10 years ago today, Minutes Before Sunset was published! Can you believe it’s been that long? I definitely can’t! It blows my mind.
Don’t recognize that book cover? That’s because it was the original version with its first publisher. But we’ll get into the backstory in a minute. First, the fun part:
To celebrate, I’m hosting a HUGE giveaway. You could win:
A signed set of the Timely Death trilogy, one copy of the original book as a collector’s item, AND I will buy any book written by a diverse author up to $25. You’ll also get a $25 bookstore gift card!
The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
I’m also giving away query critiques + first ten pages to three writers. Also chosen via Rafflecopter! Bonus points will go to diverse writers, Midwest writers, young adult writers, and paranormal romance writers, but anyone can win!
I wanted to share a little backstory for those of you who haven’t been around since 2013. Minutes Before Sunset, book 1 of the Timely Death trilogy, was originally published by AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. They also published Seconds Before Sunset, book 2…and one month before book 3 was to release, they shuttered their doors. It was such a career blow. I connected with so many readers while I was there, and I had no idea what would happen to the series (or me)…until I wrote I Lost My Publisher, and a fan suggested I submit to CTP Publishing. Amazingly, they signed me! I got to write I Have a New Publisher! only a few months later. They picked up the trilogy and published all three that year, including book 3, Death Before Daylight. I never thought I’d see that day. CTP Publishing also went on to publish my Bad Bloods series, too. It was quite the plot-twisting journey.
These three books are so incredibly special to me.
I initially wrote these books as a teen when I wanted to see a paranormal romance set in Kansas. (Check out these original mockup covers I made back then.) I also wanted new creatures! And magical swords! And two people who were falling in love without truly knowing who the other was.
That’s when Eric and Jessica were born. Not only are they two teens struggling with homework and friendships and learning to drive a car, they are also shape-shifting shades coping with a fight-to-the-death prophecy. People who are human during the day and magical beings at night, with totally different faces. (Did I mention their magical powers and star-crossed fate?)
I won’t lie, I return to this trilogy often. Not just to reminisce, but also because I dream of writing and publishing a new adult trilogy that starts after THE END. I just can’t let them go some days. Eric, Jessica, Jonathan, Crystal…they all live inside my heart. In fact, I already have an outline and a few chapters written. (I’m including an exclusive sneak peek of the new adult trilogy in my newsletter next week, so be sure to subscribe!) I know all my love for this trilogy is largely in part because of the many readers who have picked up this series, enjoyed it, and reached out to me to talk about it. In fact, I still get new emails today, and they make me so incredibly happy.
Anyway, if I had to end this celebration with anything, I’d tell readers THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. You are incredible. You amaze me, and you are the reason I still have hope for my writing to this day. You gave me the experience of a lifetime, reviewing and requesting for bookstores to hold my novel in their stores. Because of the Timely Death trilogy, I was invited to speak during BFest and a Valentine’s Day event at four different Barnes & Nobles. I saw my book placed on the shelves beside Twilight. I spoke about villains at Wizard World Comic Con. I had signings in coffee shops, hookah bars, and more. I made my first book box, heard my first audiobook with dual narrators ADD narrator video, and received my first fan art. Celebrities quoted the story. Minutes Before Sunset won Goodreads Book of the Month in an exclusive book club group! I could honestly go on and on.
I cannot express to you how grateful I am. If I can do anything, I can promise you that I’m still writing every day, and I WILL get another book out in the world.
Until then, why not check out one of my writing blogs about the book?
- The Timely Death Trilogy World Building Explained
- In Writing Tips: Make Maps (Interior) I explained the importance of creating physical maps for novel-telling.
- How Anxiety Influenced my Trilogy: I have been in too many car wrecks, but this is one of the reasons I used car wrecks in my trilogy.
- Read about the black-eyed children, the urban legend that inspired the Light by clicking here.
- How I choose who gets to speak in my dual perspective writing style.
- What changed from the first draft of Minutes Before Sunset to its publication is explained here.
- The second novel in a trilogy often falls flat. This is what I did about that.
- Check out the soundtrack featured on 8tracks here.
- How my teen self made a picture book pre-Pinterest days
- See how the covers evolved over the years
- How I wrote a series over the years, including more cover evolutions!
You can even play one of our favorite Dark games from wayyyy back in the day!
Okay. Okay. But what about the giveaway?
I didn’t forget!
In fact, I’m telling you all this because this lore is part of the giveaway. 😉
20 thoughts on “Minutes Before Sunset 10-Year Anniversary Giveaway!”
Congratulations, Shannon. I have followed your blog for many years, read your ups and downs in the writing and publishing worlds, and have followed some of your well-crafted advice in my own journey as an author. Thank you for sharing your blog with us. 🙂
Thank you for cheering me on throughout my journey! It means the world to me!
10 Years!! Wow. How time flies!!! Congratulations!!!
Right?!? So unbelievably amazing! Thank you!
My shade name is Descendant Jewella. I do plan to read some more of your work. I have no excuse for not doing so, already. But I have kept up with you, through the years.
Awesome name! I hope you enjoy whatever books you check out. If you like paranormal romance, I recommend the Timely Death trilogy. If you like X-men (only dystopian and much darker), then I recommend Bad Bloods! I also have a sci-fi dystopian series on Wattpad about a drug that allows users to see the future. That’s called the Tomo trilogy. Thank you for your support over the years. It’s people like you that have kept me going, truly!
Happy ten-year anniversary! I was there right near the beginning before I’d published my own book. In fact, that must mean I have a ten-year anniversary coming up before long too…:D
You were! I remember your encouragement so fondly! Thank you, friend! And congratulations on your upcoming anniversary. Time sure flies!
Yes your books were some of the first I reviewed! I enjoyed them very much indeed 🙂
My name is Anna braley not Russell wouldn’t let me change it here happy 10
Thank you for celebrating with me!
My shade name is Student Shoman. Congratulations on ten years of being a published author!
Awesome! You have the main character’s name. 🙌 Thank you for playing along and for the congratulations!
Happy 10th Anniversary! My Shade name is Guard Tamesia 🙂
Happy Anniversary! My Shade name is Guard Tamesia 🙂
Thank you so much! Great name!
Happy anniversary! What an amazing accomplishment!
Thank you so much!