5-STAR Fantasy / Sci-Fi

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Indie Author Interview: Shashana Page

Interview with Shashana Page - Author of the Contemporary Women's (Christian) Fiction Intuition.

Shashana Page Author, Founder, and CEO of Lost Page Publishing, was raised by her grandmother in the city of San Bernardino, California. Determined to overcome the unfortunate circumstances associated with being born to heroin-addicted parents, she obtained a degree in nursing by the age of twenty four.

After embracing her career as a Registered Nurse for twenty three years, Shashana has allowed her intuition to guide her into this literary and publishing journey. It’s been a long time coming…

Nevertheless, she is finally given the opportunity to share her passion with the world, as it is revealed in her debut novel, Intuition.

Interview with Shashana Page

Interview w/ Shashana Page
Author Shashana Page
Alan Kealey (Indie Author News): What is your (writing) background?
Shashana Page: It's funny, because I haven't read a novel in over ten years, and the last was 'The Coldest Winter Ever' by Sister Souljah. I loved that book because it was so intriguing and captivating I couldn't put it down. I read the book in less than 24 hours and was taken in completely by the storyline, characters, and suspense. I've started several other novels, but never finished. I've read a lot of inspirational, motivational, self-help books and although novels hasn't been my literature of choice I am inspired by the success of several successful authors of fiction and non fiction works. Terry McMillan, Eric Jerome Dickey, E. Lynn Harris (may he rest in peace), T.D. Jakes, Joyce Meyers, Bishop Noel Jones, and many others. I am extremely inspired now, by the success of artists of film, literature, art, music, and more because they all began where I am... With their first piece of work.

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?
I'm a Registered Nurse, and have been for over twenty years. When I was taking my prerequisite courses for the nursing program I was required to write a paper using the five senses to describe a peach. The peach was described in such detail that many who read the paper said they could visually picture the peach in its entirety. They could see it, feel it, hear it, taste it, and smell it as they read the paper. The instructor was so impressed by the assignment that she used the paper for her classes to follow as an example of a descriptive paper. I then became a nurse and never looked back at the descriptive writing experience, not for one moment. As I continued my education and obtained a bachelor's degree in nursing, my instructors would often compliment my writing. However, it wasn't until about three years ago that I was truly inspired to write. A friend of mine asked me to write a story about he and I in Paris. As I wrote the 7,000 word short story entitled, 'Paris', I was totally engulfed in creating the storyline, writing every free moment I could get. I wrote before work, on my breaks, and continued until I fell asleep at night. This was the moment I discovered that I love to write.

Tell us about your writing process. Do you have a writing routine?
As a first time author, I had no idea of what each step of writing a novel entailed. I did a lot of research online and found the basic information that was available for first time writers. In doing so, I was led to purchase a creative writing program called 'WRITEITNOW 4'. That program was great for organizing thoughts, chapters, characters, word counts, and setting goals, as well as, deadlines for my novel. Once I purchased that program, I set a goal to write no less than 200 words a day. I figured that if I wrote at least 1400 words a week I could complete two chapters a month. The first three chapters were somewhat difficult to write, however, as the story began to unfold, writing the book became much easier. Subsequently, I would often exceed my minimal expectation by completing a 2500-3000 word chapter in a day.

"My hat goes off to professional editors [...]" 

What do you find easiest about writing? What the hardest?

I find that the easiest part of writing, for me, is the actual writing itself. It is pleasant, stress-relieving, and relaxing for me to write. The most difficult for me is editing... Editing is tedious and repetitive work requiring a detailed eye. A good editor requires that you pre-edit your manuscript prior to submitting it to them because they don't want to deal with basic errors. Although quite necessary, the pre-editing process was somewhat painful for me . . . Going through every chapter, line by line, searching for errors was work! My editor didn't make the changes for me, he printed out the entire manuscript and marked it up like a teacher does, and sent it back for me to correct. I was completely overwhelmed as I once again, searched every line of my work to make corrections. However, it was truly a learning experience, and that was the intent of the editor . . . for me to learn! Although painfully tedious, I learned so much from the experience. He wants the writers to become less dependent on editors and eventually, master the art of writing professionally. My hat goes off to professional editors, for they have great patience and can truly make the difference of a good vs great novel.

Miss Page, please tell us a little about your novel 'Intuition'.
My novel, Intuition, is based on a storyline centered around a family of three daughters. Their mother, Momma Faye, instills spiritual and moral values within each of her daughters based on the word of God. As they face the complicated turmoils of life, each must reference the wise words and actions of their mother. As the Holy Spirit leads, guides, and reveals, each must choose to listen to or ignore their gut instinct. The outcome is completely based on their decision to either adhere to or disregard their inner voice. Intuition takes the reader with them on a voyage full of drama, love, hate, sibling rivalry, deception, hope, faith, salvation, and revelation . . . And cannot help but become a part of this family as each scenario unfolds.

Intuition (Shashana Page)
Click to Read an Excerpt

What inspired you to write the book?
I was inspired by God. I prayed and asked God to reveal exactly what this story would be based upon and He gave me the three main scenarios that the story is based upon. Although the outcome of every situation had changed by the end of the story, the messages remained the same.

Who do you see as your target audience and where can we buy the book?
Originally, I thought my audience would be women of my age group; However, once the book was released, readers of various genders and age groups are enjoying reading 'Intuition'. My daughter and cousin are both between the ages of 18-20 and both read the book in a short period of time . . . They loved it! My friends and family who are in my age group, late thirties, early forties also read the book within a day or two and were totally intrigued by Intuition. My grandmother is 81 years old, her good friend who is 85 called her and said, "I need for your daughter to hurry up and write the next book so I can know what's going to happen next!" There are generations of women and men who have read, enjoyed, and are inspired by 'Intuition', so my audience truly is wide ranged.

