Tag Archives: podcast

#SATurdate: The Secret Life of Pets, #1 YA Sci-Fi, Noble My Love, Criminal, & Aerie

13 Aug

What I’m Writing:

Wattpad Ami's Story

Wattpad Ami’s Story

While I’m dutifully writing in Bad Bloods: July Thunder/Lightning, I also had to take a step back and work on some other projects this week, mainly Dreammare, which was awesome. That being said, I’m 38,740 words into July Thunder/Lightning, and hit a bit of a snag (but in a good way). I had to concentrate on making a more precise timeline and will continue to do so. Also, my characters tend to reveal tricky things about 40,000 words in that I never planned, so I might have to go back and change the beginning. I’m looking forward to it! So far, I’m also continuing the Bad Bloods Prequel on Wattpad, so I wrote Ami’s story this week. She is the only bad blood character who was from the Highlands before joining the Southern Flock. What is the Highlands? It’s a fenced-off area in the center of Vendona, notoriously known as the “richer” area of the city. Her story also becomes a bigger deal in Bad Bloods: November Snow, sooooo…read it. 😉

What I’m Publishing:

#1 in YA Sci-Fi

Bad Bloods is now available! In fact, Bad Bloods: November Rain is #1 in the YA Sci-Fi Free Kindle Store (and #130 overall)! Thank you for reading.

November Rain

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow,

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

Bad Bloods Bookstagram

Bad Bloods Bookstagram

I love it when you send me photos of Bad Bloods and The Timely Death Trilogy! This beautiful one is from Instagram’s @frazzledfairybooks. Stop by Amanda’s page and say hello.

This #1lineWed theme was enough, so here is your preview: Maybe it was a strong word. Maybe it wasn’t strong enough.

What I’m Reading:

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray! I couldn’t help myself. I’m still reading An Ember in the Ashes and Sea of Stars, but I just NEED to continue the Firebird series. That being said, I’ve had little to no free reading time this week. As an editor, most of my reading has been during work and I’ve been working overtime…though I did find time to read a stupid amount of conspiracy theories this week, mainly John Titor, the time-traveler from 2036 who posted on web forums in 2001. (It’s a guilty pleasure of mine. I just can’t help myself.)

What I’m Listening To:

The podcast Criminal is my latest obsession. It’s pretty interesting and an easy listen. If you’re interested in crime, this one is a good podcast. It covers various types—like counterfeit money and murderous pigs—and is about 20 minutes a piece, so just long enough to do the dishes. The strangest part of listening to this podcast was stumbling upon Episode 6, which covers the shootings of Glenn Miller in Overland Park, KS. He killed three people in 2014, and if you followed my blog back then, I actually lived close enough to the shootings that I heard the sirens. (Here’s that article: Writing Tips: Dealing with Controversy.) One of the victims even attended the same high school I graduated from. Hearing his family speak was pretty surreal. I definitely recommend this podcast.

What I’m Watching:

While everyone went out and saw Suicide Squad this week, I saw The Secret Life of Pets. What? I want to see Suicide Squad—I do—but I needed something light, silly, and fluffy in my life, so a pet movie was my choice…and I was satisfied. It was pretty darn cute.

The Secrets Life of Pets

The Secrets Life of Pets

I also binge-watched Noble, My Love, which is a South Korean drama about a CEO and a veterinarian falling in love. Don’t judge me. I’ve been obsessed with South Korean dramas lately. 

Noble, My Love

Noble, My Love

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

apple pie bread pudding

apple pie bread pudding

I baked apple pie bread pudding this week, which was awesome. Hard to photograph though.

What I’m Wearing:

Sticky Notes. I’m buried in them. And I need to use more of them, ASAP.

What I’m Wanting:

Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley

Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley

Aerie by Maria Dahvana Headley! I LOVED Magnolia, and you can read my five-star review by clicking here. I’ve been looking forward to this sequel since July of 2015. If you haven’t read it, check it out.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

I went to Rome, but forgot that hotels were necessary, so I emptied out a famous fountain…and I slept in it.

That was it.

What Else Is Going On:

I went to a Royals baseball game with my dad and his friends this week…which means I—GASP—left my house…and went out in the sun…and SURVIVED.

Okay. It was fun.

