Today, we have the honour of an interview with author Shauna Richmond, who has written the terrific Raghnall Universe series. Recently, I got in touch with Shauna and she kindly agreed to answer some questions.
Where do you come from and has this place influenced your writings at all?
I come from Tallaght in Dublin, Ireland. I think the people here have influenced my writing more so than the place. A lot of the situations and banter that come up in my story have been heavily influenced from the people I grew up with.
What was the moment or the spark that made you decide to write The Raghnall Universe?
Never a popular answer in a sense – I actually had a breakdown! I was suffering horribly with depression and anxiety, left work even because of it. The idea of certain characters was already in my head by then. With a lot of free time on my hands for recovery, I used it to write. In fact, what was supposed to be a stand-alone book developed into a series.
This blogger: That is certainly not a usual answer. But thank you for your honesty and willingness to talk about it. If I am allowed to say it, I think you have used your time out in a productive way. You have every reason to be proud of yourself.
What three books, films or historical events did you draw inspiration from for your series?
Vikings, Game of Thrones and, oddly, a book I have called 501 Of The World’s Most Notorious Crimes by Paul Donnelley. It goes all the way back to Erik the Red, which really came in handy. (*Chuckles*.)
This blogger: What a great book! Thank you for making me aware of it. I am sure it came in handy. (*Smiles*.)
Your books have received some amazing reviews on Amazon. Congratulations! You must be very happy about that. Why do you think people have liked your books so much?
Thank you. The feedback has been amazing, I think it’s because the characters grab people’s attention. I’ve been told that they’re very realistic. That, and for me fantasy is an escape from reality. With 2020 being pandora’s box, who doesn’t want an escape from that?
You are relaunching The Wrath of Raghnall with a new book cover (created by the magnificent book cover artist, Martin, whose details are at the end of this interview). What made you decide to redo your book’s cover? And what made you choose Martin?
In all fairness, Martin was the most serendipitous thing that I could have come by. I literally just joined “bookstagram” and he was one of the first accounts I came across. I dropped him a message admiring his work and we took it from there.
A little over a year later and he has designed everything, and I mean everything for me. Covers, maps, character cards, bookmarks, etc… He has done it all, and his work gets better every time.
My book I had to redo. Originally, I had a publisher which I left because they published a draft rather than the final copy of Wrath and refused to fix it. Subsequently, I took it upon myself to amend the draft for them and sent it on for them to send to the printers. And still they refused! So, I left and went independent. Wrath is coming back out the way it should have been, cover and all.
This blogger: That sounds like a horrible experience and I am sorry that you had this issue. I am glad that you took it upon yourself and went to Martin. I agree, he’s brilliant and I have had an equally positive experience working with him. (See below for his details.)
Which one of the characters in The Raghnall Universe is the most like you? And how?
Ooh that’s tough! There are so many. I’d say that Finn is definitely the most like me in so many ways. He is sarcastic, impulsive and a bit of a pain in the butt at times. He is flawed as we all are, but generally he tries to be fair and do what’s right. Plus, if his family ever need him for anything, he makes them his top priority.
This blogger: He sounds like a great character. If you are like him, then your family are very luck to have you. (*Smiles warmly.*)
Who is the target audience of your books?
YA fantasy readers. I have some cussing, gore and a few other scenes that would not be at all suitable for young audiences.
If you could go back in time and speak with a younger Shauna Richmond, what advice would you give her about the writing process?
Trust your gut and don’t pay attention to trolls. A bad draft can always be edited.
What do you find harder – writing your book or marketing it?
Definitely marketing it! I’ve written four books in 2 years. The writing comes easily enough to me, I’m blessed in that respect. But marketing is a nightmare.
This blogger: I know what you mean. I am marketing my book as we speak currently. It’s hard, for sure.
How has writing changed you as a person?
It has provided a massive outlet for me, for one. As a result, I am less prone to anxiety attacks since. Also, I’m definitely more confident now than I was before, and that’s down to the writing community as well. I have found everyone to be so supportive of one another. We are all in the same boat as writers, and if we don’t help each other there’s a serious problem.
Are you writing another book at present? If so, could you tell us a bit about it please?
I have just finished a book called Shattered Steel, and is with beta readers right now. I have been asked numerous times about writing a prequel to the Raghnall series, so I did and that will be a series in itself.
The reader will be following Freya’s mother on her journey and finding out how all these houses became connected. You’ll all discover what kicked off the wars in the first place.
Lastly, outside of writing, what do you like to do?
I have a two year old so I’m mainly playing with him. But I do have a love for animals and have two dogs of my own, so I walk a lot with that pair.
Moreover, I paint a bit on occasion; although, nothing noteworthy as I promise you that I am definitely not that talented. Also, I’ve started to read a lot more since I became an author, so I’m usually found with my head in a book.
This blogger: It sounds like you live a good, enjoyable and fulfilling life. So what that you may not be the next Picasso or Gaudi? So long as you enjoy it, that’s all that matters. Keep on enjoying what you are doing, Shauna! You sound like you have made a terrific recovery.
End of Interview
Alas, that concludes our interview with author Shauna Richmond. I would like to thank Shauna for her time and to say that it has been wonderful getting to know her. I wish her all the best with her re-release of Wrath of Raghnall, as well as her future writings, her painting, her dogs and spending time with her son.
You can purchase Shauna’s books on Amazon. If you enjoy reading YA fantasy with a Viking feel to it, check out her books NOW!
Otherwise, like Shauna on Facebook and follow her on Instagram. That way, you can keep up to date with her and you’ll know precisely when her next books come out.
Lastly, if you are looking for someone to make you an amazing book cover, as well as marketing materials, get in touch with Martin from Cover Art Studio. He is super-talented, and both Shauna and I have had positive experiences working with him. Check out his Instagram account and his website, where you can get in touch with him as well.
PS: If you enjoyed this interview with author Shauna Richmond, and would like to read/watch more fascinating, exclusive interviews with authors, actors, models, filmmakers and Instagram sensations, please fill in this short form: