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#SATurdate: The Jungle Book, Thunderclap, and Through the Looking Glass

21 May

What I’m Writing:

This week I finished my initial edit of D, and now that I’ve cranked that entire manuscript out in a ridiculous amount of time, Shannon is taking a much-needed break. But hey! I have three novels complete and ready to pursue publication. I’m sure I’ll recover from writers’ burnout soon.

What I’m Publishing:

I received the book business cards and banner! I will show everyone those soon, and hopefully, give away some swag. My Thunderclap for Bad Bloods just started, too! What’s a Thunderclap? It’s an automatic social media post about Bad Bloods that will release on July 18, 2016. You can sign up for Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr, and it really helps little authors like me out. I’d appreciate any and all help. Sign up here

maggieIn other news, the Bad Bloods Prequel continues with Maggie’s story on Wattpad! Read how she joined the Northern Flock by clicking her name or start on the first chapter by clicking the prequel link. There are currently three chapters out: Adam, Michele, and Maggie. Now, a sneak peek from Maggie: Surely even the best gifts are worth less than saving a life.

The #1lineWed preview was “hooks,” which means any line that ends a chapter, so this week’s preview is actually a line from a previous Teaser Tuesday, so you might recognize it! We bled the same as humans, but there was one difference. We bled too much.

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads

Visit the Pinterest and Facebook Pages.
draft3

What I’m Reading:

I’m reading Genesis Girl by Jennifer Bardsley, and it’s great so far! If you love light YA sci-fi/dystopian romance, you’ll enjoy this book. It is set in the future where certain people are raised without a digital footprint (no photos, Internet, etc.), and then, they are sold on their 18th birthday to the highest bidder.

What I’m Listening To:

I currently have a Disney sing-along CD in my Vietnam pickup, and let me tell you, it’s the best thing that’s happened to me all week. Singing “Under the Sea” while it’s pouring rain (and you’re terrified of driving in the rain) helps everything.

What I’m Watching:

I FINALLY saw The Jungle Book, and I LOVED it. (Duh.) I thought Neel Sethi was fantastic! And the graphics were both lovely and haunting and evocative. I enjoyed the songs, and I definitely enjoyed hearing some of my favorite actors among the cast—including Christopher Walken and Bill Murray. Fun fact: Bill Murray’s brother voiced the Disney Baloo, which is why Bill Murray is voicing this Baloo. (There’s actually a lot of interesting facts about this movie. Check them out on IMDB. I thought they were really neat.) My favorite part? The ending. It’s nail-biting craziness.

The-Jungle-Book-Movie-Wallpapers

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

No baking this week! Sorry, folks. When the family is in town, it’s a lot of busy craziness. I’ll make cookies or cake next week, so look out.

What I’m Wearing:

Pajamas! Yeah, vacation.

What I’m Wanting:

Alice_Through_the_Looking_Glass_(film)_posterI want to see the new Alice Through the Looking Glass movie. And the X-Men: Apocalypse movie. And (surprisingly) the new Emma Roberts/Dave Franco film, Nerve. I say surprisingly only because I’m not normally an Emma Roberts fan, but that movie looks right up my alley.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

I had a dream that I went to one of those slasher parties. What’s a slasher party? You know, those rumored events that extremely rich people attend to watch terrible things happen to people? Yeah. I was at one of those for some reason, and the party was held in a basement of a hospital. Why? No clue. Shannon’s brain is crazy. But as I was leaving—wearing a ridiculously expensive gown…through a hospital…though no one seemed to notice me anyway…I started screaming out that I had snot all over my face. (Plot twist.) I woke up, and I, in fact, did have a face issue. My allergies. They took over my dreams. Then again, not a bad thing consider the whole slasher vibe.

What Else Is Going On:

instaI had out-of-town family in town, so I didn’t have much news this week! I’m looking forward to next week’s chaos. But I did release exciting future news! Come see me at the Barnes & Noble for B-Fest in Oak Park Mall in Overland Park, KS on Saturday, June 11 from 1-3 PM for a book signing and author panel. More info on my Events page.

~SAT

#SATurdate: Captain America, Chunky Monkey, Paperbacks, & Minions

14 May

What I’m Writing:

Right now, I’m doing an initial edit of D before I move on from it. As of today, I’m 63,075 words into it, so only 30,000 to go! (Have I mentioned how exhausted I am?) Most importantly, though, I’d like to give another lovely shout out to Author Jonas Lee for helping me this past month! He’s helping me with the project as well, and I really appreciate his input and encouragement. So, thank you, Jonas!

