Today's Darklight On is... Shelley Russell Nolan.
An emerging Australian fantasy author, Shelley will next month take over the reins of the Darklight On column. Welcome, Shelley, and congrats on joining the DSDU team!
How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre?
While I read a number of genres, Spec Fic is my favourite. I grew up watching shows like Doctor Who, Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars, and loved the way they transported me to other worlds and opened up so many possibilities. Then I discovered Anne McCaffrey and David Eddings and never looked back. Reading and falling in love with the worlds and the characters they had created sparked the writing bug inside me and it has never gone away.
Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?
I am mostly a pantser, though I usually write out a rough outline first, just a couple of pages to get the initial idea down. Then I start writing, well aware that anything can and will happen as my characters take over. Though I have discovered that if my story will be told in more than one book I need to do more planning to make sure I do it justice.
Do you have a favourite of your characters?
I love all my characters, but I have a major soft spot for Sharon Chambers, the heroine of the story I started when I was sixteen. She is a butt-kicking teen who has to go to another world to fight brain eating aliens and is a reminder of my own teenage years and the friends who inspired her and the first spark of creativity that drove me to write. I have never given up hope that one day her story will be published and plan on editing the manuscript in the near future.
What are you currently working on?
I have a couple of things on the go at the moment. I am working on Rogue Reaper which is the sequel to Lost Reaper, an urban fantasy about a young woman who is resurrected after she agrees to work for the Grim Reaper only to find out that her new boss has been lying to her. Lost Reaper is currently under consideration at a publisher (fingers crossed). I am also writing a NA novella for a collaborative project with some fantastic writing friends.
What is your favourite part of the process of writing?
I love playing what if and seeing where my story takes me. Typing The End is a nice feeling as well. I’m learning to like the editing side and seeing how I can improve on that first draft.
What can we expect from Shelley Russell Nolan in the future?
After I finish Rogue Reaper, there’s a space opera with a very sexy mercenary captain that I am itching to write. I also have another urban fantasy that is ready for the final edit so I need to get that done and start submitting it. I’m also looking forward to taking over Darklight On from Cheryse Durrant and connecting with my fellow Darksiders.
Who are your favourite authors?
I have so many it would be impossible to list them all. Anne McCaffrey and David Eddings had a huge influence on getting me writing, as well as Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. Currently I love anything by Kylie Scott, Anne Gracie, Steve Vera, Eleri Stone and Amanda Bridgeman. Cassandra Clare, Anne Bishop, Sara Douglass and Kate Forsyth are also authors I can’t put down.
What are you currently reading?
I’m halfway through Grievous Harm, by Sandy Curtis (loving it) and I got Matthew Reilly’s The Great Zoo of China for Christmas so that is next on my list.
Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?
Anything by Joss Whedon is a must see and I can’t wait for the next Avengers movie. I also love the rebooted Star Trek movies, The Walking Dead, and am catching up on Supernatural over the Christmas holidays.
Do you have advice for emerging writers?
Other than reading and writing all the time, the best advice is to go to as many writing festivals as you can. Not only do you get to learn more about your craft, you get to mingle with other like-minded people who don’t care that you have imaginary people living in your head. They have them too and you may just form life-long friendships. Events like the RWA conference, GenreCon and Writefest leave you inspired and informed and remind you just how much you love to write.
How can readers and authors connect with you?
Search for Shelley Russell Nolan on Facebook or send me a tweet via @Shelley RNolan
Thanks, Shelley Russell Nolan!