“Fantasy vs. Casserole Romance” – Blogger profile and Guest Post with Danielle Shipley

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There’s so many great peeps in the blogging world. I thought I’d do my bit to help you find some of the talented folk who are writing out there. Danielle Shipley is for some reason my arch nemesis (I’m not entirely sure why).

Real Name (optional, y’know, in case you’re a super villain or something): Danielle E. Shipley

Alias: Deshipley

Blog name/URL: Ever On Word (everonword.wordpress.com)

What’s your main topic?

Most often, my posts will have more to do with writing than not. Creative processes, character development, and playing with words are what I know best and love most, so that’s what I’ll usually end up talking about. I’ve also been known to put my pen where my mouth is and share pieces of original fiction and poetry. Beyond that, I just talk about whatever interests me, and try to be entertaining about it.

Describe yourself in 100 words?

A used-to-be homeschooled, ever-will-be Christian, overemotional, obsessive-compulsive fantasizer. White and nerdy beneath lovely brown skin, looking perhaps to mature, but never to grow up. While an artist in general, a writer first and foremost. A willing vessel for beloved figments of imagination. I also tend to wax free-form poetic when asked to offer a brief biography; I guess I feel essentials are best expressed thus. My philosophy is that life ought to be a musical. Optional: A fairytale musical, animated by Disney.

How long have you been blogging, and why did you start?

My first post went up on September 1, 2011, and I’ve kept up a largely steady stream of content in the year-and-a-bit since. The blog’s primary purpose is to garner positive attention from potential fans of my novels (which I have yet to publish, but I’m working on it). They – y’know, the all-knowing “They” – say an author needs a blog, a website, a Twitter… I don’t buy all of that; I believe all an author really needs is to have written a book, preferably a good one. But an online presence where people can see what you’re all about is a nice thing to have; hence, Ever On Word.

Best blogging experience?

Surprisingly, given my lone-wolfish tendencies, I’d say it would have to do with the communal aspect of blogging. There’s fun to be had in the preparation of the blog pieces, true, but much of that fun comes from anticipating how readers will enjoy what I’ve put together for them. I’m always excited when people respond to what I’ve put out there; “like”s are nice, comments are gratifying, new followers put me over the moon, and it’s a treat to virtually hangout with fellow blogger friends and give them some love and laughs and whatever other L things I’ve got to give.

One instance that stands out in particular is when I posted the eulogy for my late Shetland sheepdog, this past summer; the empathetic response from all quarters was a sweet comfort in a tearful time. On a brighter note, it tickled me to see all the banter in the comments following an interview with one of my characters, Will Scarlet; it might be to my benefit to make that Merry Man my marketing director, since he’s got charming gift of gab to spare. And any time I’m offered the chance to write a guest post for another blog is a day-maker; when it comes to blogging, I’d call invitation among the sincerest forms of flattery.

Title of the post you are most proud of, and reason why?

After much lengthy thought, I’m going to choose (hastily, before I can wimp out and go back to scour the archives again) “Reviews” or “How to Make Me Love Your Book Like My Own Flesh and Blood”. Writing book reviews is a challenge for me, but for this blog post, I forced myself to write two, in the name of supporting a couple of worthy authors with worthy books (thanks, in massive part, to worthy characters). I’m pleased with a) the result and b) that I was able to make a small contribution to the authors’/books’/characters’ publicity.

One thing you wish you could do/did more of (regarding blogging)?

I wish I had more time to go randomly searching out other people’s blogs. For one thing, it’s just good business to drop “like”s and comments everywhere, because more people are likely to trail back to me and my blog, that way; Writer/Blogger Me likes this. For another, there is some really entertaining material to be found, out there in BlogLand, and Reader Me would like to be able to read it. That’s why I started my semi-regular “HYSRT!” (“Hey, You Should Read This!”) feature on my blog – to give a little additional exposure to blog posts that I feel are worth the read. If I had a nice battalion of Danielle clones (with cloned laptops and internet access, of course), that’s the kind of thing I would do more often.

What do you think makes your blog worth a read?

Come for the voice, stay for what it’s jabbering on about. I like to blend humor with depth, intelligence with frivolity, usefulness with just plain fun. Ever On Word is me in the way I can only be seen through my written words, and it’s probably the truest me you can get. Why should you read my blog? Because you can’t read my novels yet. Say “no” to Deshipley deprivation!

Now what would a profile of a blogger be without a demonstration of their skills? So, specially for The Hyperteller, is Fantasy Vs. Casserole Romance.

By Deshipley, Danielle E. Shipley, whatever you want to call me

Why do I write fantasy? Because it’s a piping hot market, y’all!

Actually, that couldn’t have much less to do with it. If all I were concerned about was selling my work, I’d write a series of steamy romances that include recipes for low-calorie, cancer-fighting casseroles and advice on how to meditate your way to the inner peace that only a billion dollars made through the power of positive thinking can bring. But lucrative as that would be, I can’t see myself working up any enthusiasm over trying to produce a book like that. (So feel free to steal the idea, someone; just make mention of me on the acknowledgments page, that’s all I ask.)

Fantasy, on the other hand, though less of a surefire goldmine, is nonetheless a delight to write. I mean, think about it:

You Get to Make Up the Names! Officially, you could do this for chick lit and whatever, too, but your characters might have a difficult time explaining themselves.

