Ask the Author: B.A. Shields

What would you like readers to know about you? 

I was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, moved to Northern Michigan in 1995, where I live with my wife and six children. I am a Jack of all trades, I am a leathersmith and owner of a fine leather company, I also own and operate a mall in my town, I own and run a Literary Café inside that mall, and I am a full-time pastor. I author novels in my spare time. I have just finished the fourth novel in the Pandemic Dawn Series which was released July 1st, 2019, and I am currently outlining and writing the story arcs for five other books.   


What is your book about for those who haven’t read it? 

Essentially it is about having hope in a hopeless world. Pandemic Dawn takes place in the near future where a virus outbreak and collapse of our society has separated the protagonist from his only son. During his search through the gang-infested suburbs, he comes in contact with a group of slaves and struggles with various moral dilemmas while trying to stay focused on finding his son. The Pandemic Dawn Novel Series began in 2010, and I would consider it a mix of The Walking Dead, World War Z and I Am Legend with the books focusing on the characters and their relationships in a fallen world. 


What has been your inspiration for writing it? 

The apocalypse, whether natural or manmade or even filled with zombies, is an allegory for any situation that destroys societies moral compass, law, order and anything else we consider “normal life”. There are those who will reveal their true nature in these times, a character they hide, maybe because it’s not needed, or perhaps unacceptable in a civilized culture, however, it comes alive during these times where there is no higher authority in the minds of a society. Some of these natures which are revealed through tragedy are heroes, fighting to continue doing the right thing regardless of their surroundings, some are lost, helpless victims of whatever happens, and some are complete degenerates who secretly longed for the fall of mankind’s to live out their dark nature in the open. Pandemic Dawn paints a picture of all of these and their relationships with the world and each other. 


What was your favorite scene or part of your book to write? 

In all four of the novels, I love when the choices must be made.  The situation is not in your control, your options are limited, and you have to make a choice, and most times someone’s life depends on the right choice, and occasionally, someone will lose no matter the decision you make. 


What books or authors inspired you to become a writer? 

Stephen King, Jack London, L. Ron Hubbard, George Orwell, H. G. Wells, not in this order. 


What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book? 

Write about what you love. Every character in your book is someone you know in some way, keeping this in mind your characters will seem alive to the readers. The secret to great characters is developing their backstories fully, even if you never mention 90%, it is what makes your character who they are, and decides how they behave, act and interact with other characters.  Get to know them before you write about them. 

Also, continue to write your stories, even if you never sell one. It develops your skill, and you never know when you may finally be discovered!  Look at the great artists of the 19thand 20th century, some of them couldn’t trade a painting for a pint of ale, and those very same paintings sell for millions now. We do not all get discovered in our prime, so leave a great legacy and a huge library. 


Where my books can be purchased  (For signed copies) 


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