Author Interview-Shataya Simms: When it comes to writing, she's NYCE!
Welcome to Untamed Publishing's Author Interviews! As a company that caters to the self-published and independent author, we want to highlight and support indie authors. There is a vast array of talent amongst us, and here's the opportunity to connect the readers to their next favorite author!
This interview features, author Shataya Simms. In the words of Kanye West, "Excuse me, I don't mean to interrupt, but"... when it comes to the writing game, we MEAN it when we say her pen game is NYCE!
Welcome Shataya! It's a pleasure to have you join us. Now, before we begin, I must let the readers know that I, Untamed, am BIAS with this interview for a very good reason. (We'll delve into that later, LOL). So before we kick off this interview, please tell the readers a little about yourself.
I am Shataya Simms. I am a Temple University graduate & a Philadelphia native. I’ve been writing since I was seven and I love to read. I am also a product of a teen pregnancy, had my own child at the age of 19 and am a domestic abuse survivor. I share that information as a testimony to show that no matter the obstacles that life throws at you, you can always overcome and flourish.
Wow! Thankfully, you were able to overcome domestic abuse as well as persevere through the challenges of being a teen mother. Going through those experiences, you definitely have a story to tell. Having said that, I'm interested to know what drew you to write. Why did you make the decision to become a published author?
It was always a goal of mine to become an author. I started later than I would have liked to but it was something I always dreamed of accomplishing. Once I got over my fear of rejection and self-doubt, I decided to go for it and publish as a self-published author. I am now a signed author but I really appreciate the journey of going from self-published to publisher.
What genres do you write or wish to write?
Currently, my books have been placed into the urban fiction category, which I don’t mind. Although, I like to think my first book Living Anonymous is more of a coming of age love story. I primarily am a melodrama fictional writer but am working to branch off into children’s fantasy and paranormal fiction.
So let's dive into some fun facts about you as an author, Shataya. When it comes to writing, are you a morning person or a night owl?
I am a night owl and most of my ideas are sparked at night however; I am more productive during the morning/afternoon. That’s when I get most of my writing done.
Tell us a unique writing habit that you have.
I don’t think I have any unique habits. I prefer writing on a desktop over a laptop and I typically don’t write while I am at home. I have too many distractions in my house so I will go to a Starbucks or Panera Bread or someplace quiet where I am not easily distracted.
What makes your writing stand apart from other authors?
I like to think that my writing reflects the times. I try to make all my characters believable and relatable where you either feel like the character or know someone who does. I also try to give readers something new so it doesn’t feel like you are reading the same story with different characters.
Name your top 5 favorite books by indie authors. Why are they your faves?
Awww man. I hate this question. LOL. I feel that there are so many books out there and the answer to this question may change next week after I complete reading a book. I guess for now I would have to say:
White Lines by Tracy Brown
Secret Indiscretions by Trice Hickman
Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
Torn by Latoya Chandler
Heroin Heartbreak by Vanessa Kirby
Would you like to collaborate with other authors on a book project?
If you were to write a book about yourself what would you name it? Why?
Hmmm…that’s a hard one. I honestly don’t know. It probably would be a one-word title like Triumphant or Victorious, something powerful to show how far I’ve come and how hard I fought to become the person that I am today. Heck, I am still fighting and still trying to mold myself in to becoming the woman that I want to become.
I love those choices! And with all that you have overcome and accomplished, that certainly fits for your own self-titled story. Now speaking of stories, we're going to move into your works. Now this is where I insert my disclaimer from earlier that I said that I would get back to. Before we dive in, I must say to the readers that I am a SUPER FAN! I've read two of your books, and when I say you INSTANTLY made my favorite author list, I mean it. Trust me, that is not an easy feat with me. So I can personally attest...in my Kevin Hart voice..."certified, put a stamp on it" that your books are outstanding! With that, tell us about your current book project?
My latest release is Nyce. It’s a character spin of one of the characters in Living Anonymous. I get asked a lot of questions about him and my agent thought it would be a great idea if I told his story.
Yesss! Nyce is my book husband! Yep, he upgraded from boyfriend to husband so ladies, he's claimed! LOL! Nyce is all mine! Aside from Nyce, what is your upcoming project about? When will it be released?
I just handed in the manuscript for Still Anonymous. That’s book two in the Living Anonymous series. We are aiming to release that book in April and followed by Unveiled which is the last book in the series. I am hoping to have that released in September/October 2017.
I have to catch myself from falling out of this seat because I am on pins and needles waiting for Still Anonymous and now, I find out there is a third part, Unveiled! Oh, be still my heart! Okay...okay I'll be patient, lol. As I've testified, you are an amazing author, but what are some of your other aspirations for your writing career?
My overall long-term goal is to reach Terry McMillian, Stephen King status. Land on the NY Best Sellers List and ink a movie deal or two, but ultimately, I just want to keep writing to the best of my ability in hopes of developing a loyal fan base. I don’t write to make money solely but I would love to be able to write full time and make enough money where I don’t need a primary job to pay my bills and expenses.
If anyone can achieve those goals, you can. Let's take a moment to find out a little bit about Shataya, the person outside of being an author. Outside of writing, what are your favorite past times?
Eating. I LOVE to eat. If I didn’t have to worry about my weight, I would eat non-stop. I also enjoy reading and watching a good movie.
Tell us one thing about you that is a little known fact.
I am an introverted shy person. People never believe me when I share this though but I am shy. Not in a way that I cower in a corner but in a way that I have to pump myself up or fight through my nerves.
I think a lot of writers can relate to that type of introverted behavior. We operate differently, and we see the world from a different lens. Moving back towards being an author and the industry, what is one lesson you’ve learned since becoming a published author?
To do your research. Research your genre, know who your market is, research your publisher whether you are self-published or signed…just research. Knowing the when, what, where, how and why’s of this game will guarantee you longevity as an author and not to mention the money you will save by avoiding the mistakes that you may make. RESEARCH is key.
What is one myth about being a published author that you learned and would like to share?
That it takes more than writing a great story to attract readers to your book. You really do have to work for it and push yourself and your brand. For an author, success is not going to come overnight and you really do need to try to align yourself with the right people.
Shataya, it has truly been a pleasure to interview you, and we look forward to your future works. Please connect with the author and pick up your copy of her sexy and romantic book series, Living Anonymous and Nyce!
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