First of all, I should announce that after today I will be taking a break from interviews for the summer. I’ve had a lot of new developments in the past couple weeks and I’m starting to get a little overwhelmed. So for the summer there won’t be any Wednesday posts, unless something crazy happens and I need to update y’all.
So, without further ado, let’s get to this last and most fabulous author interview!
This week I get to introduce to you a new favorite of mine, K. M. Shea. She’s written countless fairytale retellings, the King Arthur and Her Knights series, and her most recent book, Red Rope of Fate. I haven’t explored the King Arthur books yet, but the twists she puts on those fairytales are phenomenal! I read Beauty and the Beast twice in one sitting. So if fairytales are your thing, these books are a must!
Once upon a time Elle made a mistake. A small miscalculation sends her through the roof of an enchanted chateau. Stranded until her broken leg mends, Elle is unwillingly forced to rely on the good will of the sour chateau owner —the cursed Prince Severin.
Prince Severin—the commanding general and staunch supporter of his brother the crown prince—is cursed to look like a beast until a maiden falls in love with him. He has given up all hope of shattering the curse and has only disdain for Elle.
Unfortunately, the pair can’t seem to avoid each other thanks to the meddling of the chateau’s cursed servants. Eventually Elle’s playful manners and Severin’s hidden gentleness draw the pair together.
But not all love stories can end that easily. After all, Elle is not what she seems, and Severin’s life is placed in danger when hostilities flare between his brother and the monarchs of a neighboring country. When Elle risks everything to save Severin, will he be able to forgive her for her lies?
K. M. Shea is a fantasy-romance author who never quite grew out of adventure books or fairy tales, and still searches closets in hopes of stumbling into Narnia. She is addicted to sweet romances, witty characters, and happy endings.
She is also extremely committed to her readers—who have set up their base camp at kmshea.com—and lives in the idyllic Midwest with her furry pet, Perfect Dog.
1. Tell us a little about you and what you’re working on.
As you might have guessed, I’m an author (surprise!!) and I write mostly fantasy/sweet romance books—though I’m really well known for my strong heroines and quirky characters. (And also for my enthusiasm for epic fight scenes!)
My biggest series is called Timeless Fairy Tales, which is a fantasy world in which many of the biggest fairy tale stories (Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Twelve Dancing Princesses, etc) are all taking place on one continent over an approximately five-year period.
It’s really fun because it lets me fix/explore some of the wackiness of the original fairy tales (like, for instance, Cinderella’s prince being unable to remember what she looked like) and create a story that makes a little more sense but keeps the beautiful heart of the original fable.
You As A Reader
2. When did you first fall in love with books?
It actually wasn’t until I was about nine or ten that I really grew to love books. I had a really hard time learning to read—I didn’t fully learn until I was about eight years old—so it took a little while for a real appreciation of books to develop. But once I hit ten, my passion took off and I started to read like crazy.
3. What’s your favorite book from your childhood?
My favorite illustrated book is Fritz and the Beautiful Horses by Jan Brett—which, actually, is a bit of a fable/fairy tale. My favorite chapter book that I read as a kid is undoubtedly the Chronicles of Narnia series. Those stories stick with you for life!
4. Of the books you’ve read, which one changed you the most?
That’s probably a tie between the Chronicles of Narnia and Pride and Prejudice. The Narnia books lured me into jumping from picture books to chapter books, and it wasn’t until I read Pride and Prejudice in high school that I really fell in love with old/classic books. (Like Count of Monte Cristo, Sherlock Holms, the Three Musketeers.)
5. What’s the last book you read and your current favorite?
My current favorite is either Howl’s Moving Castle or Heir Apparent. Both of those books are witty fantasy stories, and I can’t recommend them enough!
And last night I just finished Reluctant Hood by Kendrai Meeks—it was a really fascinating twist of urban/paranormal fantasy with a dash of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale! I’m hoping to read the rest of the series soon!
6. If you could meet any author, alive or dead, who would it be?
That is a three-way tie between Jane Austen, Diana Wynn Jones, and Vivian Vande Velde! They’re the sort of authors I aspire to be, and I’ve been in love with their work for years! (Diana wrote the aforementioned Howl’s Moving Castle, and Vivian wrote Heir Apparent.)
You As A Writer
7. When did you first know you were a writer?
I never really “knew.” It was more that I always had a very vivid imagination as a kid and loved storytelling while I played. Right about the time I hit my teenage years I realized playing with Barbies wasn’t very inspiring anymore even though I still had lots of storylines I wanted to play out, so I turned to writing instead!
8. Do you remember the first story you ever wrote? If so, what was it about?
Oh yeah. It was the worst. It was a YA Sci Fi story about a crew of teenagers with special powers. It was bad. It still is bad. I still have it, because it helps keep me humble and I can use it to show people that if I can write, they can write.
9. What has been the most difficult part of your writing journey? The best part?
The most difficult part was when I was in college. The Kindle had launched by then, but indie authors weren’t on the scene quite yet. I spent so much time throwing new projects and books at agents and editors, and no one was ever interested. It was really hard to keep writing and not give up. Once I found out about publishing ebooks with Amazon, everything changed, and suddenly people could read my work without having to go through publishers.
And I think that’s the best part. As an author, I’m so blessed to live in an age where I can share my work and get paid for it!
10. Of all the writing advice you’ve received, what helped you the most?
Ahahaha, the advice to get an editor. I’m terrible with spelling mistakes, misplaced words, and all kinds of errors like that. My editors push up the quality of my work and have become some really great friends!
11. Tell us about your current project and any others you’re working on.
I JUST finished the third book in my Second Age of Retha series—which I publish under my not-so-secret pen name, A. M. Sohma. (The book is a little nerdier and the romance is much slower to get going, so I decided to use a pen name to help make the distinction.)
This week I’m starting on the sequel book to my Red Rope of Fate book—which is sorta like Jane Austen’s romance meets Tolkien’s fantasy.
Fun Stuff About You
12. Besides writing and reading, what are some of your other interests?
I love playing video games, I really enjoy baking—though my waistline doesn’t appreciate this—and I’m a bit of a tea maniac.
13. If you could become an instant expert at any one thing, what would it be and why?
Oh, the violin! I adore classical music, and I love the violin. Though if I were being intelligent I would say I’d like to become a financial expert. I don’t know if it’s because I’m more of a creative-minded person or what, but numbers seem like a foreign language to me.
14. You’ve just won an all expenses paid trip to anywhere in the world. Where would you go?
New Zealand!! If you can’t tell, I’m a big Tolkien fan, and New Zealand really has that “middle earth” feel. Plus they recreated Hobbiton in north New Zealand and it’s my life goal to see it!
15. How can people connect with you?
Facebook (@AuthorKMShea) or my website/blog (www.kmshea.com) are the easiest places. I’m really active with my reading community, and I have an amazing group of readers (who also give very, very good book recommendations) so come hang out with us!
16. Anything else you’d like to tell us?
If you haven’t read any of Diana Wynn Jones’ or Vivian Vande Velde’s work you need to check them out ASAP!
And if you dream of becoming an author or writing a book, don’t give up!
Thanks for letting us get to know you a little better! I can’t wait to dive into Red Rope of Fate and the King Arthur books! Prince Severin officially made it onto my book boyfriend list, so you’ve got a new life long fan in me.