Author Shay Fabbro has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a doctorate in Human Medical Genetics. She is pictured at right, with her husband, following an experiment gone horribly awry. It is possible I may have made up that last part—but she is a PhD and university professor.
Shay says her writing balances action with quieter scenes so the reader really gets a chance to get into a character’s head. She enjoys a good cliffhanger and tends to write those at the ends of her books.
A lot of the inspiration for her writing comes from her dreams. She says, “I have had night terrors since I was a kid and believe me, I have some doozies! But since I had the dream that inspired the Portals of Destiny series, I realized that I could use these nightmares to inspire more books!” That’s a productive use of nightmares. Some people just get bouts of bed-wetting from their nightmares. That’s what I’ve heard. Shut up.
For Shay, the biggest challenge in writing is the balancing act of day job as a college professor, writing, editing, marketing, promoting, blogging, book signings, interviews, trying to help other authors, participating in writers groups, husband, family, friends, church, eating, sleeping. “It’s too easy to let other areas in your life get placed on the back burner when you’re in writing/marketing mode. And for the spouse, kids, family friends, they often feel left out of this strange new world so it’s important to make time for them,” she says.
When it comes to beta readers, Shay is a believer. She says, “I have several people I found through Facebook (as well as family members) that I have become friends with over the years and they read my stuff and help me with the final edits. Beta readers are invaluable because you are getting the opinion of a reader rather than just an editor.”
As for marketing her work, Shay says having a large Facebook following before launching her first book helped. She uses Twitter as well as doing interviews and guest posts on blogs and websites. Though like most of us, she has not used paid advertising, she says she wouldn’t necessarily rule it out. “In the game of trying to get a novel to stand out, nothing can be off-limits. Well, within reason of course!”
Shay reads other indie authors, including Steve Umstead, Al Boudreau, Lorna Suzuki, David J Pedersen, M Todd Gallowglas, and Megg Jensen. She has many more titles and authors in her TBR pile.
Her advice to aspiring writers? “To be prepared. For rejection, for bad reviews, for slumps in sales, for frustration, for that tiny surge of jealousy you get when hearing that so-and-so is already at 1000 sales and they only self-published their first book a week ago, for that first high at your first good review, for the amazing help and support from other Indie authors, for the tear in your eye the moment you hold your paperback in your hands.”
Shay Fabbro’s book The Chosen was the finalist in the Indie Excellence Book Awards 2011. “My amazing cover artist, Eric Malbone, has done the covers for all four of my books. After careful consideration, we both decided that ‘The Chosen’ could use a fresh cover depicting a little more about the complexity of the series I created,” she says.
The Mekans were created to mine for precious resources. However, something goes terribly awry when they dig uncontrollably, destroying all life on the planet. The Masters of Gentra, keepers of the prophecy, send Guardians to guide and protect the Chosen, who hail from four very different worlds. When the Guardians reveal to the Chosen their role in saving the galaxy, their lives are cast into turmoil. The death of one of the Chosen renders the Gentran prophets blind to the future.
The book is receiving great reviews on Amazon. According to Shay, “Most everyone who reads the second book, Shattered Destiny, say they like it even more than the first (and they LOVED the first). Some have even said they can see this series on the big screen some day. I WISH!”