AW Exposed: Sandy Shin

This week, AW member Sandy Shin shares about her writing, her art, and social networking. She’s also a college student like me — college students, unite!

And Sandy has turned this into a doubly-exciting post, because she’s hosting a contest! It’s a two-blog contest: check out her blog for guidelines, then come back here to enter (just comment) to win a character sketch by Sandy herself. Deadline: Feb 1st.

AW Identity:
Screen Name: Sandy Shin
Post Count: 90 (I should stop lurking and start posting more…)
Favorite Forum: Novels and Young Adult
What’s the best lesson AW has taught you? I’ve learned so much through the AW forums, from the craft of writing to the nitty gritty of the publishing process. The most important lesson I got, however, is this: “A writer is someone who writes.” I was one of those writers who sit and wait for inspirations to strike, and who are afraid of writing the terrible first drafts. AW taught me (through millions of post all say the same thing) that the only way to get better as a writer is to write everyday, even when all that come out are rubbish. It’s an invaluable lesson.

About:

In real life, you are… a third year university student majoring in Biology and English who hopes to go to medical/pharmacy school after college.
Book title: NOT FATED
Genre: YA contemporary fantasy
Blog: www.sandyshin.com

Sandy's self-portrait

Summarize your current WIP, NOT FATED, in 50 words or less.

Yuki uses her ability to see the red thread of destiny that connects two soulmates to match-make, through fair means and foul. When her soulmate appears and the threads begin to disintegrate, she must fight to save everybody’s loves, even if it means losing the one boy she cares for.

You’re not just any YA writer: you’re a YA writer who is a young adult. One, how do you balance all that comes with being a young adult, like college and social life, with your writing?

As a world-class procrastinator, I struggle with this. A lot of time, I fail. Miserably. However, there’s one advice I’ve tried to internalized: free times to write don’t present themselves in neat, long blocks — you have to make them, carve them out of time you’d rather spent watching movies, blogging, chatting. It means I don’t socialize much, don’t hang out with friends every night (good thing I’m an introvert!). It’s difficult. I am still a toddler at juggling things — a baby, really. But I hope, one day, to be able to run.

Two: what distinct perspective do you feel that you bring, as a young adult, to the YA genre?

Each teenager is different. My own experience is different from everybody else’s. However, the feelings I felt growing up are shared by many, and it is those feelings that I hope to convey in my writing.

As writers, we have to be social networkers. Rachelle Gardner tweeted this just last week: “It’s crucial to apply your own personal cost/benefit formula to the amount of time you spend online networking.” Speak to the advantages of social networking that you’ve seen as a blogger and twitterer. Any disadvantages?

There are so many advantages to being a blogger and twitterer (and Facebooker, etc.)! As a beginner, blogging and tweeting introduced me to so many wonderful writers that I’d never have met otherwise. Writing can be a lonely and solitary process, and connecting with other writers and learning that I’m not alone give me the energy to keep writing, keep learning. For me, that’s the most important part of social networking. If/when I get published, I do hope to use social networking to promote my books, garner readers, etc. However, that’s a long way off. Right now, blogging and tweeting are just fun to do. 🙂

The huge disadvantage: social networking eats away at your time until you have little time left for anything else. As an Internet-addict, it’s difficult for me to disconnect myself from the web–and blogger and twitter just make it that much more difficult. :<

You’re an artist as well. Are your writing and drawing separate endeavors, or do they mix together? If so, how?

When I was younger, my writing and drawing used to be complementary. The majority of my old sketches are scenes and characters from my stories and novels. However, as I grew older, writing became more important and drawing less. Nowadays, I only doodle whatever strikes my fancy during sleep-inducing lectures.

I don’t sketch character profiles for my WiPs because I can’t commit my characters’ physical attributes to lines. They never look quite right. Personalities are so much easier to create. I do hope that’ll change in the future, though!

Finally, you win a lunch-date with any YA author you want. Who’ll it be?

Oh, that’s difficult. I have so many. If forced, I’d say Megan Whalen Turner, because I love the Attolia series to death and there is so little information about her online. 🙂

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “AW Exposed: Sandy Shin

  1. Love the biology/English contrast, haha! And great thoughts on social networking. It’s so true that it eats up time… you have to make everything count. Great interview gals.

  2. Stephanie

    I love your self-portrait! You are an amazing artist as well as author. And your WIP sounds really interesting, when you get published I will grab it hot off the press 🙂

  3. Very true about free time (and the dark side of social networking). I know I definitely need to work on not procrastinating so much, but it’s nice to know that I’m not the only one. Lovely interview (and lovely drawing)! 🙂

  4. Your self portrait is awesome. I’m so envious of people who can draw, LOL.

    Also, I think your story sounds fantastic. I believe that’s the first time I’ve actually read a short summary of it 🙂

  5. I could really sympathize with Sandy about writing in college; during my first semester, I wrote 20K of a novel and finished it during break. It was rough. You really do have to give up a lot of things. Thanks for being honest, Sandy!

    -Mandy

  6. Great interview, Sandy! And I agree with Dara, your book’s premise sounds great. 🙂

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