S. Shane Thomas is a special kind of geek. When he’s not writing about archaeological fantasy, he’s out on the town swinging maces and honing his Pokemon Go skills. If that weren’t enough cred, he is a voracious consumer of indie authors (books, not people) and also runs a popular website that reviews and promotes them. He even created a book club video series where he interviews said authors, often with hilarious results. He’s quite the cheerleader in the indie world, so I am thrilled to return the love with some quirky insights.
If you could live as one of your characters for a day, which one would it be?
Well, aside from the fictitious hijinks he gets into in Rob Rogers Fights a Unicorn and Rob Rogers Finds Hollow Earth, Rob and I have a ton of stuff in common. Same job, same Pokemon Go obsession, same family situation, and same conspiracy theory blog (I’m his cohost, there are videos to prove it). Since I’m already me, and it would be fun to have a few cool magical abilities, I’d choose to be his buddy Shen for the day.
What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
Our hero takes you on a tour of the Northeast United States, revealing the local fare, hot spots, and tunnels to Hollow Earth. Rob starts off with a malaise for pop-culture, politics, and materialism and discovers that his escape into conspiracy theories that he learns are true might be just the fix humanity is overdue for.
What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
Pay first, life lesson to follow. Kind of kidding… Express yourself. Get away from group think. It’s okay to be weird. It’s even more okay to accept what is weird about your fellow humans, subhumans, reptilians, hominins long thought to be extinct, and people of all types.
What do you do in your free time?
I geek out more than I write. My day job actually affords me time to listen to ebooks via text to speech apps and audiobooks. I listen to about fifty books a year. Then I build them into the fanboy shrine known as ScienceFantasyHub.com.
I also play Pokemon Go a lot. A lot.
Because that’s not geeky enough I work out with steel maces. It’s much more fun than weightlifting. It reminds me of my martial arts years. Plus, I like to imagine that I’m practicing braining a trolloc next to Perrin in Wheel of Time.
Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
I’m for-gainst this question. Yes, we have spirits that need a creative outlet. No, I’m not going to L Ron Hubbard my fiction into Scientology. To me, it seems that I broaden my spirituality by exploring my subconscious through the creation of stories.
I’m also fond of this question because I begin all my writing sessions with Wim Hof Method breathing exercises and a mindfulness meditation. It puts me in a really good creative place and after practicing consistently for three years, I feel I’ve developed more mental stability and have become happier.
What projects are you working on at the present?
I recently finished Rob Rogers Finds Hollow Earth, so I’ve decided to complete my serial, Shugarra Corps, a space fantasy that reads like Dragon Ball and Star Trek’s love child. I’m currently drafting the sixth of eight miniseries. Each miniseries has six chapters and runs in the Science Fantasy Hub newsletter, then is available on Amazon. When all eight are complete, it will be bundled into a novel. Shugarra Corps is a sequel to the novel Monkeyboy.
I also write a metafiction about myself as an indie author and book promoter. In the story I experience delusional episodes into my favorite bestselling books and pop-culture phenomenon. It’s called Parodia and I’ve just finished my fourth installment. You can read them in the Science Fantasy Hub’s comedy section called Land of LOL.
What does the word ‘retirement’ mean to you? Do writers ever retire?
Retirement to me would mean being able to write closer to forty hours in a week. Writing is part of my wellness regiment. It’s cool when the royalty check comes in, but I do it for me, so retiring would certainly not involve curtailing my efforts.
Is it easier to write in a particular genre?
If I enjoy the story I’m telling it’s easy peasy. I actually prefer to write in the periphery of established genres. I’m all for people enjoying the mainstream stuff so much that they create unofficial sequels and they are quick to tell you about tropes for the genre, staple plot threads, etc. I’m not interested in revisiting something someone else already nailed.
There is magic in my science fiction story. There is a lot of archaeology about hominins and stone age technology in my high fantasy story. There are reptilians and shape shifting unicorn hicks in my urban fantasy story. As long as I feel I’m adding something unique to a genre, I’m having a good time and having fun always comes easy.
Around the house – bare feet, flip flops, clogs, fuzzy socks or slippers?
Last year I had prescription shoe insoles made. It really helped me take my wandering around the Northeast playing Pokemon Go habit to the next level. As a crazy side consequence, I now wear some comfy house shoes with socks and my special shoe insoles.
Do you listen to audiobooks? If so, are there any you’d recommend?
Oh… where to start? Our favorite rocket scientist and fellow Scifi Knight has one called Ideal Insurgent that is a heap of fun. Jake Bible has a bunch of giant battle mech scifi out that I enjoyed. I listened to the first two Stormlight Archives books by the legendary Brandon Sanderson, then went back and bought all the hardbacks when Oathbringer came out. I listened to most of the late Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time on audiobook. Here’s one for the kiddies, Julie Elizabeth Powell’s Avalon trilogy is fun. The Jonathan Shade books by Gary Jonas are really cool. I LOVED Xodus by K.J.McPike! Rob Dirks’ novels Wrong Unit and Where the Hell is Tesla are almost as funny as the Max and the Multiverse series. Right now, I’m listening to Steven Erickson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen numbers two and three. My reviews for all of these are at the Science Fantasy Hub.
Learn more at ScienceFantasyHub.com