He released his first self-published novel The Ballad of Corey Robichaux in 2010, then followed it with Lord of Redemption. Both are fiction novels that are set in the southeast region of Louisiana. (Amazon.com)
SH: Ballad came about while I was working on what would eventually become my second book, Lord of Redemption. I had reached a lull in Lord's story when the seed for Ballad's appeared. I went with the inspiration and didn't stop until Ballad was complete. If this hadn't happened, I don't believe that the idea to tie my books together would have occurred to me, so whatever muse tossed Ballad's idea into my mind must have had a plan.
BBB: Tell us about your main character Corey Robichaux?
SH: Corey is an amalgam of myself and many people I knew during my teenage years. As such, he contains traits with which teenage boys from almost anywhere can identify. He's into music and video games, but too quiet and unsure of himself to be a ladies' man. He's self-conscious about his weight and his appearance, causing him to be a fastidious "neat freak."
His best friend Matt Pierce embodies the things that Corey might want to say but doesn't have the personality to do so. Performing well in school and pleasing his parents are parts of his personality that illustrate the good in Corey. Lust and anger, which Corey considers the bad parts of his personality are, like most teenage boys, either blown out of proportion or imagined, and he must come to terms with understanding and controlling these natural urges.
Simply put, Corey Robichaux is a mirror that a boy can look into and recognize some part of himself, a reflection of teenage boys everywhere.
SH: I think the ending is what will stick with most readers. From the feedback I've received, it's a rather surprising conclusion that ties up some loose ends but leaves some dangling.
The character of Mikey Steel seems to be a polarizing figure upon those who have read Lord. Female readers tend to like Mikey very much, while the male readers find him to be a "momma's boy" or a "goodie two-shoes." In that way, Mikey differs from Ballad's Corey Robichaux in that Corey is more easily identified with than Mikey. Mikey was created as a hero and apparently remains so in Lord.
BBB: Are you currently working on another book?
SH: Yes, I'm working on my third book which is centered around another minor character from Ballad, Jake LaMonica. As the story stands so far, Jake is more of an anti-hero as the protagonist, definitely not the paragon that Mikey Steel was. It is a darker story than my previous books, so I'm excited to see if there is light at the end.
SH: Lunaregnum Press was born out of my own fears and uncertainty about what to do with a finished manuscript. I was fortunate to have the guidance of some good people, but I also met with some who wanted to use my fears for their profit. Thankfully, the guidance of the good led me to examine each step in the publishing and self-publishing processes, and I discovered that the only true fear was of the unknown. Once I had found out what it took to get my book published, I knew that I could accomplish it all myself, except the printing of hard copies.
Lunaregnum Press exists for the purpose of helping those who are intimidated or unsure of self-publishing. By no means am I discouraging anyone who wants to try having their work published by traditional means, but self-publishing is a viable and cost-efficient alternative. Odds are you won't become rich by self-publishing, but there are those of us who write for the pleasure of sharing our stories with others, not for money.
BBB: Can you offer advice to authors who are seeking to have their work published?
SH: For those authors seeking traditional publishing, I advise patience and a tough skin. Become a master at query letters and remember that a rejection is the status quo. I'm not saying don't try it, but prepare yourself for the worst and hope for the best.
For any author, I'll share the best piece of advice I ever received about writing -- finish the story. There are millions if not billions of people out there who have an idea for a story, and may have written some of it, but until that story is completely written, you don't have anything that you can take to a proofreader, agent, or publisher.
BBB: I'd like to express my thanks to Shane Hebert for taking the time to answer my questions and talk with us about his books and publishing company.
You can find out more about Shane Hebert and Lunaregnum Press by visiting www.lunaregnumpress.com