Tag Archives: author

My Poem is Published

11 Apr

In case you didn’t see the update during my last blog post, my first podcast interview was posted. Click on The Lurking Voice to listen to it. The author, Ryan Attard, described it as, “Now, I’m not gonna spoil anything, but Shannon is one of those pure artistic souls with a dark side (Darth Shannon) and we talked about everything. And I mean everything.” I like Darth Shannon. I had a fantastic time, so I would love for you to have a laugh with us as you listen to it.

Next, PRLog sent out a new press release for Seconds Before Sunrise, so check it out by clicking here. It’s titled “Award-Winning Paranormal Fiction Author Publishes Second Book In The Timely Death Trilogy.” I found it all pretty exciting to see, because I have never had a press release until Seconds Before Sunrise came out, and I got two :D

And I also want to take a moment to thank Sandra Danby for nominating ShannonAThompson.com for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award. Check out her award-winning blog of fiction, short stories, and everything on writing and reading.

It began after I wrote this blog post: Photography and Writing.

I had begun to miss photography again, so I joined Instagram to simply admire photographs from my cell phone. That’s when I began to follow Sofie Sund Photography. After admiring her stellar self-portraits, lined with hauntingly true quotes, she announced to her 193,000 followers that she had founded a magazine with four other artists. She also mentioned that submissions were open to photographers, drawers, and poets.

Naturally, I submitted. (Because, like my father always says, “You can’t win if you don’t play.” – he generally refers this when speaking about the lottery. I, on the other hand, like to apply this to publishing by changing it to, “You can’t get published if you don’t submit.” So, yes, I submitted. 

Over time, I continued to follow them. I “liked” their Facebook page, and enjoyed their news when they announced that they had won two awards - best logo and best booth – for their sales’ team. I subscribed to their website, and I continued to watch from afar, eager to see who they would include in the first edition of their magazine.

The actual photograph I was taking that morning.

The actual photograph I was taking that morning.

It was March 3 when I heard from them. At four in the morning, I can admit that I hadn’t gone to bed yet. I was awake, taking pictures of the sunrise, and I received an email. LALUNA staff was congratulating me on my acceptance. One of my poems will be in their first issue. I couldn’t believe it because I truly admire the work of these young artists. While they are based out of Norway, I find the distance a beautiful and telling tale – we can be connected oceans apart. In fact, AEC Stellar Publishing has an author in Malta. Let’s just take a moment and really let that sink in. We live in a world where we can be published across the world.

It’s amazing.

I also believe that LALUNA Magazine stands for everything I believe in: a magazine dedicated to inspiring the youth.

My dream is to inspire young people to follow their dreams, so I could not be happier to be a part of this encouraging project.

Thank you to LALUNA Staff. 

In case you’re curious about my poem that is now published, it is titled “Regretful Memories.” It’s a standalone poem that has sat in my desk drawer for some time but has now found its time to be released. I wrote it during college, and I might do a reading on my YouTube channel so you can hear it, but you can buy the ebook of the magazine here or even check out a preview here. I’ve also added a new page to my website for it, which you can visit by clicking here, and it has been added to my page that lists my publications. I’ve now been published six times, adding up to 1,211 pages, and every time it happens, my writing heart is filled with more encouragement, excitement, and endless love. 

As always, I thank you for your timeless support and your daily words of kindness that continue to guide me down this passionate life path. To you – my reader – I am most grateful. 





Why I Love My Facebook Author Page

4 Feb

First, I would like to thank Heather B. Costa at Trials of a wanna-be-published writer for stating, Minutes Before Sunset is a fun and well-paced read, full of witty dialogue and thrilling action that keeps you entertained the whole way through, especially the final twist which took this reader by surprise.” Read her entire review here. Her website is a fantastic place for aspiring writers and avid readers.

