Tag Archives: book trailer

#SATurdate: MWG Conference, The Crown, Allergies, and Silicon Valley

7 May

Since last Saturday was a Ketchup post, this Saturdate post covers two weeks of information. TWO WEEKS?! Yes. Two weeks.

What I’m Writing:

13177904_1037600996287081_998105092686369145_nOkay! This is CRAZY, but I finished writing D, clocking in at 92,722 words! I’m officially in the editing stages, which is perfect, because this past week, I actually received some AWESOME feedback at the 101st Missouri Writers’ Guild Conference about this particular work, so I’m more excited than ever to keep fine-tuning this project. I mean, it has been in the works for nearly 5 years. That being said, I finally feel like it’s DEFINITELY headed in the right direction, so special thanks goes out to all the panelists behind all the workshops who helped me make a couple major decisions regarding this work. (Then, I can start working on The Tomo Trilogy again, right? Right?) For the record, D is a YA fantasy project I’d like to get off the ground AFTER The Tomo Trilogy, so trust me, I haven’t forgotten you tomo fans. I will get back to it. I will. But for now, I have a few things I’ll be adjusting in D for the coming weeks, so expect to hear more about that novel this month.

What I’m Publishing:

You can officially sign up for Bad Bloods Book Blitz through Xpresso Book Tours! I hope you’ll sign up to support this little author out. (You might also win some awesome prizes while you’re at it!)

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As many of you saw, the Bad Bloods book trailer released via YouTube, but in case you missed it, I am posting the video below. (Isn’t it beautiful and dramatic?)

Clean Teen Publishing’s lovely designer Marya also created Bad Bloods business cards and a banner for Penned Con. The first teaser released, too! Along with the next short story in the Bad Bloods Prequel. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, check out Michele’s story today. Who is Michele? Well, in Bad Bloods, she’s the “mother” figure of the Northern Flock, but in the prequel, she’s just a kid. A kid with a gift. And her prequel story actually shows up in November Snow, so reading her story will give you more details when you read the novels this July. Now…for more previews.

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All those lovely goodies discussed above

The #1lineWed preview one week was “pull,” so here is your preview: He pulled me against his chest, and either his, mine, or both of our hearts pounded between us.

The second #1lineWed preview was “pretty,” so here is that preview: Tessa was always there, growing flowers when we needed tomatoes more than pretty things.

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

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November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

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Visit the Pinterest and Facebook Pages.

What I’m Reading:

I finished The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, and of course, I loved it as much as I loved it the first time. I recommended The Raven Cycle to paranormal YA fans and readers who love sass and class. Light romance (with great tension) and beautifully poetic prose. Favorite quote? Solutions were easy, once you knew what was in your way. A magical and frightening tale of secrets and sarcastic heroines. You can read my five-star review by clicking here.

I also finished The Young Elites by Marie Lu. It was a gorgeous, dark, and stunning story of betrayal and magic. Recommended to young adult fantasy readers who enjoy darker elements, Italian Renaissance type settings, and anti-heroes or villains as the protagonist. Also to those of you who love first-person, present tense. Favorite Quote? Beauty and pain go hand in hand. You can read my four-star review by clicking here.

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And while attending MWG, I got my hands on two Month9Books: Emerge by Tobie Easton and Genesis Girl by Jennifer Bardsley. I’m currently reading Emerge. Granted, I had to put it aside to read The Crown by Kiera Cass, because I’ve been waiting on this finale FOREVER. And yes, I finished The Crown in one night, and you can read my four-star review here.

Despite some pacing issues, I thought The Crown was a lovely ending to The Selection Series. I recommend it to YA readers of romance. Despite being labeled a dystopian, The Selection Series has little to no emphasis on the dystopian elements, especially by the time you get to Eadlyn’s story. Still, I enjoyed it as a fairy tale-princess-prince-finding-a-soul-mate story. It’s cute, it’s fun, and it’s definitely swoon worthy. My favorite quote? Maybe it’s not the first kisses that are supposed to be special. Maybe it’s the last ones.

On top of that, I received a LOVELY gift of 1800’s books directly from Scotland, along with a Thompson crest bookmark. I’m definitely in love.

What I’m Listening To:

What I’m Watching:

Season 3 of Penny Dreadful began, and so did Season 3 of Silicon Valley—two of my favorite TV shows (among the only ones that I watch), so I definitely started those seasons. I also watched the documentary Bridegroom and bawled my little writer eyes out.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

I attempted to bake a rustic peach tart this week, but it came out more like a peach pie than a tart. I also burnt my thumb. Both of my thumbs. But not every baking experience can be perfect…and at least this mistake turned into a pie. I’m not sure mistakes get any better than that.