What I’m Publishing:

13221700_3230314315411_6104904338034016177_nI received my author copies of November Rain in the mail! I’m super excited to have November Rain in my hands, and I’m even more excited that ten wonderful bloggers received pre-release eBook copies, too.😀 I hope you enjoyed this week’s #TeaserTuesday! If you haven’t seen it, be sure to check on my right side tool bar. It will be updated with new teasers every week, along with links to the Wattpad Prequel as it updates.

The #1lineWed preview was “opening lines from any chapter,” so this week’s preview is actually the opening line of Bad Bloods!

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads

Visit the Pinterest and Facebook Pages.

draft3 What I’m Reading:

13151670_1035003766546804_6180950616842075677_nI finished Emerge by Tobie Easton, and let me tell you guys, this book is SO STINKIN’ CUTE. IF you love mermaids—especially The Little Mermaid—you will LOVE this book. You’ll love the humor (hello fish puns!), you’ll revel in the madness, and I think you’ll fangirl over the romance just as much as I did. Between Lia, Clay, Caspian, and other cast members, Emerge is fresh yet evocative, and highly recommended. You can read my five-star review here. And, oh yeah, #TeamCaspian.

I also started Genesis Girl by Jennifer Bardsley, and it’s great so far! I’m hoping I’ll finish it this coming week.

What I’m Listening To:

I found a mix CD I made back in 2008 and listened to it like crazy this week. My favorite part? Half of it was the soundtrack to Romeo + Juliet (The Claire Danes, Leo DiCaprio version.) I mean, who doesn’t love #1 Crush by Garbage and Lovefool by the Cardigans? 

What I’m Watching:

I saw Captain America: Civil War this week, and while I know I’ve developed a bit of a superhero-hater reputation thanks to my poking fun at Batman V. Superman, I thought Captain America: Civil War was pretty entertaining. Then again, I am a Marvel fan, so I tend to enjoy their movies more. It wasn’t X-Men or Deadpool, but I thought it was good. Spider-Man was probably my favorite part.

Unknown

I also watched Minions thanks to Netflix, and let me tell you, that was probably my favorite movie I saw this week. It was adorable, hilarious, and the ending was spectacular. I’m also in love with Sandra Bullock, so that was a plus. I’m a bit like Bob. Give me a fluffy bear or animal any day, and I am entertained. And a bit of an airhead. So that cracked me up.

Minions_Revision_PROOF

In other news, I watched Special Correspondents—which is about two journalists faking their news reports from NYC—and I really enjoyed that. I also watched the H.H. Holmes documentary on Netflix, because, you know, my obsession with serial killers. All of these movies are recommended.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking: 

13174143_1040539485993232_8132323237278539808_nI baked Chunky Monkey Brownies this week, which is basically a banana chocolate brownie (but I made mine dark chocolate). I used this recipe, cutting the sugar and chocolate by half and using dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.

What I’m Wearing:

My Pikachu shirt. I always wear it when I’m really stressed out, and I’ll tell you what, between finishing a novel way too quickly and moving straight into edits, I’m exhausted. I need a little Pikachu pick me up.

What I’m Wanting:

A million paperback copies of November Rain. (Okay. Maybe more like 15.)

What I’m Dreaming Of:

I had a bunch of dreams about D, which means I both loved them and can’t talk about them much. Maybe next week?

What Else Is Going On:

I have family coming into town for almost all of next week, so there probably won’t be that many updates in regards to publishing or writing, but I will try to be around still. In the meantime, Shannon’s on a bit of a vacation. So, see you around!

~SAT

#WW The Truth Behind An Author’s Instagram

4 May

I have a confession. As an #authorofinstagram, I post daily pictures of my writing life that are more or less fictional stories themselves. Sure, my cats are real and that coffee was definitely mine, but not all of my posts are live (although a fair portion of them are), and the mood I describe might not necessarily be accurate.

Whaaaaat?

Don’t judge me. It’s called marketing for a reason.

When I post: #AmReading

reading

What I’m actually doing: Flipping through #bookstagram and #bibliophile to see what everyone else is reading so I can add more books to my already ridiculously long TBR list. Oh, and reading. I’m probably reading. I’m also probably reading indoors with pajamas on. Not in the fall leaves or the snow or whatever else I took a picture of me doing hours ago.

When I post #CoffeeAddict

coffee

What I’m actually doing:

Losing my mind. No. Really. I drink too much coffee a day. Sometimes, my fingers shake. (And it doesn’t even wake me up.) I’m an addict, addict. I drink it because I can’t function without it…which means every coffee picture you see is never my first cup of coffee that day. I’m like that guy from the McDonalds commercial who can’t talk to anyone until he has his coffee. I’m having a coffee right now. (Or am I?) Since coffee means I’m losing my mind, coffee also means that I’m about write, because writing and losing your mind go hand-in-hand.

