Free Author Interview: Gill Shutt

Gill Shutt
You can find my book here: where you can find links to all the e-book publishers who stock it. At the moment I’m afraid it’s only available as an e-book.
Cost is $2.99 or £1.71 but you can get the first of the six stories for free so you can try before you buy.
The Legends of Light is a fantasy saga written in six poems. Which sounds weird, I know, but the ancient people told stories in poetry form long before us writers came along with our prose. It’s the story of Elena the Fey and her family. Each of the poems is a story on its own but together they span four generations. They contain love, war, quests, you name it it’s in there and there’s dragons, elves, goblins, wizards and a couple of things never heard of before.
Upcoming projects include three more novelettes, short novels, whatever you want to call them. All fantasy but this time prose. I’m trying to get together a short free to go with each so everyone gets either a taster for what’s to come or just a free sample of my work. Next to come out is Endings, the story of Kiri and the death of the Stone God in who’s temple she was raised. I don’t want to give too much away. I’ve written a short about her parents and how she ended up raised by the Templers of the Stone God.
My journey as a writer? Up, down, round a few bends and more down than up. That just about covers it. I’ve had poems and short stories published here and there but nothing major. I’ve had enough rejections to paper the Albert Hall. Then I heard about Tim Taylor and Greyhart Press which he started up to publish his own work and then began taking on a few lucky others. To say I was surprised when I got the acceptance is putting it mildly. There’s nothing like the feeling you get when someone says ‘I really like your work’. In fact it was a bigger high than actually seeing my book on Amazon.
I chose a small Indie Press because I discovered that they usually read your work. The number of big publishers who email you within the hour saying it’s not what they are looking for is too many to mention. How do they know if they don’t read them? Tim has written a lovely blog saying how he never thought he’d publish poetry but once he read The Legends of Light he realised that fantasy and poetry go hand in hand, so he changed his mind. Indie Presses are adaptable and they care about their authors and the work they put out. Because there is usually only one or two people doing all the work they care more, it’s as much their book as the authors in that they have edited, got the art work and formatted it. And if it’s done badly then they don’t get any money and they don’t get the readers for other projects.
Obviously I’m doing it again as Tim has said yes to three more projects so I’m hoping to keep him busy for a while. By then I should have written some more. It’s given me a lot more confidence in my work. In the back of my mind there’s always been a small voice saying ‘Are you any good at this or should you just stop trying?’ Now I’ve shut them up I can carry on.
To all the future authors out there… keep writing, don’t give up because someone says no. Every piece you write will hopefully be building up your experience and making your work better. If you want to ask someone what they think… DON’T ask friends and family, they’ll love it, how could they not, they love you. But they can’t be critical which is what you need.  You need someone who doesn’t know you well and who can help you to improve on what you’ve got. And finally EDIT, EDIT then leave it in a draw, come back later and EDIT!
A fact not everyone knows about me is that I suffer from fibromyalgia which is a debilitating illness caused by too much of the pain transmitting chemical substance P in my brain and, they have found that the brain in fibro sufferers never shuts off so we never get a decent night’s sleep. The scans that show which parts of the brain are firing at any one time show that the area connected with sleep carries on working even when we are asleep so we never get the deep restorative sleep that ‘normal’ people get. And the parts that deal with pain are firing all the time as well. And small bump or scratch is magnified about five times for me. So I’m in pain all the time and constantly exhausted. When my youngest was little I had days when it hurt to give a hug and that tore me up inside.
Writing and read help me to forget about the pain and exhaustion for a while so, in a way, its therapy. But on the bad days I can’t concentrate enough to string a sentence together and if I try and type I just get a lot of corrections to do because my fingers hit all the wrong keys. Sometimes I can read but usually I find I can’t concentrate. It’s like those nights when you try and read before bedtime and find yourself reading the same paragraph over and over again without taking any of it in.


Here’s a short piece of the first poem
The hull of The Riever rode high on the waves
As the party set out on its quest.
Three knights and a squire, to care for their needs,
Looked seawards with hope in their breast.
The creak of the deck and the snap of the sails,
Pure white with a single gold flower,
And the shouts of the crew as they pulled on the ropes,
Began the long trip to the tower.
On an isle in the Sea of the Vanishing Mists
Stood a tower of clouds and moonlight.
When the moon rose up full, in the black of the night,
It appeared, glowing golden and white.
In the fullness of day no isle could be seen,
As the Vanishing Mists wrapped it round,
By the magic of moonlight alone it appeared,
White tower upon solid ground.
And there on the isle lived the source of the quest,
Fair Lady Elena the Fey.
Each knight carried hope they would win the maid’s hand,
Steal her heart and then bear her away.
For they all thought they knew what the lady required,
And each thought, alone, they were right.
One handsome and proud, one learned and grave,
While the other had muscle and might.

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