Welcome, today we are talking with Kyle Shoop! I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to answer a few questions. First, let’s delve into who you are. Some of the questions may be untraditional but you’d be surprised at what readers connect to, and sometimes the simplest ‘I can relate to that’ grabs their interest where nothing else can.
Can you share a little something about Kyle Shoop that’s not mentioned in your bio on your website?
I’m also an attorney.
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
I never really set out to be a writer. I just had a strong urge to get the stories in my head out on paper before they drove me crazy! But looking back, I think the signs there early. I remember shocking everyone – teachers included – in high school when I won a state-wide writing contest for all high schoolers. Now, being a writer is a byproduct of what I really want to be – a storyteller.
How long have you been writing?
Even though I won that state-wide writing contest in high school, I didn’t actually begin to try to write a novel until years later after I finished law school. That was about ten years ago.
What have you found most challenging about it?
When I finish writing a draft of a novel. While writing, it’s like I get to create the world and characters. I love the idea of the endless possibilities, and spending time with my new (imaginary) friends. But when I’m done writing it, it’s all over. I don’t get that anymore. It’s like saying goodbye to a friend. I suppose you’d say I enjoy the ride more than the final product.
What does writing do for you? Is it fun, cathartic, do you get emotional?
I absolutely get emotional. While writing, I try to push myself emotionally – if I can’t get emotional from my stories, or find enjoyment from them, then I wouldn’t expect anyone else to. It’s not necessarily cathartic because – with the exception of one novel, The Sigh of Love, I try not to make them autobiographical.
Describe what your writing routine looks like. Are you disciplined with a strict schedule or do you have to be in the mood?
I have to be in a certain mood, but I’ve learned tricks to get me in that mood. It used to be that I wouldn’t write for weeks if I wasn’t where I wanted to be emotionally. But that’s all changed. Now, I try to write for at least thirty minutes a day. I’ll listen to specific songs to get me emotionally for where I need to be. So, I’ve grown to become much more disciplined.
Did you go into writing thinking that it would be a hobby or a job?
I went into it just wanting to get a story in my head out on paper. I still treat the actual writing as that – I have to write for myself first and foremost. But everything else involved with writing I treat more like a job, though the writing aspect still is a hobby in my mind to entertain myself.
What inspires you?
Ideas and experiences. For example, the experience that kick-started my recent novel The Sound of Love was my run-in with a homeless child and his father. It moved me, though it was just brief. That was the first chapter of the novel, and it permeated my mind. I eventually asked – what could their backstories have been which led them to being homeless on that corner? That led to the rest of the story coming into fruition.
Let’s move on and give readers some insight into your personal life. What is your favorite:
- Animal – Lion (see the cover of my novel Acea and the Animal Kingdom)
- Food – Papa Murphy’s Chicago-stuffed pizza!
- Movie – Hmm… tough one. Even though huge spectacles like The Lord of the Rings are always up there for me, I love hidden gems like Midnight in Paris. Good stories with a purpose always do it for me, and I’ll admit to still loving The Notebook!
- TV show – I’ve always, always loved Lost.
- Singer – Recently, I’ve been really into Sara Bareilles. Her song “She Used To Be Mine” actually was a main inspiration for my new novel A Taste of Love. But there are many others – Chris Carrabba, Bryce Avary, and James Hetfield. A diverse range!
- Author – Too many to name. I love meeting “indie” authors at events, they’re all very supportive of each other. It’s been very encouraging.
What are your pet peeves?
Life’s too short to have a laundry list! But I’m left handed, so we’ll go with all the ink left-handers get on their hand from writing.
Who is your hero?
Give us one thing on your bucket list.
Finishing my Senses of Love series is foremost on my to-do list right now. I have 4 of 5 books finished. The first two books (The Sound of Love and The Sight of Love) are out right now, and the third (A Taste of Love) will be out September 23d! The fourth will be released this holiday season.
What would readers find surprising about you?
So, my book The Sound of Love has a character who is a singer-songwriter. He writes music for another character. The lyrics are in the book. But what readers might find surprising is that I actually wrote and recorded those songs all myself. So, readers can click on the links in the ebook and actually hear the playlist, which I also wrote/recorded. I think that’s pretty unique and surprising … for a book.
If you could go to heaven, who would you visit?
Any bad habits?
Too many too list. Just ask my wife or kids!
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
Again, my wife and kids would be the ones to ask, and at this point, I’m intentionally keeping them away from this interview!
Now that our readers know who Kyle Shoop is let’s get down to the business of your book, The Sound of Love, book 1 in your Senses of Love Series. How long did it take you from beginning to end before your novel was completely finished, and how did you decide on the topic and title?
So, timing is tough because I often start a book while writing another and then shelve it until I’m done with the one I’m actually focused on. But once I turned my attention to Sound, it took about 6 months. The topic came to me from a brief run-in I had with a homeless boy and his father while I was travelling in Portland. I settled on the title once I saw the progress I was making on my next book – The Sight of Love. I realized there was a theme – separate love stories built around the five senses. My third book in the series is A Taste of Love, which comes out Sept. 23rd!
Please tell us a little bit about, The Sound of Love.
The book tells the story of Charlotte and John many years after they’d been ripped apart from each other in an orphanage. They grew up only having each other to try and survive a horrid childhood in the orphanage. Years later, Charlotte is an accomplished woman who spots a homeless man and child. Compelled to stop and help, she is surprised to find it’s her childhood best friend. As she tries to help them both recover from their days on the street, Charlotte harnesses John’s talent for writing music. But Would the reunited friends discover that John’s rekindled love for music also rekindle their long-awaited, and much desired, love?
What was your hardest challenge writing this book?
I would get emotionally tied to the characters and what they went through. That meant experiencing the highs and lows. That was a tough thing.
What kind of research did you have to do?
I didn’t have to research much for this one, but instead I had to do something much harder – record the soundtrack. That was just as difficult as writing the book. I had written most of the songs years and years ago, but the lyrics needed some subtle changing to fit the story better. So, I had to dig up my old recordings. It just took so much time. But, it turned out seamless and the fact that readers can actually listen to songs one of my characters wrote is something that was worth the effort!
What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters?
Their history. They grew up orphans in an orphanage who built a bond because they had no one else to rely on besides each other. Then, they were suddenly ripped apart. So, to find each other years later helped their bond be even stronger.
I understand The Sound of Love has a free music soundtrack that you also wrote, performed and recorded. Very cool! Tell readers more about that.
Yeah, so I did write and record an entire soundtrack to accompany the songs which John writes in the story. This way, readers can actually hear the songs instead of just read the lyrics. The songs are all free to listen to – just click the links in the ebook and they take you to Spotify, Youtube, etc. My favorite is a song toward the end entitled “For You, My Dear,” which was actually the song I wrote for my wife for our wedding.
What’s next in the Senses of Love Series, and how many books do you plan to write?
It’ll be five books – one for each of the five senses. They are standalone books that can be read in any order.
I’ve actually recently release book two The Sight of Love! It’s such a beautiful love story told over the life of a painter, Ethan, thru moments of beauty and tragedy after meeting the love of his life, Rose. It’s out now.
Also, book three A Taste of Love is now available for pre-order and is out on September 23rd! It’s a fun, hilarious, and compelling love story about a chef named Nikki who’s searching for love in the big city. When she’s about to give up, her search for love backfires.
Any other works in progress?
Yep, I just finished the fourth book in this series, which will be An Aroma of Love and will be available this holiday season. But I’m in the middle of edits, so that’s a work in progress. I’m also currently writing the fifth of this series.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Just keep writing. Every day.
Thanks and I hope folks enjoy my series!