What I post: #AmWriting  writing

What I’m actually doing:

Staring at what I wrote last week and wondering why the hell I thought any of it was a good idea. Oh, wait. That’s not that bad. Okay. We can just rewrite this, and then…OH! (Insert fellow #amwriting poster here) is writing, too! I wonder how their day is going. *messages fellow author, geeks out for ten minutes, forgets everything* And when I finally get back to writing, something funny better not happen, or I will stop to tweet about it. This is a vicious cycle. If I manage to stay focused, writing might be done in a coffee house—that sees me way too often—or in my office—where my cats see me way too often (hence why they’re in most of my photos, but we’ll get to them in a minute…)

When I post #Catstagram

catsWhat I’m actually doing:

They’re so cute, right? Right? They’re perfect little cuddly gremlins…I mean, cats. There is a reason I call my cats gremlins. As soft and furry and sweet as they appear on my Instagram—trust me—we have our moments around here. Between my desk’s wires (Boo Boo’s favorite thing to tackle out of the wall) and Kiki’s ongoing nemesis battle with Bogart (no, really, they fight all the time), I am constantly chasing them in and out of my office. They attack pens. They attack papers. They attack dangling headphone wires. And sometimes, they throw up on my feet. But hey, that’s love.

In the end, you witness a lot of pieces of my author life, but pieces are pieces. Writing is hard. Being an author is hard. It’s not all coffee and cats and reading and writing. We have our ups and downs and everything in between. Despite all of today’s truth, I do love this crazy, catlady, writing life, and I hope you’ll still enjoy it when I share pieces of it with you on Instagram. Yes, that is a link to my Instagram. Feel free to click it.😉

~SAT

teaser11The first Bad Bloods teaser released! You can expect a new one to release every #TeaserTuesday via…you guessed it…my Instagram. I’d love to connect with you on there, so feel free to send me a message, and be sure to pre-order Bad Bloods by clicking the links below. It’ll only be available for 2.99 for a limited time, so take advantage of the CTP sale while you can.

Pre-Order Bad Bloods today!

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

In other news, Clean Teen Publishing is about to host an AWESOME giveaway/release party THIS Friday on Facebook. Click the link to check out the CTP Marvelous May Reads Release Party. I will be there!

13102643_1079877955384707_1432184914415101411_n

safe_image.phpAlso, don’t forget, the first book in The Timely Death Trilogy is currently FREE! I wanted to give a shout out to Instagram’s Devyn T. for drawing some fan art. Feel free to send me your art any time! I love seeing it. In fact, it makes my day.

Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksSmashwordsKoboGoodreads

Death Before Daylight: book 3:

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#SATurdate: Lore, New Office, Paint Swatches, & Snow White

26 Mar

12718001_1008531982527316_2805994555122682398_nI moved this week to a brand-new office! I’m super excited about it. I have a ridiculous amount of room to spread out, and I’m hoping I can get a bigger desk one of these days. My current one was great for my previous, much smaller office, but now I can spin! I need to be able to roll back and forth for no reason other than dramatics. On a side note, my Sticky Notes did not survive the move. I’m challenging my Maggie Stiefvater and remembering that ideas do not make the author, the author makes the ideas. (Check out her article The Disposability of Ideas.) Plus…I sort of cheated and took pictures of them before they were ruined. I’m not quite at Stiefvater’s level. (But, really, who is? She’s a goddess. [Okay. I’ll stop being an obsessive fangirl now.])

What I’m Writing:

993078_1006450089402172_901225323950707552_nSo Take Me Yesterday was put aside this week. I worked solely on the mysterious manuscript known as “D.” I actually wrote D when I was 19, but numerous elements were missing until recently. Now I’m 18,000 words into the rewrite, which is awesome. I have 62,000 additional words already typed from the original manuscript, so it’s really a matter of cutting and pasting and editing and screaming at my 19-year-old self for not figuring out the missing elements…you know…until I was 24. (*Repeats to myself* It’s not a race, it’s not a race, it’s not a race.) I also shared a bit of “research” I was conducting, via my paint pallets. D is an extremely colorful novel. It’s difficult to explain without giving away the plot, but it’s been a lot of fun flipping through the colors while editing old scenes and adding new ones. On a side note, I also took some time to world-build a brand-new novel I shall call S for now. S is—more or less—something I’m currently writing for fun. Like a reset novel. A novel with no pressure to finish or to pursue publication with. Sometimes working on something brand-new with no deadlines or expectations helps me reset my writer buttons. But the more I work on it, the more I love it. </3 Gah! Decisions…

What I’m Publishing:

This week, I shared the content disclosure for November Snow, so I thought you’d like to know our rankings. If you need a handy guide about what these rankings mean, click here to check out November’s Snow disclosure system:

11987_1007269949320186_6557017595173577508_nFirst off, November Snow was rated YA(m) – Young Adult Mature – which means it’s written for a mature young adult audience.

Romance: 2: The romance picks up in book 2, compared to book 1.

Violence: 5: Also, no surprise here. Bad Bloods is a fairly violent duology, revolving around a political debate eradicating an entire group of people, which mainly consists of homeless children…but I promise you, the violence is not as graphic as the original book? Okay. That’s not saying much. But there is meaning behind it. The violence isn’t gratuitous.

Language: 3: Still cursing a little bit…but I mean, you’re talking about kids trying to NOT be killed all the time, so let’s give them break, yeah?

Drugs/Alcohol/Smoking: 0: No drug or alcohol use in the second part of the duology.

The #1lineWed preview was lines from page 23 or 123. This line is from page 23.

He confessed it like secrets were simply to share.

Add Bad Bloods to Goodreads: November Rain and November Snow

Visit the Facebook, Pinterest, and the Extras page.

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

What I’m Reading:

I’m reading The Young Elites by Marie Lu! I’m almost finished, and I must say, I definitely love Marie Lu. I was also envious of her trip to Tokyo this past week with Amie Kaufman, author of These Broken Stars (which I also loved). I mean, they went to an owl café. An OWL CAFÉ. This is one of my ultimate dreams. I’m dying of owl envy.

What I’m Listening To:

MxdXdQrTLore is my latest podcast obsession. It’s a bit like Myths & Legends, but shorter and creepier. Lore also focuses on overall myths, like vampires/werewolves, while Myths & Legends discusses tales like King Arthur. I highly recommend both of them.

What I’m Watching:

Akagami no Shirayuki-hime—a.k.a. Snow White with the Red Hair—which happens to be one of my favorite mangas. I had no idea it’d been made into an anime, so I binge-watched season one, and I’m enjoying season two now that it’s releasing. Love them! And Louie. I watched that, too.

การ์ตูน-Fairy-Tail-Zero-ภาคพิเศษต้นกำเนิดเรื่องราวกิลด์จอมเวทย์แฟรี่เทล-280x1722

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

I learned how to make homemade spaghetti sauce, which was awesome…and very messy when I accidentally dropped some of the tomato puree on the kitchen floor.

What I’m Wearing:

10399523_1009113812469133_5506393239089674635_nShorts one day and coats the next. Seriously. This winter-to-spring weather is a strange mix of sunshine and misery.

What I’m Wanting:

A new desk! Preferably a larger one. One that will allow me to write on notebook paper and type on my computer at the same time…Oh! And hold coffee. I would REALLY like a nice bookshelf, too, since well—and don’t hate me—my books are sitting on the floor. I have yet to move my bookshelves from my second-to-last move. What can I say? I move a lot.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

I bought a new cat, and I named it Happy…after my broomstick, also named Happy, because sweeping made me happy? (I don’t know.) But then my friend showed up and also bought a cat, and upon hearing my name for my new cat, she named her new cat Happy…and none of this made me happy at all.

What Else Is Going On:

Death Before Daylight is on sale for $3.99 right now! That’s pretty neat. That means you can read the entire Timely Death Trilogy for only $8.00…which costs less than one of those novelty horse masks. You know. Those ones.

~SAT

To celebrate, the sale of Death Before Daylight, here’s an excerpt!

DBDcoverShe moved again, barely, but she moved. “I can handle myself in a fight.”

“You’re okay in a fight,” I teased, watching the aggravation flicker over her gaze.

She squirmed again, trying to kick my leg with her boot. “Okay?” she repeated. “Just okay? I do better than okay.” She wasn’t lying. “You would be nothing without my help.”

“Oh, low blows,” I sang, forcing her shadows to solidify again. “You are mad.”

“I’m determined,” she corrected.

“I never argued with you,” I pointed out. “You make me who I am. I wouldn’t be anything without you.”

“Aw,” she cooed, smiling at my words, but right when I thought she was enjoying our time together, she swung her leg over and knocked my torso off her. This time, she was the one on top. “I win.”

I winced, stretching my neck to breathe. “You know, most girlfriends would have thought that was romantic.”

Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

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Death Before Daylight: book 3:

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#SATurdate: Witch, Writer Madness, Fairyland, & Rooftops

5 Mar

This is covering two weeks of life, since last week was all about those Website Wonders, which means it’s a tad longer than usual, but I hope you enjoy all the craziness.

What I’m Writing:

12795183_991891044191410_185453795754929210_oI’ll tell you what. When a character reveals a plot twist you didn’t have planned AT ALL 40,000 words in, it changes things. Like, REALLY changes thing. Sticky Notes must have been made by the writing gods. I’m going to be honest. I’m going writer crazy. I’m working on Take Me Yesterday, but I’m also fine-tuning a novel I’ll refer to as “D.” I’m on D’s fourth draft…and I’m about to try to tackle it a fifth time. My main issue is the beginning—how to tackle that first chapter so it’s both exciting and showcases what readers will see throughout the novel—especially since most of the novel takes place in an entirely different universe/dimension than the first chapter. It’s much harder than it sounds, but I think I’ve FINALLY figured out a missing piece, and I’ve been obsessing over it ever since. That being said, there’s one more book. (I don’t normally write numerous things at once, but I am right now.) This is a completely new novel, too. It’s more or less to help me clear my head by working on something unrelated to publishing. (Not that it doesn’t have future potential, but sometimes a fresh project is a nice step away from the pressure of deadlines.) So there you have it. I’m writing three novels right now. I’m 40,000 words in Take Me Yesterday, playing around with the first 10,000 words of D, and outlining a new one. (So far, I’ve even written the first chapter). Here’s to the unknown! If you’re wondering what D is about, here’s your first clue.

What I’m Publishing:

I received my reviewer packet for Bad Bloods! That means book bloggers should get ready! Reviewers will be chosen soon. Also, I picked out sections for future teasers this week…and falling really far behind on my keywords. But I think I’ll be sharing prequel stories leading up to the release of Bad Bloods via Wattpad, probably starting in April.

One week’s #1lineWed preview theme was nicknames, and here was the favorited tweet.

That being said, this isn’t necessarily a “sneak peek” of Bad Bloods. This is actually a direct quote from an origin story. I wrote about 13 origin stories to get my characters figured out and outlined the other 13. (Bad Bloods has 24 characters in the two flocks of bad bloods alone.) This quote happens between Adam and Daniel during Violet’s origin story. Daniel is a protagonist in Bad Bloods, and Adam is, more or less, his sidekick. (Adam actually rejoices in this term.) Perhaps I’ll share these origin stories before the release date. I might be sending one out in a newsletter. We will see.😉

Another week’s #1lineWed theme was “need.”

This is a direct quote from Bad Bloods, but that’s all I’ll say about that.😉

Add Bad Bloods to Goodreads: November Rain and November Snow

Visit the Facebook, Pinterest, and the Extras page.

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

What I’m Reading:

smI read and finished Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, V. 11 and V. 12 by Naoko Takeuchi. You all know I’m a Sailor Moon junkie through and through, but you can read my full reviews here and here. These volumes conclude the manga. 

I also finished The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland on a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente. You can read my review by clicking here. It’s a great read! It’s honest, it’s fantastical, it’s flowery, and it’s fun.

I also read How To Disappear: Erase Your Digital Footprint, Leave False Trails, and Vanish Without a Trace by Frank M. Ahearn (which is exactly how it sounds) and Liar by Rob Roberge, a memoir about addiction and mental health. How To Disappear is hilarious and informative, while Liar is heavy but interesting. I’ve done TERRIBLY at writing book reviews, but I promise to get back on that shortly…but after I obsess over my new Variety Puzzles magazine.

What I’m Listening To:

The sound of my rolling chair in my office as I roll back and forth between my desk and Sticky Notes and my table…and sometimes my bar.😉

What I’m Watching:

MV5BMTY4MTU2NjMyNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzUwMDk4NzE@._V1_UY1200_CR90,0,630,1200_AL_I went to the theatre to see The Witch! It takes traditional tales of pilgrims and their relationship with religion, the woods, and folklore, and puts it to the test. To me, it was about the descent of madness and sin, and although I’m not generally into overly intense religious messages, Witch wasn’t too bad. I was SERIOUSLY impressed by Harvey Scrimshaw’s monologue scene. He blew me away. That being said, this movie is most definitely a film. It’s not a horror story or a simple paranormal date night movie to see for fun. It’s an actual story, so expect that rather than The Conjuring. Annnddd, because I heard a lot of people complaining about this, it is in Old English, which can make it hard to understand sometimes. I didn’t have an issue, but I also studied Old English extensively in college. Whether or not that was why, I don’t know, but check it out if you want a twisted story of madness.