 Now, onto today’s topic:

Like most people, I am on Facebook. In fact, I have three different Facebook pages – Shannon A. Thompson, The Timely Death Trilogy, and November Snow – but Shannon A. Thompson is the page I spend the most time on, and I wanted to talk about why I love having a Facebook page as an author. I will also add some tips to increase your traffic.

Join me on Facebook while we talk about it :D

Join me on Facebook while we talk about it :D

Why I Love It:

It’s popular, it’s fun, it’s fast, and it has lots of different kinds of media – including statuses, events, offers, pictures, and link options. You can also schedule posts, which allows you to be present, even when you can’t be. But my favorite part is how you can link it to your other social media places – like Twitter, blogs, and more. You can also use Facebook as your Facebook fan page, so I can visit other authors pages as “Shannon A. Thompson” without using my personal profile. This allows other users to come to my page, see who I am, and/or why I was on the other pages at all. Hopefully, we’ll be able to connect.

Because I have to acknowledge it:

Facebook has made a lot of changes, attempting to stop people on their own Facebook Fan Pages to stop connecting with followers. One of these changes was when Facebook stopped allowing pages to invite their own followers to events by the page (meaning, you must be personal friends with them to invite them anywhere.) Seems ridiculous – just like many of the changes – but I still think it’s worth it to have a Facebook presence. I look at it like this: Just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean we should give up. It means we should try harder. We just have to help each other know the best ways to connect, so here are three tips I’ve put below for you:

Here are a few tips:

A Facebook Change Authors Need to Know About! – Writer, Lisa Goldman posted this, and I am so glad she did. Facebook is an ever-changing place. We are constantly adjusting to their changes, and this post helps you optimize your post with a little trick known as “link-shares.”

The Power of Facebook for Authors: I think this article summarizes some great information. My favorite part that they discuss is the content one should be posting, which is anything that “helps you amuse, entertain, educate, engage.” On my page, I try to post types of information like this, and I attempt to switch it up. One day, I might share an informative article, the next day might showcase what I’m up to in my future writing plans.

Because I love Nathan Bransford, I have to include a post of his: Facebook Pages vs. Facebook Profiles – this is for those of you who aren’t sure which type they should have. I understand pros on both cases, but I chose to have a Facebook page rather than a profile simply because I know too many readers who don’t feel comfortable enough to add authors on their profiles, fearing that they are too personal. That being said, I’m open-minded to it, but I’m also researching more information on how FB is planning to change in the future, and so far, I think the FB pages will have more ways to appeal to fans soon. (I will share information as I come across it, especially on my Facebook page.)

I hope these tips help! If you have any, feel free to share below. (In fact, please share!) And discuss away about Facebook land. 


Donate to ShannonAThompson.com

Donate to ShannonAThompson.com

Guest Post: Tanya Taimanglo

27 Nov

Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it.

Bob Dylan

            This morning, as I took my children to school, I went through a mental ‘to do’ list for the day. That included mundane tasks like laundry and planning dinner, and indulgent things like watching the latest episode of The Talking Dead and buying a mocha. Nothing necessarily inspiring.

After my children were safely in school, I walked back to my car. It was fifty degrees out with the sun hidden by clouds, typical for Washington State. The crossing guard lady nearly had her toes run over by a late, overzealous parent who hopped the curb with her car, then hopped back off as she rushed to drive her child to school on time. So, this little encounter made me really look at the crossing guard. I had seen her many times but never gave her a second thought. Today, it was different. She was suddenly on my radar and then my writer brain kicked in. I observed that she took the nearly getting her toes smashed by a bad driver in stride. I joked, “Maybe the school needs to issue you steel toe boots.” She laughed. I laughed. Then she stopped traffic for me so I could be on my way. That’s when I scanned her one last time. She looked about twenty years older than me. She was a volunteer, perhaps with a grandchild here, I mused. And the final bit that I noted was she was sipping the last of her iced coffee. As I sat in my car, I wondered why she would drink ice coffee as my teeth chattered and my fingers were numb. My conclusion. She is an alien and thrives in the cold.

