Friday, June 19, 2015

Conversation 34: Dr. Shay West

Greetings everyone! Please help me welcome to the blog today author and university professor Dr. Shay West.

First, a little bit about today’s guest…

ShayWest was born in Longmont, CO and earned a doctorate degree in Human Medical Genetics from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical. Dr. West currently lives in Grand Junction, CO with her two cats. When not writing novels, she plays with plushie microbes and teaches biology classes at Colorado Mesa University. She is the author of the Portals of Destiny series, the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series, and Organ Reapers. She has also been published in several anthologies: Battlespace (military scifi), Orange Karen: Tribute to a Warrior (fund raiser), Ancient New (steampunk/fantasy), and Horror in Bloom.


Q1: In addition to being a writer, you have a pretty interesting, amazing day job. Would you tell us a little about that please?

SW: I’m a college biology professor and I do have to say that it’s the best job in the world (besides being a writer of course!). I get to share my love of the natural world and the human body with my students. I teach a range of topics, from general biology to human anatomy, to pharmacology, to neuroscience. A lot of my story/book ideas come from my classes ;)

Q2: The next question is of particular interest to me as someone who used to do ‘cosplay’ back when we just called it ‘dressing up’ LOL! I’ve seen pictures of you in FANTASTIC Steampunk cosplay outfits for various events. What led you to take up this hobby, and is it really as much fun as it looks? (I’m betting it is!)

SW: Oh gosh, cosplay is so much fun! I really only got into it a couple of years ago. It’s sort of an expensive habit and I can’t sew worth a darn so I end up having to buy the costumes rather than sewing them myself. I may have to enlist my mom for a really neat idea I have for a Doctor Who skirt.

Q3: If you could go to any Steampunk event/ComicCon/Fan Event in the world, which one would you choose, and why?

SW: Definitely San Diego Comic Con. I’d move to meet my favorite celebrity guests and get their autographs and pictures. It’s truly amazing how a gifted actor/actress can make a character come to life and seem so real. I think I have a better relationship with fictional characters than real people.

Q4: I read about this on your profile at Booktrope under ‘little known fact about me’ and so I have to ask… do you really have three Star Trek tattoos? I won’t ask where they are, but would you like to tell us a little about what they symbolize to you? (I’m a life-long, die-hard Trekkie so this is of major interest to me! I have wanted a Trek tattoo for years, you’re living my dream! LOL)

SW: HAHA! I really do have three Star Trek tattoos and they are in safe areas LOL. I got them in my early 20’s and I don’t regret a one. I have always loved Star Trek: Next Generation and the idea that human kind (for the most part) can overcome our petty differences and be part of something greater than a single person alone. Getting rid of poverty, disease, war...seems like a great thing to try to achieve.

Q5: *bonus question for everyone* Do you collect anything? If so, why?

SW: I have recently begun collecting antiques. I’ve always liked old things. My spare room has become a display area for my steampunk cosplay items as well as some of my antiques. I also have a pretty decent collection of movies and TV series.


But…but…but… I still want to know what the Star Trek symbols/tattoos ARE! LOL Maybe next time!

Thank you to Dr. Shay West for being our guest today. You can learn more about her by visiting her at:

See you next time!