Tag Archives: Penned Con

September’s Ketchup

28 Sep

September was too much fun!

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 September.

Big Moments:

It was my four-year blogiversary, and WordPress was my #1 referrer other than search engines!

It was my four-year blogiversary, and WordPress was my #1 referrer other than search engines!

I went to Penned Con in St. Louis this month! I met so many new authors and readers, and had a blast! For those of you who came by our Halloween table, Natasha Hanova and I were giving away Halloween candy…and sometimes, I wore a Pikachu hat. It was fun!

The paperback of Bad Bloods: November Snow released! It debuted at Penned Con, and that was way too much fun! I’m now offering signed copies of Bad Bloods, too, so feel free to shoot me an e-mail if you’re interested.

My four-year blogiversary with WordPress also happened this month! I cannot BELIEVE I started blogging way back when in September of 2012. I freakin’ love blogging, and I’m not going away anytime soon.

November Rain (FREE)

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

Bad Bloods Free Book: My #1 Clicked Item was Bad Bloods: November Snow

Bad Bloods Free Book: My #1 Clicked Item was Bad Bloods: November Snow

Top Three Blog Posts:

1. Help! My Female Character Is Flat: While writing my latest manuscript, I realized my female character was flat. How? Because I was holding her back. Why? Because I was afraid. When did I get scared and why did that happen…and how did I overcome it for her and myself? Read the article to find out.

2. Writing Quicksand: I use the term writing quicksand to describe when writing it doing more harm than good. It does happen, but that doesn’t mean you can’t overcome it or acknowledge it. This is how I got out from my quicksand and started writing again.

3. My Protagonist and Illiteracy: As many of you know, my protagonist—Serena—in Bad Bloods is illiterate. This article is about my journey in writing an illiterate character and why I chose to do so. 

Other Blog Posts:

#SATurdate: Sequel Sneak Peeks, The Light Between Oceans, Rook, & Cupcakes: A weekly update of what I’m writing, reading, watching, and baking!

#SATurdate: Pumpkin Spice Lattes, The Marked Girl, One Mississippi & Violins: A weekly update of what I’m writing, reading, watching, and baking!

Website Wonders and Four-Year Blogiversary: A monthly list of all the websites I loved and shared. Also, it was my four-year blogiversary. Can you believe it?

#SATurdate: Penned Con, Descendants of the Sun, Snow Like Ashes, & Paperbacks: A weekly update of what I’m writing, reading, watching, and baking!

#SATurdate: Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Jane Got a Gun, Sausage Party, & Galaktaboreko: A weekly update of what I’m writing, reading, watching, and baking!

November Snow Paperback Release & Sequel Sneak Peeks! The paperback came out and I released a bunch of surprises!

Penned Con St. Louis & Natasha Hanova Interview! Before I went off to Penned Con with Natasha Hanova, I interviewed her for all of you to meet. Check her out.

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:

“I highly recommend giving this a shot. Time for part 2!” –Infinite Lives, Infinite Stories, November Rain.

“November Snow was amazing!” –Sue’s Reading Corner, November Snow

“Recommend it? YES!” –Daydreaming Books, Minutes Before Sunset

september2016

#SATurdate: Penned Con, Descendants of the Sun, Snow Like Ashes, & Paperbacks

24 Sep

What I’m Writing:

I’m 52,291 words into Bad Bloods: July Thunder! I was sort of—maybe—kind of hoping to keep this book under 120,000 words, but it looks like it will be just as long as the first two installments at this point. It’s kind of funny not knowing if it will be one book or two, but I’ll keep everyone updated! In the meantime, check out the Pinterest board.

What I’m Publishing:

Bad Bloods: November Snow is now available as a paperback! (Woot!) For those of you wanting signed copies, I will offer those this next week once I get back from Penned Con. That’s right. I’m at Penned Con in St. Louis RIGHT NOW. So, if you’re near me, stop on by and say hi. I’m sharing a booth with the lovely and talented Natasha Hanova. (And we have candy.)

November Rain (FREE)

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow,

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

What I’m Reading:

Snow Like Ashes

Snow Like Ashes

I finished The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele! Adventurous and super fun, The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele tells the story of what happens when a prince and two comrades from another dimension—a warring dimension full of scary, evil creatures called wraths—fall into modern LA and meets Liv, a foster kid on the run. Chaos ensues. I loved the humor in this book. I really enjoyed seeing our modern world from the viewpoint of Cedric (the prince from a more-or-less Medieval-type society). The descriptions were on point—enough to tell the reader what it was he was talking about, while keeping it mysterious to himself. I really enjoyed that, and his conflicting ideals between his old world and the new one he found himself in. Liv was also a badass, at least in regards to personality. I loved how real she felt, and I enjoyed her friendship with Shannon. (Hey! There’s a Shannon in this book. That’s another plus.) The letdowns mainly focus on disappointments rather than anything necessarily bad about the book. Based on marketing and the first couple of pages, I thought we’d see more of Caelum (the other world), but we only see the one chapter at the beginning. That being said, it leaves on QUITE the cliffhanger, hinting to seeing more of the world next time, and I am hoping to get my hands on the sequel soon. Also, the book relies heavily on tropes, which isn’t a bad thing if you love them. BUT I will say this: I LOVE that the love triangle is two girls and one boy rather than the other way around. Overall, though, it felt more like a “part one” than a “book one.” I still recommend it to YA Fantasy readers, especially for those who enjoy Urban Fantasy and Light Fantasy. Recommended to YA readers of light, urban fantasy. Favorite Quote: Maybe hell is just a myth we ascribe to worlds we cannot imagine.