What I’m Wearing:

I have new sandals! Whew. Now to fight my cats from eating them…

What I’m Wanting:

13062327_1033327780047736_6389651930362409756_nMore time to smell the spring flowers. Despite my allergies… Wait. That just occurred to me. Can’t you tell this is my first time ever dealing with allergies?

What I’m Dreaming Of:

Lowes? I have no idea what I dreamt about, but all I remember is waking up thinking my dreams were sponsored by Lowes. I’m assuming this is because I get all of my paint palettes from there…so in a weird way, my dreams are sponsored by Lowes.

What Else Is Going On:

Allergies. I hate them. I’ve never had them before, but my older brother has, and I’ve constantly given him a hard time about them. I will never give him a hard time ever again. I can barely breathe. It’s terrible.

On a side note though, I managed to control my allergies enough to go to the 101st Annual Missouri Writers’ Guild Conference, and I had a great time! I met some wonderful people, I received some wonderful feedback, and I am marching into the future more hopeful than ever. Attend those conferences, folks! They will make your day.

~SAT

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April Ketchup

30 Apr

 

Wow! So, Bad Bloods is up for pre-order, and naturally, my life has gotten pretty insane. I loved this month, and I hope you’ll enjoy catching up!

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 April.

~SAT

Big Moments:

Bad Bloods went up for pre-order! (Okay, only part one, but still.) I cannot believe how many of you have already pre-ordered and messaged me about the first chapter. Seriously. ::dances terribly:: I am extremely lucky that Bad Bloods is getting a second shot at the publishing world, and I cannot wait for readers to get their copies. It will only be for sale at $2.99 for a limited time. Once Bad Bloods releases, the price will go up, so pre-order soon to take advantage of Clean Teen Publishing’s deal. You can now read the first chapter via Wattpad by clicking the link! Don’t forget to help a girl out and vote/share. 🙂

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#1 Clicked Item was Bad Bloods Pre-Order on Amazon

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Speaking of Wattpad, I’m publishing a FREE prequel on Wattpad, and you can already read the first chapter—Adam—by clicking the link. I highly recommend you read How To Read These Stories first though. I will be updating every other Friday, so the next chapter releases May 6. I’m really excited about this prequel, because without it, these stories would be sitting on my laptop collecting technology dust. If you love them, please feel free to vote and share! Your support really helps an author out.

If you love book trailers, the Bad Bloods book trailer also went up! Feel free to like, share, and comment. I love hearing from you. (November Rain’s full wrap released, too.)

As you can see, it’s been a crazy month. In fact, I’m currently at the 101st Annual Missouri Writers’ Guild Conference, so while it’s a part of this month, I’ll end up covering what all happened next month, so be prepared for that news.

One last shout-out: You all got Minutes Before Sunset, book 1 of The Timely Death Trilogy, up to #4 in YA Paranormal and #5 in YA Sci-fi this month! Thank you for your support! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the Dark. Get your first book free by clicking the links below. A fan shout-out goes to Pau’s Digital Playground for creating a Light cosplay. You’re the best.

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In my last bit of news—I know. I know. This has gone on FOREVER—I finished Take Me Yesterday this month, clocking in at 78,000 words. Once I finish my new, current manuscript—known as “D”—I will start editing TMY and work towards publishing The Tomo Trilogy. That shouldn’t take too long either! I’m 70,000 words into “D” and planning to clock that one in at 95,000 words. Hopefully, I’ll finish it in May. We will see.

Top Three Blog Posts:

1SEO1. #BadBloods Pre-Order, Prequel, and Book Trailer: This was the official blog post for Bad Bloods going up for pre-order, though I know I posted it everywhere days beforehand. I’m glad everyone is excited! I would post more information, but I’m pretty certain I already bombarded you with all that above. 😉

2. Authors, Look Back to Move Forward: Sometimes it’s best to look back at where your passion started to remind yourself how far you’ve come and why you should keep moving forward. This was my story of how looking back helped my story continue moving forward.

3. The Emotions of Finishing a Novel: I finished writing Take Me Yesterday this month! This sequel was a long time coming, but it was also my 10th book. 10th! So, I decided to write an article depicting all my crazy author emotions through cat gifs. What? I’m a catlady. I couldn’t help myself.

Other Blog Posts:

#1 Referrer was WordPress' Reader

#1 Referrer was WordPress’ Reader

What It’s Like To Co-Author With Your Mother: A guest post by the lovely team who wrote Never Mind My Thigh Gap (one of my favorite YA novels I’ve had the joy of working with.)

