The scoop on Shoop: author and attorneyJan 05, 2023 12:42PM ● By Annabelle Larsen
Shoop sets up for Utah’s annual FanX convention (Kyle Shoop/www.kyleshoop.com)
What is your favorite animal? How long has it been since someone asked you that question? Furthermore, how many of us know our favorite animal when asked? For many of us, this is a question that faded with time as we aged, something we were once very curious about but we grew older and lost touch with such questions, but for author and Herriman resident Kyle Shoop, this is one of his favorite questions he likes to ask people he meets.
Kyle Shoop has two self-published series that, after asking him about his writings, of which he is clearly very passionate. He is the author of the “Acea Bishop Trilogy,” an action-packed fantasy series containing elements of the animal kingdom. He is also the author of the “Senses of Love” series, several romance books that provide readers with sweet, emotional and inspiring stories to cuddle up with.
Q: Is your latest book, “A Touch of Love” released yet?
A: “Senses of Love” are based on the five human senses. “Touch of Love” released April 26, 2022 and is the final installment of the “Senses of Love” series.
“It's been a huge relief personally. You never know when you put your art into the public, and it's open for all types of responses, this was one that, resoundingly, the response has been positive, which is great because I love that story. It's about two separate love stories that are intertwined. One takes place in Poland during WWII: a man falls in love with a woman and they try to survive WWII. And then there's the second story that is modern day and a woman is going through a separation and in doing so she uncovers this mysterious photo of her grandfather, and she goes on a journey across the US where she tries to discover her grandfather's 'mysterious task' and eventually the story intertwines with one another, and I just loved writing about these characters and this story."
Q: What can you tell us about the “Acea Bishop Trilogy?”
A: Readers that like the “Percy Jackson” and “Harry Potter” series would like “Acea.” "Acea wakes up in the beginning of the first book and finds that he's been transported to this ancient magical kingdom overrun by wild animals. He traverses this kingdom to find his way home and he discovers there's a very specific reason why he ended up in this magical realm, and in his journey home it leads him to discover that he might have a wizard lineage and gets embroiled in a war against an evil sorcerer named Vesuvius. Each book has a setting based on real facts, right, with the first one is based on different animals, and everybody has a favorite animal or one that they are terrified of, no matter how old you are.
“So each book in that series has a setting based on real life facts. But there's a story that's interwoven through it. Even now, for the end of the second book I still get emails from readers saying, ‘I can't believe that happened, that's so crazy!” And that is my favorite reaction.”
While looking into Shoop’s writing career it’s plain to see that he has great reviews on the popular book social-media website, Goodreads. When asked about his high ratings on the website, he replies,
"I have no control of that, good or bad. I've always felt very lucky that it actually propels me to write. I write for myself more than anything, but I'm human so if I see a nice review that makes me feel extra pep to write that day.”
Q: How do you deal with the praise/criticism of your books, and how do you deal with that balance?
A: “So obviously I love praise, like anybody else does, but I'm probably my biggest critic. As I see it, the critiques, I don't let it steer me. My No. 1 rule for writing, for every book I've ever written, is that I write for myself. If I can't surprise myself, or if I can't emotionally move myself, if I can't create that emotion in myself how can I expect someone I've never met to get that emotion. So that helps me deal with praise and criticism. If I see a negative review, I say ‘that's OK, that's their opinion and they are entitled to it, but I still enjoyed what I wrote.’ I didn't write for other people, I wrote for myself.
“You can definitely write ‘for-market,’ but this takes so much time of my life that I want to write what interests me, what appeals to me, and I don't mind if I make a buck or not. I've been fortunate that people have liked my stories, but it starts, number one, with writing for myself.”
Q: Shoop also balances his writing job with his full-time career of being a practicing attorney. How do you balance writing with your work?
A: “It's a really good balance. It's my Ying to my Yang. If I didn't have a stressful day job, I wouldn't want that escape into fiction. People ask if I write with the ambition of being a fulltime author someday and I say, ‘well I already am it takes so much time.’