In other news, I FINALLY began Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch. How has it taken me this long? UGH. I’ll never know.

What I’m Listening To:

What I’m Watching:

Descendants of the Sun is my latest K-Drama obsession, and I love it. Seriously, I’ve cried so hard during this show, it’s stupid. It follows a female doctor and a male solider as they get to know each other on various landscapes during numerous issues. They have a lot of moral conversations about life, and the life lost around them is heart-breaking! Definitely watch this right meow. It’s on Netflix.

Descendants of the Sun

Descendants of the Sun

I also watched Amazon’s Original Fleabag, and I LOVED it. This one is about a 20-something girl dealing with the death of her best friend while trying to survive in the big city. It’s tragically sad and hilariously funny. Check them both out.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

No baking for me this week! I’m on the road, eating Halloween candy at my booth at Penned Con. Come grab some Airheads or Snickers.

What I’m Wearing:

Penned Con 2016

Penned Con 2016

Despite my non-Pikachu picture, I am wearing my Pikachu hat at Penned Con. Because nothing says “I’m an author” like all the nerdy clothes I’ve been dying to wear.

What I’m Wanting:

As I’m writing this, pasta—because I’m starving.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

Honestly, this is the first week where I wasn’t writing down my dreams, so I got nothing.

What Else Is Going On:

Okay. One more time. I am at Penned Con in St. Louis RIGHT NOW, so come on out, say hello, and read awesome books.

~SAT

#WW Penned Con St. Louis & Natasha Hanova Interview!

21 Sep

As you’re reading this, I’m probably packing books and trinkets and other wonderful goodies for Penned Con St. Louis! Last year, I attended this awesome convention as a reader, and I’m ecstatic to be attending this year as an author! Penned Con is on September 23 & 24 in St. Louis, Missouri, and I will be signing books, taking pictures, and just having a ton of fun with readers. (Click the link for tickets and more info.) I hope to see you there.

Natasha Hanova

Natasha Hanova

On top of that, I’ll be sharing a booth with the wonderful and talented Natasha Hanova, so come check us out. We are on our way!

So, today, I’m breaking a blogging rule of mine and featuring an interview with this awesome lady!

Please welcome YA author Natasha Hanova! (Also, if you visit her website today, you can read my interview! Click here.)

Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you? What do you write?

Hello Shannon! Thanks for having me on your blog. My name is Natasha Hanova. #Whovian. #WalkingDead #GimmeAllTheChocolate. I enjoy reading and writing paranormal, dark fantasy, and dystopian books with romance.

What do you love most about reading?

I love how books take me to new places I’ve never been or show me different aspects of a place I’m familiar with. As a writer, I pay particular attention to the methods other authors use to draw me into their book, whether its voice, style, character, plot. I read for enjoyment, and at the same time, I’m learning to hone my craft.

What do you love most about writing?

Quieting the voices? JK. When I write, I sit down with my laptop, a bag of M&Ms (we’re not discussing which size), and my headphones. One of my favorite parts of writing is getting so deep into the zone that I stop hearing the music, forget to munch on M&Ms, and fall into the fictional world on my screen. When my characters are talking and moving so fast, my fingers can hardly keep up with their pace. When the scene is so vivid, I can smell the crisp air, taste the pine, and touch dried leaves, and hear them crunch the setting. There’s little else that compares to that kind of joy.

What do you love most about publishing?

I like connecting with readers. I’m not going to lie, cover reveals are also exciting.

What are you currently working on?

I have a Young Adult Paranormal that’s Classic Snow White meets Buffy that I’m shopping around. I’m also currently working on an adult horror that’s dark, with sparks of light, and of course a touch of romance.

Any advice for writers out there?

Ever hear the saying, “There is no try, just do.” I think the same thing applies to writing a book. Set attainable goals. Find accountability partners, if you need to and just write. Even one sentence a day is progress.

Edge of Truth by Natasha Hanova

Edge of Truth by Natasha Hanova

What are you looking forward to at Penned Con?

This is my first time going to Penned Con, though I know a few of the other authors attending. I’m looking forward to sharing a Table 35 with you.  I may or may not have chocolate available. I also can’t wait to meet all the people.

And since we’re talking about traveling, what is your favorite city/trip you’ve been on?

This summer, I went to Finland/Norway with my husband. I’d have to say that was in my Top 3 favorite trips. Beautiful country-side. Delicious food. Serene writing places.

Shout out to three books you love!

Argh! Only three. Man, okay. In no particular order, Touching Fate by Brenda Drake, The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole (Yes, I’m aware that’s more than one book), and Breathe by Sarah Crossan

Shameless plug time! What book of yours should we check out?

Edge of Truth. A recent reviewer described it like this: “[Edge of Truth] is about a girl who can LITERALLY make the earth quake. X-Men meets Divergent.”

Thanks again for having me.

Social Media Links

Website   *   Twitter   *   Goodreads   *   Facebook   *   Pinterest

Book Links

Amazon     *     Barnes & Noble     *     iBooks     *     Books-A-Million

Come out to St. Louis this weekend to hang out with us!

Read my interview on Natasha Hanova’s website here.