How To Enjoy Blogging As An Author: This is for authors just starting out with blogging.

Blogging Tips For Authors: Blogging can be hard! But it can still be fun.

When The Villain Isn’t A Person: We always focus on villains with capes. But what about the other types of villains out there?

#Saturdate Batman V Superman, Full Wrap, Audio Books, and Dream Thieves: My weekly update of publishing and writing!

#Saturdate The End, Writing Playlist, Lemon Bars, and the Winner’s Kiss: Another weekly update. I love discussing books and movies with everyone, so thanks for stopping by with recommendations.

#Saturdate: Deadpool, Gangsters, Cake, and The Grisha Trilogy: My weekly updates of reading, writing, and loving music and movies.

#Saturdate Pre-Order, Prequel, Bread Pudding, Mad Hatter, and Janitors: I listened to some awesome music and made some awesome announcements!

Website Wonders: A monthly classic

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#BadBloods Pre-Order, Prequel, and Book Trailer!

25 Apr

If you’re signed up for my newsletter, then you already received MOST of this lovely news, but if you missed it and wished you hadn’t, click here to sign up.

Bad Bloods is officially up for pre-order!

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Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iBooks

Kobo

Smashwords

Goodreads

It will only be for sale at $2.99 for a limited time. Once Bad Bloods releases, the price will go up, so pre-order soon to take advantage of Clean Teen Publishing’s deal. You can now read the first chapter via Wattpad by clicking the link! 

Bad Bloods in 35 words or less: 17-year-old Serena is the only bad blood to escape execution. Now symbolized for an election, she must prove her people are human despite hindering abilities before everyone is killed and a city is destroyed.  

Watch the book trailer today!

During the next few months, I have some AWESOME releases coming out, including teasers and sneak peeks. Even crazier, I will be publishing a FREE prequel on Wattpad. You can read the first chapter—Adam—by clicking here. If you enjoy the story, don’t forget to vote and share. 🙂

Why a prequel?

wattpadAdamWell, before the Bad Bloods novels take place in 2089, twenty-four homeless bad bloods had to find shelter and safety in a city set out to eradicate their kind. Twenty-four. Which means there are a lot of characters in Bad Bloods. (Twelve kids in each flock, to be exact.) So, while their back-stories are mentioned in the books, the intricate details didn’t always make it through. These origin stories will not only show how the Northern Flock and the Southern Flock formed, but how Vendona treats bad bloods over a series of ten years. My hope is that this prequel shows everyone’s side to the story and ease readers into the story. These will also be great for readers who want to explore each character in-depth, so you can read it before, together, or after.

So how do I read these stories?

Read them with Bad Bloods or read them separately, but it’s probably best to read with or after. Since Bad Bloods is about Daniel, Serena, and Robert, their stories are purposely left out. All stories are put in the order of the year the child arrived and categorized by the Northern Flock and the Southern Flock, but the story may not necessary be told by that child. The tense might also change, depending on the speaker. More important than anything else, these short stories are how the Southern Flock and Northern Flocks formed before Bad Bloods takes place in November of 2089.

Some background:

What is a bad blood? A child born with hindering abilities. In Vendona, bad bloods are not considered human, and they are executed immediately upon discovery. Even parents are expected to report their own children. This was a law put in place during the Separation Movement, a war that took place in 2051 between bad bloods and humans.

What is a flock? A group of bad bloods who have managed to survive by coming together and living in secret. In Bad Bloods, there are two left: the Northern Flock and the Southern Flock. The Western Flock and the Eastern Flock have been killed.

What about A, B, C, or D? Any additional information about the city was left out of the prequel on purpose to keep suspense and surprise in Bad Bloods, but feel free to ask anyway. I might be able to answer or direct you to a spot in Bad Bloods that answers your question.

When will you update? I will upload a new origin story every other Friday.

Do I have to read this to understand Bad Bloods? No. Bad Bloods can be read completely on its own! These stories simply add to the experience. Example? In Bad Bloods, “gangs” are mentioned but basically go unseen. In the prequel, however, readers will get to see that side of Vendona and how it affected the characters’ lives before 2089.

Where can I read Bad Bloods? Anywhere books are sold! Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Smashwords, Kobo, Goodreads, etc.

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I hope everyone enjoys the upcoming prequel and teasers! 

Let it snow,

~SAT

event5Clean Teen Publishing is hosting an event – the #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.