~SAT

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#SATurdate: Good Morning Call, Bad Bloods 3, Top Ten, & Serial

16 Jul

What I’m Writing:

My YA fantasy, Dreammare, moved onto the third round of Adventure’s in YA Publishing’s Red Light/Green Light competition! That means I’m in the top ten! Read the opening page here. This week, I also wrote in BB, which is my second attempt at a contemporary YA, but I only have the first chapter done. I definitely believe in the story, but I’m not sold on myself writing it yet. Sometimes, we need more tools in our pocket before we can build something, and that might mean twenty more weeks of research for this bit. In bigger news, I’m DEFINITELY writing the next Bad Bloods book. Because of your raving reviews, Clean Teen Publishing already gave me the thumbs up to continue the series, and since I already have a draft from when I was 12 (eek! It’s terrible), I’m really excited to tackle this rewrite of an old project, too. So far, it’s titled July Thunder / July Lightning (but I’m aiming to make this one book instead of two). It takes place in July of 2090, and it will be told by two different characters, one of which you’ll recognize from November Rain and November Snow, and another who is completely new to the series. I’m 7,350 words in, three chapters deep, and working on the outline extensively. So far, the biggest hurdle is letting go of the focus of some of the original characters and allowing the current protagonists to focus on themselves and their story. You will see the members from the old cast as well as completely new characters and sections of Vendona. Most exciting of all will be an emphasis on Eastern Vendona, which I’ll talk a little about below.

What I’m Publishing:

Photo by The Bookworm Who Lived!

Photo by The Bookworm Who Lived!

We’re two days away from the book release of Bad Bloods: November Rain! I’m DYING from excitement. In fact, yesterday, Clean Teen Publishing let me know that we’re already on a second print run, even though the book isn’t out yet! This is big news. So, thank you for your support!

What are the latest readers already saying?

“I’m so hooked on this story and I am excited to start November Snow as soon as I’m done writing this review. I definitely recommend this book!”The Bookworm Who Lived

November Rain was a great read. The plot and the characters were pretty interesting and I was hooked from the very first page. The writing was smooth and easy to read and the pace was fast throughout the book. I easily finished this book in two sittings, it was hard to put it down. I am so excited to read the next part and see what happens! Recommend it? Yes!” –Daydreaming Books

Wattpad: Niki's Story

Wattpad: Niki’s Story

Since I spoke about Eastern Vendona above, you will love this news. Niki’s origin story released on the FREE Bad Bloods Prequel on Wattpad this week! You can read it here, and most of her story takes place in Eastern Vendona. Who is Niki? She is one of the higher ups in the Southern Flock, but before she joined, she was sold to a black-market psychic on the sunken bay. The sunken bay is a crime city in Eastern Vendona that literally sits on the beach leading to the ocean, but the ocean is poisoned with oil and other environmental issues. In fact, it’s one of the worst places to live, and though it plays a minor role in Bad Bloods: November Rain and Bad Bloods: November Snow, a large portion of the Bad Bloods sequel will take place in Eastern Vendona, so this story is a bit of a sneak peek. My goal is to finish the draft in two months and edit it before November for (hopefully) another July release. I mean, how cool would it be to have July Thunder release in July? (Especially since it’s the July after an election.) We will see…

The #1lineWed theme was “water” so here is your weekly preview:

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

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

Visit the Pinterest and Facebook Pages.

Preorder Bad Bloods

Preorder Bad Bloods

What I’m Reading:

The Last Star by Rick Yancey

The Last Star by Rick Yancey

I finished The Last Star by Rick Yancey, and UGHHHHH, I’m so incredibly torn up after finishing this trilogy’s finale. It’s fantastic, it’s heartbreaking, it’s thrilling, and it’s…incredibly frustrating. I love how symbolic Rick Yancey’s voice is. I love how diverse his characters are. I love how REAL his sci-fi, apocalyptic alien takeover feels. And I think the ending was perfection. It was flawless. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’m going to leave it at that, but if you haven’t started this alien sci-fi trilogy, pick up The 5th Wave today and check it out. It’s a thrilling ride you won’t forget. Recommended to sci-fi lovers who enjoy apocalyptic settings, alien takeovers, and mind-blowing twists. Must love metaphors. Must love numerous POVs. Must love surprises. Favorite Quote: For some, death is the midwife to faith. For others, it is faith’s executioner. Read my full five-star review by clicking here.

What I’m Listening To:

Serial Podcast

Serial Podcast

Okay. Okay. I’m FINALLY listening to the Serial podcast. I’m only on episode three, but holy bejeebes. I’m addicted.

What I’m Watching:

Speaking of addictions, I spent nearly all my free time watching Good Morning Call on Netflix. (Seriously. Each episode is 45 minutes long, and I finished all 17 episodes this week. I couldn’t stop myself. Not even a little bit. My writing time suffered, and I don’t even regret it one bit.) Good Morning Call is a Japanese romantic drama show based off a manga I’ve actually read, and I LOVED it. It’s super cheesy, it’s super ridiculous, and it’s super hard to stop watching. Even parts where the feminist inside me cringes, I have to admit I love. It’s such a guilty pleasure that I highly recommend, though you must be willing to read captions. The story follows a high school girl who finally gets her own apartment only to realize she’s been caught up in a rental scam and must room with the worst lover boy from her school…though maybe he’s not so bad, after all.