~SAT

#SATurdate: Pumpkin Spice Lattes, The Marked Girl, One Mississippi & Violins

17 Sep

What I’m Writing:

So this week I totally fell in love with Lindsey Sterling, an American violinist who blew me away. (I put her music in my music section, so check her out.) But this reminded me of a fact that will come up in Bad Bloods, so here it goes: Everyone thinks I named the walled-in city of Bad Bloods “Vendona” because of Romeo and Juliet’s Verona, but in all honesty, I got the name from my favorite violinist, Vanessa-Mae. Though it’s not “technically” said I kept hearing it at the ten-second moment in her song, Destiny. Check it out! Tell me if you can hear it, too. This is also why I’m SUPER excited about Bad Bloods: July Thunder. It’s very musical, and there will be violins!

This week’s #1lineWed preview was socks, and no lie, I was AMAZED I actually had a line in Bad Bloods: July Thunder that mentioned socks. There’s just some things we forget about, right? Well, not Hanna. She’s the character described in this preview.

What I’m Publishing:

I am working with Barnes & Noble again to set up a Bad Bloods book signing tour! I will host writing panels and more, so keep an eye out for that. Also, the Bad Bloods: November Snow paperback releases September 19—this upcoming Monday—and I will be releasing sneak peeks of the sequel through my newsletter and right here on www.ShannonAThompson.com. In other news, though, I am discontinuing the Bad Bloods prequel for now, so I can concentrate on future books, but don’t be surprised if I post new prequel stories randomly. (I will announce them if I do.)

November Rain (FREE)

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow,

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

What I’m Reading:

I’m currently reading The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele! It’s so good! Cute, fun, exciting, and super scary at times. I’ll include a picture next week when I post my review. ❤

What I’m Listening To:

This is the violinist I mentioned above!

What I’m Watching:

One Mississippi finally released. It’s an Amazon Original I’ve been waiting for since the pilot, and I LOVED it. That being said, it’s rather dark humor and dry, but…that’s my type of humor. I definitely recommend this show if you enjoy that type of cynical honesty.

One Mississippi

One Mississippi

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

css29pmuaaepnb8-jpg-largePumpkin spice latte! I just HAD to do it. That and peanut butter and chocolate chip pinwheel cookies. For those of you who actually look at the recipe, you might notice I didn’t bother with the swirling part. In all honest, I did…but I ran out of wax paper, and I nearly ruined my entire kitchen. So normal peanut butter chocolate chip cookies happened. I tend to use chunky peanut butter instead of creamy, too. They are awesome!

What I’m Wearing:

My Jayhawk t-shirts from my KU college days. Why? See “What Else Is Going On” below.

What I’m Wanting:

For Penned Con to get here already! I’m one week away and dying from excitement.

Penned Con St. Louis 2016

Penned Con St. Louis 2016

What I’m Dreaming Of:

Apparently, my profession was ghost-hunting, but this was not by choice. (I suppose this society chose your jobs for you.) But there were reports of ghosts out in this field, and I had to walk out there in the dark until I could find something. Basically, it was me walking through the woods expecting something to get me for what felt like forever. No jumpy surprises. For once.

What Else Is Going On:

Cocoa Cloud from La Prima Tazza

Cocoa Cloud from La Prima Tazza

For the first time in almost four years, I returned to my good ol’ college town of Lawrence, Kansas. I made a day trip out of it, and it was a blast. I got to eat cream cheese pineapple pizza at Pizza Shuttle (trust me, it’s awesome), drink a Cocoa Cloud from La Prima Tazza, and eat cereal from Java Break’s 24-Hour Cereal Bar. If you’re in Lawrence, I’m telling you, these are the places to be.

Today is also my big brother’s birthday, so…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, GRUGORY.

~SAT

#SATurdate: Sequel Sneak Peeks, The Light Between Oceans, Rook, & Cupcakes.

10 Sep

What I’m Writing:

Bad Bloods: July Thunder Sneak Peek

Bad Bloods: July Thunder Sneak Peek

I’m back on the Bad Bloods train with a brand-new outline and a continued plan after getting stuck in writing quicksand 38,000 words in. I actually have an article about WHAT was wrong with it coming out on Wednesday, so look out for that. It has something to do with my female lead—Violet—and I’m really excited she’s telling the first chapter. In fact, I released the first-ever sneak peek of July Thunder! The picture is to the right, but since it’s hard to read, you can read it below. (Be sure to read the “What I’m Publishing” section, because more sneak peeks are coming.) I’m officially 24,549 into the new version.

July 1, 2090

Violet

I’d learned two rules since President Henderson declared bad bloods the right to live again.

  1. Freedom came with rules attached.
  2. Breaking rules was in my blood.

Rebelling was how I survived, after all. And nothing screamed rebellion more than the color black.

I put my best black boot forward to make my entrance at Western Elementary. As I stepped out of the shadows into the halls, I changed from a ghost to a girl. The same girl that gave Shadow Alley its name. The same girl that lived on the streets, then lived in the Northern Flock, then survived them both. And now, that girl was expected to be anyone but herself.

My name was Violet Wilson, and I was a citizen now.

This isn’t to say this will be the final opening, but I thought I’d keep you updated as I move along. I’m also going to start sharing #1lineWed from July Thunder! This week’s preview was school.

What I’m Publishing:

The Seconds Before Sunrise paperback is back up! And it's 20% off.