In other news, I will be at the 101st Annual Missouri Writers’ Guild Conference in Kansas City, Missouri from April 29 to May 1! Feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you’re coming, so we can connect! I’d love to see some of you there. It’s going to be an absolute blast.

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#WW How To Be The Perfect Writer

7 Oct

The other day, I went to pick up my father at the airport. Knowing it might be a long wait, I decided to listen to NPR, a favorite station of mine. The theme of the day was creativity, and considering how suiting it was, I knew I would love it no matter what, but much to my writer’s delight, the main speaker, Sir Ken Robinson, blew me away.

Sir Ken Robinson actually is a “sir,” knighted by the queen herself due to his contributions in the arts in general and in regards to education. To this day, he’s even the most popular TED talk out there. Naturally, I felt compelled by him, but one quote said during the discussion has not left me, nor do I believe it ever will.

“Practice doesn’t make us perfect, but it helps you realize you don’t have to be.”

The phrase stuck me when he said it, and the phrase strikes me now as I type it out, really feeling the words for what they are. Let them sit with you for a moment if you will.

We, for most of our lives, are pounded with the phrase “practice makes perfect.” We are told failure is more or less the worst thing that can happen to you, and if you fail, it is 100% your fault and something to feel shame from. The concept “practice makes perfect” is disheartening, and at its core, it prevents us from taking risks, from reattempting, and mainly, from growing. Now, I’m not saying that practice isn’t great. Of course it is great. But weighing “practice” against “perfect” is where we go wrong.

No one is perfect. I would have to bet J.K. Rowling even finds spelling errors in her work, especially after sending it off to her editor, but I doubt she tells herself she’ll never try to write again because she forgot the “t” in “the” and Microsoft didn’t catch it because “he” is also a word.

See? Even programs aren’t perfect—and they’re literally designed to be.

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A part of art is failure, because a part of the soul is failure.

We seek out imperfections in heroes and heroines because they are flawed just like we are. It is what makes them human, and it also why we find ourselves able to love them.

Practice is vital, continuing to hone your art is necessary, and striving for better is always the ultimate goal. But do not allow yourself to be discouraged by imperfections. Find the beauty in them. Overcome the ones you can. Strive forward knowing you’ve grown from them. And realize, none of us our perfect. I mean…none of us are perfect. 😉

The “perfect” writer is not perfect at all.

And now…a video from Sir Ken Robinson. (It’s his original TED talk that became very popular, and it’s about the education system, so it’s not necessarily about the topic I discussed above, but I thought you all might like to listen to it, since I just talked about him.)

~SAT

Help me out and vote for Minutes Before Sunset on Dalitopia Media for a chance to win a free book trailer. All you have to do is click this Facebook link and “like” the photo on Facebook. Any and all “likes” are appreciated. 🙂

I still have 1 Halloween-themed box set of The Timely Death Trilogy available. Each box set includes 3 signed books, a signed bookmark, a bat or spider ring, and a personalized note from me. They cost $40.00 with free shipping in the U.S. Email me at shannonathompson@aol.com if you’re interested.

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Also this October, the paperback of Death Before Daylight releases on October 19! Two days later, on October 21, you can come see me at Headrush Coffee and Tea Roasters in Kansas City, Missouri for a paranormal talk and book signing.  It will be tons of fun!

bixserMinutes Before Sunset: book 1

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2

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Death Before Daylight: book 3

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June’s Ketchup

30 Jun

Here we are again – the end of the month, the beginning of a new one soon to come. Ketchup posts are among my favorite type of posts (but really, who can choose?) because I enjoy sharing what was the most popular and least popular here on ShannonAThompson.com.

If you’re new, these “Ketchup” posts are like the “Extras” on the DVD you just rented from RedBox – except you don’t have to pay $1 or give me your credit card information. I explain the behind-the-scenes this month, including my big moments, top three blog posts, the one blog post I wish received more views, the rest of the blog posts, top referrer other than search engines, top searched term, and gains in followers, likes, and shares. I also included every website who has helped me this month. But I am missing two categories this month: YouTube and my guest blogger. (What can I say? I missed blogging so much after my two-week haitus in May that I could not stop blogging for anything, but I am definitely looking for a guest blogger for July, so be sure to comment below. You just might be chosen.)

Big Moments: (This might get a little insane)

You must be tempted by now.

You must be tempted by now.

Seconds Before Sunrise finally released as an eBook: FINALLY. You can read book 2 of The Timely Death Trilogy on your tablet, iPhone, or whatever electronic, glowing device that keeps you awake at night. I’ve been anxiously awaiting this moment since the paperback released in March, and I am so happy to see the eBook selling (even more than Minutes Before Sunset!) So here are the links to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords – although it is available everywhere – and the eBook is only $3.89.

