Tag Archives: Barnes & Noble signing

#WritingTips Music Muse and Tricks

15 Feb
At the signing :)

At the signing 🙂

If you would like a signed copy of any book in The Timely Death Trilogy, e-mail me at shannonathompson.com. Barnes & Noble in Wichita has a few copies left from the Valentine’s Day Romance Author Event this past Saturday. It was AWESOME. I met some wonderful readers and authors.

Thank you for coming out!


Every Monday, I cover an older post but in a new way. In fact, today’s post comes from my very first year of blogging. (It’s really surreal to see how much my website has changed since 2012, so feel free to read the original post here.) Basically, I covered one song I listened to in order to get inspired, but that was it. Today, I want to talk about music in general in regards to writing and how you can use it as a tool to help enhance your work, make connections, and understand yourself better.

1. Trick Your Mind with Classical Conditioning

This is, by far, my favorite aspect of music in regards to writing. You can use music to trick your mind with basic conditioning. (You know, that famous psychology term defined by salivating dogs and bells…but we’re going to use authors and music instead.) Basically, find songs that have the same mood or tone of your story, and listen to them while you write or right before you write. That way, when you’re having a day where you don’t feel like writing—or you’re just having a difficult time getting into the mood—you can listen to these songs, and it “tricks” your brain into knowing it is time to write. In fact, I’ve used this method before, even though I rarely listen to music while writing. I still have “trigger” songs I listen to while brainstorming, so when I’m having a harder time than usual, it can be fixed with an energetic song my brain correlates with successful writing time. Thanks, Pavlov.

2. Inspiration, Of Course

A lot of writers find inspiration in music. Whether it’s the lyrics or the sound or the mood it invokes, music can serve as a starting point for writers. When I was younger, I was *kind of* like this. I loved to listen to music while I had to take long drives to school (and this was when gas was $5 per gallon, yeesh). The combination of movement and music helped me zone into movie trailer type scenarios. I could picture snippets and high-action type scenes that I could shout at myself (at stoplights as well) and later write down when I was…you know…not driving. I don’t do this anymore, but I have had great moments where a song really sticks with me and can help shape a scene or a character. In fact, I recently couldn’t get enough of Railroad Track by Willy Moon in relation to Take Me Yesterday, book 2 of The Tomo Trilogy. Even though it didn’t inspire anything, the music (and the video) fit what I had in my head perfectly, and seeing it played out helped energize me enough to write 10,000 words in one night. For that one night, that song was everything.


Extra: The top two songs I listened to while working on Bad Bloods: Murakami by Made in Heights and Black Crown by Silent Rider and Camille Corazon.

3. #MSWL Correlations

Okay. The title of this section is a bit of a stretch, but I think every writer—whether they are looking for a traditional agent or not—can learn a ridiculous amount about the industry and writing trends by following the #MSWL feed on Twitter. #MSWL is Manuscript Wishlist, which is where agents post what they are looking for. Surprisingly enough, a lot of agents will post song titles and say something along the lines of “If your manuscript is like this song, I want it!” Isn’t that awesome? A single song—lyrics and all—could inspire an entire novel…and an agent who wants to sign it. Why? Because songs are powerful. It doesn’t hurt to understand why either. Just like how we tell writers to look at their favorite books and ask themselves why they love them, I suggest writers research their favorite songs and ask themselves the same question. You could have a story hiding in you.

How has music affected your writing life?


This THURSDAY, I will host #AuthorinaCoffeeShop Episode 7 on Twitter at 7 PM via @AuthorSAT. I normally host it on Friday, but a few of you have expressed Thursday as a better day, so I will probably test out the next few episodes on Thursday to see which days are best. I hope to see you there!

Another wonderful picture of the authors from the Barnes & Noble signing!

Another wonderful picture of the authors from the Barnes & Noble signing!

The Timely Death Trilogy is now available! 

Get SIGNED copies by e-mailing shannonathompson@aol.com

Minutes Before Sunset: book 1: FREE 

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksSmashwordsKoboGoodreads

Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksSmashwordsKoboGoodreads

Death Before Daylight: book 3:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksSmashwordsKoboGoodreads

#SATurdate: Today’s Book Signing, The Infinite Sea, Shameless, & Puppy Chow

13 Feb

I have my book signing at Barnes & Noble at Bradley Fair in Wichita, Kansas today! Stop by the Barnes & Noble Valentine’s Day Romance Author Event from 1 to 3 PM to get your books signed by Tamara GranthamCandice GilmerJan SchliesmanAngi Morgan, and me!