Good Morning Call

Good Morning Call

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

I made chili in the crock pot this week! But I have tons of plans on future desserts for this upcoming weekend. (My weekend is Sunday-Tuesday, by the way. I live in opposite land.)

What I’m Wearing:

Kiki and I were pretty in pink this week on Instagram.

What I’m Wanting:

La La Land with Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. I have the BIGGEST crush on Emma Stone. She’s perfect. Oh, yeah. And Gosling. I guess he’s okay, too. 😉

What I’m Dreaming Of:

So, do you all have reoccurring rooms in your dreams? I do. Which I’m not sure is normal or not. But I have this one room that (and this is going to sound stalkerish, because it is) that is dedicated to Lily Collins. (WHAT? I love her. SO WHAT?) So, I visit this room in my dreams, for some reason, and it’s just filled with fan art, but this time, it was destroyed, and I was distraught, so I picked up what I could, and then, as I was leaving, I realized the back lights were on…which is weird. Because these lights have never been on. Then, I remember I’ve “sold” this room (apparently in a dream I can’t recall), and the new owner is there WITH AN AXE. So he hits me on the head.

Yep.

I woke up.

What Else Is Going On:

My new author photos are on the way! But I can’t believe we’re only two days away from the Bad Bloods book release! Thanks for your support!

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

Visit the Pinterest and Facebook Pages.

~SAT

#MondayBlogs Content Disclosures for Novels

11 Jul

Recently, my content disclosure tree for Bad Bloods released by Clean Teen Publishing. What is a content disclosure tree? Well, I’ll leave that up to my publisher to define on their website. (Click here to read the definition. If you want to read my full content disclosure tree for Bad Bloods, click November Rain and November Snow.) I suggest reading both before continuing, but I’m going to write the article as if the links are broken. Clean Teen rates everything based on 4 subjects: violence, language, drug use, and romance/heat level, and you can see my examples below.

Content Disclosures for Bad Bloods

Content Disclosures for Bad Bloods

In summary, Clean Teen Publishing allows readers to understand what they’re picking up when they choose a book—which I completely support for numerous reasons, but I will mainly talk about personal experiences, both from working with readers and from traumatic topics I’ve lived through myself, and how these examples have helped me understand the consideration of a content disclosure.

Starting off at my day job, I help authors find readers interested in their work. One of the topics I always discuss with authors is whether or not there is incest, rape, or other controversial topics in the story. Why? Because many of the reviewers I have worked with requested to know this for various reasons. By talking to numerous readers every day, I started to realize how many readers would prefer to know certain things up front—again, for various reasons. Sometimes, it’s triggering for those with PTSD. Sometimes, they are simply disinterested in that scenario. Sometimes, it’s just a preference of how they are feeling that day. While I’m not one to be against any particular topic in a novel, I can understand why someone wouldn’t want to read about certain topics, especially involving traumas.

That being said, this sort of disclosure hasn’t happened without controversy. Simply Google “disclosing content in novels” or “content ratings for readers” and I guarantee you’ll find a forum discussing the pros and cons of this. The main arguments I see revolve around ruining surprises and the effectiveness of even preventing someone from reading something they won’t enjoy. And that’s what I want to discuss.

First, as a writer who has written about controversial topics—particularly with violence in The Timely Death Trilogy and drug use in Take Me TomorrowI would—by no means—want a reader to pick up one of my works and accidentally be triggered by something. Speaking from personal experience, my mother died from a drug overdose when I was eleven, which is why I wrote Take Me Tomorrow, but through years of counseling, I met many kids like me who reacted very differently than I did. Reading Take Me Tomorrow would be extremely upsetting for them, and knowing what they went through, I would never want to cause them distress about such a personal topic. As a fellow reader, I would also rather find them something else they might like to read.

Granted, I understand the “just put it down” argument, but—at the same time—why can’t we prevent readers from picking up a book they definitely won’t like in the first place? This isn’t about ratings or reviews. This is about caring about your readers’ feelings and time. Now . . . here is where I hear the “but that ruins the surprise” argument . . . which I don’t understand, because—if done correctly—the content disclosure will say the topic, not which character and on which page. Take my full disclosure for example (if you click on this link, it’s at the bottom of the page). Clean Teen Publishing lets us know that November Rain talks about the violence in the book, but it doesn’t say how it plays out. It doesn’t say how it happens or when it happens. It doesn’t even say how much it happens. If anything, I’ve given away SO MUCH more on my own website.

I know I write about controversial—and often violent—topics in my stories, and I, by no means, have an issue with readers knowing that up front, especially because my novels fall under the YA genre, and genres alone don’t warn about the insides. TV and movies have had ratings for a long time, and while I understand that it’s much easier to be surfing channels and accidentally comes across a movie (and a book takes much more time to get into), I think content disclosures can help a large portion of readers find more suitable books that they will enjoy.