The Seconds Before Sunrise book trailer released: And, yes, you can watch it below.

nominee-award-february14_(3)Among this chaos, Minutes Before Sunset received an award badge from Noveltunity. You see, back in February, the eBook club nominated Minutes Before Sunset, but I kind of just found out this month. (Silly me.) So here’s the badge that I found to be really pretty. My novels also hit 150 ratings on Goodreads. This may not seem like a big deal since authors like J.K. Rowling have…oh, millions of ratings, but I am very thrilled to see 150 readers taking the time to rate my novels on Goodreads. Thank you. Taking a moment out of your day to tell other readers what you think means more to an author than we can express. No matter if the rating is good or bad, it helps new readers decide on taking a chance on an Indie author like me. So thank you for taking that time to rate my books. 😀

I also want to thank the many readers who take the time to quote my novels around the Internet, like on Twitter. In fact, Tony Jaa deemed me quote-worthy. I may be a gigantic Internet stalker fan of his now. (His martial arts moves are pretty neat!) So thank you for your support, Tony Jaa!

tony And last but definitely not least – we hit 300 posts on WordPress this June! Hasn’t it been quite the adventure?

Top Three Blog Posts:

1. The Top 10 Seriously Awkward Conversations I’ve Had When People Hear I’m a Writer: This was the top post I had this month and also the top post I originally thought wouldn’t get any views. I simply wanted to share a few funny moments I’ve had in my author life, and I’m glad you laughed with me. (Seriously. I was sort of nervous I would offend someone.) But it goes to show you how having a good laugh is always a good thing.

2. Author Announcements: This is going to sound strange, but it warms my heart when one of my “Author Announcements” posts becomes so popular. Originally, they didn’t get as many views as my “Writing Tips” but now, they do, and it’s a great comfort knowing that my readers are actually interested in my author life instead of only being interested in my tips.

3. Hachette and Amazon: Let’s Talk About it: This is such an important dispute to watch if you are a writer, publisher, or reader. (Or even just an Amazon customer.) And – unfortunately – it’s still going on today.

Actor and director, Andrew Vogel, with Minutes Before Sunset

Actor and director, Andrew Vogel, with Minutes Before Sunset

The Post I Wish Received More Views:

The Timely Death Trilogy Explained: World-Building and More: I should’ve titled this post “Writing Tips: World-Building” but I didn’t – mainly because I receive almost a constant strand of emails about my world-building in The Timely Death Trilogy. This post, however, is not about The Timely Death Trilogy. Sure, I use direct examples from my trilogy, but I wanted to help writers see the groundwork of world-building in a paranormal world that lives in our human reality. That being said, this did get views, but not the amount I normally get with my writing tips post, so I’m afraid my readers who enjoy the writing tips missed this one.

Other Blog Posts Organized By Topic:

Writing Tips:

Author News:

My top referrer other than search engines was my Facebook page.

My top referrer other than search engines was my Facebook page.

Controversy:

For fun:

At the end of the month, I also like to share my supporters, my helpers, and all of the little, lovely elves that created all of these shiny moments. If you would like to become part of the Keebler Factory, I am available at shannonathompson@aol.com for reviews, interviews, and features. (And cookies. I love cookies.) In the meantimes, here are my June supporters:

Reviews: Steampunk Sparrow’s Book Blog, The Leisure Zone

Interviews: Literary Heaven, Ebook Extravaganza, Dreams, Nightmares, Fantasties, and Visions

Features: Friday Fiction, Two-Cents Worth, Jonas Lee’s Imaginarium, A Way with Words

Awarders: Liebster Award by James G. Glass

from Pinterest

from Pinterest

The Top 10 Seriously Awkward Conversations I’ve Had When People Hear I’m a Writer

5 Jun

Two announcements before I share my awkward conversations:

The book trailer for Seconds Before Sunrise released. Check it out on YouTube by clicking here. Remember: the eBook releases June 12th! AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. is throwing a VIRTUAL launch party on June 12th from 7 – 9 p.m. (CDT) to celebrate, and you can win a Kindle as well as many other prizes. You can also interview me live 😀 Click here to join.

Also, you’ll notice that my progress bar has been updated on the right side of my website. The black marks on the “Death Before Daylight” bar represents 10,000 word marks. We’re officially past the first 10,000 words! And we continue into the future with high hopes.

