Hi Shanae, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m Shinaie Watlington and my pen name is Shanae. I’ve published two books name Loving the Mic and Loving the Jones. I’m working on a new book now that will be out next year. I’ve been a published author for nearly two years. After entering a writing contest that Mary B. Morrison created called “Write a book in 90 days”, I wrote my first book and the rest is history. I’m a mother of two children and a new grandmother. Also, I have worked as a Medical Biller for a hospital for nine years.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
To write great storylines that people will enjoy and fall in love with. I want to write stories that people can relate to and be inspired that type of love still exists.
Which writers inspire you?
There are so many of course there are many mainstream writers that inspire me, but the ones I am truly inspired by are the self-published authors or any signed to a smaller publishing company not receiving a lot of buzz. My pen sister Y.M. Sheree, Xyla Turner, Shakema Haygood, and Heather Rae Brassart are a few that I have had the pleasure of reading, who are amazing writers.
What are you working on at the minute?
I’m writing the last installment of my “Loving” series. It’s called Loving Myself. I have written two books about different perspectives on love and this will be the last one to complete it.
What genre are your books and why?
I like to write about Romance. I still believe in love. Being able to write about it allows me to create the perfect love story.
In 10 words or less can you create a quote that describes you and your writing?
“Love finds you if you open your heart and mind”
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
I have bounced of few around in my head but I think I will settle on Nia Long, Larenz Tate, and Salli Richardson as my main characters. I really think they could bring out the story I have written.
When did you decide to become a writer?
About a year and a half ago when I entered a 90-day challenge with Mary B. Morrison.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
I write part-time for now.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
I write during the evenings when I get off and as a much as I can on my days off from work.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Yes, I try to write at least 1,000 words per day.
Where do your ideas come from?
Honestly, I have a crazy imagination. When I begin to write, I take on the life of each one of my characters. I step into each of the characters shoes and write the story as if I was living out each and every story line as my own.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I free flow. When I begin writing my story, I have an initial idea of how I want to portray each character and once their personalities have been created my story begins to evolve. I make notes along the way but once I start writing the story flows.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
My first book was more reserved because I was nervous about what people would say. When I began writing “Loving the Jones”, I changed the parameter of a love story and changed the perspective of a normal love affair. I knew the storyline was going to be edgy, but I put my heart and soul into making sure it was written the way I wanted it regardless of what people would think or say.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
The hardest part is staying focused, making sure I allot the time to writing each and every day which doesn’t always happen when you work a full-time job and have a family.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Writing the sex scenes and bringing out the sensual side that I wanted to portray.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Coming up with the storylines and developing the characters.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It takes me approximately six months
Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Relaxing on a beach writing a best- selling novel and spending time with my family and friends is within my five year plan. Mentoring young potential authors and helping them make their dream possible.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Follow my dreams and not listen to anyone that is discouraging you and saying it’s not possible because all things are possible if you put your mind to it.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Maya Angelou because she was a great author. Her life was so influential and motivational to many women of all colors.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
I know why the caged birds by Maya Angelou. The story was so raw and real, and it made me realize that you can achieve anything if you stay focused and determined.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Never give up and always be original. You don’t have to write the same storyline to be successful put your twist on your story and make people want to read it and follow you.
Connect with Author Shanae:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B019YCVKTY
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