I also binge-watched Sword Art Online, because it makes me cry, and I started Fate/Night because the lovely Kathy Lynn Cross suggested it. Check out her novels! She is awesome. And, of course, I watched the Oscars. Way to go, Leo! (But I have to say, I was most happy that Ex Machina and Alicia won an award.)

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

I did made an awesome Skinny Mexican Casserole and venison chili. For dessert, I baked a bunch of dark chocolate chip cookies. (I tend to do this also.) I also bought a bento box, so…NOM.

What I’m Wearing:

12794413_993634640683717_8444677203559547088_nChillin’ socks, featuring penguins.

What I’m Wanting:

The Winner’s Kiss and Lady Midnight! We’re so close! I also cannot wait to read The Hate U Give by Angela Thomas.

“The Hate U Give tells the story of 16-year-old Starr, who navigates between the poverty-stricken slum she has grown up in and the upper-crust suburban prep school she attends. Her life is up-ended when she is an eyewitness to a police officer shooting her best friend, Khalil, who turns out to have been unarmed during the confrontation – but may or may not have been a drug dealer. As Starr finds herself even more torn between the two vastly different worlds she inhabits, she also has to contend with speaking her truth and, in the process, trying to stay alive herself.” – Publisher’s Weekly

What I’m Dreaming Of:

So I created a potion to take down aliens? But they looked like people, and they were after my entire family, so I was hiding…in my own house. (My dreams don’t make sense.) This is when an alien general found me. His name was Steve and he wore a suit. I laughed at him and told him that he’d never get credit for catching me, because his leader wanted to catch me, and I was right. When Steve took me outside, everyone pretended not to see, so Steve freaked out, thinking that the leader would kill him just so he could take all of the credit. So, naturally, Steve joined my side to help me escape right as his alien leader pulls up in a GIANT red pickup. (Don’t ask. I’m not sure why either.) We run around the house packing (because I guess we have the time to do this), and at one point, Steve starts drinking all of my aunt’s whiskey, and I yell at him that it isn’t his, to which he points out that my aunt would probably not care under such circumstances. But I still argue, because it’s her favorite limited-edition MAPLE whiskey. (Gross.) And he shrugs and drinks it anyway. I give up, finish packing, and right as his red-pickup-truck-driving leader bursts in, we make a run for the woods and escape…whiskey in hand. And still arguing about him drinking it.

What Else Is Going On:

12802846_991310444249470_6291603099732911419_nWe had REALLY nice weather, so I practically lived on my roof for a few days. (I’m a rooftop writer…which terrifies my neighbors.) It was particularly funny this time around, because they haven’t seen me up on the roof since fall, and the grandson visiting my neighbor started screaming about cats being on the roof. (Because I take my cats up there with me.) Of course the grandfather was like, “That’s impossible—” ::turns around:: “Oh, it’s you again.”

Me ::waves enthusiastically:: “Hi, Jeff.” Don’t worry. Just me being strange.

I also learned a lot watching your lesson on how to kill termites.

~SAT

I want to give a big shout out to Crazy Beautiful Reads for being the sweetest book reviewer there is. Seriously, never hesitate to tweet/message/e-mail me. You all make my day/night/life.

Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

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Death Before Daylight: book 3:

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#ReaderProblems Fandoms vs. Mobs

3 Feb

All right. All right. I’m not telling anyone they cannot have an opinion. You can. (Of course.) But I wanted to discuss an upsetting trend that bothers me down in my fandom core.

Readers ALWAYS hate every adaptation. And it isn’t just hate. It’s very loud, very aggressive, very complete hate. Welcome, fandom mobs.

I get it. I do. I am a reader before I am a writer. I’m in many fandoms, and I am in love with many worlds and characters and storylines, and they mean more to me than words on a page. Those worlds were my safe places when I wanted to escape. Those characters were my friends when I felt alone. Those storylines were my explorations when I couldn’t leave my home. Seeing them butchered is like witnessing the mockery of something you love. I get it. But don’t pick up the pitchfork yet.

Adaptations are adaptations. They are not a mockery, because they are not the same thing. The adaptations are inspired by the books we love, and we must keep that in mind…and we need that mind to be an open mind.

Why?