Secret_Shopper_Cover_for_Kindle_(1)The point of the above example is that inspiration can come from anywhere. But, I find the best tidbits arrive when I have disconnected from the computer and television and carry on with my real life.

Will the ice coffee-crossing-guard-alien ever be the main character of a full fledged novel of mine? Maybe not, but an echo of her may have a minor role one day.

It’s easy to be inspired by a great movie or song. I mean, I’m currently inspired to drop a few pounds by that car commercial featuring hamsters getting sexy to a Lady Gaga song. That’s the nature of entertainment. Even the news is devised to make us feel something, good or bad.

I’d like to think my life is an ongoing movie with awesome songs on an ever changing soundtrack (currently it’s anything by King the Kid); but my life is just a busy mess of being a Navy wife, mom of two elementary age kids and domestic goddess. And, to top it off, I’m an indie writer who is currently participating in NaNoWriMo, 50,000 words in 30 days? Yes, it’s my second time taking the challenge.

Shannon, the gracious host of this post, entered my radar because she was interviewed by a fellow author, Jackson Baer. I took the time to read about her, as I do out of loyalty because Jackson once took the time to feature me on his blog. I like how things like this come full circle, all Lion King and stuff. But, I liked Shannon’s page a few months ago, and needing a break from NaNoWriMo, came across Shannon’s challenge. What inspires you?

This is what I wrote to her to snag her attention.

I find inspiration by disconnecting for a moment from Facebook, Twitter, email, TV, etc. and just observing. It could be something as simple as an exchange between a mother and child, a glance between lovers or a flash of anger on a stranger’s face. The world around me without the filter of the internet is a great source of inspiration.

I find inspiration from people—watching people, dipping my ear into their conversations, analyzing their body language and reactions. I’m introverted by nature, with social tendencies. So, I’m the ideal watcher. I observe, I absorb. I translate.

I also find inspiration when my mind is not bombarded by the media. When I give myself the opportunity to think without all that noise, without someone else interpreting data for me, magic sometimes happens. I want to extract my own flavors from life. A long drive does it for me. A long walk. A long shower without my children creeping about trying to get in the bathroom with me.

When I disconnect, I reconnect with myself and tap into that fire within. Metaphors and similes on life and situations start gelling for me. And, I jot it down.

I guess a writer’s mind requires a disconnect if we are to find our own voice. It’s true that one writer’s writing style may echo another. My romantic comedy, Secret Shopper, has been described as “Bridget Jones” replacing a British character with a Guam one. I don’t mind the comparison, since I was inspired by that novel many years ago.

I watch interactions between people, not because I’m nosy (really), but because I’m curious. I wonder about people and how they are behind closed doors. I wonder about where they’re off to and where they come from. Wonderment, curiosity, inspiration all tie in to possibilities for a writer.

A regular disconnect from your devices can prove fruitful. Give a try! But not after you connect with me on the links below.


About Tanya-Tanya Taimanglo is a Navy wife and mother of two. Originally from Guam, she’s freezing her buns off in Washington State, but adjusting well—now having an excuse to wear fancy scarves. A former high school English and Creative Writing Teacher, Tanya now enjoys writing up a storm for herself. She had a stint as a Secret Shopper for 4 years. Tanya loves Wonder Woman and Bruce Lee equally and hopes to attend Comic Con for the third time. Taimanglo also published a children’s book, Sirena: A Mermaid Legend From Guam and short stories, Attitude 13: A Daughter of Guam’s Collection of Short Stories.

Tanya Taimanglo’s Links:


Facebook Page

My novel, Secret Shopper, on Amazon

My Goodreads 

My Twitter 

Guest Post: S. Smith: So What’s That Book About, Anyway?

23 Nov

As you all know, I love reading other blogs, and I recently came across Author S. Smith: of the Seed Savers Series. As well as being an author, S. Smith is in the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and an OSU Master Gardener. So I asked her to guest blog, and here it is: Welcome, S. Smith!

The great thing about my books—the Seed Savers series—is that there are many strands, many possible themes. Before I explore some of these, a brief summary is needed. Seed Savers will consist of five books: Treasure (book 1), Lily (book 2), Heirloom (book 3), Keeper (book 4), and Harvest (book 5), the first three of which are currently available. The series is geared toward the middle grades, but the plot and writing are interesting enough for adults as well. Seed Savers is set in a not-too-distant future where (in the USA) gardening is against the law, and food has been reduced to five overly-processed food groups known only as Vitees, Protein, Snacks, Carbos, and Sweeties. In this future, our main characters Clare, Dante, and Lily find out about real food and try to make a change.

Author, S. Smith

Author, S. Smith

Obviously, gardening  is one of the major themes of the series. If the books seem to “teach” anything, it’s about how to grow food. A second theme is self-actualization. Because Lily and Clare are twelve when the series begins, we get to watch them grow and discover who they are and who they can be. This is a really wonderful age to write about. I spent the better part of the past ten years teaching in middle school and it’s why I wrote the book for this age group. As awkward as this age sometimes is, it’s also a wonderful time in terms of the kids coming into their own sense of being.

Also enjoyed by my readers (probably the older ones), are the political overtones of Seed Savers. Every day it seems we hear more and more about GMOs or about corporations in cahoots with the government, government spying through computers or drones, etc. This has always been a thread in the books and particularly in Heirloom, we learn the history of how the United States went from where it is today to the loss of freedoms evidenced in Seed Savers.

When I first started writing Seed Savers it was all about the food. I love good food. So I grow it myself, cook it myself; I know where it’s been and what is in it. But as the series continues, my favorite part has become the characters. In both Treasure and Heirloom some of the characters are on a journey. This lends itself to the reader meeting a lot of “side characters” along the way. As a writer, I’m more of a pantser than a plotter so I never know who might be walking down the street, slowing in the car behind you, or waiting to answer the door. I have to say I really like the characters in my books and I would love to have more of a dialogue with my fans about the various characters, both main and secondary.

I would be remiss if I ended without mentioning the slight romance in the books. Especially in Heirloom.

Front Cover

Front Cover

So what is Seed Savers: Heirloom about? Why should you read it? Some people would say you should read it because the kid across the street doesn’t know that carrots grow underground. Older readers might enjoy the nostalgia of growing up on the farm, reminiscent of Little House on the Prairie. Maybe the kids like the adventure, the romance, or the futuristic “what if.”  I like it because of all those things combined. It’s a fun book. It’s an interesting book. And it speaks to some important issues of our time.

Oh, and it has short chapters. I like short chapters. :)

Thanks for letting me post on your blog today!

Thank you for guest blogging, S. Smith!


One of my “Highs” as an Author

14 Oct

When I finished my last post, I received so many heartfelt comments, and I want to first thank those fellow writers and readers for their kindness and support when it comes to one another’s difficulties being an artist. I am, once again, reminded of how influential and inspiring the WordPress community can be. Thank you.

Now, as I looked back on my post, I knew I had to do a followup post about my “highs” because I didn’t want to only concentrate on the negative. I wanted to show how exciting and uplifting being an artist can be. So I’m going to share three exciting events that happened to me this week and how they made me feel–with all of the emotions that came with them.

Minutes Before Sunset will officially be in a store.

That’s right. Fluente Designs, an upcoming store in Tullahoma, Tennessee, will have all of the AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. novels on their shelves. The photo below are the books that will be shelved. This is an amazing feeling as an author. I have to admit that I’m beyond excited for this. The owner has also agreed to an interview (so look out for that) and I’m looking forward to be able to share another artist with everyone. I also think it’s natural for me to also feel nervous about this. This moment feels like Minutes Before Sunset is creeping up, spreading out, and reaching more readers that I couldn’t reach without Fluente Designs‘ support. A big thank you goes out to Fluente Designs. Who knows? Maybe more stores will follow their lead. That would be breathtaking.

AEC Stellar's FB cover photo

AEC Stellar’s FB cover photo

My Stats Spiked

Minutes Before Sunset had the biggest spike in Amazon sales since the release in May. It was #9,308 in the Kindle Store, but it also hit #649 in Fantasy and and #407 in Romance/Paranormal, which I thought was awesome, because they are such competitive categories.

romanpara407 2

Although I’m truly happy this happened, I have to admit I have always tried to never pay attention to stats. I think they can bring people down a lot (because it’s much easier to go down than to go back up) so I’m simply trying to enjoy the moment while it lasts and hope that I can continue to see my novel get into more hands to entertain them. That being said, there’s a confusing emotion that comes with wanting to enjoy the moment and knowing you can’t stare at it forever (or even for the few days it lasts for.) So I patted myself on the back, smiled, and continued to look away from my stats, knowing it’s better to focus on my love for writing than seeing numbers rise, even though I am thankful for it. (Seriously thankful for it.)

Twitter Encounters 

I’m not sure why or how, but I logged onto my Twitter, checked my messages, looked at my interactions, and froze when I saw this:  T. Harv Eker, #1 NY Times Bestselling author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, quoted me on his page.


Following that, Shawne Duperon, 6-time Emmy winner and founder of Project Forgive also retweeted the quote and tweeted to me.

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 1.41.24 AM

Again, I have no idea how they got this quote. (It’s from November Snow, my first published novel.) But I can admit that seeing them on my Twitter Interactions made me rub my eyes like I’d stayed up too late and stared at my computer a little too long. I actually asked my father to read it to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating, which, for the record, I wasn’t. (Whew.) They made my day. Not because they’re celebrities but because they both used that quote as a list of inspiring quotes to encourage people to get up and pursue their dreams, and my ultimate goal is to inspire people to follow their dreams. By using my quote to inspire others, T. Harv Eker and Shawne Duperon gave me an amazing gift without even realizing it: a deeper hope and belief that I can help even more people. And, for that, I thank both of them immensely.

It’s been a strange week for me as an author. I started off feeling down, then I defeated a down, and I was met with numerous 1175490_2091842814335_794178008_n“highs” I could barely believe, let alone comprehend. It’s honestly reminding me a lot of creating plots for stories: a road trip where we know where we start, have a destination in mind, and a few places in-between we think we might visit.  But, this time, I don’t know where I’m going or how / when / if it will end, and these in-between places are making me realize something about my writing career: I’m starting to become more excited about the fact that tomorrow might meet me with a new writing surprise. I guess you could say I’m shifting the gears, enjoying the ride, and seeing where it takes me. All with my cat in the passenger seat.


Through Jessica’s Eyes

10 Oct

On October 8, you might have seen my first reblog (I’ve always been confused on how to do that and how it’d affect emails, but I’m excited Ky Grabowski’s blog was the first one I got to try it on. I’ll definitely be reblogging more in the future.)

Beyond it being my first reblog, it was my first guest blog post where I actually blogged about something. I was really nervous to be honest. I was worried about what to talk about, because I want my guest blog post to fit the blog I’m guest blogging for, so I had to ask Ky what to do. She, because she’s a genius, immediately suggested I write about what scene in Minutes Before Sunset was the most important to me, and I did just that.  I was truly honored when Ky asked me to be a part of her blog, Welcome to the Inner Workings of My Mind, and here’s the post, if you missed it.

To be honest, Ky Grabowski really inspired me to keep thinking about my favorite scenes in my written novels, which is why I want to share something with everyone:

I have to express how thankful and excited I am as I move into releasing Seconds Before Sunrise, Book 2 of a Timely Death trilogy. The cover, designed by Viola Estrella, is amazing, and I can’t wait to share it. But, for now, I wanted to share this photo:


Now, I suppose, I have to explain:

This photo was taken while I was writing Seconds Before Sunrise. At the time, one of my biggest hobbies was photography, and I love winter, which is one of the main reasons archetypes always rubbed me the wrong way. I find untouched snow to be one of the most beautiful occurrences in weather. This is why I use it in Seconds Before Sunrise. This photo is very symbolic to Seconds Before Sunrise, because I took this in my front yard. If you’ve read my previous posts, you might remember Jessica’s house is literally based off of my house at the time, so, in a way, you are seeing exactly what Jessica would see in her front yard when snow falls, and you will see this in book 2. But that’s all I can say about this specific scene. You’ll have to check in as I release more information on this novel’s release!

In other news:

Joe H. won the 9,000 likes giveaway! So congrats to him, and I hope he has a great time reading all those wonderful novels he’s receiving as we speak (or write and read. Haha.)

I also have a special offer going on my Facebook Author Page, so you should check it out (especially if you’re interested in contemporary fantasy.)

Minutes Before Sunset was featured on Paranormal Palooza, which was really neat! And it officially hit 50 ratings on Goodreads with a 4.56 star rating :D

Here’s to the future of every writer as we continue venturing forward, pens in hand, words in our hearts.


Guest Post: So You Want To Make A Book Cover

4 Oct

Shannon here for one second: I spend a lot of time talking with authors and reading their blogs. Because of this, I often come across some great information that I think you guys will like, and this is one of those gems I had to share. This post is written by Alianne Donnellya published and self-published author of paranormal and fantasy romance novels, and it’s all about creating your book covers, efficiently and effectively. (Speaking of which, the cover for Seconds Before Sunrise is in the works) Enjoy!

Admittedly, I haven’t been doing this very long, but in the last two years or so, I have learned a great deal, most of which I have condensed here for your viewing pleasure. This is something everyone who wants to embark on the arduous journey of creating cover art should know and be aware of.

1. Know Your Tools. Microsoft Paint does not count as a tool. To truly make a presentable (read: marketable) cover, you need to use what the pros use. If you can’t shell out $800 for Photoshop software (and, let’s face it, who can these days?) then GIMP is your next best option. It is free, open source, and, in my humble opinion, much easier to use. Still not a breeze, though. Expect to put a lot of hours into this project. Download yours today at http://www.GIMP.org

2. Stock Up On Essentials. Think of your cover as a new recipe you are cooking up. Here are your necessary ingredients:

- Stock Images (sxc.hu, morguefile.com, fotolia.com, istockphoto.com, etc.)

- Fonts (dafont.com, fonts2u.com, fontfreak.com, 1001freefonts.com, etc.)

- Textures (optional)

- Patterns (optional)

- Scripts (optional)

Sometimes a good stock image and a pretty font is sufficient. Other times you need to play around a little more. But no matter what you use or how much, always, always, always check the licenses and use agreements. If you’re not sure if you can use something, ask. Better be safe than sued out of your home and hearth by an artist scorned.

3. Learn To Love Your Size. And by that I mean industry standards for cover image sizing, of course. The size of your cover will dictate the size of the stock images you need. You need an image large and detailed enough to look great as a thumbnail as well as a full screen shot on an iPad. For eBooks, expect to make something at least 1,000 pixels wide at the absolute minimum. Bigger is better. For print book covers, ask for a template. Printers have very specific in terms of what has to go where. Be aware of them and follow the rules.  


And lastly…


4. Learn From The Masters. I’m not saying copy a design exactly. That would be wrong and ultimately not worth it—you want your book to stand out. I’m saying spend some time on research. Look for covers you like. Study them. Look at the details and try to figure out how they were achieved. Mix and match and play around. You can take a shadowing skill from here, a special font from there, a texturing idea from somewhere else, and create something brand new and beautiful, and all your own.

And whatever you do, don’t forget to have fun!