Content disclosures can help those that feel like they need it, and those who feel they don’t need content disclosures can ignore them. If you want to be surprised about all the topics, for instance, don’t read the disclosure. It’s as simple as that. At this point, I will say that I don’t think it needs to be an industry standard but rather something that is up to an author and their publisher (and of course, the reader). Personally, I love them. I see too many benefits coming from them for me not to love them. Content disclosures can help those avoiding triggering topics and even help parents choose books for their children that they deem appropriate. Disclosures can help readers find exactly what they’re looking for, maybe even a controversial topic they’ve struggled to find. Everyone who wants them can read them, and everyone who doesn’t want them doesn’t have to use them, but as an author, I’m glad my novels have them.

P.S. On a fun side note, my publisher actually makes these for anyone interested! Click here to check it out.

P.P.S. Original posted here. (I covered The Timely Death Trilogy)

~SAT

Check out my latest interview on the KC Writes Interview Podcast! We discuss publishing, writing fantasy novels, studying poetry, hosting events, and other surreal parts about authors’ lives.

Clean Teen Publishing is hosting their Christmas in July giveaway, and it’s epic! They are giving away a Kindle Fire‬ and up to $200 in cash!!! Check out the details and yes, this giveaway is open for International contestants. They’re hosting a Goodreads Giveaway for Bad Bloods: November Rain as well.

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

Preorder Bad Bloods

Preorder Bad Bloods

 

#SATurdate: Salt to the Sea, Death Note, The Turncoat’s Gambit, & Tallulah

2 Jul

What I’m Writing:

Honestly, I go through phases where I dread writing. Mainly because I’m stretching myself too thin and/or trying to find my footing in my next project. I think I’m in the middle of both of those issues. I have three completed manuscripts—one of which needs editing—I want to start something new, but I’m also EXHAUSTED. All that being said, I started yet another novel. It’s my second attempt at a contemporary, but again, I. am. struggling. I know I’ll find my footing in one of my projects, but I haven’t hit solid ground yet. Between BFest, Bad Bloods releasing, and my day job, life hasn’t afforded me a lot free time for writing either (which might be part of the problem). Let me put it this way, I only wrote 5,000 words…in June. IN ALL OF JUNE. I need a hug. But I will power through it!

What I’m Publishing:

A new review is in of November Snow! “Truly, Thompson has done an incredible job here of story weaving. Just wonderful. Don’t underestimate your need for tissues here people, don’t do it. Prepare yourself with tissues and a cuddly stuffed animal.” – Babbling Books (Seriously, listen to her advice. Tissues will come in handy.)

Catelyn's Story on Wattpad

Catelyn’s Story on Wattpad

This week, Catelyn’s Story released on the FREE Bad Bloods Prequel on Wattpad. This is also the first origin story seen from the Southern Flock’s perspective. They formed later than the Northern Flock, so from now on, you’ll see stories flip back and forth between the two flocks. If you ever wondered why the groups of bad bloods are called flocks, this origin story explains why! In Bad Bloods, Catelyn is Serena’s best friend. Here is a preview: The girl was pretty enough for plenty of crimes. Read her story by clicking the link.

Also, because I created three cartoon photos of the first three characters, here are three cartoon versions of the most recent stories: Ryne, Violet, and Catelyn.

Ryne, Violet, Catelyn

Ryne, Violet, Catelyn

The #1lineWed theme was “sky” so here is your weekly preview:

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

November Rain, Part One, releases July 18, 2016

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

November Snow, Part Two, releases July 25, 2016

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

Visit the Pinterest and Facebook Pages.

Preorder Bad Bloods

Preorder Bad Bloods

What I’m Reading:

Salt to the Sea

Salt to the Sea

I began and finished Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys. Heartbreaking and terrifying, yet informative, Salt to the Sea is an emotional story about the Wilhelm Gustloff, the single greatest tragedy in maritime history. Told from four different perspectives, Sepetys focused on young adults and how World War II was affecting their lives forever. I highly recommend this book to everyone, especially those who wish to learn more about how WWII affected the youth and what happened to the Wilhelm Gustloff. All that being said, this book is not for the light-hearted. Though I still think the light-hearted should read it, Salt to the Sea is graphic. I know there are scenes that will never leave me. But if I can call something graphic and beautifully written in the same breath, this book deserves that statement. You can read my full 5-star review here.

What I’m Listening To:

Wounded Rhymes album by Lykke Li. I was driving between cities a lot this week, and this was my soundtrack for the week.

What I’m Watching:

I saw Death Note for the first time! (I know. I know. Crazy, right?) I LOVE anime, but I’ve never seen Death Note despite the crazy big fan base. (Perhaps that’s why I haven’t seen it?) I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I LOVED it from episode 1. I have about 10 episodes left, but I think it’s fantastic. And I definitely think the shinigami are adorable.