Being an author can be a crazy, fun, and maddening adventure. As Robert De Niro once said:

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From lorelle.wordpress.com

That’s what I was thinking about the other day when I fell into conversation with someone about my writing career. They asked something I haven’t been asked before, “What are the strangest questions you’ve been asked during interviews?” I had to think for a bit because I haven’t really been asked strange or awkward questions in interviews. (I think this is because interviewers are prepared to ask an author questions.) But I have been asked strange, downright bizarre questions – mainly by strangers in passing who find out I’m a writer, and I thought it would be fun to share some of my moments today.

Disclaimer: in the defense of the interrogators, I rejoice in awkward moments. I’ve enjoyed every little second of these conversations – even when they didn’t. Let’s start with the obvious one first:

1. “You’re a writer?”

“Yep.”

“Cool.” Unnecessarily long pause as the speaker (normally) glances up at the ceiling for no particular reason. “So what do you do all day?”

…I write.

2. “Do you write those dirty books?”

There’s nothing quite as dirty as being asked if you write “those dirty books.” What an unsexy synonym for erotica. Even worse is what people say after you reply no. I did not need to know how your sister, mother, and aunt read Fifty Shades of Grey during Christmas dinner. And I definitely didn’t need to know that you let your current girlfriend borrow your mother’s copy. Without your mother’s permission. Stop your anecdote now. Please. Before you say the word “dirty” again.

 3. “Did you write Twilight?”

“Is that a real question?”

“Oh….uh, I guess not.” (Another long pause that causes me to wonder why everyone pause so much) “Do you write books like Twilight? Like with sparkly vampires and shit?”

“I write in the same genre, but no vampires.”

“Wait. There’s an entire section for that?”

“Genre, yes. There is.”

“Is it titled Vampire Fiction?”

“No.” This is when I start questioning whether or not I already mentioned that I don’t write about vampires and why everyone brings up Twilight every day when they supposedly hate it.

4. But why would a twenty-year-old want to write about teens?

Because high school was the best time of my life.

(It was unbelievably painful to write that sentence down.)

I don’t know why a twenty-some-year-old enjoys writing about young adults. Why would a sixty-five-year-old want to write about dragons and direwolves? Because I like to. And my characters’ ages don’t define them or their readers. Hence why Harry Potter was read by pretty much everyone and their cousin.

5. Can you put me in your book?

Sure. But you might not like it. (You probably won’t like it. You’ll also wind up dead.)

6. Did you base that character off of me?

Normally, this is asked by friend or some other kind of close relative that shares the love of reading with you. Depending on the character in question, you might be tempted to say yes, even if it isn’t true. Your lover might even ask if you based the protagonist’s love interest on them. This could be a trap. This is probably a trap.

7. Why are you pro/con (insert controversial political or religious topic here)?

I’m sorry – what? Just because my character carries a gun on his right hip or gets an abortion or believes God isn’t real, doesn’t mean that I do these things, let alone believe in them. In fact, I don’t have a lot in common with many of my characters.

Exhibit A (The Timely Death Trilogy): Eric is a boy. I am not. Jessica can paint. I cannot. Pierce is funny. I am not.

Exhibit B (November Snow): Calhoun lost his arm in a POW accident. I did, too. Wait. No. No, I didn’t.

Forget about exhibit B.

8. Who’s the bad guy? Also known as, please tell me the biggest spoiler in your story before the story is even close to released.

Sure. But make sure your cell phone is ready. I want to make sure you Tweet about it before you post it on your Facebook wall and share your screenshot to your Instagram. #spoiler #Iknowtheauthor #forreals

9. Can you publish my book?

“It isn’t written yet, and I have no idea who the main character is, but there’s a girl in it, and she falls in love with a boy, but he doesn’t like her back, and then she finds another boy, and the boy (the first boy) comes back and realizes he loves her, and he confesses to her, and she leaves the boy (the second boy) to be with the first boy only for the first boy to change her mind before she goes back to the second guy and the first guy regrets it forever until they meet up again in the future and she’s still with the second guy but the second guy isn’t really interested anymore so she wants to start over with the first guy and he wants to try to but he feels too guilty about the second guy still being there so the girl starts to think that she should leave the second guy first before she gets with the first guy but she’s also afraid she will lose her last chance if she does, so—“

Email me. Please. Seriously. I actually like to help writers. But…standing by my table in a coffee shop as I finish up my editing is not the way to go about it. I’m a chatterbox. I am. But the one time I don’t talk is when I’m writing. I’m sorry, but I can’t just help the second you appear. I’m not the fairy godmother of publishing. I wish I was. If I was – trust me – more of my novels would be out. Your novels would be out, too. But – alas – the fairy godmother of publishing was not my destiny. However, I do like to help when I am available, so feel free to email me at shannonathompson@aol.com. I will help you as much as I can.

10. Is your protagonist a brunette because you’re a brunette?

You caught me. That’s why my female protagonist in November Snow was blond. I used to be blond, and there’s nothing like having the same hair color that screams, “Team work!”

…Oh, wait. I wasn’t blond? Really? Not even once?

Hmm, I have to reevaluate.

Those are the top 10 awkward (interesting?) questions I’ve been asked. They may not be completely awkward, but I did find myself enjoying every moment of them. If you’ve ever been asked questions you never expected to hear, share them below!

~SAT

My Anniversary: A Timeline of this Past Year

1 May

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the release of Minutes Before Sunset, book 1 of The Timely Death Trilogy. I’ve been pondering many ideas on how to go about this date – because it feels so surreal – and one idea in particular kept popping back up because I keep hearing one particular question:

How did I gain my followers and readership?

There is no simple answer, but I like to explain it in the only way I can: stats. I like to share my stats because it helps others see how websites and writers shape over time. I even have an Events page so readers can see where I’ve come from in order to get where I am today. So, I am going to do that with Minutes Before Sunset. Below, you can explore a timeline that showcases the moments that grew this novel over the past year. To keep it simple, I am ONLY including events about The Timely Death Trilogy. If you want to know about everything I’ve been up to – like my other publications or how I became C.O.O. of AEC Stellar Publishing – click here or visit my Events page at the top.

When you explore the timeline below, all links will take you to a relevant blog post. Throughout this post, I have added more about my life that I haven’t mentioned before now, so I hope you enjoy it!

May 1, 2013: Release Day

Originally, AEC released ebooks before paperbacks. (Now, we’re the opposite.) So May 1 came around and the ebook of Minutes Before Sunset was released first.

May 10, 2013: Full Paperback Preview

Again, we didn’t have the full layout at first, so the back of the novel changed a few times. This ended up being the final version, and it still looks like this today, and the back description was chosen by readers who voted between three different options. Fun fact: I took the photograph on the back cover. It was really important for me to have it on the novel. Thankfully, AEC Stellar approved it. 😀

The official Minutes Before Sunset cover, back and all, decided from your words!

The official Minutes Before Sunset cover, back and all, decided from your words!

May, 23, 2013: I Received My Paperback in the Mail 

I put three pictures below. The photo on the left was the day I received Minutes Before Sunset in the mail. My father took the picture on his back patio. I love that grill on the left. Bogart loves napping in that orange, lawn chair. And I am wearing one of my late mother’s rings – a sapphire I inherited from her. You might recognize the clothes I am because they were on “Dress Like the Book” photograph (on the right)  I shared last month.

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Is this what we call foreshadowing?

June 4, 2013: Goodreads Nomination 

Minutes Before Sunset was nominated for Goodreads Book of the Month for General Fiction of July, 2013.

June 14, 2013: Paperback Released

June 28, 2013: Minutes Before Sunset awarded “Book of the Month” for General Fiction on Goodreads.

This still means so much to me. To all those who voted back then, thank you. I still hold this moment so close to my writer’s heart.

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July 27, 2013: Book Signing

Originally, I had a book signing at a huge event for novels in Missouri, but I had to cancel last minute due to unfortunate and unavoidable circumstances. I still wanted to share it on this timeline because it is relevant to this past year, and it was probably one of those sadder moments where you feel really let down. A book release isn’t all fun and games, but it ended up being smiles in the end. 😀

August 11, 2013: New Edition Released

Minutes Before Sunset was redone – mainly because the first cover was extremely washed out – but there are some inside edits that were adds. This is still the edition used today. The photo below was of the day I received this new version in the mail.

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September 30, 2013: Soundtrack:

Minutes Before Sunset now has a soundtrack on 8tracks, which you can still listen to by clicking here. The songs include the XX, Florence + the Machine, Jem, and more, but I wanted to say one thing. I rarely write with music. I might brainstorm with music, but it’s difficult for me to write with music playing, so these songs are what I pictured playing in the background of a movie if it were ever made.

