# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
Hi! My name is Shannie Alvarez. I am a cardiac nurse and part-time writer. I like writing about spirituality as I believe our true purpose is to identify with our true selves, which is spiritual. I have a philosophical perspective on what the purpose of life is. I see our purpose as revealed through us understanding the complement of what appears to be opposing the other. As I nurse, I specialize in understanding how the physical heart works and as a writer I specialize in understanding how the spiritual heart works. I am a Gentile with a Jewish Heart.
# What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?
In my book, We Are One, I talk about how I came to understand the way I do. We all have a unique journey that is our own unique DNA. We are all interconnected as one collective whole. We are each like a cell that is needed for the health of the entire body. Originally, I did not know why I was writing the book. I just felt to write about my journey that lead me also to understand more about this unique perspective that I have. I was planning to call the book I Am One. It was written with inspiration. Mostly, it tells a story through poetry. Some of my poetry, I did not even really understand the depth of, until now, which is what I continue to talk about in on my blog.
# How do you deal with creative block?
I give myself a break. If I am not inspired then I believe I need inspiration. I meditate as I believe this is a time that I am seeking. I am consciously aware that this is a time to rest and receive. I relax and welcome information from outside of myself.
# What are the biggest mistakes you can make in a book?
For me, I obsess about grammar and spelling. I failed grade 3 because I was told I was behind in reading comprehension, writing, and communication. From then on, English studies was always my worst subject that I had difficulty passing. I never imagined I would become a writer. I am told now that I have a very simplistic, creative way of writing about topics that are not mainstream and are controversial, yet are talked about in a very unique, positive way. You may not really understand the depth of my writing unless you follow me. I am always continuing the story of We Are One. You have to be a person who desires more than the surface answers that typically describe who we are. I promise, though that my writing will enlighten you.
# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
I love my cover. There is a wonderful story about what it means. As I said, I believe we are all interconnected. I believe that cover was made for me, but I found it free on a free photo website. I only changed the colour of the birds, which originally were black. I really had no idea what was involved in writing a book. I had no direction or anyone helping me with understanding how to design it. I suppose my tip would be to spend some time to research a really good publisher who can help you with these things. I can be impulsive. I wrote this book in just a few months with very little direction from anyone and I did not research a good publisher. Instead, I wasted a lot of money with a publisher that created a lot of problems.
# How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?
I am confident in my writing. It took me a bit to get here, though. Even though I have not had any bad reviews, if I had, I would not take them personally. I know my writing is good. Not only is my writing good, it is also inspirational. No one can read my stuff and be offended or not inspired.
# How has your creation process improved over time?
I am more confident now.
# Do you tend towards personal satisfaction or aim to serve your readers? Do you balance the two and how?
I do not cater to anyone except to always respect one another and be kind. I write knowing that no one will say anything bad about what I say but also knowing that what I say contradicts all the ways that we have been thinking about things. All my thoughts line up with Biblical principles. I never have anyone challenge me with an intelligent argument over what I say. I have been told by my family to maybe not talk about the Jewish stuff so much because it is too controversial, but that is what I love. I love bringing a lot of brushed under the rug topics to the light.
# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
Most people do not know the side of me that is in my writing. Around people I am just an average person, who loves silly humour and loves to joke around. But I really open up if you allow me to, but since most don’t, I write about it.