What I’m Writing:

I’m 26,000 words into Take Me Yesterday, which is only 1,000 more than last week, but hey, I’m actually HANDWRITING this entire novel before I type it up. What can I say? Noah is a delicate character. But this is why it’s taking me longer than usual to up that word count. But word count doesn’t matter, right? My goal to complete it before July, but we will see. I’m in no rush. I just want to get it right.

What I’m Publishing:

Special thanks goes out to The Book Forums for sending this awesome e-mail!

Special thanks goes out to The Book Forums for sending this awesome e-mail!

Bad Bloods is on Amazon, but only as a paperback right now. I also gave away an exclusive sneak peek of November Rain to everyone who is subscribed to my newsletter. I hope you enjoyed the first chapter! A special shout out goes to The Book Forums, for sending the awesome e-mail you can read on the right. If you want to have more opportunities like this, be sure to sign up for my newsletter by clicking here. (I’ll probably be offering pre-review copies through my newsletter. Hint hint.) In a month or two, both Bad Bloods books should be up for pre-order, which is awesome. This week’s #1lineWed preview theme was “smell.”

I could smell the night on my skin, the gunpowder, the sulfur smog, the betrayal of a city.

Add Bad Bloods to Goodreads: November Rain and November Snow

Visit the Facebook, Pinterest, and the Extras page.

What I’m Reading:

I finished The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey, and it was AWESOME. The sequel to The 5th Wave was gruesome, sometimes disgusting, uncomfortable, riveting, and completely insane. I would have to bet that The Last Star will be even crazier. Thank you, Rick Yancey. Thank you. You can read my five-star review by clicking here.

What I’m Listening To:

The radio while traveling on the road! If you’re curious, here was my route.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 5.12.25 PM

What I’m Watching:

I binge-watched Shameless, which is an awesome train wreck of a show. Definitely recommended if you don’t mind the uglier sides of life.


What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

Puppy chow!

What I’m Wearing:

12698387_979742842072897_8285426920474485363_oMy new sleeping mask. It’s adorable, I know. I couldn’t help myself.

What I’m Wanting:

To see your pretty faces at the book signing today! I have no idea what time you’re reading this, but thank you for sharing the event or even wishing you could be here. You are the best.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

This was freakin’ priceless. I have been working very hard on Take Me Yesterday, so it leaked over to my dream world. I was sitting at a concert, watching Noah and Broden, when a man sat down next to me. When I looked over at him, I realized he was “K.” (I will call him K, because I’m not positive about his name yet, but he is the protagonist from an epic fantasy I have written that I have referred to before as “D.” Basically, he’s from another book I’ve written that’s in limbo because I’m working on Take Me Yesterday.) Well, K watch Noah and Broden for a minute and then turned to me and said, “These are the dudes you’ve ditched me for?” He was not impressed. And I burst out into hysterical laughter. Noah and Broden heard this happen and immediately came over and started defending themselves. I could not stop laughing. I actually woke up, I believe, from dream Shannon’s laughter. Characters need to stay in their own books and dreams. But K is getting really pushy. I might just have to take a TMY break and give him some attention.

What Else Is Going On:

Boo Boo went to the vet on Thursday. He is 10 lbs., and healthy enough for another 13 years. In fact, all three of my cats had their yearly visit now, and all three are perfectly healthy. That is worth celebrating.


I hosted #AuthorinaCoffeeShop Episode 6 this past Thursday instead of Friday. I might do the next four episodes on Thursday just to see what day is better for everyone, but I’d love to hear your opinions. Thanks for continuing to come and hang out and just have fun in the coffee shop with me (even though it’s virtual and kind of crazy). I can’t wait to see you there next week at 7 PM on Twitter via @AuthorSAT. I’ll be sure to let everyone know if it’s on a Thursday or Friday before then.

The Timely Death Trilogy is now available! 

Minutes Before Sunset: book 1: FREE 

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksSmashwordsKoboGoodreads

Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksSmashwordsKoboGoodreads

Death Before Daylight: book 3:

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksSmashwordsKoboGoodreads

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