I had the pleasure of interviewing indie author Shane Wilson! It was a long time coming and I am so glad that it has come about. This interview was great, I learnt so much about his journey, his book, writing processes and a cool new offer! If you are looking for a new great read, check out A Year Since The Rain.
Well, I’m a teacher first, I guess. It’s what I do first thing in the morning after having an iced latte. I teach college English, which is nice more often than it isn’t. The grading can be tedious, but mostly, I get to wake up and talk with adults about things I enjoy talking about. After a day of teaching and grading, I’ll chase the day with a bourbon or rum drink and some Xbox One. I don’t get a ton of writing done during the week or even during the school term. I write like a madman during breaks.
How did you get started on your writing journey?
I started young. I wrote books and did illustrations for little stories when I was a kid. It’s funny, I’m just remembering this. I would put them in those folders with the snaps in the middle so they were “bound.” I don’t really remember what any of them were about, but I’m sure my parents have them somewhere. I remember writing wild stuff in school, too. My mom made me change one of the first weird stories I wrote because she was afraid it would get me in trouble. It was about a mysterious channel on TV that would hypnotize people into murdering their friends. I totally understand why she wouldn’t want me to turn that in to school. Haha. No hard feelings there.
A Year Since the Rain is about this sad-sack guy named Alan who falls in love with a woman almost overnight, partly due to her helping him out during a pretty emotionally tough time in his life. When she needs him to support her, though, he can’t, and she disappears. He wallows for a while, but then he’s taken on a journey which we hope will help him grow. He meets many mysterious characters on this journey including a woman who walks through dreams. Meanwhile, a serious drought threatens his town and his own existence in a pretty earth-shattering way—which is a pun that no one will get until they read the book.
Where did inspiration for this come from?
I’m not sure where some of it comes from. But I guess the beginning comes from real heartache that I went through, and I guess the most influential character in Alan’s life is probably modeled after some equally influential people in my life.
Tell us a little bit about the characters? What are they like and how did you come up with them?
All of the characters started as some specific person I knew in real life, but they evolved past that into something else. A good example of this that won’t get me in too much trouble is probably Alan’s best friend, Jeff. Jeff started as this one guy I knew from this one bar I used to go to whenever I first started writing the book. But as he was in the story more, he started picking up more characteristics from other people I had known—guys from college or whatever. He is definitely a conglomerate of all of the guys I’ve ever know from going to the bars trying to talk to girls. He’s a wingman! And he might be an alcoholic…at first.
Who do you think would like your story and what kind of readership are you aiming for?
I think the book is written for bright people who don’t mind ambiguity. There are magical elements in the book, but it’s definitely not what would be classified as “Paranormal.” It’s really general fiction. Even with the magical elements, the story is about the human character and how we all deal with change and heartache. So I think most people who like to read stories can find something here to enjoy. But they have to be willing to embrace the mystery.
How is the title significant?
The title references the timeline of the book—a year—and it establishes the drought. If a place goes without rain for a year, and it’s worth noting in the title, one would maybe assume rain was important to that place, maybe more important than it is to other places. The rain is so important to the town where the story is set that it is a huge deal when it stops falling. And we aren’t even really sure why it stopped. But it did, and now we have to figure out how to deal with it.
Who is your publisher?
Snow Leopard Publishing is the publisher that decided to take a chance on my little book. And I am eternally grateful.
How did you go about getting published?
This story is probably similar to everyone else’s. Once the book was finished and I had taken it through a couple of rounds of edits, I started pitching to agents and publishers. I got a lot of requests for full manuscripts, and I got a lot of really nice rejections that essentially said, even though it’s good, the book would be a tough sell because it doesn’t fit neatly into a very marketable genre—which is true. Then I found Snow Leopard on Twitter, fired them off a pitch, and I guess they liked it because about a month later I was signing a contract.
What plans do you have for the future of your writing?
My future plans would be to just keep going. I have a short story collection in the works. It’s kind of a prequel to A Year Since the Rain that is more focused on the supporting cast than the main characters from that book. And I’m working on a new, standalone novel that I should finish drafting this summer.
I hope you enjoyed this interview with Shane Wilson- I know I did! If you want to know more about the book or connect with Shane you'll find his details below.