Tag Archives: Tamara Morning

August Ketchup

31 Aug

August’s Ketchup

August’s Ketchup is here! For those of you just now checking in this month, I write “Ketchup” posts at the end of every month, describing my big moments, top blog post, the post I wish received more views, my top referrer, and more in order to show what goes on behind the scenes here at ShannonAThompson.com. I hope these insights help fellow bloggers see what was popular, but I also hope it entertains the readers who want “extras” for this website!

Thank you for celebrating August with me.

Big Moments:

#1 Clicked Item was Take Me Tomorrow on Amazon

#1 Clicked Item was Take Me Tomorrow on Amazon

The paperback of Take Me Tomorrow released! I love being able to hold it in my hands, but I love it even more when I know readers have their copies, too. I’ve even received a few photos on Instagram. (Eeeeee!) Thank you for reading my latest novel. I truly hope you’re enjoying it, and I’m unbelievably grateful to all of you who have read, reviewed, and shared Take Me Tomorrow. A sequel has been written, but it is up to you to get it released, so I’m crossing my fingers. :]

My short story, The Pink Scarf, was published in an adult anthology, Ashtrays to Jawbreakers. And it’s free. That’s right. Free. Just click here to check it out.

We also hit 200 ratings on Goodreads. 

Top Three Blog Posts:

1. What I’ve Learned Rewriting a Seven-Year-Old Novel: As many of you know, I’m rewriting November Snow – slated for release in November of 2015. It has been quite the adventure though.

2. For Writers: Exercise Your Body, Exercise Your Brain: Because we could all use an excuse to get up from the computer every now and then. (Specially for 30 minutes, 3 days a week.)

3. The Pros and Cons of Beta Readers: Just because two good people are in the same room that doesn’t mean they are good for one another.

The Post I Wish Got More Views:

Managing Multiple Projects at Once: Since I’m going through this right now – between November Snow and Death Before Daylight – I thought this was a personal and helpful post to share with others as they also go through it. Perhaps I’ll even talk about this more as I dive deeper into my current projects.

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Guest Post:

Top Productivity Tools All Writers Should Know About: Thank you, Ninja Essays.

Other Blog Posts Organized By Topic:

News:

Writing:

Reading:

My #1 referrer was Facebook

My #1 referrer was Facebook

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 would like to review my novels or interview me, please send me an email at shannonathompson@aol.com. I always love speaking with new bloggers, writers, and readers! And I will share your post on all of my websites.

Reviewers:

(Take Me Tomorrow) Endless Reading, Bookish Lover Reviews, The Modest Verge, Death on the Road, Another Night of Reading, A Literary Mind, Honya’s Bookshelf, Trials of a wanna-be-published writer

(Seconds Before Sunrise) Tranquil Dreams, Tamara Morning

(Minutes Before Sunset) Mel’s Shelves, The Bibliophilic Book Blog

Interviews: eBook Review Gal

Awarders: Between the Lines

Since I talked about November Snow a lot this month, I thought I would pick out a snowy picture to represent this Ketchup post. Picture by MachoArts.com

August2014 ~SAT

 

My 11-year-old self was a better writer

5 Aug

Announcements:

Tamara Morning posted the latest review of Seconds Before Sunrise, book 2 of The Timely Death Trilogy, and you can read the full review by clicking here, but here is a small excerpt, “Ms Thompson has done a superb job of bringing both of her worlds to life, both the magical, and the mundane. Seconds Before Sunrise is an engaging read sure to appeal to fans of both fantasy and young adult, with a twist that makes it different from other novels in these genres.”

My 11-year-old self was a better writer

I have a confession to make. I am struggling. A lot. So much so that I was tempted to go to a thesaurus to find a synonym for “a lot.” (Okay. So not that bad. But I’m still struggling with my writing.)

You see, I’m in-between wanting to rewrite November Snow and getting my content edits for Death Before Daylight complete. From a publishing standpoint, book 3 of The Timely Death Trilogy should come first, but my little writing heart wants to ignore Death Before Daylight for two main reasons:

  1. In the first few chapters, a really controversial scene happened. That’s right. Happened. As in, not anymore. The original version is very different from the version coming out in the future, and I’m happy with this severe change. Even though I did cut out this controversial scene, there is a new scene, and I like the new one a lot more in the sense that it is more honest to the characters and the storyline. That being said, I feel as if I have killed off a character by cutting that original scene out, and I haven’t quite mourned it yet, so it’s hard to move forward at this moment in time. (But I promise I will.)
  2. November Snow is still my favorite novel of mine. There. I said it. I kind of do have a favorite child. Does that make me a bad parent? Maybe. That’s probably why I don’t have children. (Just kidding.) But in all seriousness, I have an urge to write in November Snow right now, even though my publication goal is to release that AFTER Death Before Daylight.