The Seconds Before Sunrise paperback is back up! And it’s 20% off.

So here’s the deal. The paperback release of Bad Bloods: November Snow is September 19. I keep thinking about how to celebrate this the right way, and I finally settled on more sneak peeks of July Thunder, since it’s taking me longer to write than I hoped. So sign up for my newsletter and be sure to visit my blog on September 19 to see more excerpts, an inspirational Pinterest board, and more!

Also, speaking of paperbacks, I know a lot of you have been trying to order the paperback of Seconds Before Sunrise, book 2 of The Timely Death Trilogy! Thanks for reading and making the book sell out! My publisher fixed the issue, and now, the paperback of Seconds Before Sunrise is back in stock everywhere! (And it’s only $7.00, which is 20% off the usual price.)

This week, I also got more news on Penned Con! Author Natasha Hanova and I will be at booth 35 in the Breckenridge Ballroom during Penned Con St. Louis on September 23 & 24. Here is the complete map of booths. Come out and see us!

November Rain (FREE)

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow,

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

What I’m Reading:

Rook by Sharon Cameron

Rook by Sharon Cameron

I finished Rook by Sharon Cameron! A homage to The Scarlet Pimpernel, Rook is sophisticated, intimate, and philosophical. It is reminiscent of the French Revolution and all the tension that comes along with it, but it doesn’t take place during the French Revolution. Instead, it takes place in the far-off future set back to the Dark Ages after a world disaster and reconstruction. What would happen to us after a polar shift and how would life continue on? Well, that’s what type of world Rook by Sharon Cameron takes place in. It’s definitely a book to remember. It’s unique, lively, and treacherous. For those of you looking for an awesome, intimate standalone, read this book right meow. Recommend to those looking for a satisfying standalone, reminiscent of the French Revolution, homage to The Scarlet Pimpernel, romantic, mysterious, past a dystopian time, vivid descriptions, romantic. Strong female lead. Humorous philosophy. Betrayal and religion. Favorite Quote: “To be eclipsed by you, Miss Bellamy, could only be an honor.” Read my full four-star review by clicking here.

I also started The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele.

What I’m Listening To:

What I’m Watching: 

I saw The Light Between Oceans over Labor Day weekend, and it was beautiful! The cinematography was astounding. So beautiful and breath-taking. And the story will tear your heart apart. One thing I thought I loved the most about this movie was how much I didn’t like the characters (like, not at all), but I still sympathized with them, and I was still moved by their story. I think that’s really rare, to be able to get an audience to love the story, even though the characters make terrible, selfish decisions. Seriously, go see it. If not for the story, for the oceanic scenes captured. It’s brilliant. 

The Light Between Oceans

The Light Between Oceans

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

Banana Chocolate Cupcakes

Banana Chocolate Cupcakes

My oven finally got fixed, so I baked cupcakes! I made banana chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate buttercream icing. They were amazing. (And I’m afraid of how many more sweets I’m going to eat now that my oven is fixed and I have new recipe cookbooks.)

What I’m Wearing:

My Sailor Moon sweater! I need some extra pep in my step.

What I’m Wanting:

Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series is being made into a TV series?!? I mean, yes! I cannot wait. You can read my five-star review of Throne of Glass here. Read this article about the TV show right here. It’ll be on Hulu and called Queen of Shadows.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

So, I have no idea what type of society this dream took place in, but it was very desert-like, and a band of masked kids commit all these Robin Hood type crimes. Naturally, the government is chasing them, but the child telling the dream is a little genius, and he chases them down during one of their crimes. Though, he happens to stumble upon a dying one first. (Shot. By the government.) The kid stays with the dying one until he’s gone, then climbs a series of wooden ladders to the lair. When he finds them, they decide to let him stay, but he realizes he’s number 72. And there’s only 13 in this room. All of the others have passed. But he wants to be a part of this group, because he believes in their cause. (What their cause is, I have no clue. Yay, dreams plot holes!) But after the first night, a chick shows up, and she’s apparently one of the originals who left on her own accord. But now she’s back, and drama ensues. Then, I woke up. Potential book idea? Maybe. This is the type of dream I’d probably base a novel off of (once I fill in plot holes, of course), but it was quite fun!

What Else Is Going On:

I slept through a 5.3 magnitude earthquake this week! No joke. I’m a bit infamous for sleeping through strange things. In the 90’s, I slept through a Packers game in Lambeau Field. In Puerto Rico, I fell asleep in a rooftop hot tub. What can I say? I’m just staying true to my reputation.

~SAT

August’s Ketchup

31 Aug

Wow! August, I’m looking at you. You are wonderful.

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 August.

Big Moments:

Bad Bloods: November Snow by Shannon A. Thompson

Bad Bloods: November Snow by Shannon A. Thompson

November Rain hit #1 in YA Sci Fi in the Free Kindle Store! I’m so happy so many of you are reading the Bad Bloods series and enjoying it. I love reading your reviews, seeing your photos, and geeking out about all the characters with you. (I’m going to get into some more character details below, so check that out.) My #1 searched term was Shannon A. Thompson! So, thanks for Googling me. 😉

In other news, November Snow arrived! I loved holding it in my hands. And since I could finally buy some books, I got all the books I could for Penned Con St. Louis. I’ll be there at the end of September! I’ve also confirmed that I’m traveling to Charleston, South Carolina in November for YALLFest! (Can’t you tell I love traveling?) I hope to meet some of you there.

