Tag Archives: thriller

#WW I Avoided Certain Books. Here’s Why.

3 Jun

#WW I Avoided Certain Books. Here’s Why.

Right now, I’m basically reading all the novels I’ve avoided over the past year or so. Why did I avoid these reads? I can honestly just guess—since it’s difficult to remember—but I thought it’d make for an interesting topic.

The first novel I picked up was The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. I already finished and reviewed it on Goodreads. Five fantastic alien stars. (No kidding.) I could barely put it down, and it kept me up way too late at night . . . which caused me to have some awesome (and wicked) alien dreams. That being said, I definitely reflected on why I avoided this phenomenal YA novel. My best friend and her husband recommended it to me first, and I often love their suggestions. In fact, I exchange nerd-dom news with them on a regular basis. So why did I immediately shut down The 5th Wave? It was everything I’ve ever enjoyed before: thrilling science-fiction with an underlining mystery in the midst of survival. And there’s a teddy bear. Who doesn’t love teddy bears?

This is Kiki, judging me for not reading The 5th Wave sooner.

This is Kiki, judging me for not reading The 5th Wave sooner.

I pondered my avoidance for a while for two reasons:

  1. I would hate to see this “avoidance” turn into a weird reading habit, which then causes me to miss out on some of my favorite reads of the year (like in this case.)
  2. I’m an author. I want to understand this from a psychology standpoint for my own novels. Was it the cover? Could this be avoided for readers looking at my books? Was it the back cover? Was it the main character’s name? Etc. And being an author made me HATE the possibility of being a judgmental reader, a.k.a. a book snob. That’s not me. So what’s going on?

I literally made a list of possibilities. (Literally. I love lists . . . and psychoanalyzing myself.) And I was brutally honest with myself.

At first, I thought it might have been because the protagonist’s name is Cassie, and my best friend’s name (yes, the one I mentioned above) is Cassie. Maybe it was too weird for me. (What author can avoid this?) But then I realized that couldn’t have been the case, because I read this entire 500-page novel in a few nights, and I never pictured my friend shooting a M16 at her enemies. They even have different hair colors. So . . . it wasn’t that. And it wasn’t the cover, because I actually kind of like how different the cover is, borderline thriller (which the novel is), mixed with an almost sepia-like glow in a forest. (Basically, if there were a pretty girl in a dress on the cover, it would not have made sense. At all.) My problem wasn’t the language or the violence either. I loved both. And the title didn’t confuse me, and the concept didn’t . . . wait. The concept.

So, the concept is where I saw myself stumble. (And you might want to read the synopsis just so you get what I’m talking about.) But the back of the book explains that this novel is about aliens taking over in a variety of “waves” (ex. The 1st Wave is an electromagnetic impulse, so we can’t use our technology.) Now, we’re waiting for The 5th Wave.

Why did this bother me? It sounds AWESOME.

Well, that’s what I had to figure out, and I did. Although it might be strange to some, I started with “why did I pick it up this time?” I thought starting in the NOW would help me figure out the THEN. And it did.

I recently watched Star-Crossed, a CW show about aliens that evidentially got canceled. (A fact I did not know while watching it on Netflix.) And even though Star-Crossed and The 5th Wave are VERY different, I was dying for another alien story. So then it occurred to me. When was the last time I actually READ an alien story?

This was difficult for me . . . which is strange because I read a lot . . . so I then realized I avoid alien books altogether . . . which was strange because I grew up around tons of alien books and intergalactic travel novels in my house because my mom was a trekky and overall book junkie.

And it hit me.

I’ve probably avoided alien novels since my mom died . . . back when I was eleven. Not entirely of course. But most of the time. Even though I love them, I think subconsciously aliens might have been “too close”—a topic that brought back too many memories. And while that sounds sad and all, (I get it. It was for me.) I think I overcame this psychological subconscious avoidance of alien books just by reading The 5th Wave. This novel solved a problem I never even knew I had.

Isn’t that amazing?

