Interview with A.R. Shaw, author of Unbound

17 Jul 2018

What can you tell us about your new release, Unbound?

Dawn of Deception is really the story of a battered and terrorized woman released from hell with the aid of an unlikely accomplice…an apocalypse. Sloane isn’t really fazed by the challenges the apocalypse poses. Instead, she’s already walked through hell. Now it’s merely maintenance.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I’ve always written stories since childhood. I never kept them so there’s no record for longevity of the silly tales I’ve spun over the years. I think some of us few deranged ones, are just wired this way. We cannot help ourselves but to write. It’s an affliction really. There’s always a story running through my mind and two more behind that one fighting to surface. I dream of them. I wake with them. As a child, I read everything. I loved Laura Ingalls, and I loved history books. I read the stories of the minute men of the Revolution and I read the encyclopedia, volume by volume while a little girl lying on my stomach on the living room carpet going page by page. Basically now…I carry my iPad around in the same way. Wikipedia is somewhat like our past encyclopedia.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

I ever read? This list is always fluid. I read everything, but currently if I had to pick 5, this is where the list stands.

1.     All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (Anything by Anthony Doerr)

2.     The Nightingale by Kristan Hannah

3.     Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck

4.     The Book of M by Peng Shepherd

5.     The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?

Actually, I do host Apocalypse Queen for Authors on the Air, and my first guest was a well-known narrator for true crime and post-apocalyptic genres, Kevin Pierce. If I could choose any author to interview, I’d choose Margaret Atwood. She’s a legend and I’d ask her everything, from what’s the most important piece of advice we novice authors never ask, but should…to the Handmaid’s Tale story details.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

Story. There’s always a story running through my thoughts. Subtle images through your day sometimes spur these stories. This early morning, I waited for a cab in Manhattan on 42nd street. The humidity made you feel like your morning hair routine was a wasted endeavor. With no caffeine yet, I was a bit glazed in the relative quiet thrum of New York, when suddenly a sea gull floated down silently between the buildings in dead center of 42nd hovering over the yellow cabs and between the sepia buildings…this white gull floated down on the humid air in absolute quiet. It’s those little things…you notice that weave their way through your new worlds.

What is a typical day like for you?

I ask other writers this all the time. A writer’s work day varies greatly. I tend to wander to the Kerig coffee shrine carrying my iPad with me, like a blankie, around 6am begging the java dispenser to comply with my requests like a junkie to her dealer. (I need someone to program the auto on please…send instructions.) While I’m trying to wake up I peruse emails, book business, etc. and then after the second cup…I’m usually coherent enough to actually reply to messages. This is typically when Henry comes around to greet me. He slinks into my lap, purrs and makes biscuits…he’s my cat if you wondered. By then my characters are demanding some attention, so I get on with my day and I’m usually at my desk writing by 8am. I might wander into the kitchen for tea occasionally, but really, it’s because I’m stealing a moment to contemplate the stor. Around 3pm…I call it quits, pet Henry and go for a run. Working at home all day alone, you need to mark the end of your writing day somehow and this seems to work for me. It’s a demarcation line. After dinner, I usually look over the business side of things again and into the evening. As a writer, there’s always something to work on or as they say…no rest for the wicked. Then…I become a reader until I fall asleep. Rinse repeat.

What scene in Unbound was your favorite to write?

I let the stories come to me, I’m not a plotter. As I’m writing, scenes unfold. Sloane is not a large, powerful woman. She’s actually quite beautiful and elegant. So to see her use a clever deception over brawn, was a fun scene to write.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

Gosh, many. Heeding the advice of those journeyed before us is an immeasurable gift through time.

If I have to choose one for life and one for writing, here they are.


“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill


“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.” –Ray Bradbury

A.R. Shaw is the author of the new book Unbound

Connect with A.R. Shaw:
Author Page

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