I also got new author photos this month! Thank you, Huntress Photography!

November Rain (FREE)

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

Bad Bloods Free Book

Bad Bloods Free Book

My #1 clicked item was Bad Bloods: November Rain again!

Also, the Bad Bloods Prequel is FREE on Wattpad. This month, the origins story of Ami and Steven released! You can read their stories by clicking the links. Ami is important because she’s the only character we meet from the Highlands. She will also play a huge role in the next books: July Thunder/Lightning. Steven, on the other hand, is just a plain ol’ sweetheart. He is one of my favorite Bad Bloods characters. His origin story has a lot to do with Catelyn, too, because they are practically inseparable. Fun fact: I almost told Bad Bloods from Catelyn and Steven’s perspective when I was first writing the books, but for those of you who’ve finished the books, you probably know why I didn’t do that now. ::cries into my hands forever::

#1 Referrer was Facebook!

#1 Referrer was Facebook!

Top Three Blog Posts:

1. Naming Your Characters: A lot can go into naming your characters, but hopefully, all these websites and tools help make the process smoother (and therefore, more fun)!

2. I Love Free Readers: There has been a lot of controversy surrounding readers who only read books they can legally get for free, but hey! I love them, and here’s why.

3. An Author Who Fears Public Speaking: Public speaking used to FREAK me out. But my speech class in college gave me the confidence I needed to accept my stutter and meet friends while laughing about my speech impediment. Now, I’m not afraid anymore.

 

Other Blog Posts:

Heroes I Want To See in YA: There are so many of them! And check out the comments. You all had the best conversation on this article.

When You Shouldn’t Write That Book: And I’m not talking about writer’s block.

Writing Tips: Different Perspectives: I love telling stories from two perspectives, but more goes into than you think

#SATurdate: The Secret Life of Pets, #1 YA Sci-Fi, Noble My Love, Criminal, & Aerie: A weekly update of what I’m reading, watching, drinking, etc.

Connecting Books Across Genres: Surprise! All my books are connected somehow.

#SATurdate: Suicide Squad, Little Alchemy, Marshmallow Popcorn, & Cinderella and the Four Knights: A weekly update of things I’m watching, reading, and more!

#SATurdate: Star Trek, Tallulah, Free Book, & Rice Maker Cake: A weekly update of everything I read, saw, and experienced!

#SATurdate: An Ember in the Ashes, A Torch Against the Night, W – Two Worlds, & YALLFest: Another weekly update of books, music, and more.

Website Wonders: A monthly update of all the websites I came across and loved.

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:

NOVEMBER RAIN

  • Lena May Books: “A powerful work of art. In November Rain, Thompson invites us into a world of secrecy, murder and unlikely friendships that are bound to make your head spin with wonder.”

NOVEMBER SNOW

August2016

#SATurdate: An Ember in the Ashes, A Torch Against the Night, W – Two Worlds, & YALLFest.

27 Aug

What I’m Writing:

Honestly, I’ve put the next Bad Bloods books away for now. Sophia would not shut up, so I spent my writing time obliging her this week. Basically, I wrote in book 3 of the Tomo Trilogy, Take Me Never. I know. I know. Book 1 isn’t even out, so a lot of you have no idea what I’m even talking about, but I will not—and cannot give up—on this girl. She’s loud and stubborn and loves everything just a little too much. I’m 6,179 words in, and since this week’s #1lineWed theme was “work”—this line is from Take Me Yesterday, the sequel to Take Me Tomorrow (which is complete). I promise I will get this series into readers’ hands one day. 😀 I also worked on a brand-new story after researching for a ridiculously long amount of time. But that’s all I’ll say about that book for now. For those of you who follow even my books with only initials as titles, I rewrote the beginning of B, AGAIN. Why? I know I can write B. (B is a contemporary I’ve been attempting for about a month now.) I’m just trying to find my footing with it. I like giving these updates—even if they are crazily obscure—because I think, one day, (hopefully), if one of these books ever gets into the hands of readers, they’ll be able to go back on my website and see the daily grind of it all instead of thinking writing happens overnight. I want to share the journey, so other writers know the journey is the fun part, including the struggles and hurdles and writer’s block and rewrites and little successes. Every writer’s journey is different, but every journey should be fun! Now that I’ve said that, Bogart the cat was my editor this week. I received some awesome feedback from a great lady, and Bogart let me know what he thought via Instagram. Here was that photo series.

Bogart the Cat

Bogart the Cat

What I’m Publishing:

YALL Fest 2016

YALL Fest 2016

All my books for Penned Con St Louis arrived this week! I will be traveling with YA author Natasha Hanova (and sharing a booth), so check her out. On a side note, it’s almost certain I will also be at YALLFest in Charleston, South Carolina this November, so look out for more news on that little trip of mine. I look forward to meeting more wonderful people. In book related news, I owed you guys Steven’s short story on the Bad Bloods Prequel on Wattpad this week, but I spent more time focusing on novels rather than shorts. I will get back to it, though! (And I will announce when it’s posted. Promise.)