I also watched 10 Cloverfield Lane, which I have mixed feelings about. I actually remember seeing Cloverfield in the theatre when I was 16, so seeing this kind-of-sequel-but-not-a-sequel of Cloverfield, was interesting. I think I had a more uncommon opinion by actually liking the first half more than the second half. I thought it was more psychological suspense at first, and then, it turned into a crazy sci-fi battle. The genre mashing didn’t feel very smooth, but it was an entertaining movie!

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

I baked stuffed peppers this week, and they were awesome! I’ve never made them before, so it was a plus that the recipe was easy. No desserts this week, but I promise they are coming.

What I’m Wearing:

I took new author photos this week, so look out for that! I wore two different outfits—one pink one, one blue one—and I’m excited to change my look. I saw a preview, and the photographer is awesome. 

What I’m Wanting:

Tallulah! That movie looks awesome. Why oh why was the release date July 29 and not June 29???

The Turncoat's Tambit by Andrea Cremer

The Turncoat’s Tambit by Andrea Cremer

Also, I LOVE The Inventor’s Secret by Andrea Cremer (and the sequel, The Conjurer’s Riddle). They are some of my favorite reads, so I cannot WAIT until November when book 3 of the trilogy releases. The Turncoat’s Gambit looks fantastic! November cannot come fast enough. Click the links if you wish to read my reviews of the first two books. I highly recommend this steampunk series.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

So, I became the first American to become the Queen of England. (Don’t ask me why or how or even if I understand why I had this dream…I mean, I do stalk the Queen’s corgis.) But, yes, I was “voted” in to become the next Queen of England, and everyone was—naturally—very put off by this. Even I was like, “Are you sure? I don’t know about this. Seems strange.” But everyone who voted was like, “You MUST!” So, I had to accept during this party, which was, apparently, only on the other side of the castle, but I had to go through all these secret passageways to get there, and there were assassins around every corner trying to kill me. They never killed me, but they did trap me, and it took me three hours to get out, but I got to the party…and everyone had left. The big surprise was that the Queen owned a Wheel of Fortune game that every Queen has to play in order to become Queen? But of course I was too late, so I didn’t get to play or become Queen. But I did get to play with her corgis.

What Else Is Going On:

I did a podcast interview this week. I look forward to sharing it, since the podcast focuses on Kansas City writers!

~SAT

#SATurdate: Cover Reveal, The Dark Artifices, Podcasts, and a Burglar.

19 Dec

I know so many of you saw Star Wars already, but I haven’t, so please don’t be disappointed that I’m not talking about it yet. I will see it soon, I promise!

What I’m Writing:

I’m working on the revisions of Take Me Tomorrow. I finished the initial run-through, so now, I’m basically sitting on it and letting it be for a little while I decide what I want to keep and what I don’t want to keep. This upcoming week, I might work on a secret project while I let Take Me Tomorrow stew.

What I’m Publishing: 

The cover designer finished the covers for Bad Bloods! Eeeeee. So, you can expect a cover reveal soon-ish, which means there will probably be an opportunity to win some prizes. (I’m thinking an exclusive sneak peek, like the first chapter of November Rain.) Keep your eyes locked on your emails. I’ll be sending out a call for help via my newsletter. If you’re not subscribed, you can subscribe to my newsletter here. Your information will never be given away, no purchase is necessary, and you can unsubscribe at any time. (It only goes out once a month, if that.)

And, of course, the #1lineWed preview. This week’s theme was memory.

I recalled how he walked in the rain. With that memory, others crept in. His half-laugh. His honesty. The dimple on his right cheek.

Visit the PinterestFacebook, and the Extras page.

What I’m Reading: 

cassieI started and finished Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. (She loves Boo Boo.) And, as many of you already know, it absolutely wrecked me. I wish I could explain how much I ugly cried, but my roommate had the unfortunate timing of walking in on me while reading the ending. He thought my cats died. But you can read my five-star review here. Clockwork Princess is a heartbreaking, courageous adventure, a tale of flawed heroes and bright heroines, a death-defying journey of ill-fated lovers. It will surely stay with you forever.

I finished Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Volume 9 by Naoko Takeuchi. I definitely gave this particular volume five stars, but I’m a bit biased. The Dead Moon Circus is probably my favorite character arc. I love it. I feel like we see more of all the characters in this arc, and everyone has matured greatly from how they started out. This is the one that brings everyone together and at their best. Here is my full review.

