Monday, November 17, 2014

Indie Fall Fest: Interview and Creative Writing Prompt with Shay West

You guys! I am so excited to have Shay West as my guest today. I had heard of her before off of Kristen's blog, but I honestly had no idea how incredibly talented she really is. Check out her interview from another fellow writer and her creative writing prompt below!

Don't forget to stop by the kick-off post and enter our HUGE giveaway!

Over on Pretty Little Pages, Lauryn April is being featured today! So don't forget to drop by!

Interview by Joy Penny

1. Your day job sounds interesting! Do your talents in biology cross over into your writing?

Absolutely, as my poor students can tell you. I often have these weird ideas pop into my head as I’m lecturing and will share it with the class more often than not. Most of the time the ideas tend to be rather gruesome and have led to several short stories (I have them on WattPad).

2. You've been given the day off from any other responsibilities and you can focus on writing. Describe the ideal "writing day" for you.

I can’t write in complete silence so I have something on TV that I am not really interested in watching, something I’ve already seen lots of times. I have tried writing to music and get too distracted. My perfect writing day would entail a Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter marathon, kitties snuggled next to me on the couch, and a tasty beverage on my end table, preferably something of the alcoholic nature.

3. If you could spend the day with any one character from any of your stories, who would you choose and why?

I’d have to choose one of my characters from the planet Kromin. The creatures of this world are clones and don’t have anything in the way of music, art, or any other form of entertainment. They speak using telepathy and have no concept of private thoughts. I created Kromin (as one of many planets in my Portals of Destiny series) because it’s nothing like this planet we call home. Spending time here would be so very different from anything I’m used to. As a writer, I wish I could teleport inside my story and spend time on my worlds.
4. Do you have any favorite TV shows or movies that inspire your writing?

Pretty much anything Sci-Fi or fantasy. I am also dabbling in urban fantasy crime thrillers so watching stuff like Criminal Minds and Bones gives me a ton of ideas.

5. Can you tease us a bit about your current writing project?

I’m working on a paranormal romance at the moment. Darcy and Cameron hold the key to re-setting the balance between good and evil. They just have to figure it out before Armageddon.  

Your character suspects her husband is having an affair and decides to spy on him. What she discovers is not what she was expecting...

He’s seeing someone else.
The idea gnawed at me until I could think of nothing else. My brain conjured images of sweaty flesh, writhing bodies, moans of ecstasy. I wasn’t an angry person by nature; quite the opposite in fact. But his constant phone calls telling me he was coming home late yet again sent me into a fury the likes of which I’d never known. My work suffered, my health suffered, the kids suffered…
And yet I couldn’t confront him. 
My best girlfriend told me to ask Bill about all the late nights, gauge his reaction, look for the tell-tale signs he was lying. She insisted that if my gut was telling me something was up, then something was up. But I just couldn’t do it. I guess it’s because if he never actually confessed, I could pretend our life was perfect: house in the suburbs, two kids, two dogs, one cat, and a bearded dragon my son insisted he couldn’t live without, vacations in Disney Land, everything a girl could hope for.
Except no one plans on their beloved’s sudden absences, his returning home in the middle of the night, going straight to the bathroom to shower—to wash off the stench of the skank he’d just been with, no doubt—, cancelling weekend plans, spending endless hours locked down in the “man cave” and heaven help the woman or child that disturbed him while down there.
I heard the garage door open at three o’clock that morning. While Bill was in the shower, I went downstairs to inspect his pile on the kitchen table: wallet, spare change, a few crumpled bills, Chapstick, pocket knife, watch, and cell phone.
With shaking hands, I picked up the phone and sighed in relief when a single swipe of my finger opened the home screen. If he was having an affair, wouldn’t he have some sort of password? I checked his contacts and text messages for a number I didn’t recognize.
There wasn’t a single one.
Frowning, I put the phone back in sleep mode and placed it back in the pile. The shower was still running. As I turned to go back upstairs, my eyes fell on the door leading to the man cave. Moving as though in a trance, I opened the door to Bill’s sacred area, part of my mind gibbering at me to go back upstairs, for the love of God.
I reached the bottom of the stairs and turned on the light. The basement looked like it always did. Except for the large chest freezer along the far wall—when did he bring that down here?
The lid of the freezer groaned as I opened it. A wail escaped my lips as I backed up a few steps, wishing I could turn back the clock, walk up the stairs to the bedroom, anything to un-see the random body parts in the pristine white freezer.
A hand fell on my shoulder.
“I really wish you hadn’t done that.”

Shay West was born in Longmont, CO and earned a doctorate degree in Human Medical Genetics from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical. Dr. West currently lives in Grand Junction, CO with her two cats. When not writing novels, she plays with plushie microbes and teaches biology classes at Colorado Mesa University. She is the author of the Portals of Destiny series and the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series. She has also been published in several anthologies: Battlespace (military scifi), Orange Karen: Tribute to a Warrior (fund raiser), Ancient New (steampunk/fantasy), and Horror in Bloom.

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