Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Author Interview: Shay West and her Dangerous Reflections

Hello friends!

Good morning to you too :) I haven't even reached the bottom of my coffee cup, but I'm eager to introduce you to author Shay West. A wonderful young lady with great aspirations, she has a stack of books behind her back. Let's welcome her with cheers!

Me: Hi Shay! I'm so happy to have you here at YA Story Teller! What experience of yours relates to a scene in your newest book, Dangerous Reflections?
Shay: I was bullied in elementary and middle school, though not to the extent that Alex is! But I pulled from the same misery and feelings of rejection that come from years of being bullied.

Me: Huh, I'd never think you had such experience. You're so cool to be around! How do you take your coffee?
Shay: Ah, coffee! When I discovered the flavored selections at my local Sprouts store, it was all over for me. I also love to splurge on delicious creamer (York Peppermint Patty!) to go with it. My favorite thing about weekends and summer vacation is being able to stay in my PJs and enjoy my coffee and breakfast without having to hurry up and be somewhere. Pure bliss!

Me: Oooh yum! Now you have me thinking that my plain old coffee is not worth my time. No fair! If you were given the chance to take the place of one Fairy Tale character, who would you choose?
Shay: I’d have to choose Merlin from Sword in the Stone so I could turn into a bird or maybe get into a wizard’s duel with Mad Madame Mimm!

Me: How did you come with the idea for Dangerous Reflections?
Shay: I was getting ready for work one day and thought about what I would do if the reflection in the mirror changed to be someone else's face. Of course rather than being totally freaked by the notion, I kinda thought it would be cool. LOL

Me: LOL Really? That's how the book came to be? Crackers! Tell us about your writing process. Do you outline, or are you more of a seat on your pants type of a writer?
Shay: I outline the basic beginning and end first, then start writing down ideas for specific scenes even though I don’t know where they will all fit together when I first start. I do a little pantsing for the middle portion and let my characters sort of do what they will. If I like it, I keep it; if not, I get rid of the scene and start over.

Me: What is your usual writing routine?
Shay: I can honestly say that I don’t have one. I write when I can and don’t beat myself up when I’m not feeling up for it or when I can’t do it because of work obligations. However, I’m probably one of the lucky ones in that I absolutely adore my day job (biology professor at university) so I can’t complain  And I’m lucky in that I have all summer off to write and let my imagination run wild!

Me: You're a biology professor? That was my most favorite subject through out high school! I even got a 5 on my AP exam! What's the last book you bought? Have you read it yet?
Shay: I recently purchased Schasm by Shari Ryan (the same one that did the cover art for Dangerous Reflections) and LOVED it!!! It reminds me a lot of the movie Inception.

Me: Oh yeah! I've heard great things about it! I really want to read it too. Just later.... much later... my current stack is up to the ceiling and then some. Which, in your opinion, is the best book to movie adaptation you've ever seen?
Shay: I’d have to say the Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption although Catching Fire was pretty dang awesome, way better than Hunger Games.

Me: Huh. Believe it or not I've never even heard of those two. And I haven't yet seen Catching Fire...
Let's talk about your favorite book genres. What kind of geek are you?
Shay: Scifi and fantasy are my top two but I also like to read Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Robin Cook.

Me: Of course. I knew that! Who is the one author that you would love to meet someday and why?
Shay: Jim Butcher (only because JRR Tolkein is dead). I absolutely adore the Codex Alera series and I just think he would be so much fun to go to a bar and hang out with, have a beer and a burger.

Me: You collect...?
Shay: Books and movies! LOL

Me: Who would you like to take a picture with?
Shay: John Barrowman! I’ve seen how much fun he has with his fans at the various ComicCons and he is such a hoot!

Me: Err... Okay :) What are you wearing right at this moment?
Shay: Jeans, tank top, and slippers

Me: Oohh! Slippers! What do you think is the most important thing in life?
Shay: “To crush your enemies. See them driven before you. And to hear the lamentation of the woman.” Sorry about that, had a bit of a Conan the Barbarian moment there ;) This is always a hard one but for me personally it’s to be happy no matter where you are in life.

Me: What do you carry in your purse/pockets?
Shay: Chapstick in my pocket always. Can’t leave home without it. I have several of them stashed away just so I always have one LOL And I have a really neat purse that also doubles as a camera bag. I carry my Canon Rebel and both lenses with me everywhere I go. It always breaks my heart how many awesome photos are missed because the cell phone camera just can’t zoom close enough.

Me: Wow, you sound like me! Have you ever been hurt so much, you didn't find it in yourself to forgive?
Shay: Oh gosh, yes. I went through a divorce last fall from a guy that cheated on me twice and left the marriage twice. The second time I didn’t argue. It’s difficult to forgive when the belief of finally finding the “one” was shattered. I think what hurts the worst is having so many people say that what he did to me was a mistake, oh gosh we all make mistakes and you’re not perfect either, blah, blah, blah. But what my ex did was make choices, not mistakes, choices that hurt me deeply and hurt my family. It’s hard to forgive when the offending party won’t even take responsibility for their choices.

Me: Well, that was a deep confession right there. I'm sorry to hear that such a nice person as you got hurt so deeply. And yes, choices shouldn't be veiled in pretty words just so a person wouldn't feel guilty.

I had a great time with you Shay! Hope to feature you again soon!

Book Details:

Title: Dangerous Reflections

Audience: young adult
Genre: time travel
Publisher: Booktrope Publishing
Release Date: June 23rd, 2014


Alexis Davenport wants to go home. She hates her new school, her mother for moving her away from her friends, and her father for walking out.
To make matters worse, Alex is haunted by images of strange girls reflected in her mirror. It’s bad enough juggling homework, a relentless bully, boys, and a deadbeat dad; now, she must save the world from an evil presence hell-bent on changing the past – and our futures. Who knew her A+ in history was going to be this important?

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Author Bio:
Shay West was born in Longmont, CO and earned a doctorate degree in Human Medical Genetics from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical. Dr. West currently lives in Grand Junction, CO with her two cats. When not writing novels, she plays with plushie microbes and teaches biology classes at Colorado Mesa University. She is the author of the Portals of Destiny series and the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series. She has also been published in several anthologies: Battlespace (military scifi), Orange Karen: Tribute to a Warrior (fundraiser), and Ancient New (steampunk/fantasy).
You can find Dr. West and more of her work at

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