So where am I going with this?

Well, here’s the uglier confession: When I picked up November Snow, it terrified me. Yes. Terrified. I had to force myself to put it down, and it has been sitting on my desk all week. I have barely touched it until I picked up last night, which is probably why I’m writing this.

Why did it terrify me?

The story is controversial. It’s dark. It’s violent. And it’s honest. It forces me to face the facts. I’ve lost a part of myself in my writing. I used to write darker stories, and I want to continue to write them, but I’m afraid to now. There is no easier way of putting it. I have hesitations. I keep worrying about what my readers will think of me, what my family and friends will say. Even though I’ve always thought I have surpassed this, I think I’ve been lying to myself a lot. I keep coming back to that time in high school when classmates and teachers thought I was disturbed after they read November Snow. I keep reflecting on that judgment, but – even worse – I’ve placed that judgment on myself.

So I stopped writing my darker stories or I started censoring the more “twisted” moments. When did this start? I have no idea. I honestly don’t. I know it didn’t happen after November Snow, because I wrote that scene in Death Before Daylight that was very controversial, and I wrote a few more things I wish I could reference but I cannot yet (simply because they have not even been mentioned on this blog before, let alone published.)

But I did learn one thing the other day. I have two different types of censoring:

  1. Necessary – it needs to happen. A scene isn’t good for the story. It doesn’t mean anything. The characters never put it there in the first place. I did, which also means there isn’t a reason for it. (This is what happened in Death Before Daylight, so please don’t think that I’m censoring book 3 in The Timely Death Trilogy at all.)
  2. Unnecessary – this is my big problem that I’m currently going through. This is when I’m holding back the truth in November Snow because of various reasons. This is when my 11-year-old self – the girl who started writing this story – is sitting somewhere inside of me and screaming at me (or laughing at me, either one) because she knows I’ll get over it before I even know I’ll get over it.
I was twelve here, but close enough. :]

I was twelve here, but close enough. :]

I feel slightly insane right now, arguing back and forth with my past self. But it’s the truth. She may not have been grammatically correct. (Okay. So she desperately needed an editor.) Her prose may have been so poorly written that it makes me roll my eyes. But she was fearless. She was capable, and passionate, and raw, and she could care less what a reader or a classmate thought as long as she was true to the story. But me?

I am terrified.

I don’t want my female protagonist to be weak. I don’t want readers to think I’m white-washing my characters. I don’t want a reviewer to think my characters are sexist or prejudice or disrespectful or gratuitously violent. I don’t want the message to be misconstrued. But – most of all – I realized that I was so worried about these topics because I was afraid that a reader would reflect their thoughts of my novels onto what they think of me. I returned to what happened with November Snow: I don’t want the reader to judge the book like they are judging me. But I shouldn’t be worried about me when it’s truly about the story.

I find myself fighting these parts in my stories because of how someone might take me as an author when I should be more focused on just being true to the story. It’s never been about me. It’s about the story. If my female character is weak, well, then, she’s weak in the reader’s eyes (and she might, in fact, be weak.) But you know what? She’s a human to me. She’s real to me. And real people can be weak. Just like I have been recently.

It takes a lot to admit how weak we can be in order to become stronger, so I hope this helps me face the facts and begin to grow with my eleven-year-old self again, but I ultimately hope it helps writers who’ve struggled or might be struggling now. I hope every writer who struggles picks up their pens when they know they’ve dropped it somewhere along the way.

~SAT

March Ketchup

30 Mar

Seeing as this is my second “Ketchup” post ever, I am amazed by how much I am falling in love with these. It’s a lot of fun to go back to analyze stats in order to figure out what you all found decided was the most popular. This helps me understand you all, and I think it also shows other bloggers what goes on behind the scenes here at ShannonAThompson.com. I’ll slowly be adding in more categories as I realize what will be the most helpful to everyone! Here is what I’m sharing this month: my big moments, top three blog posts, the one blog post I wish received more views, the rest of the blog posts, top referrer other than search engines, top searched term, and gains in followers, likes, and shares. I also included every website who has helped me this month.

Big Moments:

currentSeconds Before Sunrise released on March 27th, which is the moment every writer looks forward to, but after the release party, something amazing happened! My novels skyrocketed into the top 1,000 books in the Kindle Store. Your growing support is astounding, and I cannot wait to continue into the future with my next novels, including “Death Before Daylight” (book 3 of The Timely Death Trilogy.) If you want to start now, here’s a link to Minutes Before Sunset and Seconds Before Sunrise.

Other big moments included actress, dancer, and director, Gracie Dzienny tweeting about my novels. I also found out my poem will be published in the first edition of LaLuna Magazine, so look out for more news on that coming in April.

