Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Talk with the Author of Iron Shinto

My friend and fellow Indie Author Tricia Stewart Shiu has just finished her book "Iron Shinto," the third book in her popular YA Metaphysical Fantasy, Moa series. I had a chance to interview Tricia, and get a glimpse of her writing process and the inspiration for the Moa series.

How long did it take you to write "Iron Shinto?" 

"Iron Shinto" is the third book in the Moa series. The first two books took me approximately three months each and "Iron Shinto took me a year and a month! It is by far the most powerful of the books and is packed with layers of learning. 

I can't wait to read it. What is your writing process? 

Because I'm a working mom, I write when and where I can. I have envelopes with ideas written on them, scraps of paper with story outlines and I've even used Dragon Dictation to help me remember those great idea occur while I'm driving. 

Ha, that sounds like me. So, how did the story come together? 

At the start of each book, I would let the pieces of the story puzzle and characters come in organically. Sometimes the beginning would pop in and then suddenly I'd find myself writing something that I guessed would become the middle. I never edited myself and allowed the thoughts, characters and story to form naturally. The most incredible parts happened as I began to piece the story together. Not everything I wrote was used, but occasionally, I would find that something I wrote at the very beginning fit perfectly into the story much later on. I kept a document for these odd pieces and would refer back to them to see if anything fit. 

I love how it all comes together like that. I envy your ability not to self edit along the way, I need to work on that. Tell us the story behind the cover photo and illustrations?

My nine-year-old daughter, Sydney took the cover photos for all three books and illustrated them, as well. It has been such a joy collaborating with her, doing book talks and signings and embarking on this adventure together! 

Sweet. What was your personal inspiration for this metaphysical fantasy series?

The series was born from an experience I had in Honolulu, Hawaii. I was visiting with my in-laws and while napping encountered a Hawaiian spirit named "Moa." Although skeptical, I asked for proof that I was not dreaming. She showed me a picture of a woman I did not know as said my mother-in-law could not find this woman and she was, essentially a missing person to her. Moa said her name was Sharon and then I awoke confused. Why would I see a picture of someone I didn't know and receive such odd information. I shrugged off my experience as a dream and went for a walk with my mother-in-law and daughter. As we rounded the corner of a park, my mother-in-law squealed. "Sharon!" She cried out. My stomach dropped. This was the woman in Moa's picture and the name matched, too. Then she turned to me and explained that she had been looking for her old friend for 20 years! I finally decided to chronicle my experiences in "Moa," the first book in the Moa Series. Then came "Statue of Ku" and finally, "Iron Shinto."

Thanks for your time, Tricia. Good luck with the "Iron Shinto" and the entire Moa Series. 

To read an excerpt from the book, learn more about Tricia Stewart Shiu or pledge towards her publishing goal, please visit "Iron Shinto" Metaphysical Fiction Series Launch.
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