Author interview: T.L. Shively

Author interview: T.L. SHIVELY

Tell us something about your book.

I have four books published in my Sanctuary Guardian Series, this series is about seven teenagers who discover powers and a destiny as the Guardians of Sanctuary to protect the world and all the magic from the Shadow Master. The Shadow Master wants to drain all magic in the world till it is as dark as he is, the Guardians need to master their powers and learn to work the crystal Crims so that they can defeat the Shadow Master and his creature, the Magine. They meet many different magical beings and have many adventures along the way, more than what any average teenager goes through.

Who is the ideal reader for your book?

Anyone who loves fantasy, magic and twists that they never see coming. My readers have been as young as 9 and, well, I won’t reveal the age of the oldest one but I will say that there is no age limit for fantasy.

Share the best critique/review of your book.

This review was from the first book in the series, The Secret Sanctuary and I love this review, it helped me to write my books better.

This was a good story. A couple of things bothered me, such as teenagers almost never using contractions when speaking to each other. No big deal, but I tend to get picky about stuff like that. A few punctuation and grammatical errors, but nothing serious, I’m almost expecting that, as I read a lot of self-published works.
On to the story… slow start, to be expected so you can learn who is who and get some background on the characters. As things progress, so does the pace, turning this into an interesting premise. The Guardians learning their abilities and how to use them is very well done. The other inhabitants of Sanctuary are varied and fun to meet.

All in all, I enjoyed this book, and am looking forward to the rest of the books.

What inspired you to write it?

I have always had stories in my head, one day I was talking with some friends I used to work with about authors and books. When I told them how I used to write stories when I was younger and always had stories in my head, they said, so why don’t you write a book. I told them no one would want to read it. I was informed not if you don’t write it they won’t. So, I sat down and started my ten year quest to write my first book.

What message would you like readers to take away from your book?

What I would want some to take away from my books is teamwork, friendship, and to never judge a book by its cover.

Share an excerpt from The Secret Sanctuary

Chance stepped away from the table as I.Q. walked up. The first crystal Crim that he grabbed lit up with electricity that flowed through the crystal as it grew from both ends then curved until it resembled a bow, a very elegant looking one at that. As they watched, they could see a thin line of electricity stream from one end of the crystal to the other end until they could see the drawstring of the bow.

“All I am missing is arrows,” I.Q. said, and he pulled the drawstring back as if to imitate firing off an arrow. When he let go, you could see the electrical bolt that flew from the bow into the wall right next to Cole’s head. Cole jumped higher than he had during any of Raphael’s exercises, and they stared at the scorch mark there in the wall that could have been Cole’s head. For several minutes, they stared unable to speak.

I.Q. looked at Cole and stuttered, “S-s-sorry, Cole. I’m so sorry.” His face was as pale as the white walls that surrounded the room.

Cole stared at him for another second before gasping out, “Dude! That was awesome!” He was grinning from ear-to-ear while I.Q. looked as if he was going to puke. “Man, why couldn’t I get a bow?”

He looked back at the scorch mark that could have been his head and laughed. The others started to laugh with him. Leave it to Cole to be more impressed with the bow than the fact that he almost bit the dust. I.Q. was shaken after this experience, and they watched as his bow went back to its original shape. He sat down on the nearest chair and watched as Tia walked up to the table next.

Did you dare to believe that your book will be published when you started writing?

I had lots of hope but knew it was a long shot, but if you don’t try then you definitely won’t succeed.

How many times were you rejected?

I was rejected over a dozen times.

Was the process of looking for an agent/publisher discouraging?

It was daunting but when I found a publisher, that experience was worse than looking for one. The publisher who published my first book was new and soon discovered that it was too much for her. She wouldn’t answer emails or messages and to this day I still don’t know exactly how much money I made, but I did meet many other authors who helped me with self publishing and I am very happy with it.

How long did you write the first draft? And how long did the editing and re-editing take?

It took me a full ten years before the first draft was finally done and with the the publisher the editing and re-editing took a couple of weeks. When I decided to self-publish, I hired a professional editor and that one took about a week or so to polish up the story.

Can you share your writing rituals/habits/process?

I don’t have any rituals/habits or any real type of process. I write when the inspiration hits and that is usually when I am not in a position to write so I end up taking a lot of notes so that when I sit down in front of my computer I can put my notes into my book. I do like to listen to Disney music on you tube when I write.

Who was your first literary crush?

I really can’t remember although I know I always fell in love with the bad boys in the stories.

Did you imagine yourself as an author in your teens?

I liked to read and write but never thought it would become a reality.

What was the first book that made you fall in love with reading?

The first book I can ever remember reading is the Sesame Street book, Monster at the end of this book.

Did a book ever make you cry?

Too many to name just one.

Which literary character did you want to take to bed as a teen?

I truly can’t remember, too long ago.

Do you sing under the shower?

I have never sung in the shower although I do get some of my best story ideas there.

Or to your plants?

My thumb isn’t green more like very pale white, not a good look on plants.

Do you like to cook?

I cook so that me and the family don’t starve.

Do you have a pet?

We have a dog that we rescued, he is a blanket dog and has to sleep under blankets.

What is the most romantic thing you ever did?

I am not the most romantic but am lucky to have a husband who is.

What is the most romantic thing someone did for you?

My husband had a friend’s daughter (who is like a daughter to us) come and serenade me at work for our anniversary, she sang the song Lava. Had me in tears and was so sweet.

Do you believe in love?

Every day! I am happily married with three boys and I experience love daily.

You can connect with the author here:


Reader’s group:




Author Amazon:

The Secret Sanctuary –

The Town That Time Forgot:

The Independence Mine Disaster –

The Battle of Sleeping Lady –

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: