Tag Archives: YA

Writing with Barbie

19 Apr

Prepare for laughter during today’s post. But – before we get onto the giggles – I want to share two important bits of news.

Paris Carter reviewed Seconds Before Sunrise, stating, “The novel also includes several internal struggles for Eric and Jess that sparks tension throughout the entire novel, and it’s the chaos of them struggling to work out their answers and fight themselves that bring Shannon’s novel to a second dimension.” Read the entire review here or check out his review of Minutes Before Sunset first.

I also participated in an interview with Doodles, doodles everywhere. We talked about what hurts me the most as a writer, and I expanded on the research that went behind The Timely Death Trilogy. Check it out.

It’s been a few days since I participated in my first podcast interview, but I wanted to write about something fun since my last post was rather dreary. That’s when my mind immediately returned to The Lurking Voice. (Just a small, Kansas City update though, they found the Highway Shooter, so things feel a lot better around here. Maybe that’s why I’m so eager to post something I can laugh at…I mean, laugh with you…as you laugh at me.)

Back to the topic.

If you listened to the full interview – which you can by clicking here – then you know that I confessed to many writing strategies that I haven’t mentioned before, although “strategies” will quickly turn into a debatable term during this post. My ultimate, reluctant confession happened when we discussed November Snow, my first published novel.

I was 11 when I started writing it and 16 when it was published. It’s safe to say that it isn’t my best work, but I am planning on re-writing it. As we were discussing this, Ryan Attard asked a great question. How does a preteen plan a novel out? That’s when I said it.

November Snow was based on a game that I played out with my Barbie dolls as a much younger kid. Now, if you’ve read November Snow, then you might be concerned, considering how violent the book is, but there’s no need to be concerned – (I think.) That’s what I told my high school teachers anyway when I was asked about the dark nature of it. But that’s another story for another day.

Today, I wanted to share a funny truth to November Snow. No matter how dark the story is, many of my characters were actually based on the dolls I used. I admitted to it on the podcast, and now I am re-confessing it on here. Even better, I dug through some boxes, and I found the old toys, so I’m sharing a few of them as well as small excerpts from the novel that proves this goofy aspect of my writing.

You’ve been warned.

A little background before we begin:

November Snow is a young-adult, dystopian novel, and it is told from dual, first perspectives: Daniel and Serena. Unfortunately, I lost the Serena doll (she might have lost a limb or two or maybe even a head.) But I still have Daniel, who you will see soon. I’m going to share three pictures, and each picture has numerous characters on it. Below each picture, I will have a one-sentence background, and below that, I’ll be sharing the real excerpt from the novel. I’ll also include page numbers as well as who was telling the story at the time (Daniel or Serena.) I am also including a little note, explaining how my 11-year-old brain worked. Got that? Okay. I even think I’m lost, but trust me – it’s organized. Hope you chuckle as much as I did writing this post! Traveling to the past can be a funny adventure.

First picture: from the left to the right: Robert, Daniel, and Calhoun. 

theboys

Robert: 19, leader of the Southern Flock (hates hugs)

“I turned around to see Robert’s dark brown eyes staring at me, and my heart lunged into my dry throat…He muttered something, his brown hair shagging in his face, and I laughed. “ (Serena, 156-7)

Note: Believe it or not, he’s not the antagonist. Sort of?

Daniel: 18, leader of the Northern Flock (all around hunk)

“The guy looked like Daniel. He had the brown, muffled hair and tanned skin. He even had the blue and white jacket down, but he wasn’t responding to his name.” (Serena, 181)

Note: So, if you didn’t notice, I even based some clothes off of these toys.

Calhoun: age unknown, Daniel’s mentor. (kind of a hard ass)

“From the bottom step he could have been mistaken for a modern-day giant. His face was strong, as were his muscles, and he looked like he could barely fit into the sweater he was wearing. He had been in a POW accident, in which he had lost one of his arms, but he refused to tell the story. Normally, he had a fake arm in, but tonight, a gray sleeve dangled at his side, blowing in the chilled November wind.” (Daniel, 25)

Note: if you listened to the podcast, then you know this character actually ended up being very similar to my real father. Except my dad has both arms. And he’s not a vet. But I swear they are alike.

Second Picture: from left to right: Daisy and Maggie

girls

 Daisy: 16, member of the Southern Flock (I hate her.) 

She doesn’t deserve a note or description. Seriously. Have you ever hated your own characters so much that you regret bringing them into existence? I think Daisy might be in my top three of characters I’ve created and despised. #authorproblems.

Maggie: 16, member of the Northern Flock. (crushes on Adam in private)

“The front door opened, and Maggie walked in. She was wearing a small, pink coat and white disco pants that had gone out of style a century ago, but she still pulled them off easily.” (Daniel, 240)

Note: is it just me or is Daniel incredibly aware of fashion trends?

Third picture: from left to the right: Amy, Justin, and Marisa

Now for the youngsters, the category of characters that caused one of my high school teachers to ask if I needed to talk to someone after she read my novel and discovered only a few of the characters survive. (Seriously. It’s on the back of the book…) From left to right, we have Amy, Justin, and Marisa.

kids

Amy: 14, member of the Southern Flock. (Hates being called “Amy.” Her name is Amiel Marie Young.) 

“Amy’s hair was tied back in a French braid.” (Serena, 144)

Note: So this was more of a hairstyle thing, and you can’t really see it in the doll anymore, but it was there. I promise.

Justin: 6, member of the Southern Flock (borderline obsessed with hockey)

“Justin, blond-haired and brown eyed, was whisked off his feet by the collar of his shirt.” (Daniel, 479)

Note: There’s actually a hockey scene in the book just for this hockey-themed doll. (I really have no shame as I share this, do I?)

Marisa: 7, member of the Northern Flock (too small to crush on Adam, but apparently, all the girls like Adam…maybe I should’ve shared Adam.)

“A small girl struggled her way into Adams’s lap and leaned her bony elbows onto the table. She had long, brown pigtails that rested on the wiggling table and innocent eyes.” (Daniel, 44)

Note: The hair is there. The hair is totally there.

So there you go. My young-adult novel that almost got me in trouble as a teen was originally created during playtime as a kid.

Try to figure that one out.

I sure haven’t.

~SAT

If you want to check out the collector’s first edition, click here.

If you want to check out the collector’s first edition, click here.

 

“Serious” Writing

2 Nov

Win a signed copy of Minutes Before Sunset today

Vote for Minutes Before Sunset in the Writers Club competition

I recently had a discussion with fellow writers about what constitutes “serious” writing or not. Personally, I think it comes down to the writer. I have plenty of stories written that I would not consider serious, but that’s because it isn’t serious to me. However, I understand when people discuss genres being “serious” or not, but I think that’s a different discussion completely.

Today, I’m focusing on why young-adult fiction (or any genre) is “serious” writing even if the topic is humorous or light reading.

Novels, no matter what genre they fall under, have more than just a story. There are motifs, themes, foreshadowing, symbolism, and aspects that many readers might not even catch the first time around. This is not to say a reader does not understand these things. Instead, I’m saying that there is a lot more to a novel than what it might seem at first, and I’m going to be using Minutes Before Sunset as my example. Minutes Before Sunset is a young-adult paranormal romance. By many standards, this may not be considered a “serious” genre, but, again, I’m talking about “serious” writing, not genres.

I’ll talk about why novels go beyond the story by use of symbolism, foreshadowing, themes, and an overall message. But, when I use Minutes Before Sunset, I will avoid spoilers by using only the opening scene, which is available online.)

Motifs/Themes:

Independence Day might seem like a holiday that simply worked with the story, but it was carefully thought-out. My characters lives are fated, and often, they do not feel like they own their own body, let alone their future. Having Independence Day as the opener is vital, but it’s also very important to realize this is Eric’s favorite holiday. This holiday represents freedom, independence, and a new future—everything that Eric Welborn does not have–but it also represents a huge theme and motif.

Symbolism:

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Join me on Facebook

Returning to Independence Day: we see fireworks. We see Eric’s obsession with them. We see how a child sees them, as fascinating bursts of light among darkness. We hear Eric’s father call them “useless burst of fire.” This is a symbol. Minutes Before Sunset is based on the idea of Dark vs Light (except the roles are flipped: the dark is good, and the light is bad.) This tiny conversation is more than it seems. The fireworks, from Eric’s eyes, are hope, the only light in the dark life that he has. His father, however, sees all light as evil; hence why he calls the light useless. By showing this childhood perspective, we can see Eric’s naïve state, how he thinks before his life is tainted by fate. We see his relationship with the Dark and, ultimately, his father. We see why they will argue, even in the future. Eric, despite being born to the Dark, sees light as hope.

Other symbols in the first novel include the willow tree, Eric’s nightlight, and the car wrecks. Unfortunately, I can’t explain what they mean until after the trilogy is complete, but there was a plan. There is always a plan.

Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing is hard to explain when I promised to stay in only the beginning of the novel, but I’m going to try my best with the assistance of Read to Write Stories. Michael Noll got it right when he discussed the first time Eric discusses the hill called “Willow Tree Mountain.” Noll talks about how this little bit sets up the setting to explain why the people are ignorant—because they choose to be. They accept what they want to. You can read his piece here. But it basically points out exactly how certain people will act and think later on in the book. But if you’re interested in what this scene foreshadows, I’ll give you a little hint: it’s coming in Seconds Before Sunrise.

As you can see, one scene can hold more than just the scene of the story. Many writers spend hours making sure each scene goes beyond a simple event that pushes the plot forward. Novels, at first, might not seem complicated, but it’s when you study each chapter, each character and symbol, that you realize how much planning, writing, and editing went into the creation.

Writing is more than randomly selected words scrawling across a paper. It’s symbolic. It has foreshadowing, themes, and many other aspects that allow readers to connect with the emotional repercussions of the story. It takes a lot of preparation, and, to me, the amount of dedication a writer has makes any genre “serious.”

~SAT

P.S. I’m looking for bloggers to help me spread my cover reveal on December 1. If you’re interested in hosting the cover reveal on your blog, you’ll also be entered into a raffle to win a pre-release ebook of Seconds Before Sunrise. Please comment below or email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

Movie Mention: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

24 Aug

I first mentioned The Mortal Instruments on October 2, 2012 on my post Relax & Read: The Mortal Instruments. Then I followed it up on November 15, 2012 when I realized it was being adapted into a movie, and I couldn’t help but post Movie Mention: City of Bones. Now I’m here, almost a year later, reviewing the very movie I’ve been looking forward to for such a long time!

Before I get into the review, however, I want to clarify that I’m not going to have spoilers, because I know many of you might be seeing it this weekend or in the future. (If you decide to comment with a spoiler, I will respond, but please begin your comment with “SPOILER ALERT” so no one’s experience is tainted.) That being said, my review is also going to seem very short, because I cannot say a lot without spoiling certain parts. So here we go:20130823_172945

I’ve seen it twice now, and I loved it both times. I thought it was fantastic, and, yes, I’ve read all of the books–numerous times. I understand they changed a lot, including sequencing and the overall ending. But I’m very openminded when it comes to movie adaptations, and I look at books and their movies as separate pieces of work. As readers know, the books are very detailed and long. I think it’s important to remember how little time the directors and screenwriters have to fit everything in. Plus, it’s an adaptation–something I like to consider a “sister piece” (something inspired by the book–not the actual book.) I do think the movie is easier to understand if you’ve read the novel, because some explanations are only one or two sentences long, and, sometimes, it is whispered. However, the movie storyline is linear, and the graphics were awesome. I loved Jamie Campbell Bower, and I was impressed by Lily Collins as well (I was more worried about Collins than Bower, because I loved him in Camelot and haven’t seen so much range from Collins before.) Also, I think they retained Clare’s humor as much as possible in the two-hour dark tale. In regards to the “secret” revealed, I can see why people are upset, but, at the same time, I understand why Hollywood would change it for non-readers. Plus, let’s be real, readers would have told everyone the truth anyway.

But I will say one thing:

If you want an exact (or closely told) story of City of Bones, you’ll probably be disappointed, especially towards the end. I’d simply recommend an open mind to the changes. I absolutely love, love, LOVE the books, and I enjoyed this movie.

The only disappointments I had included Magnus Bane and the lack of presence Alec and Isabelle had (but I’m hoping they will get more screen time in City of Ashes.) Despite the overall popular disappointment with the movie adaptation and the book, City of Lost Souls, I remain a loyal fan of Cassandra Clare. It’s safe to say that I’m counting the days until City of Heavenly Fire (Book 6) is released on May 27, 2014 and City of Ashes (movie) comes out.

Aside from my review, I also wanted to share two book reviews I’ve received from two lovely ladies:

"Anne" by Carmen Stevens

“Anne” by Carmen Stevens

  • Author of Anne, Carmen Stevens, reviewed Minutes Before Sunset on her blog. “For me, there was a continuum of fast page turning as the story developed and the two main characters developed an interesting romance. This book is compelling, dramatic, funny and sweet, with lots of edge and action. I’d rate it 5 out of 5 stars, and this comes from someone who NEVER reads fantasy. Check it out today! It’s totally worthy of the Goodreads award it was given.” Read the rest here.

 

  • Goodreads reviewer, Satarupa, also read Minutes Before Sunset: “I loved the story line, it is fresh and unique and totally ‘kick-ass’! The action scenes are awesome and they are capable of sending chills down your spine and the suspense will drive you crazy with anticipation.” Read the rest here.

Minutes Before Sunset Release Party ! ! !

1 May

Website Update:

7 p.m. Book Mavern’s Picks featured “Minutes Before Sunset” today. Special thanks Jhobell Kristyl, book reviewer and blogger. Click here to read.  

10 a.m.: ShannonAThompson.com has hit over 7,000 followers :D Thank you all for the tremendous support! 

After years of writing and reading, and being on ShannonAThompson.com for eight months, I am so excited that we are finally here! It’s absolutely breathtaking seeing my novel up on the internet, because I can finally share it, and I’ve been looking forward to it for so long :] Again, and I say this all of the time because I mean it, thank you for supporting me along this journey.

Published by AEC Stellar Publishing, Minutes Before Sunset is now available as an e-book for $6.99 (And there’s a 20% discount for the first week of sales! (It expires at midnight on 5/7/2013.) Just click here (or go to Smashwords) and use the discount code DM42Z. Please help spread the word on Facebook and Twitter :D I’d really appreciate it! And don’t forget there’s a surprise for you all (Yes, you all!) in my acknowledgements page. 

Here are other places you can buy Minutes Before Sunset:

Amazon: Kindle

Smashwords includes links for Kindle, ePub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others), PDF, RTF, LRF, Palm Doc, Plain Text Download, and Plain Text View.

I’ll be adding links periodically as I receive them ! But in case you’re just now coming to my site: I’ve added the Shan-002synopsis, the cover, and the first chapter below:

She was undoubtedly a shade, but I didn’t know her.

Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.

He had gotten so close to me—and I couldn’t move—I couldn’t get away.

Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.

 The first chapter (for free) click this link: First Chapter Preview

And excited things have happened! I’ve received another author review:

“Creative and well written, ‘Minutes Before Sunset’ keeps the reader intrigued and anxious for the sequel. Love it!” – T.L. McCown, author of Shifting Sands.

While this was happening, I also did another interview with upcoming author, Amber Skye Forbes, and that can be read by clicking here.

It’s official. I’m dancing around the room with my fat cat, Bogart. He’s excited. (I can tell by his lack of begging for food.) I’ll be close to the computer (as usual but even more so) this week, so don’t hesitate to send me an e-mail or ask a question in the comments section. I’ll get back to you right away! If you’re interested in an interview or planning on reviewing Minutes Before Sunset, let me know! I will link them to all of my websites!

In the mean time, I hope you’re enjoying reading Minutes Before Sunset as much as I enjoyed writing it for everyone! 

~SAT

See? We're dance-hugging :]

See? We’re dance-hugging :]

Publishing News: Two Weeks Away

17 Apr

Website Update: April 18: 10 a.m.: From 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. (ET), join an interactive interview on Twitter with me (directed by Sezoni Whitfield) by using the hashtag, #WritersKaboodle, and/or following ShanAshleeT23. I’ll also be reading my poetry at the Spencer Museum of Art in response to Ann Hamilton’s exhibit, “An Errant Line,” from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. (CT)

Since there’s only two weeks until Minutes Before Sunset is released, I thought I’d share more updates and extras! Below you’ll find a soundtrack, fan art, a Facebook page, a Goodreads page, and an upcoming interactive interview on Twitter this Thursday! But if you’re interested in an interview I recently did: click here to read my interview with Dan Thompson. There’s plenty of new information on my upcoming novel to go along with this post.

Soundtrack

I know I’ve mentioned how I don’t normally write with music, so I want to clarify that this list is more composed of music I’d imagine would be playing in certain scenes and/or if Minutes Before Sunset was ever a movie. These songs, as much as I don’t listen to them while I write, connected with the moments in such a way that I couldn’t deny their significance.

1. Crystalized by the xx: This one is close to my heart. I’ve reviewed this band before for a reason. Their intimate sound and haunting words linger within any darkness, and it only seemed fated to use it for this novel.

2. 24 by Jem. Again, I love the instrumentals, but the lyrics was why I locked onto this one so hard. It’s about having 24 hours left to live, and since Eric has one year left, it was appropriate.

3. Bloodstream by Stateless: This was the song I used the most. Seriously. I played it 77 times (compared to the next most played at 62.) I loved how mellow it was, but I also loved how…well…lovely it was. It reminded me of heartbreak, but in an understandable way–something that didn’t seem unnecessary but remained in this state of bliss and sadness all at once.

4. Ricochet by Shiny Toy Guns: This was the type of music I always pictured Eric listening to.

5. As Much as I ever Could by City and Colour: I had a really specific scene for this song, but I’d rather not ruin it. I’ll hint that it’s right before the climax :]

6. Destiny by Vanessa Mae was the main inspiration when I started writing Minutes Before Sunset. Generally, I listen to music without words, because lyrics can distract me, but her violinist ways were perfect for what I was needing. I also used Cursum Perficio by Enya for the same reasoning. [But I’d rather concentrate on music I’ve used recently, rather than the music I used in the past when I originally wrote it.] Inseguirsi by DeLord was also big one. Another instrumental one. Full of rhythm that changes from mellow to intense. It was perfect to use initially when I had to start writing and work my way into my own rhythm.

7. Youth – Daughter: The lyrics describe the youth in a particular light I really liked, particularly within the love lives of the serious towards the others around the protagonists.

8. Wait for Me by Moby: I really pictured this song working with the dynamics between the romantic relationships that happen in the beginning of their initial contact.

9. All That I’m Living For by Evanescence: Not only do I LOVE Evanescence, but I really feel as if her voice, sound, and intensity is perfect for the storyline of Eric’s Dark and Jessica’s struggles, especially this song which involves the night.

10. Within Temptation by The Howling: I think I have a thing for women belting it over the instruments.

11. No Light, No Light by Florence & the Machine: Who can’t love Florence’s voice?? So inspiring.

12. Cut by Plump: Like Bloodstream, I loved the mellow sound and the chilling emotions.

13. As The Rush Comes (Motorcycle) by DJ Tiesto: This was one of the original songs I used when I was in high school and writing the book. I used to drive around town, just listening to this song while imaging what could possibly happen next.

Fan Art

I love fan art! It’s so much fun to see what readers see from the words I used, and I’ve already received a few pieces from a group of people chosen to read my novel before the release date. This one is one of my favorites of Jessica Taylor:

"Jessica Taylor" drawn by Atheil Barker.

“Jessica Taylor” drawn by Atheil Barker.

Facebook Page

If you love Facebook (and love “liking” pages even more) Minutes Before Sunset now has a page. This isn’t my Author Facebook Page. This is strictly for the novel, and there will be extras as there is on my Author Page. Click this link, and like this page for the latest.

You can "like" Minutes Before Sunset on Facebook!

You can “like” Minutes Before Sunset on Facebook!

Goodreads Page

If you’re on Goodreads, you can now add Minutes Before Sunset to one of your bookshelves. Once it’s published, you can add your reviews, favorite quotes, and rate it. I’m looking forward to sharing more information on this novel’s website as time moves forward (I’m kind of obsessed with Goodreads.)

Goodreads

Upcoming Interview

 This Thursday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. (EST), Sezoni Whitfield will be interviewing me on my Twitter Page (Use the hashtag #WritersKaboodle to join in and ask any questions you’d like towards Minutes Before Sunset and/or publishing in general! You could even ask for more writing tips. I’ll be responding to anyone who tweets, retweets, and/or favorites our conversations. The interview is all about writer-reader interaction, and I’d love for you all to join in.

In conclusion: I’m really looking forward to these different opportunities to continue to connect with the writer-reader community. And I cannot wait to experience this future with all of you :D

~SAT

Publishing News: I’ve signed with AEC Stellar Publishing!

12 Apr

19 days until Minutes Before Sunset release :D

Over the past few weeks, AEC Stellar Publishing has worked with me, and now we have partnered to publish Minutes Before Sunset! In other words, I’m a signed author :D (And there will be a paperback version available!) So I wanted to share all of the information available as of now:

My publisher has a Facebook Page (like here) but if you visit their main site, AEC Stellar Publishing, you will see a tab at the top. If you click on Authors, you will see this page:

AEC Stellar Publishing: Authors Page

AEC Stellar Publishing: Authors Page

And if you click specifically on my name, you will see something like this:

AEC Stellar Publishing: Shannon A Thompson

AEC Stellar Publishing: Shannon A Thompson

It would mean the world to me if you all would visit the website or just click around and see it, because these moments are making my heart pound with excitement. (And I want to share these moments with you all.)

I announced this on my Facebook Author Page yesterday! Like here to get the latest updates.

I announced this on my Facebook Author Page yesterday! Like here to get the latest updates.

I couldn’t be more excited to have such a wonderful publisher pushing my passion into the market, while supporting my dream. Special thanks to the team: Raymond Vogel and Christie Heisler at AEC Stellar Publishing for being so…well…stellar. :]

And I will update as we go!

But thank you for all of your support. :] You all have helped me (seriously) get here, and I love having such a magnificent community of writers, readers, and bloggers behind me. 

~SAT

I guess this means Bogart is an Author Kitten now :D

I guess this means Bogart is an Author Kitten now :D

April 15th: Inspirational Meet: Robert Rebein

My Thoughts On: Young-Adult Fiction

10 Apr

21 days until the Minutes Before Sunset release :D

So I’m trying out a new topic, “My Thoughts on,” because I get asked (mainly in my every day life when people find out I’m a writer/author) about my opinion on certain aspects of the publishing industry, and I think it’s a topic worth exploring.

Today I want to talk about young-adult fiction for two reasons: it’s a very popular genre, and I write it (so I obviously love it.) But I also wanted to explain why and what I don’t like.

1. Language: Many complain about the simplicity of language within young-adult novels, and, honestly, it’s one of my biggest pet peeves. Of course it’s simple. It’s marketed towards readers as young as 10 years old. (I am not talking about New-Adult Fiction, which is marketed towards 18 to 25 year olds, but is often mistaken for YA Lit. I don’t blame readers for this, however, because many booksellers haven’t adjusted to this change in the market, and numerous novels blur the line.) But (::breathing break::) I still believe the language is allowed to be simple in both, not only because of the readers, but the characters, which are generally younger and (probability speaking) have a simpler vocabulary base.  It honestly depends on the speaker.

2. Characters: Again, this is probably another complaint about readers and their analysis of characters. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read “the protagonist is incapable, whiny, stupid, naïve, etc.” I don’t understand this complaint. Most protagonists in YA Lit are teenagers. Of course they don’t have everything figured out. Most adults don’t. So why do we expect a fifteen-year-old to be this perfected virtuous hero? I’m unsure. When I read YA, I never expect the character to be all that capable. Instead, I expect them to learn throughout the novel and possibly grow (not always) because that’s how real people work, and I find believability in characters when they have human faults (just like we do.) Nevertheless, I hear this complaint about YA Lit more than adult fiction, and this astounds me. I will get into more depth when I post “My Thought On” specific novels. If you’re interested in a certain piece, such as Twilight or Fifty Shades of Gray, please post below, and I’ll talk about it.

3. Plot: Personally, I enjoy the simplicity of relationships and life. You have friends and girlfriends/boyfriends, and then their world flips. I like the equation. It isn’t distracting. I’m not waiting for the protagonists to sleep together (because they are so young) and, honestly, I feel super awkward when that happens in YA Lit. I realize it may happen in real life, but, considering the audience, I feel like we are pressuring that audience to abide to societal expectations of sex when we place things like that (which should be an adult matter) in YA books.

4. Movie Adaptations: I generally love them. I’ve talked about this before in a previous post, Movie Mention: The Host, when I elaborated on how different kinds of art brings different aspects to the table. I never expect it to be the novel. If movies were like that, they’d be hours and hours long, full of narration, and I don’t think I’d enjoy watching something like that. Instead, I go for the cinematic experience, normally glad I read (so I can understand some things that are lost) but I try to take it in as art standing on its’ own—basically, I try to pretend there wasn’t a novel, and the movie is new. That way, I don’t get caught up in the little things while watching, so I can reflect when the movie is over.

I realize this may have been a general post, but I made it that way, so my basics are out of the way when I analyze specific pieces in the future. Every post is an encouragement towards a healthy debate, rather than my personal opinion of whether or not I enjoyed it, and I’d love to hear what you’d like to discuss.

Comment below! 

On my Goodreads page, you can look at my bookshelf, which includes a lot of novels I’d be able to discuss. I think I have an array of adult and young-adult fiction, along with poetry and nonfiction, but if you see something that isn’t on there, let me know.

Just an example of one page of my Goodreads bookshelf.

Just an example of one page of my Goodreads bookshelf.

~SAT

Publishing News: Cover Reveal

27 Mar

Website Update: 11 p.m.: Honorable mention, Cameron Rogers, now has his website linked. 

The day has come, and I am so proud, happy, excited, and–well–overwhelmed towards the final steps of publishing Minutes Before Sunset. I’ve received the ISBN #978-0-615-78812-8, and my copyright certification is in the mail. But seeing a completed cover was an emotional achievement for me, because I wanted to collaborate with another person who’s following their dreams, and I got the opportunity to do so! (I’ve also created an event on Goodreads that you can join here.) I’ve also changed my email to shannonathompson@aol.com. 

Honorable mentions go to:

1. Cameron Rogers

2.  Gerik Yann (no website)

3. Ky Grabowski–her author website (she’s great by the way!) can be found here.

The winner of the cover contest is none other than Autumn Fog Photography, done by photographer, Grace Griffin. You may recognize her name, because I interviewed her on my October 8th post: Inspiration Meet: Grace Griffin. Her photography company, Autumn Fog Photography, also did my photo for my website. (She’s truly talented; check out her photography page here.) Congrats to Grace Griffin! Thank you for your dedication, passion, and hard work. You truly are an inspiration. And I feel so lucky to be able to work with her. Her art, as I feel, represents Minutes Before Sunset in ways I couldn’t imagine. Special thanks to the beautiful Audrey Yazel for modeling. So…here it is with the synopsis:

Shan-002

She was undoubtedly a shade, but I didn’t know her.

Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.

He had gotten so close to me—and I couldn’t move—I couldn’t get away.

Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.

 I have updated my Author Facebook Page as well–representing this upcoming release–so check it out here. And, as always, there will be the latest information (even extras) on those pages.

This is what the book jacket looks like. Back cover and all.

This is what the book jacket looks like. Back cover and all.

~SAT

March 29: Movie Mention: On the Road

To My Mother

15 Mar

“Writers seek to create order out of the chaos of everyday life, and to extract meaning from both the tragic and the mundane.” ~Hope Edelman

This quote has always struck a deep chord within me, not only because I am a writer, but because this was my mother’s philosophy. On top of that, Hope Edelman is the author of Motherless Daughters: A Legacy of Loss, and her collection truly guided my understanding of loss when my mother suddenly passed away in 2003.

This is almost every picture I have of my mother. She was always reading. And she didn't like to get her picture taken, so we had to sneak them when she wasn't looking.

This is almost every picture I have of my mother. She was always reading. And she didn’t like to get her picture taken, so we had to sneak them when she wasn’t looking.

My mother’s love is exactly what I wanted to post about today–and only this.

March 16 (tomorrow) will be the 10-year-anniversary of her death, and I have to admit hitting such a mark is very surreal along with emotionally challenging. At such a time in my life, I have moments where I begin fighting my dream, because I wish I had her to share it with (as I did when I was a child.) However, on other days, this emotion possesses me to strive forward, and I remember how that’s exactly what she’d want me to do. Being an avid reader, writer, and lover of stories, she worked hard everyday, and I work every day to cherish her memory.

I remember, specifically, one time in Barnes & Noble. I was in fourth grade, and I was obsessed with the Dear America series. She let me pick four or five out every time we were there. This added up to a lot of money, considering that the series was all hardcover at the time, and I asked her why she let me get all of them.

“Because,” she said. “if a parent should spend extra money on anything for their kids, it should be books.” She later added anything that encouraged the passion of a child. For instance, my older brother was an artist, and they got him drawing supplies.

And, of course, there are pictures of me doing the exact same thing (in the same room too!)

And, of course, there are pictures of me doing the exact same thing (in the same room too!)

To this day, my memories of the bookstore are some of my favorites, and I have numerous reasons for this:

1. I was doing something I loved.

2. I was doing something I loved with someone I loved.

3. I was doing something I loved with someone I loved, and those moments are the most important moments to love.

So do something nice today with someone you love, whether it be a spouse, child, friend, or lover. Support each others’ dreams and truly dedicate time to say, “I love you.”

My mom reading with my older brother on her back. She loved her family and her books.

My mom reading with my older brother on her back. She loved her family and her books.

~SAT

Writing Tips: Involve Your Readers

2 Mar

I really believe in authors connecting with their readers, because readers allow writers to follow their dreams.

And that’s what I’m doing today:

Instead of waiting for my next paperback while it goes through publication processes, I’m releasing an e-book in-between, and I want all of YOU to be a part of it, so I’m taking my own advise from my post Writing Tips: Join Contests, and I’m flipping it around to CREATE a contest for you all to enter. Not only will be credited, but you don’t have to win in order to do so.

So what’s this contest about?

I previously had this novel posted on Wattpad.com, and this was my cover.

I previously had this novel posted on Wattpad.com, and this was my cover.

I’m looking for a book cover and/or a book trailer. All submissions can be sent to ashleeironwood@aol.com, but the subject of the e-mail MUST be “AuthorBlog” or you’ll end up in the spam folder. If you have any further questions, you’re welcome to e-mail me as well, but interpretation is up to you.

All submissions need to involve my new young-adult novel: Minutes Before Sunset is a paranormal romance darkened by a hidden war between shades and lights. Told from two perspectives, one boy will discover the key to his kind’s survival, even if it means sacrificing the one he loves.

Submissions due before March 18th.

Based on submissions, I will either hold a voting contest or release the winning photos. All winners will receive credit, and finalists will get honorable mentions. Website/Blog links will be provided. Once the book cover is announced, you will also be given the chance to design a cover photo for my Facebook Author page. (If you join my Facebook page, you’ll get updates sooner: this contest was announced February 28 for instance.)

This is how I tempt you with latest updates.

This is how I tempt you with latest updates.

As a writer, this is my way of furthering our connection. I want you to be involved, and I want all of us to journey together in success. By giving you all credit, I am working at deepening authors’ capabilities of satisfying the reader, writer, and dreamer, but I really hope others will be inspired to do the same.

Supporting the dream is my ultimate goal, and I plan on continuing to do this throughout my publishing life.

I’m looking forward to all of your submissions! News updates can be found on the Minutes Before Sunset page either by clicking here or going under my Novels tab. 

~SAT

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