INTERVIEW WITH ALLISON SHOEMAKER
In this interview with new author, Allison Shoemaker, she shares her philosophy on writing and gives a bit of insight into who she is and how she became an author.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be so many different things. Like author, animator, cartoonist, movie star, singer, to name a few. I still not sure what I really want to be but I like to explore and try different things.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I can’t recall specifically how my interest in writing came about. I just started drawing and later I started to get interested in writing, trying to convey my ideas and expressing myself.
Why did you want to be an author?
I am an artist. Writing is a form of art. That’s why I want to be an author.
Do you have any other writing experience?
Professional writing experience? Not really, but I did write mostly for fun and even made comics where I wrote and drew. I had one poem in my previous college’s Betafish magazine at Ohio University.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Actually, this book was originally a homework assignment for a college class. We had to write a short, silly simple narrative using certain props: a rooster, a hammer, a hook, fireworks, a question mark, a padlock. But what happened was I got so into writing it, that it turned into a book where I added a lot of stuff and additional characters and settings. but the professor, right after I got done writing it, cancelled the assignment and I had this story. Good thing the assignment was never graded as I would’ve gotten a low grade on it for breaking the rubric and it would not have become a book.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I get my information and ideas for my poems, writings for fun, and my books (both the latest one and future ones) from my life, the people I interact with, the media, looking at objects, or they just popped into my head and I try to write them down.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing my book was getting started, when I try to write, coming up with a beginning is hard whether it’s an essay or book.
Do you have a specific process when you write?
I don’t really have a specific process for when I write, I just write when I get an idea or have a moment. I basically just write and follow basic story structures and kinda let the story sort of tell itself.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
My writing schedule is very irregular, especially since I am in school, get easily distracted by cats and stuff like that, also life just kind of happens where I can’t write or I end up writing a storm.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends on my schedule, the nature of the story, length, and how interesting I want it to be, and how many rewrites.
Your published works include:
Mr. Rooster and his Magic Hammer
Is there a specific anecdote about the process of writing any of them?
Well, writing a book is like the Earth, it’s always changing and never stops, keeps going.
Did you encounter a writing problem that required you to change your plans for the book or learn a new process?
Oh yes I encountered some issues for my writing, learned more about story structure, character development, and learning to draw a chicken.
Was there a personal reason for writing any of them or a special connection you have to any of them?
I like writing, drawing, and I feel like a piece of me is going into the creation of my work.
Give us three “Good to Know” facts about you. Be creative. Tell us about your first job, the inspiration for your writing, any fun details that would enliven your page.
- My first job was working as a clerk in the Chillicothe Ross County Public Library.
- Inspiration for writing comes from my desire to express myself.
- I did some standup comedy in high school talent shows.
What else do you want your readers to know? Consider here your likes and dislikes, your interests and hobbies, your favorite ways to unwind — whatever comes to mind.
- cartoons and some anime
- drawing, painting, sculpting, making jewelry and doing crafts
- watching TV
- reading comics
- going for walks
- collecting seashells, collectibles, and memorabilia
I like getting massages, they help me unwind and treat some of my neck, shoulder, and back issues from when I have to carry heavy book bags and other heavy stuff like boxes. I also listen to new age and some classical music, or to just have fun, put on some up beat, pop, rock music, go to swimming pools, go to playgrounds and swing on swings, or just take catnaps.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Keep trying to reach your goals, even if it seems impossible and everybody laughs at you and everything seems to be dark, because when you reach your goals and turn your dreams into reality, you will feel great. If you believe, it can be achieved.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Help to become a writer…well, study well made graphic novels, movies, TV shows, and books, learn about character development and story structure, along with practicing. Actually want to create and have some passion when you work. And don’t give up.
Do you have any other advice for fellow writers?
What obstacles did you encounter in being published?
The obstacles in encountered was finding information on how to get published and finding a company that would be willing to publish somebody who is unknown. I got rejected by about five companies before my book got accepted. Then when learning about how publishing works I encountered stuff that surprised me, patience is key.
What methods have you used to get your book noticed?
Methods that I used to help get my work noticed are posting about it online and telling people about it.
How do you feel now that you are a published author?
It feels awesome that I am now a published author, that was one of my goals, along with becoming famous.
What are your current projects?
My current projects are videos for school, and a few soon to be submitted books: two novels, one ‘s sci-fi & the other is kind of an action/fantasy, with some romance and another kids’ book about my cat, Mac.