Today, we have an opportunity to talk to Shae Bryant. Shae has written the book, Is She Home? In addition to this post, you can find more information at:
Shae, Can you tell us a little about yourself and what led you to start writing?
I’m the author of several historical fiction and fantasy novels. I’m also a digital marketing professional, creating content for clients I’m not allowed to actually talk to. That's because I’m known to have a bit of a big mouth. When I’m not writing, I’m riding motorcycles, getting the next tattoo, crocheting, playing an RPG, or hiking with my husband and dog Zero.
Just f***ing write! I’ve told so many people those exact words. Just write. Keep writing. As you keep writing, learn to improve. Take classes, workshops, get networked with other writers and find a place for good and honest feedback. Then...WRITE!
A big mouth? I bet there are some stories there! And I can relate to the joy in all those activities (well... my hiking is with my wife...) except crocheting. However, my daughter Snizzana loves to crochet. She started at a very young age as a hobby and never stopped. I'm always fascinated how people get started with jobs or passions such as writing. How did you begin writing?
I started writing at a very young age. I remember creating a book on a dot matrix printer when I was about 8. No one but my parents saw that book. At around age 12, I knew I wanted to write. I had been devouring books since I was able to read, and I wanted to share the stories I enjoyed so much. I attempted to write when I was in 7th grade, but I had a long way to go.
Appalachia has a rich history of people who lived hard lives and persevered through all of it.
Is She Home? is based on the true story of my Great Grandfather, his Mother and his siblings. Many of the pieces of the book were told to my Grandmother by her Uncles and her Dad.
You mentioned hiking. That can be inspirational for me. Where do you get your inspiration, information, and ideas for books?
I get ideas and inspiration from a lot of places. Most of the time it comes from music. That could be one of my favorite bands, a game soundtrack, movie score or instrumental. I often use music playlists to “score” scenes I am writing. I also get inspiration from just being out and about. I remember riding through Kansas and seeing an old farm house that was falling apart next to a windmill. Suddenly, a story of the dust bowl era popped into my mind.
That is cool how places can trigger us to story. I also remember Stephen King saying once he used certain soundtracks and playlists when writing, so you are in good company. What advice would you give someone who wants to be a writer?
Just f***ing write! I’ve told so many people those exact words. Just write. Keep writing. As you keep writing, learn to improve. Take classes, workshops, get networked with other writers and find a place for good and honest feedback. Then...WRITE! The other advice I give is to get a thick skin. Publishers are going to rip your stuff apart. People are going to hate your stories. Get used to it, and get ready for it. If you can’t handle critique and criticism, you are in the wrong game.
Very true about the thick skin. As for scheduling writing, how do you schedule your writing around your job?
Some days I write full time. Other days I have clients I need to tend to. I’m a digital marketer specializing in content marketing. I do it on a freelance basis, so sometimes I have a client to work with. On those days, I may focus completely on my task until it’s finished. If it’s a rather easy task, I’ll split my work day.
Well you can certainly be proud you are one of the very few statistically who set out to write and make it to publication. That's awesome. Please tell us about your current release.
Is She home? is part of a series based on true stories from my own family. They all came from Appalachia, and I had been told no one cares about the history of Appalachia. I set out to prove that wrong.
That is interesting that you say that. One of my favorite films is October Sky. Another is Cold Mountain. I believe both are set in Appalachia. I think there is a real market for story originating in that area.
Appalachia has a rich history of people who lived hard lives and persevered through all of it. Is She Home? is based on the true story of my Great Grandfather, his Mother and his siblings. Many of the pieces of the book were told to my Grandmother by her Uncles and her Dad. The rest I was able to fill in with public records.
That is really great. What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m continuing to work on and finish the Appalachian Roots series. The next book in the series is called Marriage and Moonshine. However, the next novel is a switch up. I’m working on a new fantasy series that is a little mix of urban fantasy, fantasy and a touch of dystopian fiction. The first novel in the series is titled “The Secret of Vod” and should be out at the end of 2021.
Stephen King also says that any writer should be an avid reader. Who are your favorite authors?
Ken Follett, Stephen Lawhead, J. R. R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis.
I'm not familiar with Ken Follett. One of the best parts of doing these interviews is I get to learn my next reads. I'll put one of his on my "to read" shelf. I'll also be putting yours on there as you were kind enough to promise me a hardcopy. I look forward to reading it. I really like the blurb on his book as well as the cover. Yours looks stunning too. Really draws you in. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Cover design. You can find free ways to outline and write your stuff (hello Google Docs). But, you need a good cover! If you can’t design it yourself, pay someone to do it.
Couldn't agree more. I just had my third book done professionally and it is heads above my first two. Shamless Plug Inserted here:
I found my artist through my writing group. Are you involved in any writer groups?
I am! I’ve got an amazing group of folks I meet with every Monday. Author Kevin Wolf heads up the group, and we are often joined by some of the most talented writers I’ve met. It is such a valuable place to gain feedback and critique. Oftentimes, I sit back, listen and absorb anything I can learn from men and women who have been writing far longer than I have been.
Awesome. I read a piece he did in an anthology. Really liked it too. Let him know he is welcome to contact me anytime. Based on what you have said regarding your topic, your sources, your writing group, and your reading preferences I bet this book will be a true hit. One more time, where can someone go to purchase your book?
You can purchase Is She Home at www.shaebwrites.com . There, you can find out where to purchase it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and various online retailers.
Shae provided me with a media kit as well as sitting for our interview.
I am posting the media kit here. I'm afraid the images did not transfer.
Historical Fiction and Fantasy Author
Shae Bryant is the author of several historical fiction and fantasy novels. She is also a digital marketing professional, creating content for clients she isn't allowed to actually talk to. That's because Shae's known to have a bit of a big mouth. When she isn't writing or yelling about clients, Shae is riding motorcycles, getting the next tattoo, playing an RPG or hiking near her home in Denver, CO.
Shae has written 3 novels to date, The Veiled Monarch, The Tin Photo, and Is She Home? You can find Shae’s work at www.shaebwrites.com
You can contact Shae at firstname.lastname@example.org
Is She Hom?
By Shae Bryant
"This journey started when our Mother came from Ireland. One day, our family heartbreak will end." - Emma Quinn
A young Irish immigrant finds herself a domestic servant in New York City before the turn of the century. Her dreams and hopes are constantly shattered by fears until she faces them through letters and notes to her children. Emma, the eldest daughter, reads her Mother's memoirs, and makes a decision to bring her family back together.
Is She Home is based on a true story.
Releasing on September 1, 2021
Can be purchased by readers at: https://www.shaebwrites.com/books
Based on records and stories of Shae’s own Great - Great Grandmother, the book takes place in New York City, where a young Irish immigrant finds herself in domestic service. Many of us know stories of hardships and trials that our ancestors had to overcome. In this book, Shae Bryant spans two generations of young Americans who fought against the status quo that affected women.
Shae’s Great-Great Grandmother was indeed a teenage domestic servant who later married and bore fourteen children over the course of 23 years. The eldest daughter (Shae’s Grandmother’s Aunt) fought for the opportunity to pull her family together after tragedy struck. The stories in “Is She Home?” are taken from actual records of Shae’s family along with first-hand accounts from Shae’s Great-Grandfather (you’ll know him as Walter in the book) and his brothers.
“Is She Home?” reminds us that family stories aren’t always happy or comfortable, but one person can change the outcome for everyone.
A note from the author.
“Is She Home?” Contains depictions of abuse. This story came from first-hand accounts of the children and grandchildren of the real Jennie Callaghan. What they endured will not be erased. Because of this, a content warning is likely required.