Meet Shira Behore, Winner of the 2020 Lost Island Writing Contest

For the past few months, Shira Behore has been revising her winning manuscript to prepare the story for publication. And today, we’re finally announcing her YA mystery novel’s title reveal!

Introducing ”My Brother’s Spare“

Shira Behore’s debut novel My Brother’s Spare will be released on August 24, 2021. You can watch Shira’s first YouTube video below, where she talks about her experience with writing My Brother’s Spare in only six weeks!

Interviewing Shira Behore

In celebration of My Brother’s Spare’s title reveal, I interviewed Shira so you can get to know her better!

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I actually vividly remember when I first started writing. I was eight years old, in the third grade, and I had just finished reading The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. As someone whose first language isn’t English, I had struggled quite a bit when it came to enjoying books as a younger child, but I was absolutely taken by the story and wondered if I could ever write something as impactful as that. I’d say that’s when I started making up stories of my own and stapling my first few books together.

What are a few things you’re excited for as a debut author?

Gosh, that’s a bit hard. The whole concept of having readers is still absolutely insane to me. I think I’m most excited to read reviews and hear what people have to say about the story. I still haven’t completely wrapped my head around the fact that this thing that I have worked so hard on is going to be open for anyone to pick up. It’s pretty crazy. I hope people can find comfort in the characters of My Brother’s Spare and that the story takes them on as much of a journey as writing it has for me.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Just write. Even if it’s not your best work at first, even if you know it isn’t perfect. Write the story you want to tell. You can always go back and edit what you’ve done, but you cannot build on what doesn’t exist. Also, please don’t compare yourself to others writers! I know how easy it is to pick up a book and immediately start worrying about how your writing compares to that of another author, but please don’t do that to yourself. Nobody can tell your story like you can.

Can you tell us a little about your writing process?

I am a bit all over the place when I write. I am definitely the plotting type when it comes to outlining and planning out a book idea. My pre-writing notes are always very thorough and organized, but the moment I start typing out the first draft everything gets chaotic. Something random that helps me get through a scene more easily is that I’ll write the dialogue first if I ever get stuck. Dialogue comes more naturally to me, and it makes it’s so easy to go back and fill in the rest later.

I am usually more productive at night, not sure why but it’s easier for me to focus then, and I just sit at my desk for hours pumping out words. I’m not really the type to take breaks if I’m in a good writing headspace, so I’ll just keep going until I burn out which I do not recommend whatsoever, but it’s sort of become a habit of mine at this point.

Where did your inspiration for MY BROTHER’S SPARE come from?

I’d say that a really big inspiration for my novel would be the BBC show Sherlock Holmes. I was so intrigued by the character dynamics and Sherlocks struggle between what is right and what he personally wants. After finishing the show I purchased a collection of Sherlock Holmes stories and read them front and back.

The movie Inception was also a source of inspiration behind the concept of dreams and reality in My Brother’s Spare. I first watched it in class during my sophomore year of high school a few years ago and was immediately enamored with the idea of false realities and all the freedom that could give me as a writer.

Leigh Bardugo’s novel Six of Crows also inspired the whole hitman/assassin element in my novel. I loved the idea of such a character, and the the moral strain that comes with leading a violent life. The overall atmosphere of Ketterdam also left me completely entranced. I suppose you could compare the setting of my book to a 1930s London winter wasteland.

What are some of your favorite books?

I really enjoyed the Six of Crows duology! Leigh Bardugo’s world building is unmatched in my eyes. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden is another book that I absolutely love and have reread multiple times. The novel Legends by Marie Lu is a very good one as well! It’s a dystopian novel which follows the story of a prodigy in high society who teams up with a wanted criminal to solve a murder (which is quite reminiscent of My Brother’s Spare).

What are a few goals you have for the next couple of years?

I hope finish my undergraduate program in the next year or so! Right now going into Neuropsychology is the goal, but we’ll see where life takes me. Of course I plan to continue writing as well. Stitching up stories has always been a huge part of who I am, and what is important to me, so I hope to continue for as long as I am able to hold a pen. I have so many outlines and ideas for future stories so I really hope that in a couple of years a few more of them will be brought to life.

Cover Reveal Coming Soon

We’re excited to announce that the cover of My Brother’s Spare will be revealed on July 1, 2021. Subscribe to the Lost Island Press newsletter to ensure you’ll be one of the first to see it.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this author interview with Shira Behore. We can’t wait for you to learn more about Shira and read her incredible story this August. Subscribe to Shira on YouTube and follow her on Instagram for a behind-the-scenes look into her journey with publishing My Brother’s Spare—coming August 24, 2021.

Katie Flanagan

Katie Flanagan is a college student with a passion for writing and editing fiction. Several literary magazines have published her work. She plays an important role behind the scenes at Lost Island Press by reviewing submissions during contests, managing social media profiles, and ensuring our books are ready to launch. Katie is involved in both our technical and creative project decisions.