Sunday Surprise

ef35c8744d8253cb93bc3dc034cd5ce7dd630abf…and it’s the last (for now) Wyrd Worlds author! Steph Bennion mentioned we reached almost 1000 downloads – let’s hope some people will look for the other titles of all the authors! There’s even another review on Smashwords, whoot! 🙂 Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome Wyrd Worlds author Neil Shooter!

Where do you live and write from?

I was born and raised in England and moved to rural Ontario when I was 19. Before too long I moved to the big city, but for the last few years I’ve lived in a small suburb of Toronto. I write whenever and wherever I get the chance: in bed, in the car (as a passenger), in coffee shops, on the couch, at the dining table. I get ideas falling asleep, on the toilet, in the grocery store, and I try to keep paper and a pen near me at all times!

When did you start writing?

I’ve always written. When I was 9 I wrote a Star Trek story, and I remember being particularly pleased with it at the time. When I was 15 I wrote 20 pages of a fantasy adventure story for an English project. When I was 25 I wrote the first draft of a story called Flyby over a 3 day long weekend. When I was 30 I started writing an epic fantasy because a friend had lamented he hadn’t got anything to read. I self-published my first short story in 2013. I’ve always written, but I haven’t always believed in myself, or been willing to let other people read what I’ve written. I’m very grateful to my great aunt who helped me believe that writing was in my blood. I’m also very grateful to my English teacher, who seemed to love everything I wrote.

536552258cfd95e7451b429c4f71fb28d6a861abWhat genre(s) do you write?

Science fiction and fantasy. These two, sometimes overlapping, genres have always been the ones that intrigued me and fascinated me. They always fired my imagination. At the same time, I like to think there is a bit of suspense in my stories, some adventure, and a dash of romance, but either elves and magic or space and aliens rule my worlds.

Where do you find your inspiration? Do you put yourself in your stories?

Inspiration is everywhere, and anywhere. I might find an interesting name written somewhere that sparks a new train of thought. I might watch a show, or read a book, and think, “I’d do that differently,” or “That’s cool, but what if…?” And don’t tell my friends or family this, but inspiration is all around me in my daily life, with drama, arguments, and off-hand comments. There’s a bit of me in every story. There might be many bits of me in a story. Different echoes of me might be in the hero, the heroine, and the villain of the same story. And fair warning to anyone who has ever interacted with me in any way: a part of you might be in one of my stories…

18020459e2c15f537828049b3d8f159a81e1ae47Do you have a specific writing routine?

I don’t have the luxury, because I have a day job that keeps a roof over my table and food on my – wait, what? Often I will write down the part of my dreams I can remember in a morning. In an afternoon I might grab half an hour to note down things that have occurred to me during the work day so far. At night I might stay up late with the pad of paper that lives beside my bed. If I was independently wealthy I might have a routine, but until then, I just have to take every moment and every opportunity when it comes.

Outliner or improviser? Fast or slow writer?

I’m a plotter and a pantser, but at different times. At the beginning of a story, I find it more exciting to just jump into it and see what happens. But sooner or later I need to pull myself together and really figure out what is happening, and what is going to happen. I think that pantsing part of story, at least, channels my creativity better, while the plotting part is important for consistency and structure.

There are times I can sit for hours and not notice the time passing, with pages and pages tumbling out of me. Other times I can struggle over a few lines. I try to make the most of the flow whenever I get that feeling.

20ea72c175475b27c86319adc227cebf61c3e211-thumbTell us about your latest book

I have several unpublished novels in various states of undress, but I’ve managed to clothe a few short stories. The latest of these is called Homeless, about a man living in a ravine in a winter that might never end.

Indie publishing or traditional publishing – and why?

Whenever I thought about publishing through the years, I always felt so daunted, and so inadequate. It is so difficult to get published traditionally, and there are agents and editors to deal with. There are still a lot of people who swear by the traditional publishing industry, and if it works for them that is great. But apart from fears and insecurities, I like to think I actually have some good reasons for self-publishing. I stay in control of my stories. I get a larger percentage of any sales. My works are available in perpetuity. In the traditional publishing industry books go out of print all the time, and most books are in print only for a short time before going into a literary limbo for decades at a time.

The best part of self-publishing is that you can put your words out into the world without paying a penny or a cent. The worst part of self-publishing is that you can put anything out there without having had it proof-read, edited, or beta-read by anyone. It can be very hard to notice your own mistakes, or to accept that there are things wrong with your darling project, but I’ve found that time helps to bring any errors out, time gives a fresh perspective as a reader of your own work, and time heals the emotional wounds after you’ve received a criticism or suggestions for improvement.

2430d3e347da7f377e4ac27797206b7ed071e432-thumbAny other projects in the pipeline?

There are so many! Starting with my most recent short story, Homeless is an introduction to two novella or novel length stories I’m working on. My short story Causality is part of a larger sequence of related short stories, with only the first two parts written as of this moment. The third part is fully plotted and “just” needs to be written. My short story “The Kinnon Gate” is the beginning of a novel length story I’m working on, and the characters introduced in the story are from the epic fantasy I’ve been working on since 2004. I’m writing a story about the drive to colonize Mars, and I’m developing a related trilogy of stories about the politics of space colonization as well. I figure if I live to be 200, I’ll finish half of what I’ve started. There seems to be no end.

What is your goal as a writer and what are you doing to achieve it?

Only to write. Of course I’d love to be wealthy enough to write more, and I’d love to be successful enough to be able to live off the proceeds, but until then, all I can do is write as much and as often as I can. Sales revenue would be an encouragement on those days when I doubt myself, but if I never received a cent for my work, I know I would still write. I can’t help it. I have to write, for my own sanity (such as it is), and my own sense of wellbeing. Writing is the only thing that consistently, throughout my life, has made me feel better, has made me feel like me. There is no stopping.


2f96cc86a3310a82390836.L._V357329519_SX200_Author Bio:

Neil Shooter grew up in northern England and now lives in a quiet suburban corner of Ontario, Canada. Always a slow learner, it has taken Neil most of his adult life to realize that the one thing that never fails to ground him and make him happy is the thing he should be doing with the rest of his life. Better late than never…

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A dream of desolation and death. A nightmare vision of a looming end, surrounded by hidden enemies and desperate strangers. His love taken. His hope lost. His life forfeit because of his failures, his inadequacies. How can this end be a beginning? And how can a dream seem so real?


His eyes are filled with recognition even though they have never met. She knows it’s not possible, but it’s happening anyway. It makes no sense, and yet it is real. They shared a dream, but how much of it will come true?

The Kinnon Gate

From all over the Kinnon, they have been magically Called to a wintry square in a deserted city, but by whom, and why?


Winter didn’t end, but his world has. Is he completely alone? In a world gone cold, what can keep the spark of life shining?

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