Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Read About the Thriller in Utah--KINGDOM Book Two--and Read About my fellow Solstice Publishing Author, Shawna Ryan

About Shawna:
"I was born and raised in the Northwest United States. I have been a corporate attorney and a trial attorney. Though I’ve traveled extensively, my home is still in the Northwest. I recently retired from practice to devote more time to writing. Always having been interested in the philosophies of religion, I enjoy researching and writing about the histories behind them. I descended from Catholics, Mormons, Methodists, Baptists, and other Protestants and I try to be both critical and objective about them all. The inspiration for the research that led me to the KINGDOM series were my great grandmothers, who converted to Mormonism in 1854 and who were among the first European converts to immigrate to Utah. Some of the anecdotes in KINGDOM were based on their own stories.
KINGDOM Book Two is my fifth thriller. I have also authored Kingdom Book One, Destiny’s DamnedSatan’s Scat, and Triumvirate of the Damned, a thriller trilogy. The initial inspiration for the trilogy was the writings of Joseph Campbell, a well-known and respected mythologist who was brilliant in his fields of comparative mythology and comparative religions.
My goal is to write thrillers that are fun to read and that inspire conversation."


Seeking to build a Kingdom by claiming as its own most of the western United States, the Mormon Church settles in Utah in the mid-1800's. Its goal is to take complete control of the territories and people there. The punishment for any church member who questions the faith, disobeys them, or interferes with that goal is torture or death. Under threat of torture and death for disobedience, John reluctantly joins the Mormon’s murderous vigilantes and attacks his own people. Having survived the church’s reign of terror against its own members, Anna bears witness to the Mormon’s slaughter of an entire wagon train of unarmed men, women and children. In modern day Utah a biological researcher, part of a conspiracy to achieve that goal, has been tortured and murdered for betraying them. His wife is kidnapped. Her sister, his friend, and a professor of mythology are being hunted as they search for her.

Published by Solstice Publishing/Solstice Shadows in May 2015

Purchase KINGDOM Book Two on Amazon

Purchase KINGDOM Book Two from Solstice Publishing 

Contact Shawna and read a sample chapter


An interview with Shawna


What kind of books do you love to read? Why?
I like thrillers that are a little different. My favorite author is Douglas Preston. He’s also very nice. One of the downsides of being a writer is that I don’t have much time to read except when I’m doing research for one of my books.
What type of music do you enjoy relaxing to?
I love blues, but overall, I’m pretty flexible. If the music is good, I generally like it, no matter what type it is.
What is your stress buster?
Walking along country trails.
What is your favorite food? What food do you seek when you==re sad, sort of a comfort food?
My comfort food is Lay’s Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips.
Describe yourself in one word.
Your writing
When did you write your first book? How long did it take you to write it?
My books kind of evolve. I begin thinking about them long before I start writing. I jot down some notes as I think of potential plot lines. When I know where I want to go, I begin my research while continuing to jot down notes for possible content. Then I draft an outline. Not one I’m bound to if I want to change, but one that gives me a direction. I add to it as I write, sometimes going into detail so I don’t forget my ideas. The process to completion can take me a couple of years.
Where and when do you write? Tell us about your favorite work place and time. Any special reason?
I write in the morning when my mind is fresh. I have a set schedule so I get into a routine. I also have a habit of jotting down ideas during the day, no matter where I am. If I’m driving, I pull over at the first safe location, park the care, and write it down there. I do most of my writing at home in the center of house. I don’t like isolating myself. But I do write during the times when I’m home alone. If that doesn’t work, I find a good coffee shop..
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story? How do you go on from there? Maybe you can give us an example with one of your books.
I start with the subject, a topic I’m interested in. I develop a general plot from there, guided in part by my research. Then I chose my characters. If they are characters I’ve used before, it’s easy. I just adapt them to my story. As I add supporting characters I shape them to accomplish what I need them to accomplish in my story. What is it about them that would make them interesting to the reader?
Your books
What genre(s) do you write? 
 I write thrillers that challenge the general concepts of religion and the good and bad in them.
Have you ever wanted to write your book in one direction but your characters are moving it in another direction? What did you do in such a situation?
Yes, it happens as the stories progress. Sometimes I have to go back and rewrite events to accommodate the situation. I never hesitate to do that even if it takes me longer to finish the book.
Tell us more about your latest release: Kingdom Book Two.
Kingdom Book One and Kingdom Book Two are thrillers that examine the Mormons’ ambitions to cut a Kingdom out of the western United States. The books are both historical and contemporary fiction. They follow Anna who converted and emigrated from Europe. Her first husband is murdered aboard ship because he has come to question the secrets and lies that were told to them by the missionaries who converted them. Her second husband is forced to join a murderous militia who kill or maim Mormons who did not obey the priesthood and to massacre over a hundred non-Mormon and unarmed men, women and children passing through Utah.
Any new projects, work in progress?
Yes, I have a half completed draft of a thriller I’ll probably entitle: “Murders in Blue-Violet”.
How much research was involved in writing your book?  How did you go about it? 
It took me nearly a year to research the Kingdom series, continuing the research           while I was writing. I read and took notes from two non-fiction books  devoted to the topics I was going to write about and relied on the Internet for the other information. I made certain before I used a controversial fact that it came from at least two reliable sources.
What else have you written already?
My first books were a thriller trilogy, Destiny’s Damned, Satan’s Scat, and           Triumvirate of the Damned. A reincarnated serial killer continues murdering    the innocent while drawing closer to the church. Patrick, an out of favor priest, and Alicia search for the “Issue”, the only surviving proof that the “New Testament” as we know it was written by a pagan plotting to destroy Christianity and the western world. Captured, Alicia is imprisoned in a    dungeon with women who descended from women imprisoned there hundreds of years before for hiding Christ’s true last instructions to mankind. 
Visit me on my websitemurdering the innocent, all the while drawing closer to the Church
Were you “born to write” or did you discover your passion for writing later in life?
I discovered I wanted to write in fourth grade when I wrote my first essay.



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