Hello there creators,
Saturday is here, and it is now August 1st! Wow, this year has flown by and been filled with some crazy things, hasn’t it? Luckily, we have books to escape and help us along the current path we take. I am not sure I could handle not having books available. Anyway! Let’s get to our interview! So excited to have author S.Y( Shannon) Humphrey stopping by today. She’ll be telling us about her books and giving some writing tips for the writer in all of us. If you love dystopian science fiction, you will absolutely enjoy her books.
Let’s get this started. Handing it over to S.Y.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve written since I was a child so it’s part of me. Couldn’t live life without it.
When did you decide that you wanted to publish your first story?
Probably in my early twenties.
Describe your writing space.
Different places. Mostly at my kitchen island in the mornings when my husband is still asleep, and it’s quiet. I rarely write at my desk. I hate desks; they make me feel imprisoned.
How do you do research for your books?
Lots and lots of news articles. I’m a news junkie, and I subscribe to Wall Street Journal, NYT and Washington Post, because they all offer unique stories that validate my political and science fiction concepts– dystopian, war, deception, oppression, all those gritty themes I like.
What motivates you to keep writing?
The fulfillment that I get to go in my own head and see the world as I want it.
Writing can be emotionally draining and sometimes stressful- particularly when stepping into the publishing realm of things. Any tips to share for the aspiring writers out there?
Yoga and physical exercise. Now that I’m trying to make money off of it, that can suck out some of the joy. My body wears my stress and it can get painful. I have an app on my iPad when I don’t want to go outside. I also love nature and hiking, but here in Cali that’s hard with the pandemic and some people outside are a little careless. So, I might jog in my neighborhood or do the yoga app and that helps tremendously.
Tell me about the books you write.
“The sky is falling” realistic science fiction. Plagues, war, poverty, genetic codes and deception, masterminds, human downfall and malfeasance that forces us to inspect ourselves. 1984 from George Orwell and Kindred from Octavia Butler are my inspirations. I don’t do dwarves, elves, fairies or anything like that. Hope Defined has some otherworldly creatures in it, since it’s another universe, but they are not the focus of the story. I want the everyday working person to relate to the fear and dilemmas of the main character, so the reader almost touches the destruction that really could happen to them if the human race isn’t more careful.
How many books have you written so far? Are you in any anthologies? Which book has been your favorite to write? If you have a one that is. 🙂
Just looking at my Amazon page, two books and three novellas. But it’s more like six books and five novellas, including a pen name and books that will be re-released next month.
Do you have a favorite character that you have written? Why are they your favorite? Are they the main character? Tell us about them.
Yes, it’s my very first character, Hope Casey. A young scientist who is bullied for being too smart, but who has a connection to another universe and doesn’t know it yet. She is many black girls who are curious and ambitious, but afraid because it’s “not cool” to be smart in the ‘hood. So she does some things to fit in with the wrong crowd, and it almost derails her from a prestigious science opportunity at MIT. Her rival plots against her with a game called “Operation Solve Hopeless Case”. That is where Hope’s fight begins.
Tell us about your latest writing project
The Hope Defined series. I first released book 1 in 2013, and it did okay, but black girls in young adult science fiction were not a “thing” back then. I released books 2 and 3 in 2016, but at that point, I needed money for editing and professional book covers. I also still had a lot to learn about book marketing and finding my readers. So in tons of debt, I unpublished the books and went back to my day job. I got covers redone in 2017, but I waited because I still didn’t think the world was ready yet for a black girl. But now in 2020, with all the conversations happening now on race and the businesses finally acknowledging the inequities for blacks, and the many stories of color on t.v.’s now, it encourages me that hearts are now opening. Nnedi Okorafor and N.K. Jemison and Jordan Peele are now household names for black horror and sci-fi. This was not the case when I first published. So I put my other series on hold to dust off HD. It will be three books and a novella about one of Hope’s enemies – Angel. I’ve edited, tightened the action and tension, and hopefully, it will be better received this time around.
Let’s get to know a bit more about you. What do you like to do when you are not writing?
My newest thing is playing video games on PS4. Pure escapism. God of War and Red Dead Redemption and and when I finish my next book series, I will reward myself by purchasing Grand Theft Auto. I also love investing- as brutal as it can be, but I have an account where I pick my own stocks, do the research, sell and trade on my own. I love hiking, traveling and taking my Sony camera, but haven’t done that as much this year. But now that the pandemic is an indefinite part of our lives, I’ll get back to hiking soon with good masks. We live ten minutes from the coastline, so I’ll drive it again in a few days. I might also get back to vlogging on Youtube, so I can read some of my chapters to folks who might pick up my stories.
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Dreamer, curious, driven
If it were possible to have your favorite season all year long what season would it be?
Why did you choose that particular season?
Hot cocoa, beautiful fall colors, falling leaves to jump in, the best clothes and boots, pumpkins and decorations, crisp and cool but not too cold, Thanksgiving and excitement over the upcoming holidays, family and celebration
What songs/ music are on your playlist?
Movie theme music all day every day, so Hans Zimmer (Dark Knight), Trevor Morris (Vikings), Ramin Djwadi (Game of Thrones), and Audiomachine (trailers on Netflix)
What is your favorite food?
Probably southern turkey and dressing, macaroni and cheese, and greens
Who is your favorite author and why?
George Orwell because he tells the truth with perfect symbolism and telling metaphor
What are you reading right now?
Scythe by Neal Schusterman
What is one thing your readers don’t know about you?
I eat too many sweets, a sugar fanatic. I can eat a big family-sized box of whoppers in 24 hours.
Where can readers find out more about you and your books?
Thank you for joining me on my blog today. Is there anything else you’d like to say before we head on out?
Nothing but thank you!
And thank you S.Y for joining me today. It has been a great pleasure having you on the blog today.
Find all books here:
Amazon Author Page for S.Y. Humphrey https://www.amazon.com/S.Y.-Humphrey/e/B00CQJW5WY/r