What I’m Listening To:

WX-10-Logo3Mainly podcasts. Without getting into too much detail, I listened to Japanese Fairy Tales by Theodora Ozaki, Myths and Legends by Jason Weiser, The Publishing Profits Podcast Show by Tom Corson-Knowles, and Writing Excuses by Brandon Sanderson. I LOVE Writing Excuses. might do a blog post about these, which is why I’m not going to get into detail here, but they are great!

What I’m Watching:

Interstellar: Yes. I finally saw it. I know. I know. I’m super late on that, but…I kind of already knew what was going to happen based on things I saw and read after it released, which is probably why I didn’t go out of my way to see it earlier.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

I baked tomato mac n’ cheese and made beef tongue stew. (That’s a thing.) I have a weird love for organ meat.

What I’m Wearing:

Pajamas and my hair in an ever-sliding bun.

What I’m Wanting:

20443235Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare: This is the first book in The Dark Artifices, the next Shadowhunters series she’s starting. After wrecking me with The Infernal Devices, I’m dying for another series. I love Cassandra Clare so much.

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski – YES, even though the cover of the third book has changed and won’t match the rest of the series, I WANT this book more than ever.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

Well, the best one I had this week involved my truck a lot. At first I was driving it from the backseat at night. (There’s no backseat in my truck.) Then, a cop was trying to pull me over, so I was attempting to get back into the front seat, and because of the sudden movement, the cop started shooting me. Flash-forward. Like a blink. I was in my driveway with my best friend. I’ve recruited her for a rather…interesting job. I’m storing bones beneath my truck’s driver’s seat. Human bones. An old man and a teenage girl. Why? I have no clue. But my neighbor sees us outside and comes riding over on his lawnmower (which is funny, because I had a neighbor that actually used to do this). And we know we’re going to get caught, but my friend thinks she can just sit in front of you know…the corpses…and he won’t see them. OF course that doesn’t work. He’s just sitting on his lawn mower, in shock, unable to run or anything. And I’m just staring at him, trying to decide what to do…when I wake up. Shake my head. And go back to sleep.

What Else Is Going On:

So…Shannon has a delightful story for everyone.

Setting the scene: I’m home. Late at night. By myself. When I hear a strange noise I’ve never heard before. Right. Outside. My. Window.

The cats react.

They jump under the nearest piece of furniture they can find.

Okay.

Strange.

But I can’t see outside into the dark because I have all the lights on…so I go upstairs to look out a dark window. And I’m searching. And I’m searching. And I’m…

The back door is getting beat in, and the entire house is shaking, and you better believe I am dialing 911 faster than I can type. (Which is pretty fast by the way.)

The cops also show up very fast. (Way to go, Gladstone PD.)

And suddenly there are five cops running around my house in the dark with their flashlights, shouting and such, when an equivalent amount of deer come out of the backyard and try to attack them.

Apparently, one of these guys was literally trying to beat in my back door.

Stupid rut season.

(Shannon and the cats are safe…although her ego is hurt.)

~SAT

My Wonderful, Amazing, and Talented Guest Bloggers

15 May

ShannonAThompson.com officially hit 16,000 followers! 

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These are purple periwinkles from http://www.democratdad.com. These little flowers will be symbolic in my upcoming novel, Take Me Tomorrow. This picture is also symbolic to how grateful I am to be continuing to grow with everyone. Thank you for supporting me. Thank you for growing with me. And thank you for believing in me. My work is a piece of my soul, and I plan to share as many pieces as I can. These flowers show a sliver that will soon be exposed. Thank you for embracing it. You are as beautiful as how much these flowers mean to me. I also added an Extras page for all readers as a special “thank you.” I hope you enjoy checking it out as I release more information.

Over the next two weeks, I am signing out of ShannonAThompson.com. But don’t worry! I am not leaving without a plan. Six, wonderfully talented writers will be taking over ShannonAThompson.com to discuss writing and reading. The variety is great, and every post is entertaining – Seriously. I already read them ;] – and I hope you enjoy connecting with the writers as much as I have enjoyed knowing them.

Before I introduce them though, keep in mind that all announcements related to ShannonAThompson.com will be here – separated from the post at the top – and the announcements are written by me, and they are unrelated to the guest blogger. Here is one for today:

The Literary Syndicate interviewed me during a segment called “Papi Talk!” We discussed MANY topics I have never talked about before – including my intentions behind character and unfinished projects – but I also released my first excerpt from Take Me Tomorrow, so check it out by clicking here.

Now onto the introductions:

Below, I have included a schedule of guest bloggers you will be reading from for the next two weeks. My brother is getting married, and Shannon needs a little vacation (because she’s back to talking in the 3rd person.) That being said, these bloggers are fantastic writers, and every post relates to reading or writing (not to mention that every post is fantastic!) I’m not giving away the topics they are writing about, but I am introducing all of them today. Please visit their websites – you will both enjoy their work and connecting with them because every single one of them is a delight.