November Rain (FREE)

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow,

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

Free Kindle Book: Bad Bloods: November Rain

Free Kindle Book: Bad Bloods: November Rain

What I’m Reading:

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I finished An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir! If you love Game of Thrones, you will love this YA fantasy. It’s epic, it’s dangerous, and the world is full of surprises—magical and inhumane. I recommend it to epic fantasy readers, especially those who like a little mysterious magic and don’t mind brutality. There is a significant amount of rape threats in the book. But in regards to love, there is basically a love square going on. Each protagonist has two interests they go back and forth on, but it does not take up the majority of the novel. The novel heavily focuses on military power and rebellion uprising. You can read my four-star review here. My favorite quote? “But there are two kinds of guilt, girl: the kind that drowns you until you’re useless, and the kind that fires your soul to purpose.”

I also started Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. It’s the third book in The Raven Cycle, and if you haven’t checked out this series, do so now. It is perfection.

What I’m Listening To:  

Since I was writing in Take Me Never, I returned to my lovely Take Me Yesterday playlist on YouTube. Check it out!

What I’m Watching:

I started watching W – Two Worlds, and I LOVE it. Special thanks goes out to Siamese Mayhem for recommending it to me, but basically, it’s the best K-drama ever. It follows the daughter of a web comic as she accidentally portals herself into the comic to try to save the hero from being killed by her own father. It’s thrilling, romantic, hilarious, and simply awesome.

W - Two Worlds

W – Two Worlds

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

My oven broke! I am so sad. Baking is basically the only thing that gets me off my computer addiction (because, let’s be honest, you can’t have a laptop next to a cake mixer), so…not going to lie, I drove an hour to borrow an oven to make cookies.

What I’m Wearing:

Rain boots! It was storming like crazy here. Great writing weather.

What I’m Wanting:

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir! We’re so close.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

So…I was a monk…and there were tons of monsters everywhere…and I had to defend the last glass of red wine on earth? I have no idea. But the fight scenes were epic. I managed to hold onto a glass of red wine while fighting the world at the same time. If only I were so smooth in real life. (I am the clumsiest person I know. In fact, I fell down the stairs for the SECOND time this year this past week. I’m in so much pain it’s stupid.) But thankfully, this time, I only caught rug burn.

What Else Is Going On:

I got more cat lady office décor! I’ll be sure to share it soon.

~SAT

#SATurdate: Suicide Squad, Little Alchemy, Marshmallow Popcorn, & Cinderella and the Four Knights

20 Aug

What I’m Writing:

Texts from readers

Texts from readers

I received some funny texts from a reader! I won’t say which project she was referring to, but it had me laughing pretty hard! What can I say? Chic Nerd Reads got it right in her book review of November Snow when she said “THE AUTHOR GAME OF THRONED ME AND I WAS IN MY FEELINGS OKAY?!?!?!?” I have a reputation. In regards to a literal writing update, I’ve actually been working on a few projects this week. Basically, I’m not sure which one I really want to sink my teeth into. Using abbreviated titles, I have D, N, JTL, B, TGO, S, TMY, and TMN in various stages of the writing process. I keep going back and forth with a couple of them, too. (I think I’ve written the first chapter of B a million and one times.) I know I should be powering through July Thunder/Lightning right now, but taking a step back can also help reevaluate where the story is going. I’d rather take longer and get the book down right instead of rush a project and hastily create something with a sloppy plot and style. I’ll keep everyone updated though! To make up for my lack of update, this week’s #1lineWed is a line directly out of July Thunder/Lighting, so check that out below.

What I’m Publishing:

November Snow came in the mail! I’m super happy to hold the paperback in my hands, and I ordered a bunch of copies for Penned Con in St. Louis this September! You’ll be able to get your hands on this paperback first at that convention. Who else is excited? I know I am! It’ll be my first convention as an author, though I attended Penned Con last year as a reader, and I look forward to seeing some familiar faces and some new ones. Three CTP authors will be there, and I’ll be sharing a booth with the talented Natasha Hanova.

November Rain (FREE)

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow,

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

I have a little surprise for you. This #1lineWed line is actually from Bad Bloods: July Thunder/Lightning!

This #1lineWed theme was believe, so here is your preview:

What I’m Reading:

Bad Bloods: November Snow by Shannon A. Thompson

Bad Bloods: November Snow by Shannon A. Thompson

I finished Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray, and of course, gave it five-shiny-stars. I LOVE this trilogy, and I’m DYING to get my hands on the last book this November. Recommend to: young adult sci-fi/fantasy lovers, those who enjoy some complicated romance, and traveling between dimensions. Favorite Quote: There is strength within us that we can’t even comprehend until it’s called upon. If you want to read my full review, click here. If you want to check out my review of book 1, click here.

I’m also reading An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. It’s awesome! But not for the light-hearted. While I really enjoy the epic world-building and danger, I find the amount of rape threats too much sometimes. I wish that had been toned down. Other than that, it’s a fantastic read! I’m about halfway through.

What I’m Listening To:

Gin Wigmore, because she’s a goddess. 

What I’m Watching:

I FINALLY saw Suicide Squad, and I definitely enjoyed it! I liked the humor, the action, and the overall plot. They made Cara Delevingne look so creepy! I also thought Margot Robbie was awesome. It’s nice to see female characters getting more than one line in a film. (I’m looking at you Superman Vs. Batman.) I also enjoyed seeing Will Smith back on the big screen. It felt like a lot was cut out though, so I look forward to when they release extras.