October 14, 2013: My Stats Started Spiking

After hitting #407 in Paranormal Romance, I feel like this was the week Minutes Before Sunset began picking up the great traction is still has today. I still haven’t figured it out, but during this week, T. Harv Eker, #1 NY Times Bestselling author of Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, quoted me on his page. Following that, Shawne Duperon, 6-time Emmy winner and founder of Project Forgive also retweeted the quote and tweeted to me. My novel was also put on a bookshelf in a store for the first time. But who knows? This world is mysterious. I simply trust my gut when I say this is where I think it started.

6 Months

 …

November 2, 2013: Seconds Before Sunrise Announcements

Seconds Before Sunrise (book 2) is copyrighted and receives ISBN. This is when I really started advertising my next novel’s release (which just happened March 27) – so I took a number of months to connect with reviewers and interviewers while also pushing out more information about Minutes Before Sunset so new readers had a chance to catch up.

November 15, 2013: Dream and Stats 

I shared an excerpt from my actual diary from when I was having the dreams that turned in The Timely Death Trilogy. The reason I’m sharing it again as an event is because my sales spiked. (Again, I think this is where things started speeding up for the next release. I like to share this information in the hopes that other authors can see correlations and try it out for themselves.)

December 1, 2013: Seconds Before Sunrise cover reveal

As many of you know, the cover reveal for Seconds Before Sunrise was also a scavenger hunt across 50 AMAZING blogs. Special thanks goes out to everyone who helped me with the event, including Viola Estrella for dealing with my very specific vision for this cover.

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December 2, 2013: Under the Dome is reading Minutes Before Sunset 

Andrew Vogel, the actor who plays Carter Thibodeau in Under The Dome On CBS, is reading “Minutes Before Sunset.”

carter December 8, 2013: Country-Singer Quotes Seconds Before Sunrise

Seconds Before Sunrise was quoted by singer, Don Pedigo, with his music video, Sunroom Sessions: Cheap Unleaded. CMT calls Don “The hard-rocking heartthrob from the Heartland.”

Don Pedigo on Twitter

Don Pedigo on Twitter

December 13, 2013: Eric Welborn’s Birthday 

 Okay. Okay. I know it’s fictional, but his birthday in the novel falls on Friday the 13th, and it was a Friday the 13th that VERY year.

February 9, 2014: Book Trailer 

The book trailer for Minutes Before Sunset releases.

February 24, 2014: Copyright Infringement 

Three writers took the insides from Minutes Before Sunset and were selling them off as their own work. I shared my emotions about this event, which is now resolved.

March 4, 2014: Minutes Before Sunset reached top 1,000 in the Kindle Store

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March 16, 2014: Seconds Before Sunrise (book 2) on Amazon for pre-order

Remember, now AEC releases paperbacks before ebooks. (The ebook of Seconds Before Sunrise releases THIS June.)

March 22, 2014: Seconds Before Sunrise Paperback Arrives 

These moments are huge. I never forget them, and I always keep the very first novel I receive on display on my bookshelf. My father took this photo as well. Same back patio – just in the corner this time. I had barely slept the night before because I was out of town, and my dad had texted me to tell me they had arrived. After that, I couldn’t to get back home to hold them!

My latest novels.

My latest novels.

 On the same day, Minutes Before Sunset hit 100 ratings on Goodreads at 4.48 stars. I am so happy that so many people have not only read my novels but have taken the time to rate and review them. As of today, The Timely Death Trilogy has 129 ratings at 4.43 stars.

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March 27, 2014: Seconds Before Sunrise releases! (paperback only) 

We had a lovely time, too! Seconds Before Sunrise made it onto bookshelves, Eric wore a bow, and people won signed paperbacks. We also made it into the top 1,000 in Kindle Store again.

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April 5, 2014: Cute Couples Reading Cute Stories 

Yep. I just called my novels cute. (These two make it look so adorable!)

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April 8, 2014: Press Release for Seconds Before Sunrise:

This was my first press release. Ever. So I was really happy to finally see it: “Award-Winning Paranormal Fiction Author Publishes Second Book In The Timely Death Trilogy.”

ONE YEAR

May 1, 2014

Because I shared so many extras along the way, please check out these pages: Extras and Reviews. They include what cars the characters drive, personality quizzes, photos, floor plans, and more. The Reviews page includes every blogger that I know of that has reviewed The Timely Death Trilogy. (Thank you so much!)

But wait! There’s even more.

I have future publications coming your way: the ebook of Seconds Before Sunrise releases June 12th, and Death Before Daylight is about to be sent into my content editor. I also have my next novel – that I am still referring to as TMT – coming out THIS YEAR. That’s right. This year. And sooner than you think. I’ll have more news about it soon, so be sure to come back.

The Timely Death Trilogy is only beginning.

~SAT

Amazon

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