The book can be purchased from my website and the Ebook is available at both Amazon and Barnes & Noble website. [see Links below]

How would you describe the success of your book so far?
As an independent author and publisher, the book has done quite well thus far. Sales continue at a steady rate for both paperback and Ebooks. The reviews have been great! Intuition has received twenty Five-Star Ratings on Amazon as well as Barnes & Noble. In January, I will be submitting Intuition into several Literary Award Contests that are offered for 2013, and am very excited to do so.

How long did it take it to write the book?
I have always worked two jobs and was doing so when I began writing the first few chapters of the book. It took several months to complete the first four chapters; However, once I quit my second job, I finished the book in three months!

Please, tell us where you self-published the book.
I published Intuition through my newly developing publishing company, Lost Page Publishing, Inc. I was introduced to someone, by a good friend, who had written and self published two books, and was currently working on his third. He showed me everything I needed to know about developing my own publishing company and completing the publishing process.

How smooth went the self-publishing process? Any issues? What are things to look for when self-publishing a book?
For the most part, the process was quite time consuming, reasonably costly, but well worth it and a great learning experience. The benefits of publishing my book, through my company has been rewarding. I maintain my own rights, receive the majority of the revenue from sales, and have established the foundation of Lost Page Publishing, Inc. I believe when new authors are self-publishing through various self-publishing companies, be cautious of what you are paying for . . . Read between the lines, consult legal advice when signing contracts, and at all cost try to maintain the rights to the work that YOU have worked so hard to complete.

Did you hire an editor and/or Cover Designer for your book?
Yes I hired both an editor and Cover Designer for my book. Michael Garrett is an excellent editor who, as I mentioned above, makes the editing process a learning experience for the author. He creates an environment in which the writer becomes less dependent on editors and as a result, it is inevitable that the author grows proficiently and professionally as a writer. Pamela of Delaney-Designs is the excellent designer of the cover of Intuition. Her work is amazing and her creativity is absolutely definitely a gift.

"Every sentence begins with a word [...]" 

Can you give some tips for other Indie Authors regarding the writing and self-publishing process?
There are tips available under the 'Publishing Services' section of my website . . . However, my advice is to set goals, research the format that editors and publishers require to avoid time consuming proofreads and edits prior to submission, and never give up!!! The bible says, never despise small beginnings. Every sentence begins with a word, every paragraph begins with a sentence, and every chapter begins with a paragraph. Progression is the key to success and it all begins with one word!

Are you working on another book project? Can you tell us a little about it?
I am working on the sequel to Intuition . . . I plan to complete and release my sophomore novel within the year. My readers and supporters are anxiously awaiting the continued drama of the family of Momma Faye and I can't wait to share it.

"I plan to publish and write until something big happens..." 

Are you planning to move forward as an Indie author or are you looking forward to have one of your next books to be traditionally published?
I would like to complete the trilogy of my current works and eventually receive a contract from a traditional publisher. However, who's to say what success may come to Lost Page Publishing as a result of the series of books to follow Intuition? I plan to publish and write until something big happens...

Where do you see the book market in 5 or 10 years? Will there be only eBooks and will book stores disappear like record stores disappeared?
I believe the book market will continue to grow over the next 5 to 10 years. There is a large population of readers in this generation and because of them, the literary world will continue to expand. Ebooks have definitely consumed a large population of the literary world of readers, however, there are still a large group of avid readers who love to turn the actual pages of a book. I believe that will continue, and physical books will keep the books stores in business!!!

Do you write full-time or do you have a day job?
I have a full time job as a nurse and write on my days off.

How can readers connect with you?
Readers can connect with me via Twitter, Facebook, and the Lost Page Publishing Website [see Links below]

Thank you very much for the Interview, Shashana Page.

About the Book Intuition

Intuition (Shashana Page)
Click to Read an Excerpt
Momma Faye is the link that binds the entire family… Although she has instilled spiritual and moral values within each of her daughters, the choice to follow her wise advice remains to be seen.

The beautiful, intelligent, and stylish Aniiyah is the youngest of Momma Faye’s three daughters. Married to Doron, a successful Cardio-thoracic surgeon, Aniiyah is blessed to live a luxurious lifestyle similar to the rich and famous. Doron is everything a woman could possibly desire, but unfortunately, not enough to keep Aniiyah from communicating with the man of her past… Neissah, the middle child of the family, is attractive, educated, and successful. Unfortunately, these attributes cannot fulfill her longing desire to be loved, and Neissah soon finds herself faced with the challenges of dating as a single parent. Desperately seeking a long lasting romance, she becomes prematurely involved with Roman, and is blinded by the fascination of having a man. However, as Roman’s unfavorable past is revealed, Neissah’s infatuation abruptly comes to an end… Raeyah, the eldest and most wise of the sisters, is widowed and raising three daughters on her own. Her first born, Reign, falls in love with the handsome, charming Mauricio and subsequently, changes his life forever.

Momma Faye always said, “The answer lies within! God gave you the innate discernment of good, bad, right, and wrong. Whether you choose to listen or not will, ultimately, determine your destiny or fate” ...INTUITION!!!

"This is a great read with several underlying messages for families, women, men and teens. I could not put the book down once I got into it! I laughed, cried, prayed and rejoice as Momma Faye and Doron covered this family! [...] A Must Read! I loved it! " - Reader Review

Links to the Author and the Book

Link to the Author's Website

Connect with the Author via Twitter: @ShashanaPage

Connect with the Author via Facebook: LostPagePublishingInc

Link to the eBook Intuition on B&N for Nook

Link to the eBook Intuition on Amazon with Excerpt

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