Suicide Squad

Suicide Squad

I also started watching Cinderella and the Four Knights…and it’s awesome. I love K-dramas. But this one is just too cute. (I don’t even normally enjoy fairy tale-related things, but come on! The protagonist is too cute.) But there are only two episodes available. BOO. I also started W, as suggested by Siamese Mayhem! I’ll probably talk more about that K-drama next week since I just started it last night.

Cinderella and the Four Knights

Cinderella and the Four Knights

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

Marshmallow Popcorn Balls

I had a BUNCH of marshmallows laying around…and popcorn. So, marshmallow popcorn balls happened. Since I have a rice maker now, I also promised myself I would learn how to make sushi from home. So, I bought a bunch of fish and made a ton of sushi…and still had extra fish left over. So, seafood chowder happened. All of it was amazing. Not going to lie. I haven’t eaten that well in weeks.

What I’m Wearing:

Birthday hats! My best friend’s daughter had her seventh birthday. Pretty crazy!

What I’m Wanting:

All the episodes of Cinderella and the Four Knights!

What I’m Dreaming Of:

Literally, the longest dream ever happened to me this week, but I’ll cut some of the details out to make it readable. Basically, it started off with a teenage girl who was on her high school’s tennis team, but she didn’t study correctly, so she wasn’t allowed to go to the out-of-state tournament. Also, for punishment, she had to stay in the school overnight and make sure nothing happened to it. About 1 AM, she wakes up to noise, only to realize the recess area is on fire. So, she gets her cellphone, but it’s dead, so she has to go outside to a payphone to call the police. As she’s on the phone, however, a man with a gun runs up and starts shooting at the flames. Other men jump out with other weapons. It got crazy violent, including one man with an axe-throwing capability. But the girl screamed and ran back into the school with a man chasing her…Here’s where it gets weird. The school is no longer a school. It’s a home. A BIG home. And she seems to recognize it as her uncle’s house. With someone chasing her, she runs into a bathroom and barely locks it. The person begins pounding on the door, telling her to let him in, asking her to calm down, etc. But she’s going through her options. She even finds a gun, but it’s one of those “has to recognize the owner’s fingerprints” guns, so it doesn’t work. She then tears down the blinds, and looks out the window, where she sees a hot tub below her. So, she escapes out the window, and uses the ledges of all the other rooms in this apparent mansion to escape to lower levels. BUT…when she gets to the lower levels, she starts to realize it’s cold outside. The fire is gone. Snow is falling. People are sledding. It’s like a GIANT holiday party is right outside. So, she jumps into the snow, people see her, and the man chasing her begins chasing her again. She starts screaming, he starts screaming, and a stranger helps by separating the two. When the police come, they tell her they have no record of her call or of what happened…and no one knows who she is. SO HERE’S WHERE IT GETS WEIRDER. The dream then zooms out. MY DREAM. And it shows a boy watching a TV screen where the dream was. So, my dream was a movie in another dream level? I don’t know. But this boy gets mad at the ending and gets on YouTube to Google what the ending was about. Apparently, the movie has a new “rad” director who’s already famous for making films that don’t make sense. The boy gets mad at how cheap that is. (I do, too.) And then I woke up. I swear this felt like it went on for hours.

What Else Is Going On:

Little Alchemy

Little Alchemy

I accidentally discovered the Little Alchemy game, and I can’t stop. I now have 343 elements out of 560.

How do you make the best element ever, you ask?

Milk + Wild Animal.

It’s a cat.

You’re welcome.

~SAT

#MondayBlogs An Author Who Fears Public Speaking

15 Aug

Despite working with the English language every day—as a writer, as an editor, and as a reader—I have difficulty speaking. I stumble and stutter a lot. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I worked so hard to master the written language. I was making up for another aspect of the language I didn’t excel in.

Looking back on it, I blamed moving around a lot as a kid—mixing up accents and idioms—but I don’t use blame anymore. In fact, I’ve rather embraced this awkward part of myself, and it no longer bothers me like it used to. A common comeback from a friend generally includes phrases like, “Okay. English major.” Or “Aren’t you the writer here?” Yeah. Yeah. I get it. I stutter. But it’s an accepted part of my life now, something I don’t fight, something I realized most people look past anyway. I was the one judging myself.

Take this anecdote as an example…

On a drive back from the grocery store, I saw Venus and Jupiter in the sky. I am a HUGE space nerd—probably due to Sailor Moon—so I started rambling about how new information on Pluto released, and that’s when I came across the word “meteors.” The problem was simple. I had just finished talking about how Meg Cabot’s final book in the Mediator series, and now I had to say meteor? It wasn’t happening. I stumbled for three minutes. Eventually, it turned into a giggle fit.

I know the words. I know how to say the words. I just can’t explain why it doesn’t come out that way. But I think the saddest part is when people can no longer take you seriously when you stumble over a word or two. In all honesty, I haven’t had that problem much. In fact, I think I simply worried that it would happen, so I stayed silent. My speech class in college got me over that fear. If I can say this without bragging, I got a big ol’ A in that course. (I know. I know. It’s speech class. But it meant the world to me. In fact, it meant Pluto, Jupiter, and Venus to me.) Up until that point, I thought there was no way I could succeed as a writer with a pronunciation issue like mine. What was I supposed to do if I ever booked a signing where I had to read a chapter out loud? The horror! What happens when people think I couldn’t have possibly written the words if I couldn’t speak them? Double horror! How do I explain myself? …I just died from horror.