“Some people say to me, ‘OK you're a guy and you write love stories,’ if you want to call it love stories or romance or whatever, some people call it inspirational or clean romance, ‘how do you do that? It's kinda unusual for a guy.’
“I tell people how I got to write the first book in that series. So the first book in that series is called “The Sound of Love.” It's about a woman who is a professional in marketing. One day something catches her eye. She's in Portland and she notices a homeless man, but there is a child with him. And she stops to help out by giving him a coat. She then learns she has a personal connection with the homeless man. She then continues to help him out even more and comes to find out his backstory, and how he got there. A romance brews between them. He's a musician as well, such is the title. So it's a beautiful story about two different worlds, where she's a business woman, and he's a musician that's fallen on hard times with his son.
“This began when I was out in Portland for work. It was a cold night, and I was walking back to my hotel and exactly that happened, I noticed a homeless man and I noticed a child with him. And that child, he looked about the age of my son at that time. I stopped and talked to the homeless man for a while, I tried to help out a little bit too, but the man said something to me that always stuck with me, and it took another year to resurface and become that story. So I asked him, ‘Do you live out here? Do you live on the street corner?’
“And he looks me in the eye as he's holding his young son and says, ‘I try not to.’ And that just stuck out to me, and I thought what was his path to end up on that street corner versus what was my path, of where I was here for work. This grew into a fictional story that the book was based off of, and this interaction is at the center of the whole “Senses of Love” series, which is love. It doesn't need to be romantic love, there's all different kinds of love shown through all of the five books of the series. A large point of the series is to get people inspired by love instead of embarrassed by it, or it's something you achieve, and that it remains a part of your daily life.”
For the first book of the “Senses of Love” series, “The Sound of Love,” Shoop has made his own music to accompany the novel, which can be found on his website, www.Kyle Shoop.com, and on YouTube and Spotify, so instead of just reading the lyrics readers can listen to the music as the author has recorded them and envisioned for his novel.
“I had written songs within the last 10 years that went perfectly with the story I was trying to tell, and so I went back and found those old recordings, and changed some of the lyrics or re-recorded parts of it to fit the story better. So that took a lot of time.”
Throughout the interview with Shoop, it became clear that he is a modern-day renaissance man. This of course led to the next question for Shoop.
Q: What's next for you?
A: “I definitely plan to write. I've started a couple different books but I'm not sure; I'm to the point where I can’t say what the next book is gonna be. I have a couple ideas though.
“My last book, “A Touch of Love” is a beautiful book, but it is by far my biggest book, and it took it out of me. But I'll be back writing in January, but I'm not quite ready to say what my next book is going to be. I have an idea for a high fantasy, and another idea for a love story.”
Readers and fans of Shoop’s work can keep an eye out. There are still more stories to be told and adventures to be had.
Shoop continues, “I wrote those five books in the “Senses of Love” series in two and a half years. My shortest was 59 days. That one was a stroke of lightning, honestly. It's like I was meant to write that book. I reread it last month and still felt this emotional pull to it.”
Q: What words of advice do you have for other people that want to start writing but don't know how?
A: “I tend to meet a lot of people that tend to want to write a book and they have great ideas but it's just getting that first sentence or first page done is the hardest, it seems like.
A couple things: just start. Your first page is probably not gonna be the best the first time you do it. But it's like any hobby, if you want to get good at running you take that first step. If you want to get good at writing don't overthink it, just start to write. You'll find your own voice as you do it more. But the main thing is to write for yourself. Don't write for others, write to impress yourself, because if you can impress yourself that is needed to impress others.
“I have to tell you though, the most rewarding aspect of writing has been reading my “Acea Trilogy” to my kids. It is the coolest thing to have kids engrossed in something.
So write for yourself. If it's good others will see that too.”
Lastly, Shoop expressed his love and appreciation for his readers.
“I love hearing from readers. I love when people reach out to me and have readers email me telling me their favorite animal in the first “Acea” book and which of the “Senses of Love” was their favorite. I love hearing from my readers.”
For fans of Shoop, or those wanting to find a good read, especially for these upcoming winter months, you can find more information about Kyle Shoop and his books from www.KyleShoop.com, and on Goodreads.