Tag Archives: audio books

#MondayBlogs Authors, Look Back to Move Forward

11 Apr

Most writers have dreamt of being authors for a long time. Finding out an author started writing at a very young age happens more often than not, and I think it is important to remember that. In many ways, it is easier for a child to dream of becoming an author or an athlete or a superstar. After all, they might not fully comprehend all of the sacrifices they’ll need to make in order to accomplish their goals, but nevertheless, they dream. They dream and they write and they move forward. In some ways, I think you could say a child is closer to the dream, because they don’t worry about all the what ifs and rules. They just write. Theoretically, I think we can bring back our childhood passion—minus our bills, our lack of time, our adult concerns—and concentrate on just being writers. How? I’ll get to that in a minute.

A few years ago, my family got together on Father’s Day, and my brother and his then-fiancée-now-wife were looking for pictures to use during their wedding. That was when my dad decided to bring up two boxes my late mother left behind. When she was alive, she collected our artwork in boxes for my brother and me to open when we had kids, but we decided to open them up early for my brother’s wedding. It was an amazingly beautiful collection of childhood clothes, art, and pictures.

That’s when I found it: Two books I wrote as a child, which were printed by Crabapple Crossing Book Publishing. 

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20130625_141947This was a moment that brought me back to that childhood passion before I even knew what publishing was. I was only in the second grade, and yet, I knew I loved writing stories. A little background: “Max & Milo” is about two dogs having a birthday party before they move away and become pen pals with all of their old friends. I found it pretty amusing (but interesting) because I had two dogs at the time. Surprise, they were named Max and Milo. I also moved around a lot as a kid. Strangely enough, this story followed the “write what you know” tip that’s very common for beginner writers. I wish I could say I understood the “show, don’t tell” rule at this age, but I think most of the story was described through the pictures I drew. I’m quite relieved I didn’t attempt to be a sketch artist. I’m super relieved I also learned grammar and how to structure dialogue.

But what is the most encouraging part about looking back on these things? 

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Fun facts: Valerie Tripp wrote The American Girl Doll series, my favorite color is red, I was born in Allentown, PA, and I still want to be an author when I grow up. 😉

I’ve achieved the dream I’ve strived for since I was seven, and I continue to do better every day. I now know the “show, don’t tell” rule, along with a couple others, and I hope to add to my craft with every book I read, every sentence I write, and every day I dream.

Here’s to hoping this childhood post inspires others writers to look back on their goals, dreams, and creations to see how long the passion has been there, how far they’ve come, and how they’ll continue to move forward with grace and passion.

Original posted on June 26, 2013. 

~SAT

event5Clean Teen Publishing is hosting a #AskCTP Giveaway on Twitter April 27! I’m REALLY excited about this live author-reader Q&A, and I really hope you all can make it. You can even win a CTP Mystery Box, which includes 1 to 2 print books, swag, and more. And that’s not all.

Clean Teen Publishing is giving away $120 worth of prizes! Do you hate long car rides and traffic? Are you tired of the same old cleaning the house routine? Do you find yourself wishing you had more time to read? If so, then we have the answer for you: LISTEN TO FICTION! That’s right. Audio books. Enter the Listen to Fiction Giveaway by clicking the link.

If you love free stuff, Minutes Before Sunset, book 1 of The Timely Death Trilogy, is FREE right now. Recommended to YA paranormal romance fans who want new creatures never seen or heard of before.

Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksSmashwordsKoboGoodreads

Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksSmashwordsKoboGoodreads

Death Before Daylight: book 3:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksSmashwordsKoboGoodreads

takefofytseve

#SATurdate: Batman V Superman, Full Wrap, Audio Books, & Dreamthief

9 Apr

My week has been full of superheroes and villains.

What I’m Writing:

As promised, I’ve put Take Me Yesterday aside, so I’m writing in “D.” I’ve mentioned D before, but I also haven’t said much about it other than I first wrote it when I was 19 and that it is a colorful novel. This week, I’ll add that it’s a YA novel. (Hehe, not much of a hint, eh?) My plan is to add more description every week. So far, I’m 36,000 into this draft, and although this is a fifth draft—maybe even a sixth—it feels like a first draft since I was missing so many vital elements before. Still, I love how it is coming together. The characters feel rounder, the setting is magical, and the voice is fresh. I can’t wait to continue. I also worked on another manuscript I call “S.” S and D are not related. D is old. S is brand-new. I’m quite enjoying both, but S is still in the world-building stages.