Books truly affect our lives in ways we can’t even begin to understand, and I like to believe that’s because reading falls along the lines of love. You can’t explain it, but it shapes you. And that’s why I’m picking up even more novels that I’ve avoided for one reason or another along the way.

Who knows? It could be the most impactful read of my life.

~SAT

On a fun side note, my recent vlog on my YouTube channel, Coffee & Cats, covered The 5th Wave, including the upcoming film adaptation, and a movie recommendation similar to it while you wait.

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The Sequel Can Wait

18 Oct

Announcements:

The third section of my interactive poetry series has begun, and you can read the first poem – Miscarriage – by clicking the title. Here are the opening lines:

If I hadn’t stepped outside, I would not

have seen the cloud buried deep in the approaching

storm I vaguely remembering hearing about.

(Vote, share, and comment for your chance to be mentioned during my next YouTube video.)

Special thanks goes out to The Incorrigible Reader for reviewing Minutes Before Sunset and Seconds Before Sunrise, book 1 and book 2 of The Timely Death Trilogy, here. Find out why she said, “I really did love this series! It was intriguing, exciting, romantic, and so hard to put down!’ 

Another huge thank you goes out to SDAV Reads for reviewing Take Me Tomorrow. She describes both the character development and the world-building, but here’s a quote, “So even amidst some very serious fights, explosions, and runaway escapes worthy of Doctor Who, there is a lot of time spent with the emotions of the characters so that you end up feeling as connected to them as you ought to. They’re very well developed…If you like Dystopic books, or even if you don’t and you just want a good thriller, Take Me Tomorrow is certainly one to add to your shelf!” Read her full review here.

And I am thanking one more book blogger – Note to Selph Book Reviews – for also reading Take Me Tomorrow. You can read her full review by clicking the link, but here is a quote from her, “The overall plot was intriguing and exciting, filled with plenty of action running from police and sneaking out at night.”

I cannot thank you all enough! Please check out my books by clicking these links: Minutes Before Sunset and Take Me Tomorrow. If you write a review, let me know, and I will be sure to share it right here!

The Sequel Can Wait:

Before anyone freaks out, no, this is not about the release dates of Take Me Yesterday or Death Before Daylight. Not entirely anyway. Instead, it’s rather about the pressure writers can put on themselves to get the next book out – and fast – and how destructive it can be to the entire writing (and reading) experience.

You see, I once heard that authors nowadays are expected to release a novel every six months. I’ve actually heard this more than once, but I believe one of the times was during a discussion author, Ryan Attard, had on his podcast, The Lurking Voice. He was simply discussing this trend, not necessarily agreeing with it. I want to clarify that because I think the idea of getting a novel out every six months is fantastic. It’s just extremely difficult, and it should not be expected. Ever.

A lot goes on behind the scenes in the publishing world. Writing isn’t even half of it. Content editing is completely different than line-editing, and a line edit is different than just an edit. Those are just three types of editing, not to mention formatting for both an eBook or a paperback or – god forbid – the hours that go behind an audio book. And cover art! Geez. I could go on forever, and I’m not even talking about the amount of hours, people, or cost behind it all (or the fact that most of these people have second jobs).

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Don’t get me wrong. I think it is great if an author can get a book out every six months. It can be done, and it can, in fact, be professional. After all, four months passed between the release of Seconds Before Sunrise and Take Me Tomorrow (but that explanation is for another post). It can be done, and it can be done well, but that does not – by any means – mean that every author should do this. Unfortunately, especially in the Indie market, authors are often competing with one another (a rather ridiculous notion in itself, but moving on…) and I’ve seen a lot of arguments that authors can’t possibly release books that quickly.

Again, it can be done, but I think authors should pick their timelines based on nothing but themselves. Basing it on readers’ expectations can be really destructive. For instance, you might rush editing to meet a deadline, and now, there are more mistakes readers are picking out in your novels, but if you hadn’t been trying to meet a deadline, you might have been more careful.

