readers would enjoy while being able to relate to the characters. On April 21st, 2012 I decided to self-publish, turning my manuscript into my debut YA paranormal romance novel Destiny Awaits – book one in the Juniper Grove Chronicles. Am I nervous about how the book will be received by readers? Of course! I think that concern crosses the mind of authors everywhere but for me, it is a life goal checked off of my list. I have released a book that I am proud of and can officially be called a published author. Now I only hope that I can remain open-minded and use the feedback received on Destiny Awaits to sculpt my writing so that I can improve not only myself but my writing as well.
Critique is how we learn, isn’t… that and lots of practice. Thank you, Jaidis.
The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with Christian teacher, non-fiction author and spotlightee Deborah McCarragher – the three hundred and sixty-first of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.
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Unfortunately, as I post an interview a day (amongst other things) I can’t review books but I have a feature called ‘Short Story Saturdays’ where I review stories of up to 2,500 words. Alternatively if you have a short story or self-contained novel extract / short chapter (ideally up to 1000 words) that you’d like critiqued and don’t mind me reading it / talking about and critiquing it (I send you the transcription afterwards so you can use the comments or ignore them) on my ‘Bailey’s Writing Tips’ podcast, then do email me. They are weekly episodes, usually released Monday mornings UK time, interweaving the recordings between the red pen sessions with the hints & tips episodes. I am now also looking for flash fiction (<1000 words) for Flash Fiction Fridays and poetry for Post-weekend Poetry.