But here’s who you have to look forward to:

May 17: Pau’s Castles

Photo from Pau’s Castles

Photo from Pau’s Castles

Pau Castillo is from Pau’s Castles – you might recognize her from a few posts I’ve shared. Her book reviews are entertaining, informative, and – even more amazing – interactive. She really knows how to befriend her readers and captivate her audience.

From her website, Pau introduces herself: “My name is Pau and words are my best friends. I love discovering new things and posting about my life experiences in this site. Also, I love books. I love paranormal stuff. I love things that go beyond what’s normal. I’m a little weird, but I guess you’ll get used to it.

May 19: Misha Burnett

Misha Burnett is the author of Catskinner’s Book and Cannibal Hearts, science fiction/urban fantasy novels. Here’s an introduction from his website, “I am hideously excited and tremendously frustrated by the experience of being a self-published author.  There is so much I have learned since I first launched Catskinner into the world in July of 2012, and the more I learn the more I realize what I don’t know.”

Photo from Mishaburnett.wordpress.com

Photo from Mishaburnett.wordpress.com

May 21: Hanne Arts

Hanne Arts is a seventeen-year old budding writer, and she’s already spreading her name about in the publishing world. Last year, she got second place in a short story competition in Budapest, and she’s currently working on several pieces for publication. From her website, she states, “I started writing when I was about seven years old. I read a lot and am fascinated by interesting and original stories, which is why I decided to become one of the authors making those stories! I have not yet been published, but am hoping to do so in the near future.”

Hanne Arts

Hanne Arts

Ron Estrada

Ron Estrada

May 23: 8.187

8.187 is a website run by Ron Estrada. Writer, husband, dad, and contributor to @Todays_Author, Ron Estrada shares his short essays that “contemplate the order and clutter, thrust and drift of the human condition in this great, big, hopeful world.”

May 25: Jonas Lee’s Imaginarium

Jonas Lee, photo provided by Jonas Lee

Jonas Lee, photo provided by Jonas Lee

Written by Jonas Lee, this website centers on the importance of imagination and the discovery of creativity. Here is an excerpt from his website: “I live near the Black Hills in South Dakota (the States). I cannot stop eating peanut M & M’s to save my life or waistline if they are near me. I love to laugh, read new ideas, hang out with friends and enjoy things I’ve never experienced before. I have a strange addiction to watching DubStep Dancers on YouTube and I can shamefully quote almost every line from the movie Clue.”

May 27: Ryan Attard

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Ryan Attard

Ryan Attard, author of Firstborn and upcoming Birthright, has appeared on my website before. If you don’t know him, I hope you’ll take the time to check out his books (because laughter will ensue.) He is the host of the podcast – The Lurking Voice – and he also deemed me AEC’s Cognitive Operations Overlord. It’s safe to say that you are not safe at all when visiting his website, but you will have a good time.

Here’s an excerpt from his podcast: “The Lurking Voice is the journey of author Ryan Attard as he explores the world around him from an artistic perspective, including books, movies and music as well as the tropes of his craft. Expect reviews, funny commentary and the occasional rant.”

May 29

I am back – with Website Wonders and May’s Ketchup.

But until then, I hope you enjoy what these insightful writers have to say. I know I sure did.

~SAT

Writing with Barbie

19 Apr

Prepare for laughter during today’s post. But – before we get onto the giggles – I want to share two important bits of news.

Paris Carter reviewed Seconds Before Sunrise, stating, “The novel also includes several internal struggles for Eric and Jess that sparks tension throughout the entire novel, and it’s the chaos of them struggling to work out their answers and fight themselves that bring Shannon’s novel to a second dimension.” Read the entire review here or check out his review of Minutes Before Sunset first.

I also participated in an interview with Doodles, doodles everywhere. We talked about what hurts me the most as a writer, and I expanded on the research that went behind The Timely Death Trilogy. Check it out.

It’s been a few days since I participated in my first podcast interview, but I wanted to write about something fun since my last post was rather dreary. That’s when my mind immediately returned to The Lurking Voice. (Just a small, Kansas City update though, they found the Highway Shooter, so things feel a lot better around here. Maybe that’s why I’m so eager to post something I can laugh at…I mean, laugh with you…as you laugh at me.)

Back to the topic.

If you listened to the full interview – which you can by clicking here – then you know that I confessed to many writing strategies that I haven’t mentioned before, although “strategies” will quickly turn into a debatable term during this post. My ultimate, reluctant confession happened when we discussed November Snow, my first published novel.

I was 11 when I started writing it and 16 when it was published. It’s safe to say that it isn’t my best work, but I am planning on re-writing it. As we were discussing this, Ryan Attard asked a great question. How does a preteen plan a novel out? That’s when I said it.