I say this with great caution. I know that this topic can cause a lot of bad blood, but I am author, and I go through the pressures of releasing the next book every day. The pressures are mainly focused on three things: get it out quickly, efficiently, and professionally. I’ve lost sleep over it. I’ve worried I was going to lose readers if Death Before Daylight took an extra three months to release. I’ve given myself writer’s block over it. And let me tell you – it isn’t worth it.

How do I know this?

Well, to be quite honest, I don’t. I’m still learning, and I still mess up. I estimated that Death Before Daylight could be cut down to 80,000 words in content edits, and I’ve already surpassed it. That being said, this had added time to my timeline, so it will probably come out later than AEC has been anticipating, and I have been losing my little writer’s mind over it. I feel guilty, and a huge part of me feels irresponsible at timing, satisfying my readers, and estimating my work abilities. That is a hard pill to swallow. But it is even harder to realize it isn’t a pill I have to swallow. Things happen in this industry, and we must roll with the punches, and readers will, too.

In fact, the other day, one of my all-time favorite authors, Meg Cabot, announced she will be releasing book 7 of the Mediator in 2015. Just to let you all know, it has been 15 years since book 6 came out. 15. And you know what? Readers are ecstatic. I’m ecstatic. 15 years is nothing for a fan. Look at all the talk about Harry Potter coming back. That’s about 10 years, and everyone is practically begging for it. And The Mortal Instruments movie was canceled, but the T.V. show is coming out, and although some are reluctant, I think most fans will give it a shot.

Of course readers want the sequel now. I am a reader myself. I understand the anticipation. Waiting for City of Heavenly Fire was so painful I cannot even begin to describe the countdown on my iCalendar, but I still picked the book up when it finally did release, and I never held it against Cassandra Clare, and I will always be excited for the release of a sequel whenever it happens. But – sometimes – I forget that as an author. On the writer side of things, I tear myself down, but on the reader side, I am only filled with excitement, and I think every author can benefit by remembering the support readers feel for authors. That pressure to release the next book is not pressure. It is support. It is encouragement. It is an excited fan-base authors should be proud of, not worried about, and it is the next step to enjoying every release, no matter how long it takes.

No matter how much time passes, words are endless, and there will be someone to read them. 

~SAT

Want to Win Prizes, including a Kindle Paperwhite?

21 Nov

During my last post, ShannonAThompson.com hit 11,000 followers! Thank you to everyone who follows and supports me–as well as many other readers, writers, and dreamers.

Dont’ forget you can still enter this giveaway to win a signed paperback of Minutes Before Sunset.

As many of you know, I am a young-adult author. I keep you updated on this adventure on a regular basis. But I’m also a Social Media Marketing Manager (or Wizard!) for AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. And I don’t really update everyone on this equally as interesting adventure–so today, I wanted to share two virtual parties I’ve been working on that you can attend and win prizes like a Kindle Paperwhite, Amazon gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, signed paperbacks, blog spotlights, and more! Check them out: (you attend them online, so no worries about traveling. You can stay in your pajamas in bed if you like!)

November 21: 

Marsh Island Launch Party7-9 PM (CDT)309985_113790502160320_351626349_n

Celebrate the anticipated mystery/thriller, Marsh Island, meet the author, and win prizes including 3 signed copies of Marsh Island (Book 1 of the Hirebomber Crime Series) from author, Oliver F. Chase, 5 Starbucks gifcards for $10, an ebook of your choosing from AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc., an ebook of your choosing from Amy DeJesus, horror, fantasy, new adult, and romance novels, and a spot on “Welcome to the Inner Workings of my Mind.

Simply click “join” and participate to win these prizes.

P.S. I’ve already read Marsh Island, and it’s fantastic! (But what else can you expect from a suspenseful thriller written by a former SWAT and FBI member?)

eBOOK eXTRAVAGANZA

December 12:

Ebook Extravaganza: 6-9 PM (CDT)

Kindle Paperwhite Giveaway. Free and discounted books and eBooks. Tons of other prizes. PLUS: Get to know AEC authors, participate in games, and celebrate our first year of publishing with us!

This event will be really exciting because you can LIVE interview any AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. author–all while winning prizes (including that Kindle Paperwhite.)

