We had the good fortune of connecting with Tabatha Shipley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tabatha, what role has risk played in your life or career?
My entire writing career started with a big risk. I walked away from a full time career with a big salary and benefits to take a risk on my own dream of publishing books. I didn’t have any proof that people would buy my books. I didn’t know if any of this would work out. But I took the risk. I have been in places in my life when risks have failed, I’m sure we all have. I think every time we approach a new risk, we remember all the failures. That makes each new risk harder than the one that came before it. Sometimes, the temptation to walk away can be strong. How do we know? How do we know if this one will be an epic failure? For me, it comes down to regret. Will I regret never going for this risk? If I look back on this moment in three years, will I regret knowing that I never tried? When it came down to my writing career, I couldn’t handle the idea that time would pass and no one would have had the chance to read the books. I couldn’t guarantee anyone would buy it, but I knew they couldn’t if I didn’t take this opportunity. Risks are dangerous by definition, but sometimes it’s worth the jump.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started out my writing journey with a single book that I knew would be the start of a 5-book series. It was a risk to start with that particular book, but I just couldn’t resist telling this story. Since then, I’ve published the first 3 in the series and seen an increase in sales with each one. I have also published two additional stand alone stories. All of that has happened whirlwind fast, 5 books in 3 years! As with anything, there have been challenges and 2020 through us all for a loop. Like a lot of authors, I’ve really seen a decline in sales since we can’t do in-person events anymore. But putting together ebook and audiobook sales packages has help keep me going. I have learned that book reviews are always needed, indie authors are amazing at the way they interact with their readers, and books are my happy place! My brand will ALWAYS be about falling in love with books and screaming about them with other readers. Sometimes they’re my books and sometimes they’re not, and that’s perfectly fine.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, assuming we’re far enough into the future that we can actually visit things again, I’d probably take a friend on a lot of the places that are completely common for us. AZ Ice to do a little ice skating, Arizona Broadway Theater company to see a show, and eat at the Dulce Vino Wine Bar. Then we’d have to take a trip up North. Montezuma Castle is always a great day trip! Lastly, I’m sure we’d have to spend some time in Flagstaff because it’s my absolute favorite place. We’d drive down Historic Route 66, eat at Bun Huggers, and just enjoy the fresh air and the trees. The funny part is any of my family and friends who have visited me can completely attest to truth of this itinerary because it really is what we do!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shoutout to my amazing husband and family who always support my insane ideas and buy my books, to my writing group, who tells me when I accidentally reuse names or if my ideas make no sense, to R Bookmark in Youngtown, Arizona for always stocking my books, and to all the amazing writers who have taken a chance on sending their books to me when my reviewing was just getting started.