November Snow was based on a game that I played out with my Barbie dolls as a much younger kid. Now, if you’ve read November Snow, then you might be concerned, considering how violent the book is, but there’s no need to be concerned – (I think.) That’s what I told my high school teachers anyway when I was asked about the dark nature of it. But that’s another story for another day.

Today, I wanted to share a funny truth to November Snow. No matter how dark the story is, many of my characters were actually based on the dolls I used. I admitted to it on the podcast, and now I am re-confessing it on here. Even better, I dug through some boxes, and I found the old toys, so I’m sharing a few of them as well as small excerpts from the novel that proves this goofy aspect of my writing.

You’ve been warned.

A little background before we begin:

November Snow is a young-adult, dystopian novel, and it is told from dual, first perspectives: Daniel and Serena. Unfortunately, I lost the Serena doll (she might have lost a limb or two or maybe even a head.) But I still have Daniel, who you will see soon. I’m going to share three pictures, and each picture has numerous characters on it. Below each picture, I will have a one-sentence background, and below that, I’ll be sharing the real excerpt from the novel. I’ll also include page numbers as well as who was telling the story at the time (Daniel or Serena.) I am also including a little note, explaining how my 11-year-old brain worked. Got that? Okay. I even think I’m lost, but trust me – it’s organized. Hope you chuckle as much as I did writing this post! Traveling to the past can be a funny adventure.

First picture: from the left to the right: Robert, Daniel, and Calhoun. 

theboys

Robert: 19, leader of the Southern Flock (hates hugs)

“I turned around to see Robert’s dark brown eyes staring at me, and my heart lunged into my dry throat…He muttered something, his brown hair shagging in his face, and I laughed. “ (Serena, 156-7)

Note: Believe it or not, he’s not the antagonist. Sort of?

Daniel: 18, leader of the Northern Flock (all around hunk)

“The guy looked like Daniel. He had the brown, muffled hair and tanned skin. He even had the blue and white jacket down, but he wasn’t responding to his name.” (Serena, 181)

Note: So, if you didn’t notice, I even based some clothes off of these toys.

Calhoun: age unknown, Daniel’s mentor. (kind of a hard ass)

“From the bottom step he could have been mistaken for a modern-day giant. His face was strong, as were his muscles, and he looked like he could barely fit into the sweater he was wearing. He had been in a POW accident, in which he had lost one of his arms, but he refused to tell the story. Normally, he had a fake arm in, but tonight, a gray sleeve dangled at his side, blowing in the chilled November wind.” (Daniel, 25)

Note: if you listened to the podcast, then you know this character actually ended up being very similar to my real father. Except my dad has both arms. And he’s not a vet. But I swear they are alike.

Second Picture: from left to right: Daisy and Maggie

girls

 Daisy: 16, member of the Southern Flock (I hate her.) 

She doesn’t deserve a note or description. Seriously. Have you ever hated your own characters so much that you regret bringing them into existence? I think Daisy might be in my top three of characters I’ve created and despised. #authorproblems.

Maggie: 16, member of the Northern Flock. (crushes on Adam in private)

“The front door opened, and Maggie walked in. She was wearing a small, pink coat and white disco pants that had gone out of style a century ago, but she still pulled them off easily.” (Daniel, 240)

Note: is it just me or is Daniel incredibly aware of fashion trends?

Third picture: from left to the right: Amy, Justin, and Marisa

Now for the youngsters, the category of characters that caused one of my high school teachers to ask if I needed to talk to someone after she read my novel and discovered only a few of the characters survive. (Seriously. It’s on the back of the book…) From left to right, we have Amy, Justin, and Marisa.

kids

Amy: 14, member of the Southern Flock. (Hates being called “Amy.” Her name is Amiel Marie Young.) 

“Amy’s hair was tied back in a French braid.” (Serena, 144)

Note: So this was more of a hairstyle thing, and you can’t really see it in the doll anymore, but it was there. I promise.

Justin: 6, member of the Southern Flock (borderline obsessed with hockey)

“Justin, blond-haired and brown eyed, was whisked off his feet by the collar of his shirt.” (Daniel, 479)

Note: There’s actually a hockey scene in the book just for this hockey-themed doll. (I really have no shame as I share this, do I?)

Marisa: 7, member of the Northern Flock (too small to crush on Adam, but apparently, all the girls like Adam…maybe I should’ve shared Adam.)

“A small girl struggled her way into Adams’s lap and leaned her bony elbows onto the table. She had long, brown pigtails that rested on the wiggling table and innocent eyes.” (Daniel, 44)

Note: The hair is there. The hair is totally there.

So there you go. My young-adult novel that almost got me in trouble as a teen was originally created during playtime as a kid.

Try to figure that one out.

I sure haven’t.

~SAT

If you want to check out the collector’s first edition, click here.

If you want to check out the collector’s first edition, click here.

 

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