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 Top Three Blog Posts:

1. Oh, yes. I Did Record a Video: I guess this means that I need to post more videos on my YouTube channel. I invited you to my launch party in all my nervous glory.

2. What’s Your Shade Name? And other Author Announcements: The shade name generator was possibly the most fun I’ve had in a long time. It’s also nice to know you all are interested in reading about my author life!

3. My Home Away From Home: This was a post I was nominated for, and I spoke about my favorite place to go. The post was also the anniversary of my mother’s death, and I shared how cemeteries bring me peace, even to this day.

The Post I Wish Got More Views:

Writing Tips: The Five Senses: This post actually got a lot of views, but I spent more time organizing and writing this blog post than the others. I analyze how to include the five senses in a novel, but I also ranked what I and other writers believed to be the easiest to the hardest sense to include. After that, I showed tallies from my own novels to display if my original thoughts were correct or not. I still believe this prompt is a fantastic (yes, time consuming but fantastic) prompt for all writers to try.

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Other Blog Posts: 

Below are the other blog posts I haven’t mentioned yet. They are organized into categories.

Writing:

My Writing Process Blog Tour: Nominated by Dan Thompson, I explained my writing process.

Why I Am Most Nervous About the Second Book of a Trilogy: Middle novels are often seen as transitional novels, and I fought that – hard.

What Changes from First Draft to Publication: I share my personal experiences in editing.

The After Party: The day after the release of Seconds Before Sunrise.

Reading:

The Controversy of Rating and Reviewing Novels: there’s a lot of argument going on between readers and writers. I discussed a few of the most common ones.

 So You Want to be a Book Blogger: Tips for setting up your book reviewing website.

Is that Novel REALLY Dystopian? How Market Trends Affect Incorrect Labeling: Novels are often mislabeled on purpose due to marketing strategies.

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

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

Other:

No Makeup Selfie Campaign for Cancer Research: I always take time to participate in important events like this.

Guest Post: The Passion – she is contagious: author, Sorin Suciu blogged about his passions.

The Oscars: Who I Want to Win This Year: I have to do fun posts every now and then.

And last, but definitely not least, I want to thank the websites who supported me this month by reviewing my novels, interviewing me, and featuring my work during this crazy fun month:

Reviewers: Fantasy is More FunLife With No PlotJust A Third Cultured KidThe Modest VergeWrite Out LoudA Reader’s ReviewCoffee Shop ReaderEnnlee’s Reading CornerPau’s CastlesChris PavesicThe Novel ListPress Pause, Fast ForwardBreathe Wild FlowerMental CheesecakeLife with no PlotEndless ReadingSo Little Books, So Little TimeFantasy is more Fun, and Tamara Morning.

Interviewers: Dan Thompson, A Reader’s Review, The Urge to Write, Writing Under Fire, and Desirable Purity.

Features: BIT’N Book Promoters, Paranormal Book Club, and Fantasy is More Fun,

I picked this picture because tonight is the Full Worm Moon. (by Free Photos and Wallpapers.)

I picked this picture because tonight is the Full Worm Moon. (by Free Photos and Wallpapers.)

My Writing Process Blog Tour

10 Mar
Cyclops Bogart

Cyclops Bogart

Lots of announcements to share before I begin today’s blog post! As we near the release date of Seconds Before Sunrise (17 days to be exact), I am gathering so much support from lovely readers and writers that I want to share. So thank you to everyone. The people below, though, get an extra thanks today from Cyclops kitty.

Since Minutes Before Sunset is the first novel, I will share this untypical review by Tamara Morning, “Not only is the setting riveting and unique, but the characters are compelling, a combination sure to transport the reader to this magical world.”

Now that you’re up-to-date on the first book, you should check out the two latest reviews of Seconds Before Sunrise: (two?! Yes, two! ::excited dance::)

While Chris Pavesic wrote, “Thompson has produced an enjoyable story where the characters continue to grow and evolve. After reading the first two parts of the trilogy, I cannot wait for the next to appear!”, Pau’s Castle was living tweeting her incontrollable turmoil:

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By clicking the links, you can read their entire review, but I must warn you of spoilers.

I also wanted to let you know that The Timely Death Trilogy hit 100 ratings on Goodreads with an average rating of 4.47 stars. Oh, the delight.

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Whew. These announcements are getting out of hand (but any good party does), so I am continuing forth with today’s blog post:

Two weeks ago, I was nominated by author Dan Thompson to continue in “My Writing Process Blog Tour.” What is this tour? It’s just a bunch of authors gathering together (we have a tendency to do this over the internet) to share our writing process through these four questions:

  1. What Am I Working On?
  2. How Does My Work Differ From Others of its Genre?
  3. Why Do I Write What I Do?
  4. How Does My Writing Process Work?

Special thanks to Dan. His answers can be found here, my answers are below, and my nominations are just below that. Enjoy!