Good Luck!SONY DSC

Alianne Donnelly is a published and self-published author of paranormal and fantasy romance novels. When she’s not at her society-prescribed 9-5, she is diligently working on her next masterpiece and/or tinkering with another graphic to outdo the last one. Or possibly Facebook. Most days all three at the same time. Her books are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and anywhere else eBooks are sold. Check out her latest release and other shenanigans at http://aliannedonnelly.com or like her page at http://www.facebook.com/alydonnelly

Why Are Authors “Hating” On One Another?

21 Sep

Website Update: We hit 9,000 followers on the 19th! That means a HUGE giveaway is coming soon. If you’d like your book to be a part of it, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com. Other than that, THANK YOU for all of your dedicated support and heartfelt encouragement. 

There are many authors and writers out there, sharing their works with the world, whether it be through books, blogging, or another form of communication. But I’ve come across many who astound me—and these people are preaching hate at one another. This post is my attempt to bring light to why this needs to stop.

Although there are many kinds of publishing, I’m focusing on the three main ones I often see verbally assaulted. 

  1. Traditional
  2. Small Press
  3. Self-Publishing

Unfortunately, I’ve seen hate from all sides, and I’m sure most authors have. 

I’ve seen hate from traditionally published authors, generally saying anyone else is not “good enough” for bigger publishers. Ironically, a lot of these authors have admitted to previously knowing someone in the industry. Even worse, they don’t seem to consider many authors aren’t comfortable with traditional publishing houses monopolizing the market. I’ve seen hate from small press published authors, saying almost the exact same thing about self-published authors. But I also see hate from self-published authors, saying they don’t like traditional publishing houses for the reasons above but also hating on small-press published authors, because they aren’t “capable” at marketing themselves and, therefore, have to rely on someone else by means of payment.

This is ridiculous, and it needs to stop now.

It seems to me that many of these authors have forgotten why we’re all authors in the first place (and, YES, we are ALL authors.) We share the same love of expressing ourselves through words. We love writing, whether it stems from fiction, nonfiction, poetry, or something else entirely. We love words. So why do some use their words to preach words of hate about others who love the same thing?

The most honest explanation I can come up with is insecurity (although I want to clarify that this isn’t the only reason I’ve seen.) Either way, who cares how another author is sharing and publishing their works? Just be happy that they are living their dream and/or chasing after it. Support their decision to bravely share their works of art with the world. It is not your responsibility to decide who is “ready” or “good enough.” Let the reader decide, because, after all, they are the people who are reading our works. You don’t have to support every author out there, but you shouldn’t put down every author out there that isn’t like you. It’s the basic rule to respecting others. You may not respect their work, but you should respect the fact that they are a human being, working hard to follow their dreams—just as you are, no matter what kind of publishing you are in.


Some comments from my Author Facebook page about this topic:

Scott Collins: Anyone willing to spend that much time and energy to put their book to paper deserves support and encouragement.

Nicole Castro: This is why I use the #writingfamily hashtag on Twitter.

Quinten Rhea: Part of our job is to encourage, support, and help promote each other.

Kyle Garret:  I think the book market is perceived as so crowded, especially these days with ebook “shelves” constantly getting more full and fewer lucrative traditional deals going out, that it naturally conditions authors to turn on each other because there’s this perceived idea that only one can “make it”. I don’t agree with it – and think it’s downright odd given how people in similar markets like music, gaming or film treat each other – but it’s my take.

Feel free to discuss your opinion and/or your experiences below, especially if it includes ways we, as a writing community, can prevent this “hate” from continuing any further.


Radio Interview: Back Porch Writer

20 Aug

This is my first post in the middle of the afternoon, but I just had to share my radio interview from this morning. Special thanks to Kori at Back Porch Writer for taking the time to interview me:

Listen to it here.

Via Back Porch Writer

Via Back Porch Writer


Why I Won’t Give Up

18 Jun
This is my favorite photo of my mother, and I share it on my video.

This is my favorite photo of my mother, and I share it on my video.

