Shami Stovall - Magic. Sailing. A Murderer Among Heroes.
Shami Stovall relies on her BA in History and Juris Doctorate to make her living as an author and history professor in the central valley of California. She writes in a wide range of fiction, from crime thrillers to fantasy to science-fiction. Stovall loves reading, playing video games, entertaining others with stories, and writing about herself in the third person. As our Author of the Day, Stovall tells us all about her book, Knightmare Arcanist.
Please give us a short introduction to what Knightmare Arcanist is about.
Knightmare Arcanist takes place in a world where all mythical creatures (phoenixes, dragons, pixies) exist. People can bond with these creatures and become arcanists—magic wielders whose powers are based on their creatures. Phoenix arcanists control fire and heal, sea serpent arcanists can breathe underwater, and so on.
The story revolves around a group of teenagers who all bond with different creatures and join a guild dedicated to fighting pirates (some of which have scary mythical creatures of their own!)
What inspired you to write this book?
I really like fun adventure stories, especially things like How to Train Your Dragon, and Percy Jackson. I wanted to write my own, and since I’m a closeted Pokémon enthusiast, I figured I let my love for cute creatures shine in my writing!
Here is me cuddling my stuffed animal babies.
Tell us more about Volke Savan. What makes him tick?
Volke is a kid abandoned by parents. They didn’t want to abandon him, but both were criminals—his father a murderer, and his mother a thief. When Volke was 5, they were taken from his island home, leaving him in the care of the local grave keeper.
Since then, Volke has imagined himself become a hero of legend—the type of person everyone tells stories about. He wants to be a virtuous person far different than his parents.
Some recommend your book to people who enjoy Harry Potter. Are you a Harry Potter fan yourself?
I am! Harry Potter was a fun mystery/adventure series and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
My story has the same “younger individuals doing a thing to save the town/person/world” type of dynamic. It’s fun, and I enjoy the whimsy an adventure can bring.
This is the first book in a series. How do the other books in the series tie in with this one?
Each book picks up where the other left off. It’s a “true series,” which means you don’t want to start on book 3 or 4!
Like Percy Jackson, or How to Train Your Dragon, the story builds off itself. I don’t dump all the world-building on the reader in the first book—I give pieces of it while we continue through the series, to prevent overwhelming the reader.
Here is the series so far!
I adore the covers.
Readers say Knightmare Arcanist is a page-turner. How did you pull this off?
Having tension in every scene really helps move it along. Relationship tension, fight scenes, mystery—any type of tension will make the moment more engaging. It’s a hard skill to master, but I’ve been writing thrillers for a while, so it was easy to transition those skills over to an adventure setting!
How much fun do you have coming up with these storylines and characters?
All the fun. That’s the best part of writing, in my humble opinion.
Well, that and finding readers who enjoy my stuff. I now have a Facebook Group to that make easier!
Is there an underlying message you wish to relay about basic human nature through your characters?
You choose who you’re going to be—not anyone else.
And… hard work really does pay off in the end.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
My interesting habit is that I write at night. So, my writing “day” starts at like 10pm and goes to 6am. It’s a nice 8 hours of quiet contemplation as I stare at the moon.
I like to joke that I have all the weaknesses of a vampire, and none of the benefits.
What are you working on right now?
I’m working on the third book in the Knightmare Arcanist series! It’s called “Coliseum Arcanist” and I can’t wait to get it to people!
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
My Facebook group, as I mentioned, or just head over to my website. I have a blog, and all my social media links are right there!
PLUS, I have free short stories (both written, and in audio!) so I hope everyone enjoys that. :3