Tag: betrayer

Back up and Running

As some of you probably sussed out, my blog has been inactive since before Christmas. Unfortunately, this was a side effect of the new website construction. All my old blog posts were imported into the new site  at the end of last year as it was being built, and rather than create more work for my developer who would then have to re-import my new blog posts, I took a hiatus. A pretty long one.

But now we’re back. Hurrah. New book out, new website, new novella coming in April, new series announcement and a big box set. Phew! Lots going on in 2017. So in order, here’s what’s been going on:

Betrayer is live in case you didn’t see the announcements plastered all over my social media. The 3rd book in the Shining Ones series is out and available wide, which means you can find it on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. You can also find it in paperback here. One more book after this, folks. Destroyer is the end of the series. And it’s going to be a real corker . . .

New website is up. I think you probably guessed that as you looked around. Not too shabby and much better for mobile and tablets. As always if you need my immediate attention, best to find me on Facebook or Twitter. And now unfortunately Instagram, too.

My new novella, The Seduction of Violette Tournaline, is now available for pre-order as part of Sultry & Sinful: The Femmes of Paranormal for just $.99. This is a steamy lesbian and menage romance anthology so you’ve been warned. But as you know, I’m more lighter on that side of things and so mine is more kitten than tiger in that respect. It’s still a good story and might have a tie in with the Shining Ones, but then that would be telling, wouldn’t it?

New series announcement coming in the next couple of months. I’m currently working on the first book in that series, code named “Felix and Rose”. If you’ve been keeping up with me on Facebook or Twitter, you know I’ve been toying with this story for a while. I’ll release more details as the book takes shape, but look for an October 2017 release. I’m super excited about this book. It really is going back to my goth roots.

Super mailing list . . . holy wow. My mailing list has gone nuts, and I’m in awe that so many of you want to keep in touch. It means a lot to me – you’re now my people. And I take care of my own so I’ve got a lot of surprises in store for you guys starting this month. Exclusive freebies, swags, giveaways until the end of 2017. Just for you. Be on the lookout for my very first welcome email on my birthday, March 14th. Woo hoo. Birthday cake for all! Well, not quite, but there will still be pressies . . . shhhhhhh.

And last bit of news. I’m now on Instagram. Unwillingly. Who really wants to see pictures of my breakfast, but that’s okay. Maybe I’ll find something decent to photograph if I ever leave my desk. Stranger things have happened.

It’s good to be back. I’ve missed you guys. See you next week, maybe sooner.


xo shawnee

Updates and holiday madness


Hopefully everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving this week, and got a chance to spend time with friends and loved ones. Maybe you got some great Black Friday shopping in yesterday. I even see that some people have their Christmas trees up, too. (oooh, you lot are organized).

All the frenzy of activity this week has reminded me that we’re entering the publishing dead zone also known as “The Holiday Season”. In about another week, all of us authors will be sitting back either breathing a sigh of relief, or beating ourselves up for not getting our books out before December.

I have mixed feelings about coming into the holidays. As usual, there is a little bit of disappointment for not having Betrayer out before Thanksgiving. A little bit of frustration over not being further into Felix and Rose. A sense of being disorganized as I run around trying to do admin stuff like contracts, invoices, and coursework . . . yes, I’m taking 2 writing courses. No need to question my sanity, I’m already waaaay ahead of you.

But it’s all good.

There are so many things happening right now, really good things, that I’m extremely thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given, and for the undying support of my friends and fans. The next month or so is going to be a whole new level of crazy, some of which I can’t talk about yet, but it’s going to a be a real corker. Stay tuned.

But the things I can talk about:

  1. Betrayer is about to shoot off the proof reader in about a week. After that, a short stint at the formatter, and then we’re into final proofs, baby. Be ready for the release date announcement shortly.
  2. New website contract is sorted and we’re going to be up and running in the next couple of weeks. Exciting times. I might be looking for some beta testers so drop me an email if you’re interested. Free goodies to those who take one for the Overlorders team.
  3. I’m starting to think about the Betrayer release party and swag. Be on the lookout for release party invites sometime after Christmas.
  4. I’m going to be Author of the Day on Manybooks.net. Here’s a preview if you’re interested in reading my interview.