What I’m Publishing:

The final full wrap for November Rain was completed this week, and let me tell you, it is awesome. I’m glad you all loved it, too! But in case you didn’t see it:

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I spent WAY too much time this week searching for stock photos and creating teasers for whenever Bad Bloods goes up for pre-order. I love them though! It gave me a much-needed break from my editing job and writing novels. In fact, I think I obsessed over them a little too much…

This week’s #1lineWed preview was “Up,” but my actual tweet wasn’t an exact quote from the book, so I thought I’d give you a paragraph this week. Click here to read my tweet. Read the paragraph below to see an excerpt from November Snow.

Snowflakes. Millions of them.

Across the town, thin white blankets began to build on the streets and buildings. Between each bright light was a glittering stream of silver, and I couldn’t tear my eyes away from them. It looked like a thousand stars had broken up over the sky and drifted down to be with us.

Add Bad Bloods to Goodreads: November Rain and November Snow

Visit the Facebook, Pinterest, and the Extras page.

What I’m Reading:

12901085_1018903768156804_4321670349204755421_oI finished Dreamthief by Tamara Grantham, and I really enjoyed all of the magic in her double world! Read my full review here, especially if you love magic, elves, pixies, goblins, and dragons.

Favorite Quote:
“I realize you have attachments to someone else—someone far below my merit. Yet, if you choose him over me, I will understand, and I will not bother you any longer.”
“Someone below your merit, huh?”
“Far below, I believe, were my exact words.”
“And you feel that you’d make a better match for me?”
“I am certain of it.”

What I’m Listening To:

No shame.

What I’m Watching:

Batman V. Superman. I’m sorry, but no. Just…no. I really, REALLY tried to like Batman V. Superman, but you probably saw my Stepbrother comparison meme on Twitter. If not, click here. It’s not that Batman V. Superman was terrible. I’ll admit that I’m not the biggest fan of DC superhero movies. I’m more of a Marvel person. (Go, X-Men!) I’m definitely not a superhero hater. I mean, Sailor Moon Crystal is back, and I fangirled for twenty-four hours straight. That being said, Batman V. Superman came across as silly mash up of a lot of overdone clichés. On a side note, I’m definitely looking forward to the YA books of superheroes—including Batman—coming out by YA authors, like Marie Lu and Leigh Bardugo. Those sound awesome. But I’ll get to that below.

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What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

I baked peanut-butter chocolate chip cookies this week, because why not? I’ve been using those new fill-in chocolate chips when baking cookies, and I’ll tell you what, those are awesome. I love the cherry ones and the peanut butter ones so far.

What I’m Wearing:

Spring flowers in my hair! Just kidding. I think.

What I’m Wanting:

Some of you may have heard the news, but YA is getting four superhero novels, written by AWESOME authors in 2017.

“There’s Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha Trilogy) on Wonder Woman, Marie Lu (The Young Elites) on Batman, Matt de la Peña (Mexican Whiteboy and The Living) on Superman, and Sarah J. Maas (The Thrones of Glass series) on Catwoman.” –Mashable

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What I’m Dreaming Of:

Fun fact: I’m obsessed with Jamie Campbell Bower and Lily Collins. I’m not normally so celebrity crazed, but I’ve sort-of-maybe-kind-of stalked them since The Mortal Instrument movie in 2013. Like many of their fans, I was UBER excited when they got back together last fall, but alas, they broke up again, and I had a dream that I devised a plan to trick them into getting back together. (I really need to stop stalking them.) Well, they did get back together, but they were really mad that I tricked them into doing this, so they hired a hacker to break into my phone and get physical proof that I was stalking them and tricking them, and then, both of them shared the proof on Instagram…but no one knew whether to think I was awesome, creepy, terrible, or all three, but in the end, I was pretty satisfied. (Seriously. I need to stop stalking them.)

