Monthly Archives: March 2012

Minor disappointment

Why'd you have to tell me that Mick?

The cover artist for Minion of Evil, Kris Phillipe  is unavailable for Fangs for Nothing.

I’m sure they’ll find a great artist and I’ll end up with a good cover, but it would have been nice to have the consistency of having the same artists.

I can’t even be mad, because I know that Kris is a professional. If she says she is too busy to take a job, it’s because of all the work she puts in to make sure her art is perfect.

Another sale



Fangs for Nothing my novel about a loser vampire that lives in his parents’ basement, has sold. The publisher is going to try to rush the book out so it can be available for Convergence.

Self Promotion

Photo by Allan Warren

Liberace in the year I was born. He was not a shy man.

I am coming to a point in my writing career that I have been dreading. I am going to have to interact with the public. I am going to have to be sociable and nice.

“But Shannon,” everyone tells me, “you’re so even keel, so personable and you always have something interesting to say. Why are you so hard on yourself.”

The problem is that I can be outgoing and talkative with people I know, but the thought of talking to strangers terrifies me.

So far, I have volunteered to be on panels for two conventions this year, and I’m planning on volunteering for ICON in November. Despite what Jim C. Hines’ advice that he had never seen a bump in sales from attending a con, I don’t have sales yet, and I like cons (which is why Jim keeps doing them.)

Part of the problem is that I have trouble presenting myself as any sort of expert.  Sure, I’ve run a writing group, I do paranormal investigations, I know a reasonable amount about computers, and I have a book coming out. But why would anyone want to listen to me? Sometimes I wonder if I suffer from Impostor Syndrome. Other times, I just feel like an impostor.


Today, Amanda Hocking is a big time author with St. Martin Press, but a year ago, but back when she was a 26-year-old, self-published author, selling a mere 100,000+ books a month, she was quite frustrated with the editing process.

What I find most frustrating about editing and being indie is that everything else I can do myself. Writing, covers, marketing, etc. But I cannot edit properly myself. It’s just not possible.
–Amanda Hocking, when she was an indie author

I totally feel her pain–about the editing stuff, not about the becoming a millionaire by selling kindle books. (I could am prepared to get used to it though.)

My upcoming book, Minion of Evil was edited by my wife, my critique group, me, my beta reader and by editor before I gave it my final read-through.I found around one error every four pages. When I was through, I asked my wife to go over my first chapter again. Two more errors were found.


Today I was reading an Internet discussion about whether or not grammar is important to writers. I would never even think to ask that question. To me it would be akin to saying: Is it important for a carpenter to be able to use a table saw without slicing off their fingers?

Bad grammar, typos, and errors trip up the reader. They interrupt the flow of the book. They stop reading from being an enjoyable experience. Of course, not every person is going to read every error, hence the errors of mine alluding an editor, a critique group, and a bevy of beta readers, but every one you fail to clear adds the chance that you’re going to lose some of your readers.

Okay, on the bright side, or maybe the zeitgeist side, I have read big budget books with errors. Still, I want to put my best foot forward and make reading my book a worthwhile experience.

Skippy Dies

Every once in a while, I read a book that stuns and humbles me with its brilliance. Skippy Dies by Paul Murray is one of these books.

The book settles around a group of friends, clergymen and teachers at Seabrook College, an Irish, Catholic boarding school outside Dublin. While the story is very human and real, it also has fantastic elements–UFOs, travel to alternate dimensions, and fairy mounds. It also digs into much darker elements–drugs, sexual molestation, and abusive relationships. All the main characters have strong arcs, but true to life, not every bad guy gets his comeuppance, and everything isn’t tied up tidily at the end.

This highest praise I can give this book is that by the time I finished Skippy Dies, I felt like some of the characters were my best friends. I cared deeply about what happened to them. I was sorry when the book had to end.

Also, Paul Murray writes a good pop song.

No sex, please. We’re a corporation.

Paypal doesn’t want your sexy,sexy books. They have been putting pressure on indie ebook sellers like Smashwords to eliminate several types of erotic fantasies, including paranormal romance involving shapeshifters.

Violet Blue has written a good overview of what is happening can be found here on Ziff Davis.

Smashwords has a brief rundown of what has been going on in the Feb 27th update.

What I find most troubling about this censorship of Indie authors is that mainstream publishers print books which would not be allowed under PayPal’s rules all the time. Some of them are even considered literature. They have even gone so far as to include BDSM in their list of inappropriate materials when their own eBay website sells BDSM equipment.