Monday, October 20, 2008

Shawn Oetzel

Author Pen Name:

I use my real name, Shawn Oetzel

Author Interview Questions:

CA: How did you choose your pen name?

Shawn: I worked too hard on my writing to let some unknown entity take credit! I use my real name, Shawn Oetzel.

CA: What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?

Shawn: I tend to stick more with speculative fiction though I do dabble into crime fiction, fantasy, and horror. I write the stories I do because if I ignored them I am fearful my head might explode! Seriously though, I just have a passion for the craft and an incessant need to write. It is the one thing I do which brings me true happiness.

CA: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Shawn: I think deep down on some primal level I always knew. I learned to read at a pretty young age. When most of my peers were reading See Spot Run, I was already reading novels. This led to a natural curiosity to try and write my own stories. I really started my writing seriously about six years ago. I got my fist short story published around that time, and from then on I was hooked.

CA: Who or what was your inspiration for writing?

Shawn: Terry Brooks has always been an inspiration. I was given his novel The Sword of Shannara the summer my parents got divorced. I was in the third grade. Whenever things got too heavy I could always lose myself in the worlds Mr. Brooks had created. I always hope I can have that same kind of effect on a young reader, and this is what continues to drive me.

CA: What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

Shawn: I do not have any kind of set schedule for when I write. I know some writers try and write everyday, and I tried doing that when I started out. It was a complete disaster however and my writing suffered. I have these creative moments or frenzies which is more accurate that come over me and that is when I sit down and write. There is no rhyme or reason to it. I do tend to write better at night and I never sit at the computer to write. I ink all my work on to legal pads and then type them into the computer. I find if I sit and stare at the monitor I freeze up and can’t write a word.

CA: Your book is about to be sent into the reader world, what is one word that describes how you feel?

Shawn: Jubilant!

CA: What was your biggest challenge in writing your book(s)?

Shawn: Fighting myself. I don’t get writer’s block per say, but I do experience writer’s laziness from time to time. Plus I have three kids that range in age from 3 to 13 so life tends to get in the way sometimes as well.

CA: What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Shawn: I love to read and go to the movies. I think those are two natural hobbies for writers. I am also a huge sports fan. I have been a die hard Chicago Cubs fan my whole life and have been savoring every minute of this season!

CA: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

Shawn: Dying Moon is my only novel being published at this time, but I am hoping to change that soon. I also have a middle grade/young adult novel entitled The Adventures of Captain Kitchen which I am shopping around to agent and publishers. I am in the process of putting the finishing touches on a project tentatively titled “The Agency”in the speculative fiction genre, and I honestly believe it is my best work to date and therefore my favorite.

CA: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

Shawn: I would say it’s a combination of the two. Usually my main characters are an amalgam of people I know or have met. I take bits and pieces of family, friends, and acquaintances and incorporate them into my characters, but I also put my own spin in there as well.

CA: Do you have any advice for the aspiring writers out there?

Shawn: Write! If you have a story or an idea write it out. It’s the old axiom of practice makes perfect. Study the craft and write…write…write!

CA: How can a reader contact you or purchase your books?

Shawn: Sadly as of yet I have not joined the modern age and have my own website, but I can be found at my MySpace page at: My email is, and I would love to hear from your readers.

My book will be available January 28, 2009 through LBF Books. It will of course be available through their website: as well Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the other major chain websites.

CA: Is there anything you would like to add?

Shawn: First let me thank you for having me. I greatly appreciate this opportunity to tell a little about myself. I would also like to ask your readers to look for my short story “Scrunchies from Hell” which will be appearing in The Horror Express’s anthology later this year. Also please check out the latest issues of Tales of the Talisman magazine and Shroud Magazine which will have some of my book reviews as well as an interview I conducted with David Lee Summers. And of course keep your eyes open for my debut novel Dying Moon from LBF Books due out January 28, 2009!

CA: Thanks Shawn for taking the time out to do the interview, I’m sure the readers will enjoy : )


Cannibal Rose said...

I'm so glad you write -- I wouldn't want your grey matter to explode! ;) Oh that was too funny. I know how you feel. I'm glad to know I'm not the only 'archaic' writer out there -- ink to parchment and THEN typed up. I like your voice. I'm sure the book is a great one. Good luck!

Shawn said...

Thank you so much! I love that term "archaic writer". I might nave to borrow that one from you!


ddurance said...

unknown entity, LOL, I never thought of it that way.


Shawn said...

Thanks for stopping by!

Yeah, I am not looking for fame or recognition, but I worked too hard. Those are my words on the page, and good or bad, I want my name on the cover!


Alan J. Garner said...

Another fellow reader inspired by Terry Brooks to write! That's what being an author is all about - inspiring others to be the best they can be.

Keep up the good work, Shawn.

Zulmara said...

Love why you use your own name...que cool is that...



Shawn said...

Yeah, Terry brooks is a fantasy guru in my opinion. I first read Sword of Shannara when was in the 3rd grade, and I have never looked back!

Thanks for all the positive feedback!