What Else Is Going On:

Clean Teen Publishing is giving away $120 worth of prizes! Do you hate long car rides and traffic? Are you tired of the same old cleaning the house routine? Do you find yourself wishing you had more time to read? If so, then we have the answer for you: LISTEN TO FICTION! That’s right. Audio books. Enter the Listen to Fiction Giveaway by clicking the link.

Audio-Book-Giveaway

~SAT

#WW The Emotions of Finishing a Novel

6 Apr

Recently, I finished the first draft of a novel. Granted, any novelist already knows that means the novel isn’t truly finished, but alas, finishing that first draft is the first hurdle to novel freedom. There are a lot of emotions that come along with that moment. Even if it is the tenth novel you’ve written, it never gets old. These were my emotions.

When You Hit The Last Chapter

Oh, god. I’m about to complete this thing. Like, this thing is actually going to be done. Not done, done. But done enough for now-done. For at least a month done. Then, I have to edit. Wait. Focus. You’re not done yet. Finish before you worry about editing.

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When You Hit The Last Sentence

And then all the characters were dead. Just kidding. *Deletes* (Insert heart-warming or gut-wrenching completion or cliffhanger.) Yep. That was sad. I’m a genius. (A genius who’s going to probably rewrite this line a billion and one times during the editing process.)

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When You Type The End

I’m delighted!

It’s complete!

All my hard work and here I am!

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When It Actually Hits You

Wait. It’s complete. Now what?

Panic. (Of course.)

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When You Focus

Time to make phone calls. Time to round up the team. Time to tell them we’re past the first hurdle and now it’s full speed ahead. Everyone is excited, but most likely to remind you to take a moment to breathe. This clearly means it’s time to celebrate.

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When You Celebrate

Dance party! This is best done to the soundtrack you wrote the novel to. Because, let’s be honest, you’re not going to want to listen to those songs for a LONG time. You might as well enjoy them now.

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 When You Calm Down

Okay. You’re not much of a dancer anyway (even though you did write that killer dance scene in the book you just finished). Let’s go do something more reasonable. Something less dangerous. Like eat potatoes. Or order a reward for your accomplishment. A new coffee mug will do.

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And Finally…When You Can Take a Break…Before You Work Again

We all know this is just a single step in a very complicated, often grueling (but also fun) process in an equally as long and complicated journey. Rewrites and edits and beta readers and query letters and publishers and formatters and cover artists all come into play. There are a million things to do and probably a million more ideas already itching to come out of your fingertips and onto the keyboard. But don’t forget to enjoy these little moments. Take a step back and reward yourself for all of your hard work. And, when you return, burn up that keyboard again. The next novel is waiting.

~SAT

#AuthorinaCoffeeShop Episode 14 starts this Thursday at 7 PM (CDT) via Twitter’s @AuthorSAT. What is #AuthorinaCoffeeShop? It’s just how it sounds. I sit in a coffee shop, people watch, and tweet out my writer thoughts, all while talking to you. I hope to see you there!

Clean Teen Publishing is giving away $120 worth of prizes! Do you hate long car rides and traffic? Are you tired of the same old cleaning the house routine? Do you find yourself wishing you had more time to read? If so, then we have the answer for you: LISTEN TO FICTION! That’s right. Audio books. Enter the Listen to Fiction Giveaway by clicking the link.

Audio-Book-Giveaway

12967952_1019564618090719_8181243134796822980_oIf you love free stuff, Minutes Before Sunset, book 1 of The Timely Death Trilogy, is FREE right now. Recommended to YA paranormal romance fans who want new creatures never seen or heard of before. Feel free to send me a picture of you reading, too! I’ll share it around, like this photo, from Tamara Grantham, who said:

“I’ve fallen in love with Shannon A. Thompson’s Minutes Before Sunset. The willow tree is a central symbol in the book. Oddly enough, I’ve got 4 beautiful willow trees in my backyard, so it’s only fitting that I took this picture amidst the branches.”

Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksSmashwordsKoboGoodreads

Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksSmashwordsKoboGoodreads

Death Before Daylight: book 3:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksSmashwordsKoboGoodreads

#WW How Podcasts Can Help Your Writing

13 Jan

Audio books are getting more and more popular every year. Why? Well, it’s nice to be able to listen to a book while driving to work instead of the latest (and probably repetitive) pop song. On top of that, many people have less free time than ever before, so audio books help add to the variety of ways readers can still read. (Now if they could only get that price down…)

Personally, I’m not an audio book person. Not yet. But I have found another stream of entertainment through audio programs, and they help with my writing.

I love podcasts. I think they are brilliant, and they definitely help keep me updated when I FINALLY give myself a break from staring at my computer screen. I generally listen to a podcast while doing the dishes or putting away the laundry or chasing my crazy cats away from scratching up the latest UPS delivery. (True story.)

Basically, they help me continue to research the publishing industry or for my writings when I’m not on my computer. Since I work on the computer all day (and spend most of my free time on the computer as an author), it’s nice to have the option of simply listening to additional information and not have to go searching for it. I highly recommend giving them a try. Even if you already know the information given, it’s nice to have your feelings confirmed. (It’s also nice for a hermit like me, who practically never hears a human voice all week long.)

So, how do I recommend getting involved?

Well, think about what you want more information on and why. Personally, I wanted to follow at least two good writing podcasts, but I also wanted something that could help with my writing, especially in areas where I lack. To expand on that, I wanted something that would challenge my inspiration or force me to go outside my comfort zone. Seriously, there are podcasts on everything, but here is my example:

1. Writing Podcasts

There are dozens of podcasts dedicated to writing, publishing, and everything in between. Personally, my favorite has been Writing Excuses. The recordings are clear, the hosts are fun, and the topics are relatable but also challenging. I often find myself nodding along to everything they say, but then, they say ONE little thing in a way I’ve never thought about it before, and my entire afternoon is fueled with excitement. This is my favorite podcast of all-time. Highly recommended for every writer out there, no matter where you are in your writing career.

WritingExcuses

2. Help with my Research

As every writer, I research. A lot. But I don’t always have hours and hours of time to research. So, I searched for a podcast with mythology and classical stories to listen to. This is more for inspiration than anything else, but it helps me take a break, have fun, and educate myself (or even refresh myself) on the mythology out there literature uses to create. It also feels like a reprieve from work, even though it isn’t.

3. Challenge My Inspiration

This is an expansion on #2, but basically, I didn’t just want to be inspired; I also wanted to be challenged. So, in this example, I challenged myself to listen to a podcast on Japanese mythology. Granted, I’ve already had some interest in this field, but it’s more difficult for me to get involved since I don’t have a huge background in it. By listening to it more, especially while contrasting it against western mythology, I can challenge myself to find inspiration in topics I wouldn’t normally find outside of that podcast.

These are three simple ways you can use podcasts to help with your writing.

I hope you have just as much fun as I have!

~SAT

I’m starting a new series called “Author in a Coffee Shop.” If you’re wondering what Author in the Coffee Shop is, it’s just how it sounds. I sit in a coffee shop and tweet out my writer thoughts while…you know…I people watch…for inspiration.
Follow me on Twitter via @AuthorSAT next Friday at 7 p.m. CDT for episode 2.

Here’s a sample if you missed out:

In other news…you can now add Bad Bloods to Goodreads: November Rain and November SnowI’m also considering leading up to the July releases with short stories of each character joining the “flocks.” A flock is a group of 12 bad bloods that have come together to survive on the streets. In Bad Bloods, there are four flocks, one for each cardinal direction of the city, but only two flocks are left: The Southern and the Northern Flock. Some stories would purposely be left out, but I have six written. If this is something you’d think you’d be interested in reading, let me know! I would start sharing them at the end of February.

Speaking of February, on February 13, I’ll be one of several featured authors at a Barnes & Noble Valentine’s Day Romance Author Event in Wichita, Kansas. (More info to come.) I’d love to see you at Bradley Fair!

Also, my awesome publisher is giving away a Kindle Fire right here.

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Starting your 2016 Reading Challenge? Minutes Before Sunset, book 1  in The Timely Death Trilogy, is FREE: (You could read it on your brand-new Kindle Fire.)

Minutes Before Sunset, book 1:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Seconds Before Sunrisebook 2:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

Death Before Daylightbook 3:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboGoodreads

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