Interview: Shay West

Posted: December 23, 2014 in Fantasy, Interviews, Sci-Fi
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Shay West Picture

I had a chance to interview Shay West, author of the Portals of Destiny series and the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series, along with numerous other works.  Oh yeah, she also  has a doctorate in Human Medical Genetics and teaches at Colorado Mesa University when she’s not writing novels.  We talked about everything from what she’s currently working on to how Ebola will take over the world.  If you want to pick up a copy of Organ Reapers or connect with Dr. West through social media, you can find links at the bottom of the interview.  Here’s how it went:

Will:  Tell me a little about yourself.  Where are you from?  Family?

Shay:  I’m from Colorado, born and raised. My immediate family is in Colorado, with some being scattered in other states (mostly Oregon).

Will:  You have a new book Organ Reapers that was just released.  How’d the story come about?  Are there actually farmers who grow weird sounding pianos?  Kidding, of course.  But seriously, it sounds like a pretty good idea for a sequel or something.  I think you should consider it.  Without giving too much away, tell me what your story is about.  How is it different from other stories in the same genre?

Shay:  HAHAHA! I love the piano crop idea! I had a dream awhile back and sort of mixed part of it with this idea of people coming from another world to harvest organs: how would the cops even make sense of evidence like that?

Will:  What’s your process like?  Is it the same for every story you write?  Do you have any rituals or habits?  Do you stand on your head eating asparagus until the ideas start flowing?

Shay:  I usually just hangout on the couch and do my thing on the laptop. No weird rituals or sacrifices or anything like that. I’ve tried to write in places like Barnes and Noble, but I get too distracted by all the books

Will:  I read on your website that you have a doctorate in human medical genetics.  I now feel retarded, so thank you for that.  Ok, the question we all want to know, that you’ve probably never been asked, when do you think ebola is going to take over the world?  Because we know it’s going to happen.  Three cases already in the U.S.?  Numbers don’t lie and that’s a pretty convincing population sample.  What’s your estimated timeline for the ebocalypse (I just trademarked that in my mind)?

Shay:  Hmmmm…based on genetic variation and how fast the virus  mutates, and taking into consideration the rate of transmission and population of the world…I’d have to say the year 3422. But honestly? I’d be more worried about the rabid Star Wars fans if the new movie coming out this summer doesn’t live up to the hype…

Will:  Do you primarily write the same genre?  Do you mix things up once in a while?

Shay:  I tend to write the fantastical for sure, whether it be a mix of scifi and fantasy, fantasy geared toward young adults, or throwing some weird stuff into the modern world. I’ve also dabbled in some horror, most of which is on my WattPad account

Will:  What are you currently reading?  Any good recommendations on books you’ve read in say the last year or two?

Shay:  I have Steel Lily (Megan Curd) on my Kindle but alas, haven’t started it yet. I have two new courses I’m teaching in spring and those plus working on my latest paranormal book have taken up all my time. And I have to leave room for binge Netflix watching. And a series of books that I recently read that are phenomenal is The Order of the Sanguines by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell. Absolutely brilliant storytelling and a chilling tale that will haunt you.

Will:  What are you currently working on right now?  New book?  Promoting Organ Reapers?  Taking a break?

Shay:  I’m working on a paranormal book and fleshing out an idea for a sequel to Organ Reapers that I think will be even more dark and chilling. I am excited to see what Eli and Ava think about the latest challenging case I give them.

 Will:  Last question, who inspired you to become a writer?  Was it a teacher?  Friend or relative?  How did they influence your writing?

Shay:  I wrote a lot when I was a kid, mostly writing sequels to books I loved (like the Xanth books by Piers Anthony) because I didn’t want to let the characters go. I did creative writing in high school and had a teacher tell me I should pursue it. But I also had a love of science and a natural knack for teaching that led to my totally awesome “day” job of being a biology professor.

Can’t thank Dr. West enough for taking the time to talk to me.  If you’d like to connect with her I’ve got links below under her bio.  Be sure to help spread the word about Organ Reapers on Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Help get the word out and pay it forward.

Bio:  Shay West was born in Longmont, CO and earned a doctorate degree in Human Medical Genetics from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical. Dr. West currently lives in Grand Junction, CO with her two cats. When not writing novels, she plays with plushie microbes and teaches biology classes at Colorado Mesa University. She is the author of the Portals of Destiny series and the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series. She has also been published in several anthologies: Battlespace (military sci-fi), Orange Karen: Tribute to a Warrior (fundraiser), and Ancient New (steampunk/fantasy).

You can find Dr. West and more of her work at

Organ Reapers Cover (1)

To pick up a copy of the book:

Amazon:  click here

Barnes and Noble:  click here

Itunes:  click here

Contact Shay:

Shay’s Website:  click here

Facebook:  click here

Twitter:  click here

Google+: click here

Goodreads:  click here

  1. drshaywest says:

    Thanks for letting me come by and shoot the breeze 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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