The reason movie and television producers pick up books and create adaptations is because there is already an audience. That audience, hopefully, will attend first, and then encourage others to attend too…even despite differences. If anything, I remember differences being another form of entertainment. When Harry Potter first started releasing (when I was 11), my friend delighted in explaining what was different, but she never said it was wrong or terrible or discouraged me from trying it out for myself. If anything, it made me consider reading the books, and she offered me her first one to borrow so I could catch up by the sequel’s release.

This is what we, as a fandom, need to concentrate on. We want to encourage new readers and viewership so they can make their own opinions…even if you don’t like the adaptation…and that means concentrating on being positive. A newcomer is not going to pick up a book if that book is in the hands of an angry mob with pitchforks. But if you sit back and—in the least—enjoy discussing everything, maybe they will pick up that book and join your awesome fandom.

The reason I wanted to talk about this, as I’m sure many of you know, is due to the second adaptation of The Mortal Instruments. The 2013 movie bombed, and now, the TV show has released. Personally, I loved the movie. I also enjoy the TV show. I’m not picky. (Obvs.) I read the book, and I know this isn’t the book. In fact, the producers made that quite clear. To me, as long as they get the “mood” of the characters, I’m pretty happy. In fact the show changed the overall tone of the story for me. As a reader, the books were a dark paranormal comedy, but the show is cheese all around. You know what? That’s okay. I could use some more cheese in my life. And one of my favorite parts of this entire experience was calling up my best friend to discuss the differences between the books and the show, because we read them together years ago and reread them together again. (Chernobyl, seriously?)

Then, as opinions rolled out, I saw it happen again. Just like the movie. The mob came out.

The disturbing trend of absolute hate in this adaptation, not once but twice, is a great example of the consequences that could follow if we keep doing this.

adaptations

The book, the movie, the show

When the movie released, everyone hated it. Hated it. Now that the show is out, I see more love for the movie than ever. I do find it ironic that everyone is suddenly talking about how much they loved The Mortal Instruments movie now that they dislike the TV show. Granted, marketing had a lot to do with the movie’s failure as well, but the fandom had a huge hand in it.

All the complaining about the movie convinced no outsiders to see the movie, and the poor sales caused the sequel’s cancelation.

So…where were all these “lovers of the movie” back then? I know I didn’t see many, because I felt rather alone in how much I enjoyed it. I saw it twice—in a nearly empty theatre both times—and I’ve watched it over a dozen times total. My DVD copy sits on my DVD player at all times. Other TMI fans even made me feel like a bad TMI fan because I liked it, but I still talked about how much I loved it. Don’t be afraid to say you enjoyed it, and don’t attack fellow fans. This is where we go wrong…but please don’t get me wrong. I had my dislikes about the movie as well. (Alec, for one, who I actually enjoyed in the TV show.) And I was vocal about that to my friend. That being said, I also gushed over Lily and Jamie and even Raphael. I told everyone I knew to at least try it out or to read the books. I also explained a lot of the missing elements to the friends who checked it out and wanted to know more.

It’s okay to complain or discuss differences, but try to be positive. This is a fandom, after all. You want more people to join it. Why not explain some differences of the show to newcomers and encourage them to get the book?

I might tell people I liked this or I disliked that, but I try to focus on what I liked the most. I try to tie it into the book. I try to do what my friend did for me all those years back with Harry Potter. I sit down with them and talk about it and explain questions the adaptations might not have covered and I encourage them to get the book and see for themselves.

Don’t let your fandom turn into a mob. Fandoms are supposed to be fun. They are supposed to be exhilarating and great. A place where all fans can come together and be friends and discuss and draw pictures and write fan-fiction and celebrate the books.

If we keep doing this, our fandoms will no longer be fandoms; they will be mobs. And those mobs are going to take out all future adaptations. Eventually, there will be no reason for producers to pick up a book’s crowd.

Read, encourage, repeat.

But, most of all, have fun again,

~SAT

Come get your books signed on February 13, from 1-3 PM during the Barnes & Noble Valentine’s Day Romance Author Event in Wichita, Kansas at Bradley Fair. Come meet Tamara GranthamCandice GilmerTheresa RomainJan Schliesman, and Angi Morgan! If you haven’t started The Timely Death Trilogy, don’t worry. Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, is free!

Minutes Before Sunset, book 1:

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Seconds Before Sunrisebook 2:

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Death Before Daylightbook 3:

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January Ketchup

30 Jan

To be completely honest, I wrote the entire Saturdate post before I realized today was supposed to be a Ketchup post, and then I freaked out and barely finished running all the stats I needed to make this. WHEW. Geez. I need a break. My brain is broken. Since this took place on a Saturday, you can expect the next Saturdate post to take place next Saturday.:)

For those of you just now checking in this month, Ketchup actually means “catch up.” At the end of every month, I write these posts describing what goes on behind the scenes at ShannonAThompson.com. Some of the topics I cover include my big moments, top blog posts, my top referrer, #1 SEO term, and more in order to show insights that will hopefully help fellow bloggers see what was popular. I also hope it entertains the readers who want “extras” for this website.