So join us over on Facebook for the Ebook Extravaganza and the Marsh Island Launch Party

I look forward to participating in these events, especially to see who wins those prizes. In the future, I’ll be updating everyone on upcoming parties, so look out of that, too!

Thank you again for supporting me!

~SAT

Movie Mention: Night Watch

16 Jan

I’m a sucker for Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Thriller. Hence why I write that genre. In fact, one of the reviews for “November Snow” says,

This book was amazing. This book built up so much suspense, I couldn’t put it down. It is a mix of Adventure, Fantasy, Thriller, and Romance novels all in one. Great book for anyone. (William, Kindle Edition, 5 Stars)

Because I LOVE these genres, I strive to explore them in all types of art. I encourage other writers to do the same. Watch movies, listen to their soundtracks for music inspiration, and read novels, old and new. Today, I’m giving an example of expanding your palate by watching foreign films within the genre you enjoy. 220px-Night_Watch_(2004_film)_theatrical_poster

Night Watch (Nochnoy dozor) is a great Russian (English Subtitled) Action, Fantasy, Thriller movie to switch your inspiration up. Set in modern-day Moscow, Anton is stuck between the Dark and the Light when the Great Ones are discovered, threatening the apocalypse if they ever meet.

Or as Geser says, 

And so it will be, until a man emerges who is meant to become the Great One. And, if he chooses the side of Light, then Light will win. But, those, to whom the truth has been revealed, say that he will choose Darkness. For it is easier to kill the Light within oneself, than to scatter the Darkness around… The prophecies are coming true.

My friend and I found it on Amazon Prime, but you can rent it, and I’m sure it’s on sites such as Netflix.

Check it out (Or, if you like other genres, I really encourage you to try a foreign film in your genre to see differences, inspiration, and techniques that you can form into your own creations.)

~SAT

Movie Mention: V for Vendetta

5 Nov

Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot…

That’s right. Today is the fifth of November; therefore, we are all required (if not overjoyed) to watch V for Vendetta.

This 2005 Sci-Fi thriller will cause you to wear a fox mask and unite with freedom fighters by the end of the movie. If you haven’t already seen this Natalie Portman flick, (I’m sort of disappointed in your movie tastes..ha jk) I think this is a FANTASTIC movie to rent tonight and watch, considering it’s that time of the year where it’s starting to get cold…And, it’s November fifth. Have I mentioned that yet?

I promise it’s entertaining AND intelligent–always twisting more of the plot to fit a conspiracy that delivers quirky lines, fighting the totalitarian government as much as the citizens do.

So rent this movie tonight!

After all, who could forget that the Fifth of November is V for Vendetta day?

Watch trailers (or get more info) here.

~SAT

 

Movie Mention: Looper

4 Oct

Afternoon, readers!

I saw Looper last night, so I thought I’d give my opinion on this science-fiction thriller.

In the future, it’s nearly impossible to get rid of bodies, so the mob uses loopers–trained assassins that kill and dispose of whomever the mob sends backwards in time. Shockingly Joe, being one of these men, gets his loop closed (when his future self is sent backwards to be killed). But he isn’t the only one. Everyone’s loop is getting closed, and Joe is going to find out why.

As much as I like writing about science-fiction, action, and suspense, I am not a huge fan of watching it on the big screen. (So take my word lightly if you REALLY love movies that are like that–because it’s not really my thing).

I thought it was an AMAZING concept with a lot of potential, but, overall, the movie disappointed me. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis did a great job; however, it was more the second half of the movie that just didn’t click for me. I’m not HUGE on giving spoilers either, so don’t expect me to ruin future movies for you. That being said, I REALLY enjoyed the first half. I thought there were some in-depth perspectives and unique concepts. I suppose my biggest problem I had was that the movie didn’t seem to remain within its own reality the further it continued.

Again, if you love action films (like The Dark Knight Rises for instance) then you’ll love this movie. If you love action films with more conceptualized realities (like Inception) you might be disappointed.

Watch the trailer (or read more about it) here.

~SAT

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