WEBSITE UPDATE: If you all recall, Minutes Before Sunset needed nominations for “Book of the Month” on Goodreads, and you all succeeded! But I need votes. PLEASE VOTE BY CLICKING THE LINK. We’re three votes away from first place. I need all of the support I can get :D 

Thank you for voting: Gregory S. LambChristina ChannelleAmber ForbesBob WilliamsMarie BaileyLaura B., Raymond, Silver WolfChristieKristy Feltenberger GillespieDale SpillerDan PawlowskiPeter JohnTuan HoRaul Diaz, Nada Faris, Chris, Jessica, Merilyn Dignum, Andree, Charles E. Yallowitz, Vickie Kayuk, KerriSarah, Ky Grabowski, David Thompson, Chris the Story Reading Ape, and Hereswhatsgoingon, !  (I’ll add your site here when you vote too!)

This post was inspired by Ky Grabowski, a writer and reader I mentioned on my last post: Published Paperback & Spotlight Interview. On June 7, 2013, Ky blogged Why I Won’t Give Up, and her story inspired me to share mine. So I shot a video explaining details of my life I haven’t released before, and I’ve added a link below. I’ve also added quotes to give you an idea of what it’s about, but there’s a file to open the text if you prefer to read. It’s four pages long or I would’ve posted it directly onto my site.

Quotes from my “Why I Won’t Give Up” Video:

  • You know every day you’ll have a moment of doubt. Every day. But you’ll also have hours of happiness and encouragement and people who believe in you and people you believe in. And it’s worth it again. It’s always—it’s worth it. Everything is worth it.
  • When I was sitting here and I was looking at this, I was thinking “How many people dream of this?” “How long have I dreamed of this?” “What do I still dream of?” I dream of getting people to this point. I dream of people being able to look at this: their words on a printed page, their name on a binding, their picture on the back of a book. This is what I dream of for others. That’s why I don’t stop.
  • My dream is why I continue. I continue for others. My dream is for others.
When "November Snow" was published, my father surprised me with this gift: the printed cover inside a silver frame.

When “November Snow” was published, my father surprised me with this gift: the printed cover inside a silver frame.

Watch the video by clicking this link or read the text by clicking the file: Video Text

"November Snow" was originally titled "It's Only a Matter of Time" and this is the original burnt file.

“November Snow” was originally titled “It’s Only a Matter of Time” and this is the original burnt file.

Specifically speaking, I talk about my nightmares and night terrors in detail, explaining an in-between place that inspired most of my novels today. I also talk about my mother’s inspiration and how her sudden death effected my life. I share a lot of information about November Snow I haven’t had a chance to talk about before, and I compare those details to being published in the poetry collection dedicated to my late roommate. In the end, I discuss my ultimate goal in life, which isn’t to become a famous author, but rather to open an affordable art school for talented young adult to be able to connect with professionals in their field.

"November Snow" "Poets: a collection of twelve young Kansas poets" & "Minutes Before Sunset." My publications that push me forward to continue chasing the dream.

“November Snow” “Poems: a collection of twelve young Kansas poets” & “Minutes Before Sunset.” My publications that push me forward to continue chasing the dream.

I truly summed up the video compared to the original explanation, but I did this, because I really hope others will share why they won’t give up. Towards the end I said this: “I hope other people analyze their dreams on a deeper level to see if they’re actually dreaming for themselves or if they’re dreaming for another reason entirely.” What I mean by this: we may have the dream to be an author, but what’s beyond that? Even if the answer is to share your words (and themes) with the world, you’re dreams are beyond what I think we might realize on a regular basis.

So take time today. Think about your ultimate goals when it comes to writing (or goals in general) and feel free to share. By sharing this post, I’m hoping to keep this topic going within the writing community. Share your story below or post on another blog altogether. Let’s inspire others together :D



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