Jenna gasped. There he was again – that cute guy from the coffee shop! And he was coming right for her, his dreamy smile punctuated by an adorable dimple, blond hair rakishly ruffled in the summer breeze.

“Hey,” he said. This close, he smelled like cinnamon. Jenna could breathe him in all day. “I don’t think we’ve properly met. I’m Shâzgar the Aerlior-blessed. And you are?”

“Jen— Wait, you’re supposed to be who, now?”

“Shâzgar the Aerlior-blessed.”

Jenna blinked at him. “What kind of name is that?”

Shâzgar looked offended. “It means ‘favored child of the elf-moon prophecy’. It’s been in my family for generations, don’t hate!”

“Not hating,” said Jenna, turning on her heel. “Just walking away.” The last thing she needed was pressure from her mother-in-law to name her future babies after moon elves, or heaven knew what.

The great thing about writing in a genre where names like “Shâzgar the Aerlior-blessed” are par for the course is that you’ve upped the odds significantly that your characters will never share a name. How many Aragorns did you know in school, hmm? Run into many Tinker Bell’s at the office, do you? Exactly. Awesome made-up fantasy name = instant individuality points. Now all you’ve got to do is come up with a stellar character to back it up.

You’re at the Edge of the Map Where There Be Dragons! Or mermaids or minotaurs or moon elves or whatever you want – all those creatures that it would make life so much cooler and/or more dangerous to have hanging around in our world.

Jenna gasped. There he was again – that cute guy from the coffee shop! And he was coming right for her, his dreamy smile punctuated by an adorable dimple, blond hair rakishly ruffled in the summer breeze.

“Hey,” he said. This close, he smelled like cinnamon. Jenna could breathe him in all day. “I don’t think we’ve properly met. I’m Shâzgar the— LOOK OUT!”

Shâzgar slammed Jenna to the ground, glittering hooves galloping through the air where her head had been a split second before. A dread whinny of doom rang out through the sky.

“What is that thing?!” Jenna cried.

Shâzgar looked grim. “It’s a winged unicorn-demon from the Shadow Realms. They were banished from these lands ages ago by the Senate of Aerlior. I don’t know how this one got past the veil…”

“Not listening,” said Jenna, jumping to her feet. “Just running away.” The last thing she needed was to get embroiled in the broken politics of opposing foreign governments, or heaven knew what.

Of course, our world has dangers enough as it is. Salmonella poisoning, worn tires on icy bridges, violently inclement weather… do we really need the impending return of unicorn-demons on top of all? I’d say no, but even so, it’d be a shame not to read about such things happening to someone else. Invasions from the Shadow Realms are best enjoyed from the comfort of one’s own laptop, I find.You Don’t Have to Research a Darn Thing! Except for the bits that are meant to accurately mirror reality. But how much of that does your story really need, anyway?

Jenna gasped. There he was again – that cute guy from the coffee shop! And he was coming right for her, his dreamy smile punctuated by an adorable dimple, blond hair rakishly ruffled in the summer breeze.

“Hey,” he said. This close, he smelled like cinnamon. Jenna could breathe him in all day. “I don’t believe we’ve properly met. I’m Shâzgar the Aerlior-blessed.”

Jenna’s jaw dropped. “The Shâzgar the Aerlior-blessed? The world-renowned brain surgeon?!”

Again, the dimpled smile. “Either me or one of my great-uncles. Outside of my family, Shâzgar the Aerlior-blessed is a rather unique name.”

“Wow, this is an honor! Tell me, Doctor, what exactly goes on in the complicated world of medicine, these days?”

“Magic, mostly,” Shâzgar informed her. “We wave our wands carved from the Trees of Kyoor and speak the hallowed incantations, and boom, no more blood clots in your cerebellum. …Or you’ve been turned into a mushroom. Human error, you know how it goes.”

“Not really,” said Jenna, with a careless shrug. “Just as well, though, I guess, since I’m not planning to ever go into brain surgery.” The last thing she needed was to have one of the Aerlior-blessed learn that she was planning to take her craftily accumulated knowledge of the legendary Kyoor wands to rend the veil separating these lands from her masters in the Shadow Realms, their armies of demons comprised of far worse than winged unicorns, the looming Second Age of Perdition, and heaven knew what else.

This isn’t to say that we authors shouldn’t have a clue about what’s going on in our stories. We want brain surgery and mushroom transformations to be performed by magic wands? Fair enough, so long as our next generation of MDs doesn’t mistake our novels for their textbooks. Your stories, your rules. So…know your rules. Figure out your essential whys and wherefores before the letters from readers pour in, questioning what substance you were abusing when you had what you’d declared impossible in Chapter 2 happening in Chapter 7 with no explanation at all.

And for pity’s sake, have fun with it! It should be fun. And it is fun! (Trust me: I’m not such a purist that I’d write anything but billion-dollar casserole romances if it weren’t.)

Danielle can be found at www.everonword.wordpress.com, talking about…all kinds of crazy things. Check it out, and give her a follow.

I’m always interested in hearing from other bloggers, so if you’d like to be my featured blogger in the future, send me an email at thehyperteller@gmail.com.