Today’s Friday Five focus is Shakyra Dunn, author of fantasy and young adult short stories, novellas, and novels.
Shakyra Dunn can’t stray away from the impression that there is always an adventure around every corner! When she isn’t playing the role of the Creator, she is marching through the worlds of her favorite video game characters or taking drives around her city to see the sights. Born in Chicago, Illinois, she currently resides in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, striving to experience more than the little town.
In her latest, First Words: Final Lesson, a recently-crowned princess with a thirst for magic accidentally destroys her home. A simple youthful rebellion grows into a lifelong friendship. A young woman meets reliable allies. And a young boy is dealt a harsh hand when he sets out to make his own path. Four tales, four parties, all intertwined to set the stage for a bigger event. The sense of adventure builds as lessons prepare to be learned, building the bridge for their first words to be spoken.
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1. Why do you write in the genres you listed above?
Fantasy has been my own personal reality for as long as I can remember. I grew up playing a lot of story-driven video games as well as reading many books in the genre, and it weaseled its own way into my life from the moment I held a controller.
Fantasy opens so many different opportunities for crafting your own private world, and it unleashes so many possibilities. I couldn’t see myself becoming ensnared in any other genre as wholesomely as I stuck myself into this one. As for young adult, I like to show the darker side of growing up, discovering yourself, your potentials, and it blends well into different universes from the one that we know!
2. If you could pick just one book to read for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
Just one? Oh wow, um, I may have to say right now, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” Can’t go wrong with Hunter S. Thompson.
3. What do you want your readers to take away from your works?
I want them to be inspired to follow their dreams. I’ve had a rather troubling past myself, and stepping into the field of writing was one of the most stressful and amazing things that I could have ever done for myself. My characters share their experiences with others, and they continue pushing forward to reach their goals.
It’s never bad to keep reaching.
4. What do you want your tombstone to say?
Ooh! This is a REALLY good one!
“Beyond the grave, magic will always flow. Keep your eyes open for pixie dust and wisps of wonder.”
5. What is the most important thing that people DON’T know about your subject/genre, that you think they need to know?
Just because it’s fantasy doesn’t meant that you need to go insane with the possibilities. Have rules in your world. Know your limitations. Make sure that your CHARACTERS have limitations, or they’re going to be perfect, and perfect is boring.
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First Words: Final Lesson is currently available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
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