Getting to know…Liane Shaw (Authors for Indies series)

Liane Shaw

We promised more information about Authors for Indies and here it is! With less than two weeks till The Big Day, this week we’ll be presenting our “Getting to know…” interview series so you can get to know the authors who will be generously volunteering at Backbeat on Saturday, May 2nd.

First up is Liane Shaw who will be at Backbeat from 10 am till 1 pm. Her latest book is Time Out: A teacher’s year of reading, fighting and four-letter words, a non-fiction account of her year teaching kids with behavioural issues. I read it in one sitting and highly recommend it. She has also written three young adult novels: The Color of Silence, Fostergirls, and

Read on to find out what her favourite books are, what her hidden talent is and what inspires her writing…

Christine (Co-owner of Backbeat): What motivated you to participate in Authors for Indies?
Liane (Talented & Lovely Author): I was pleased to see that Authors for Indies was created by authors as a way to give back to the independent bookstores that help get their work out to the reading public.  I love small privately owned bookstores…there’s an ambiance that can never quite be replicated by the larger chains (Shop Around the corner or You’ve Got Mail both spring to mind!).   Holding an actual book, new or previously loved, and flipping through the pages while trying to imagine what might be waiting for you inside is an experience best had in an intimate space dedicated to literature.   I would imagine owning a small bookstore to be a labour of love with a large dose of financial challenge thrown in.   Like all participating authors, I’m really happy to have a chance to try to do my bit to give back a little.

Christine: What are your top three favourite books of all time? If you have an absolute favourite one out of these, which one is it?
Liane: Anne of Green Gables, Whitethorn Woods (or pretty much anything by Maeve Binchy) and Love you Forever by Munsch.  Anne of Green Gables is by far my favourite as anyone who knows me would be quick to tell you.

Christine: If you had to participate in a talent show, what would you do?
Liane: I would play the piano while my daughter sings.

Christine: Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you unblock it?
Liane: I absolutely get writer’s block…all of the time!  I am not very good at unblocking.  Mostly I get mad at myself and decide I’m never going to write another book.  Then I stop writing for a while and start reading instead. Eventually, I go back to the manuscript.   Not a particularly constructive approach!  I’ve been reading a book by Pat Schneider called “Writing Alone and With Others”that has some good tips though so perhaps I’ll get better at handling it.    I’m about six years into the whole professional writing career and I’m still learning every day.

Christine: Do you re-read books or do you just read them once?
Liane: I re-read favourites over and over.

Christine: Where do you find your best writing inspiration comes from?
Liane: My writing thus far has been strongly impacted by my children and former students.   I’m writing my first fictional manuscript for an adult audience right now and finding it an interesting challenge to step away a bit from those particular inspirations and dig more into my own life and family history.

Christine: What did you do to celebrate when your first book got published?
Liane: We had a little family celebration at my dad’s cottage.

Christine: Do you have any unusual writing habits or superstitions?
Liane: I don’t think so.  I do write in spurts.  I’ll do nothing for days and then suddenly feel the need to write and edit continuously for hours on end.  Occasionally these spurts are the result of dreaming the next chapter in a book I’m trying to write.   I’m not sure if that’s unusual or not though.

Christine: What’s the last book you read and/or what are you currently reading?
Liane: Hmmm…not sure if I want to answer that!   I’m actually in a lull period writing wise, as I just sent a manuscript off to my publisher and I am waiting anxiously for their response.  When I’m in wait mode, I read books that are fun but not what you could call challenging.  Right now, it’s JD Robb….futuristic crime novels!  I’m also reading Pat Schneider’s book.

Christine: If you start reading a book and find you don’t like it, what do you do: a) continue till the bitter end or b) give up and move onto the next one?
Liane: If I start a book and don’t like it, I usually flip to the last chapter and read it first to see if I might end up liking it by the finale.  Weird I know!  It drives my daughters crazy that I do that!  If I like how it ends up, I’ll stick with it.  If I don’t, I put it away.  ( for the record, I do the same thing with movies…sad I know)  I write the last chapter of my books early in the process as well.  I can’t really get moving on a novel until I’ve figured out how to end it..usually quite literally right down to the very last word.  

Christine: Pick up the book that’s sitting closest to you right now – no cheating. What’s the opening line?
Liane:If I were this book’s reader, I would write in the margins, underline what I like, and argue with the author where I disagree.

To learn even more about Liane and her books, head on over to her website!