It was a panic attack waiting to happen…a panic attack I overcame a long time ago but still comes back every now and then when I have to say specific or pacific, shoulder or solider, Neanderthal, and, I suppose, meteor or mediator. (Fun fact: I stumbled over mediator in my YouTube video—Book Boyfriends—and said “med-a-tore” instead. I suppose I could’ve deleted it, reshot it, edited it out, but…I’ve embraced this part of myself.) At my recent book signings in Barnes & Noble, I even messed up “Wattpad.” For some reason, I cannot, for the life of me, say “watt.” I always say “what.” So, “Whatpad” it is, and the crowd laughed when I made a joke about it. My fear somehow turned into laughter.

These are all words I avoided saying out loud. All words I’ve used in stories a hundred times. All words that are, no matter what, precious to me.

“Emma Saying” on YouTube and “How To Pronounce” are two websites I use on a regular basis to practice. I don’t avoid words anymore, but I still stumble, and I imagine that’s just a part of me that makes me me—a character in my own right—a writer who stumbled over her love for words.

Four events in the past year where I overcame my fear for public speaking!

Four events in the past year where I overcame my fear of public speaking!

Original posted July 22, 2015

~SAT

Bad Bloods: November Snow by Shannon A. Thompson

Bad Bloods: November Snow by Shannon A. Thompson

Bad Bloods: November Snow FINALLY came in the mail this week! Safe to say, I’m in love. On top of that, a lovely reader sent me a November Snow book review that cracked me up. “THE AUTHOR GAME OF THRONED ME AND I WAS IN MY FEELINGS OKAY?!?!?!?” – Chic Nerd Reads …Yep. I love your Bad Bloods book reviews. Thank you for sending them to me. 

Right now, Bad Bloods: November Rain (book 1) is FREE across all platforms. I hope you check it out. I’ll be debuting the paperbacks at Penned Con in St. Louis this September, and I’ll be sharing a booth with the lovely Natasha Hanova. Stop by her page and say hi!

November Rain (FREE)

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow 

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

#WW When You Shouldn’t Write That Book

10 Aug

There comes a time in every writer’s life when they realize they cannot write that book….and I’m not talking about writer’s block. I’m talking about when you want to write a book, but you know you shouldn’t. Maybe not yet. Maybe never.

Of course, I’m not saying a writer CAN’T write that book. Not forever anyway. But just like a construction project, certain books require particular tools, and if you don’t have those tools, building anything might be for naught…or even dangerous.

So here are three questions to ask yourself while deciding if you are ready to write that novel or not.

1. Have You Researched EVERYTHING Properly?

This is particularly true in historical fiction, but research shouldn’t be overlooked for any type of fiction. This means you are researching your setting, your themes, and your characters thoroughly. If you are writing anything outside of your personal experiences—which is more likely than not—it’s best to read articles, watch documentaries, and even talk to those who do have those personal experiences you’re lacking. If you haven’t done this, you most likely don’t know enough to write about certain topics and people from a respectful and knowledgeable place. You might even add to damaging stereotypes or incorrect presumptions. Take the time to get to know your novel’s needs…as well as your audience’s.

2. Have You Read This Genre?

You should be reading in and outside of any genre you want to write in, but you should definitely be familiar with trends in your market. Being able to recognize writers, publishers, and various novels is key to understanding your audience and what purpose your book serves. What does it add to the market? What does it give to your readers? If you’re unsure where your book would be on a shelf, you’re probably not ready yet. But don’t worry! All you have to do is read more. (And who doesn’t love reading?) I went through this myself recently. As someone who mainly reads and writes YA fantasy, I wanted to tackle a contemporary novel when I wasn’t fully equipped to do so. Though I read contemporary still, I knew almost immediately that I wasn’t familiar enough with the current shelf to proceed. I need to collect more tools. I need to read more. And I am.

Who doesn't love an extra excuse to read more?

Who doesn’t love an extra excuse to read more?

3. Why Are YOU The Right Person to Write This Book?

Listen, I’m not here to tell someone if they are the right person to write a book or not. That’s between the author, their book, and the creative process. But I honestly believe we can get to a moment where we realize a book—while it’s good—might be better for someone else to write. This is going to vary from person to person, and it ultimately weighs on how much you are willing to dedicate yourself to a story. If you’re hesitating to research, for instance, you’re probably the wrong person for that book. That doesn’t mean you can’t overcome obstacles or hurdles in your way, but it’s also okay to move on from something you realize isn’t right for you. If you’re on the fence—and you’re unsure how you’re feeling about this topic—one question you can ask yourself is WHY you’re even writing it. Seems obvious enough, but when you take a step back, you might see that you were, in fact, chasing a trend or a surface idea without the will to dive deeper. That’s okay. There are a million stories out there for you to write, and I’m sure you already have plenty more to chase. It’s a matter of figuring out which one feels right to you.

When you should write a book, it will come to you.

Enjoy the adventure,

~SAT

Read my latest interview on Crazy Beautiful Reads: “Every writer’s life is paved with rejections.” Comment for your chance to win some awesome books!

It’s official! Author Natasha Hanova will be sharing a table with me at Penned Con in St. Louis this September! Check her out, say hi, tell her I sent you, and come visit us in September. We’ll be signing books, talking books, and just having a great ol’ time.

*FREE BOOK ALERT*

Bad Bloods: November Rain is FREE!

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

Bad Bloods: November Rain

Bad Bloods: November Rain

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