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Book Review and Author Interview with Shaun L Griffiths

Author of The Changing Times Trilogy

Welcome Shaun!

I’m really pleased to host Shaun L Griffiths on my blog. He’s the author of the Changing Times Trilogy, a great YA fantasy.
First up, here’s my review of the third book. I’ve deliberately kept it brief, so there are no plot spoilers. 

Shifters Stand (Changing Times Part 3) 

This is the final book in the series, and wow, what an ending. We follow Kerri and Carter as they attempt to get the Crystal back from the apes, and prevent the total destruction of their way of life. However they have to battle the murderous apes, and prevent the Evil One from finding the three books which together will reveal the full power of the Crystal.  

The story encompasses the different shifters and their alliances as they try to keep one step ahead, but there are also betrayals, heartbreak and disappointment.

The characters are well written and believable, and the world-building is solid. It’s a really engaging story that encompasses a big cast, but the author keeps the action flowing and the plot tight. It’s a great read – highly recommended. Although it can be read alone, I suggest reading the first two books to really engage with the story.

You can buy it here – Amazon US And if you’d like the first in the series, Shifters Alliance is currently FREE! 

Author Questions – 

When did you first start writing?
Hi, Tracey and thank you for the invitation to be interviewed.  I’ve always had an interest in writing. Whether it was journal’s (now long lost), pen pals (when we used to post long letters around the world), or just scribbling thoughts and ideas on the back of photographs (when I used to print them), I’d always enjoyed writing.
But I started writing novels in the spring of 2015.  It was a few months after I was given a Kindle as a Christmas present. Where I live, it’s difficult to get english language books, but after getting my hands on a Kindle, I couldn’t believe the amount of books available to me. And when I discovered books on Free promotion – well,  it was like Christmas, every day.
So one day, I found an eBook called The 9 Day Novel series (by Steve Windsor) – basically how to write a novel in 9 days by writing like a maniac. It was so inspiring, I really believed I could do it.  It took a lot longer than 9 days – more like 9 weeks, but I got a first draft completed. It was such a great sense of achievement to have 80,000 words in your pocket.
After that, I signed up for course on how to put it all together – the editing, formatting, publishing etc. with SPS (Self Publishing School). That’s where I learned the importance of finding a place on Social Media where you feel at home – finding your tribe, they called it. I made so many new friends in fellow authors around me, people that I still chat regularly with today. These are the people who have helped and encouraged me to keep writing, people that I am proud to call friends.

Tell us about your book(s) and the genres you write in.
I’ve just completed a Young Adult Epic Fantasy adventure trilogy – I published the final part in September, so the 3 books took me just over 2 years. I’ve tried to keep it Clean, in a Christian tradition, though it has very little religious overtones, apart from the ongoing battle between good and evil.
It’s involves people with shape-shifting abilities, and their struggle to keep a magic crystal out of the hands of someone really evil. It’s set in a world that a lot of people will recognise. The mountains, deserts and forests I set the scenes in, are places I know and remember.  It’s a Tolkien-esque type quest (though I’d never compare it to Tolkien’s work!) with Kipling’s Jungle Book type characters thrown into the mix.

Who’s your favourite character (or least favourite) and why?
My favourite characters do change over time. At the moment, it  would be Kerri. She is the hero of my Fantasy trilogy and I feel I’ve probably projected a lot of my own emotions into her character, into what she goes through and how she reacts. She is brave and totally committed to her loved ones, but is also a little damaged, after losing her own parents.
Before Kerri, it was Holly. She’s 9 years old and was kidnapped in Book 1.  The way the story evolved, Holly fell in battle and was left in the snows of the mountain pass. It’s really  strange, but I felt so bad about what happened to her that I wrote the story of Book 2 around trying to save her.  Maybe it’s a father – daughter type thing?

How much time do you spend writing?
I write when I can, fitting it around my other commitments to my family.  I find I’m more creative early morning, when the house is quiet. I try to do a couple of hours dedicated to my current project, whether that’s writing, or organising everything around it to prepare for publication.
When I’m writing, I set myself a target of 1,ooo words a day. Some days I’ve made 5K, other days I struggle to do 500. But what I’m finding is that I do more writing in the winter months. I’m not sure if that’s how my schedule has panned out, but the last 2 years have been like that.
I’m back to writing at the moment. That’s my first priority after being in a Marketing mindset for so long after just publishing my 3rd novel and I’m really happy to be there.
Where is your favourite place to write?
My writing desk looks out over the forest. I often find myself staring off, waiting for inspiration to hit me. I love to watch the pines trees swaying in the wind, the changing colours through the seasons, or the animals of the forest which think they are alone. We have red squirrels in the garden which are really beautiful to watch – I’m easily distracted!

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve had to research?
I did very little research for my fantasy series. It was all my own imagining so I gave myself a licence to create as I wished.
With the Sci-Fi story I’m in now, I’m trying to use doable Science to make it realistic, so in answer to your question, probably the feasibility of stealing America’s gold bullion.

Who’s your favourite author and/or favourite books.
That would be impossible to answer. There are so many great authors that I’m now discovering and aspiring to emulate, that I really couldn’t name one. And being in a lot of author groups, I also get to hear of so many great books being published.
I can say that 2 books that really stand out for me in the past year have been “A Sea of Shattered Glass” by Kyla Stone, this is really exciting and scary.
The other is RJ Infantino’s “Collapse”. I believe this is his first novel and it’s a great lead-in to a series. They are both YA – my current reading genre.

What are you working on now?
My latest project is a Sci-Fi short story (around 8,ooo words), which I plan to expand on. Either with a collection of short adventures, or as a full blown novel. I’ll wait to see the reaction on the Short Story first. This is more of a slapstick Pirates of the Universe theme.

When you’re not writing, what do you get up to?
I‘ve always enjoyed reading, so I make time for that. This also helps me with my own writing. I often ask myself, how did the author do that? how did they get you there? or make me feel that way about a character? I also try to honestly review what I do read.
My other great love is films. I’ve signed up to a self study course on Scriptwriting, and also one of Mark Dawson’s courses on Marketing.
I have spent too much time on Social Media lately, and I’m trying to cut back on that as it can be an almighty drain on what little time I seem to have. I’m trying to be more focused now on groups and people.

Any fun facts about yourself that you’d like to share?
I once sat on top of a Pyramid at Giza, smoking a hubbly bubbly watching the sun set over the Western Desert – that was fun 🙂

Where can readers go to find out more about you and your writing?

I have a website where there’s a little more about me, if someone wants to know:  
http://www.shaunlgriffiths.com/
My Amazon author page lists what I’ve written and been involved with: https://www.amazon.com/Shaun-L-Griffiths/e/B017U8I100/
I’ve also a Facebook Author page where I try to let people know about latest promotions or book giveaways and competition. Anyone is welcome to look in. https://www.facebook.com/ShaunLGriffithsWriter/

Thanks Shaun for a great interview!

 

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