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Advice from IR Approved Author Shaun Barrowes: “Don’t write for them, write for yourself.”

The Paradise Planets: The Fallen from Paradise received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Shaun Barrowes.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

The Paradise Planets: The Fallen from Paradise, published on December 6th, 2022

What’s the book’s first line?

Even when fleeing for our lives, Ama’s as calm as stillwater, Kassiana Rivernova chuckled.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.   

A privileged teen from a “gated” planet is kidnapped by rebels and forced to slum it on a flooded Earth, where her only chance at escape is turning a lowly group of athletes into world champions.  It’s Wizard of Oz meets Ready Player One, both dystopian and utopian with a strong female lead.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

The main character is based on my wife, so she definitely contributed to the inspiration behind the book.  On top of that, there was a flight home from Louisiana that inspired me to tackle this idea head-on.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

When a hero of a story is born the strongest, the smartest, the most talented, or is gifted the greatest power, it’s not inspiring to me.  I want a story about an average person who overcomes the odds and grows into the role of a hero.  People should read this and be inspired by a character who is relatable, and who only becomes a hero because she has the will and determination to make it happen.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character?  Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of? 

She’s an aristocrat of immense privilege who also feels a tremendous amount of compassion and loyalty.  She’s based on my wife, so by nature, she reminds me of my wife.  Outside of that, she sometimes reminds me of Katniss, and other times reminds me of a female version of Thor.

When did you first decide to become an author? 

Four years back when I had the initial idea for this novel.

Is this the first book you’ve written? 


What do you do for work when you’re not writing? 

I’m a film score composer, singer and music producer

How much time do you generally spend on your writing? 

As much as I can, but at least an hour or two a day.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie? 

Since audio is such a big deal to me, I really wanted the freedom to create the Audiobook as a full-cast, graphic audiobook, and I wanted a full say on casting.  As a self-published author, I have the freedom to do that.  The downside to being an indie author is not having the full team behind me to launch the book to a bigger audience.

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors? 

Don’t write for them, write for yourself.  Write the story you would love to read.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why? 

Maybe.  That all depends on the deal they’re offering.  I’d be open to a publisher if it meant reaching a broader audience and didn’t sacrifice too much of my creative control.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

I’d love to bring together a community of people with my writing.  I’d love to see fan groups, book clubs, etc. become friends through their love of my stories.  The idea of bringing people together in this time of division and chaos is what drives me.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?


Which book do you wish you could have written?

Lord of the Rings.

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