Author Interview with Celia Shadrach on her Kindle Vella series, Acts of Kings
With thirty-nine thumbs up and fifteen episodes written, Acts of Kings, should be counted as a great choice in Kindle Vella for your next speculative fiction read. Shadrach ties in the mythical, and the fantastical, in a unique story that even draws inspiration from the The Bible.
Tell me about your Kindle Vella.
Acts of Kings is a speculative fiction piece. It follows Carolyn Whitmore as she goes through the bland, boring motions of her life. Washing squash, tending to her roadside store, washing her hands, all that stuff that really just is so interesting.
But thankfully for the reader, we learn that Carolyn Whitmore is as fake as the mirror she claims is for feng shui.
A lovely hitman who goes by the name of Hamman comes along to interrupt this humdrum. But he doesn’t kill her but he does take her on a ride in his Mustang Boss where she contemplates on the thought: Did I die?
What would you say inspired Acts of Kings?
So many of the stories created can parallel to biblical ones. This one, isn’t that.
But Hamman, he’s based off of the Haman from the Old Testament. The guy who was set on a spear because he tried to kill thousands of people.
But in this version, he lived. And now he works as a hitman from Michael, murdering people.
So I guess, murder but casual murder and angel lore and Haman, that inspired this story.
Who’s your favorite character(s) in the Acts of Kings series so far? I know it’s hard!
Hamman, is by far, one of my most favorite characters I’ve written. It’s hard to balance his quirkiness with seriousness but writing him is actual entertainment for me.
He reminds me of the character, Francis, from the romance movie called Mr. Right. He’s badass but so, so weird.
Hamman’s got a lot of cats in the bag. Or maybe the phrase is, baggage. We learn throughout the episodes that there is much more going on with him than our fake Carolyn Whitmore realizes. And even for me, I’ve found Hamman writes himself adding in twists and turns I wasn’t planning on.
What’s your writing process like, especially pertaining to this work?
It’s chaotic but slightly organized. It looks something like this:
1. Once inspired, jot down some basic notes. Like general theme and characters. Where I see the story going.
2. Sit at the computer and stare. But then just start typing whatever comes to my mind first.
3. Let that develop into a scene or two.
4. Head back to my notes and revise as by this point, the direction is clearer.
5. Then draft that sucker out.
6. Revise episode by episode after beta reader and critique partner feedback.
What would you say is the hardest challenge you face as a writer, and what steps do you take to overcome it?
I’m a new writer which comes with it’s own set of challenges. How to do what and when and where. How to edit the right way and find quality beta readers and critique partners. What’s a platform and how do I build it? The first challenge is this one. The new writer challenge. But it’s fun and exciting when each bump in the road smooths out.
On an exceptionally personal note. I’m about to go dark in terms of constant internet access. I’ve switched out my smartphone for a dumbphone, which is actually the name for the old styles of cellphones. WiFi? Yep, won’t have it soon.
I’ll be making weekly trips to the library for some free WiFi to network, market, publish, and all that other fun stuff.
That’s the hardest challenge, personally.
What made you want to put it on Vella instead of as an E-book?
This is my baby. Absolutely so. Acts of Kings is the eighth novel I drafted but it’s the first I cared so passionately about that I was so unsatisfied with the end I planned that I kept going with no end in sight, a perfect recipe for serialized fiction.
I thought, “Better not get my hopes up.” At least in terms of finding an audience who enjoys the story as much as I do. That became one of those bumps in the road – the ego getting in the way. The fear of failing.
And then it hit me. How do I overcome that? Publishing. Vella happened to roll out that week when I was researching on which platform to publish on.
I like Royalroad and Wattpad audiences respectively for my other works but Acts of Kings didn’t fit there.
It fit on Vella.
And since I haven’t found the best ending yet, it’s a great platform to continue my story until an end does come about.
What’s coming up next with your writing, Vella or otherwise?
So many things! I wrote my first novel a year ago. It was…it needed…love. Lots and lots of love. So I kept writing more and more stories until my skill level became better and better. So, I’m so excited this is one of the questions because I love talking about what I’m passionate about – writing.
Besides Acts of Kings on Vella, another published novel is available on Kindle. It’s called Forgot About You. It’s a fun and engaging romance read with a dash of thriller. Just a dash, though. If you like romance tropes, this one in particular contains the old friends to lovers, forced proximity, and protector tropes.
Forgot About You has a cousin in the draft phase called Genuine You. It’s a romance too and similar in themes. It’ll be published in Spring 2022.
I discovered paranormal romance recently. A draft of a high-fantasy romance is in the works and scheduled for January 1st, 2022 for publication on Kindle.
But if those aren’t of interest to you, I have two fantasies I’m drafting on Royalroad which helps gain reader feedback for future revisions. One is a young adult fantasy with the working title, Talis Man, and is scheduled for publication Summer 2022 and a draft of my favorite high-fantasy with the working title, Get Off the Mountain, is available to read for free on Royalroad too with no TBD on publication as of yet.
I have a backlog of drafts I’m working through, but the list is exhaustive. I’m so excited to share with you the ones that are closest to publication!
Get Off the Mountain, may be the next edition to my Vella works, so if you’d like to get a sneak peak at the first draft, head to Royalroad. But if you’d like to read the polished version, stay tuned to Vella!
Lastly, where can readers find you online?
I love talking with people so please reach out!
My drafts can be found on Royal Road @CShadrockz and Wattpad @CSHADrach. The drafts come and go as they are taken down for revisions or publication but that’s a great place to find me If you’d like to engage one on one or provide early reader feedback, which is so valuable in the revision process.
My Patreon account @CShadrockz isn’t as active as the writing platforms or socials but it’s another place to find me and if you’d like to support my work outside of the Amazon platform, that’s a good place to go.And of course, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org too!
“This is my baby. Absolutely so. Acts of Kings is the eighth novel I drafted but it’s the first I cared so passionately about that I was so unsatisfied with the end I planned that I kept going with no end in sight, a perfect recipe for serialized fiction.”Celia Shadrach
CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR!
Facebook: @Celia Shadrach
Goodreads Author Profile: Celia Shadrach
J.J. Gonzalez is the author of the The Starstrike and a NYC native. When she’s not writing, she enjoys various crafts and time outdoors.