Thank you for being a part of my life this January.

Big Moments:

We held the cover reveal for Bad Bloods this month, and that was a wonderful way to begin 2016! So many of you enjoyed the covers, and I’m eternally grateful for your kind messages. I know it’s a long wait until the books release, but I hope you’re looking forward to July as much as I am!

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#1 Clicked Item

In the meantime, I was featured on Buzzfeed Book’s 31 Funny Tweets That Are Way, Way Too Real For Writers, which was super cool…especially since I read them religiously. In fact, I was actually reading it when I saw myself. Pretty surreal!

Since I’m spending more time on Twitter, I started my new Twitter series called Author in a Coffee Shop. What is #AuthorinaCoffeeShop? It’s just how it sounds. I sit in a coffee shop and I tweet out my writer thoughts. It takes place every Friday at 7 p.m. (CDT) via @AuthorSAT, so I hope to see you there for episode 5!

On a side note, The Timely Death Trilogy hit 500 ratings, and Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, was the number 1 clicked item on this website during January, so thank you for reading and taking the time to review my novels! You are priceless.

 

Top Three Blog Posts:

1. Bad Bloods Cover Reveal: The covers were FINALLY released, and I’m SO exciting so many of you loved the covers. I know it’s a wait for the books, but I hope you stick it out with me and enjoy the books this July.

#1 SEO Term

#1 SEO Term

2. What I Learned Rewriting a Seven-Year-Old Novel: I’m so glad you all are enjoying the rewrites of older posts. This one was centered on Bad Bloods, too! It was really neat to see my old post, when I had no idea if it would work out, and this new post, after I’ve signed it for publication. I’ve learned a lot over the past decade, and it’s fun to be able to share those lessons with everyone.

3. Feminism in YA: Knives and Candy: I discuss how heroines can be both badass and traditionally feminine and still be respected and believable. I shared numerous aspects of my life from both sides and call for an understanding that female characters need to be 3D.

3. Writing the Back Blurb: This one actually tied for third place, so I put both up here. I recovered various tips on how to tackle back blurb writing. Stakes! Remember your stakes.

These were the books I read this month!

These were the books I read this month!

Other Blog Posts:

Various Stages of Writer’s Block: We all get it. But for those of you who don’t, this is what it’s like

#1 Referrer was WordPress' Reader

#1 Referrer was WordPress’ Reader

Saturdate Fortitude, Splintered, The Beat Generation, & Broken Elbows: A weekly update of a psychological thriller, a fairy tale retelling, a poet, and an injury.

Saturdate: Shadowhunters, Bad Bloods Shorts, BuzzFeed Books, and Zombie Clowns: A weekly update about an awesome feature and a terrible dream.

Try a New Section in the Bookstore: I talk about what I’ve learned by broadening my reading horizons.

How Podcasts Can Help Your Writing: There are SO many ways to tackle your writing, and this is a great route to try.

Saturdate Danish Girl, An Outline, Cat Socks, and Raven Boys: A weekly update about one of the best movies of the year and books and cats and stuff.

Saturdate Book Covers, Amy Schumer, Assassins, Joy, and homemade fudge: A weekly update about how I failed at baking.

Website Wonders: A monthly classic

At the end of the month, I also like to take a moment to thank all of the websites who supported me by posting reviews, interviews, and features. If you want to be one of these websites, feel free to join my newsletter or email me at shannonathompson@aol.com. I always love speaking with new bloggers, writers, and readers! I will also share your post on all of my websites.

Reviewers: The Messy Owl

Features: Buzzfeed Book’s 31 Funny Tweets That Are Way, Way Too Real For Writers

jan2016

Come get your books signed on February 13, from 1-3 PM! I’ll be one of several featured authors at a Barnes & Noble Valentine’s Day Romance Author Event in Wichita, Kansas at Bradley Fair. CTP author Tamara Granthamwill be there, as well as NY Times Bestselling and USA Today Bestselling author Candice Gilmer. (I’ll know the other three authors soon!) I’d love to see you! If you haven’t started The Timely Death Trilogy, don’t worry. Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, is free!

Minutes Before Sunset, book 1:

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Seconds Before Sunrisebook 2:

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Death Before Daylightbook 3:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Barnes & NobleValentine's Day Romance Author Event

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