What Am I Working On?

Other than the fast-approaching release of Seconds Before Sunrise, I am planning on publishing the first book in a new series next. (I just turned it into AEC Stellar Publishing.) And I look forward to sharing more information on it in the future. In terms of writing, I have many more projects under works, five of which are already completely written. I also have three more almost finished. It’s just a matter of how the cards fall. (Or in this case: how the books are flipped open.)

How Does My Work Differ From Others of its Genre?

Other than writing from two perspectives, I work really hard to challenge norms in the genre as well in literature. For instance, The Timely Death Trilogy flips the archetypes of Light vs. Dark in the sense that the dark is full of the “good guys.” I also try to challenge the genre with my characters by focusing on stereotypes: ex/ Crystal is a punk who loves journalism and prom. Jessica’s relationship with Eric is also not what the genre generally goes for. She can live without him. He, on the other hand, is a little different. And showing what a boy feels in a relationship isn’t common practice in YA, paranormal romance.

Why Do I Write What I Do?

Even under severe torture, I do not believe I could satisfy an interrogator with an answer because I don’t even know why I write what I do. I don’t think there has ever been an AHA moment when picking what to write next – the stories just come…and come, and come, and come again. Sure, I have lots of scattered storyline folders on Weebo – my trusted laptop – but my writer’s heart always picks the one I will work on next like they are fated lovers who fall in love at first sight, with uncontrollable need just because they walked into the same room that day.

How Does My Writing Process Work?

I will be the first to admit to how bizarre my writing process is. I know it’s unusual, and I’m okay with that. (I wish I could remember at what point I realized it was unique, but I cannot.) Nevertheless, I will try to explain to the best of my ability by using a scene from upcoming Seconds Before Sunrise:

  • I begin with a bunch of notecards, which I will probably write on for hours throughout the night. Preferably in dim lighting, just so I struggle to read it the next day. During this time, I also create maps, picture books, and more extras, including WAY too many notebooks full of information.
  • After everything is organized, the cards get typed up to this: (note that my handwriting is too bad to show what the notecards look like) What is this? It’s dialogue. The letter represents the name. I sort of look at this like a screenwriting approach (but not really.) This is just how my brain works.

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  • After I get almost all of the dialogue and scenes figured out, I add all the prose in-between to these scenes. So it turns into this teaser below:

…TEASER ALERT…TEASER ALERT…teasing…

I shoved my head into my locker and breathed hoarsely. It was the first day of school and sitting next to Jessica was already killing me. I wanted to talk to her, hold her, be with her − anything really − but I couldn’t. If the Light realized who or what we were, she’d be killed, and there was nothing I could do except stay away.

“You okay?” Jonathon asked, his voice squeaking through the slits of my locker.

I leaned back to stare at the blind artist. I wouldn’t believe he was Pierce, a powerful shade, if I hadn’t known his identities myself.

“I’m dealing,” I grumbled, unable to keep eye contact as Jessica passed us.

She flipped her brunette curls as she playfully hit Robb McLain’s arm. Robb McLain with his sparkling teeth, gelled hair, and playboy personality was the perfect jerk.

Robb slipped his arm over Jessica’s petite shoulders, and I gripped my locker.

“I am this close to killing him.”

Jonathon chuckled. “I’d like to see that.”

“This isn’t funny.”

Jonathon’s hands struck straight up. “No. No. Of course not.” He tried to smother his laughter. “Not funny at all.”

  • And repeat. Repeat. Repeat. At some point, it becomes this – my editing process in which I cut 130,000 words down to 80,000.

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  • Once that’s done, we work at publication.

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But publication is another process completely, so here are my nominations (with introductions) who will be posting on March 17th

Steven SanchezMy name is Steven Sanchez. I am a 31-year old writer, singer, and computer technician. I began writing my first book, The Acid Oasis: The Journal of Adrian Blackraven, at the age of 17 and self-published in January of 2012. Born and raised in New York City, I now reside in Florida with my wife and three children, where I am currently working on the ‘Satin’ novel series.

Raymond VogelPresident, AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc.; author, “Matter of Resistance” and “The Best Of You” (from “2013: A Stellar Collection”). All around decent guy.

Josephine HarwoodHi! My name is Josephine Harwood. I am a housewife, mother, and a family caregiver. In my spare time I love to read, play video role-playing games like Zelda, and writing stories. Writing a book was on my Bucket List, and Dark Secrets is my very first novel. It is the romantic-suspense story of two sisters who move from the East Coast down to West Texas and one of the sisters becomes the unsuspecting target of a stalker. Dark Secrets is only $2.99 and the first six chapters are FREE on Smashwords.

Be sure to check these authors out on March 17th, but in the meantime, I would love to hear about your writing process below! 

~SAT

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