I think that covers it for now. I’m off to do some homework and blurb writing.




Betrayer – 1st draft down


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Today was the day. I finished the first draft of Betrayer. All 90,391 words of it. Trust me, it won’t stay at the number for long once Bev and Amanda get a hold of it, but it feels good. Really good. I was sweating it out on this one, tremendously worried that it would be as brutal as it’d been writing Protector, but oddly enough, it was way quicker and less painful, which came as a surprise. A good surprise.

So I’ve been asking myself the essential question, “What was different this time around?”

Honestly, writing each book in this series has been a distinct and diverse experience. Not once in writing all three books have I come away thinking, “Huh. That was just like last time.” Some of that is because the content is different as the plot moves forward, some is because my style is evolving as the series progresses, hell, it could be that I’m often influenced by whatever I happen to be doing during that time period. It’s hard to say one way or another, and in all likelihood, it’s an amalgamation of all of that and more.

But there are some distinctions that I’d like to outline here:

Watcher cover1) Watcher was like getting on a roller coaster that you’ve never ridden before, and enjoying the hell out of the crank of the chain as you crest the hill and then screaming your head off when you go over the edge.

2) Having said said, Watcher, even having been re-written twice, could be re-written again, but at some point, you have to say enough is enough.

3) Writing your first book means that the only pressure is self-inflicted. It’s never like that again, especially if people like your books. There is ALWAYS someone waiting for the next one.

protector_kindle_fb4) Protector was a right ol’ bastard because I was 60% of the way through the first draft when I submitted Watcher to my now permanent editing team and then realized quite quickly that a big re-write of Watcher was in order. That meant Protector was dead, a complete redo – it just about kicked my ass, and had a profound effect on my psychological state. I came very close to chucking the towel in. It was total hell. Terry, my CP, and Amanda, my copy editor, were the only two forces that kept me going. I’m still grateful for their encouragement in keeping to the path. P.S. – never again.

5) Betrayer was a book that I was looking forward to writing since inception. It’s likely to be the darkest of the four books, and I’m not kidding when I say there are going to be some pissed readers. I’m no George RR Martin, but sometimes, bad things happen, and as an author, you let them. When you get close to the end of a series, the doors shut, the bridges get burnt. It’s scary, and with this book, there are no second takes. Once it releases, there’s no going back. So. If you are one of the readers who wants to send me hate mail – I get it. And it’s okay. Some days, I wanna hate me, too.

6) Destroyer scares me the most. It’s the end of a series that has come to mean so much to me. While the pragmatic, exhausted part of me can’t wait to finish the ride that I started with Watcher, I love Poesy, Adam, Birdie, Haylee, the whole gang at Paddy’s so much that saying good bye to them is hard and emotional. There will be a lingering uneasiness for me as to whether or not I made the right decision. If I gave them the endings they all deserved. But after Destroyer, it will be time to open myself up to a new set of characters who are screaming for my attention. I look forward to meeting them and I hope when the time comes, you’ll look forward to meeting them, too.

Anyhow, a couple of days off before the real work begins. Editing.

Tired but happy,


xo shawnee



I’m back in the writer’s seat this week after TNEE lit a fire under my butt. Nothing inspires fear like being around other writers who are knocking out three, four, or hell, maybe even six books a year. Holy macaroni. Talk about a “coming to Jesus” moment.

Having said that, being back on Betrayer has given me a bit of insight into my own writing style, which I’m going to record here for posterity:

I am a plotter not a pantster

There are generally two type of writers – those who are organizers, who outline everything, who don’t write a word without having a strict plan of where they’re going in their story, and then there are those crazy people who just go for it, hope for the best, dig right in without a care in the word, and generally laugh at all of us OCDers.

I have a lot of envy even respect for pantsters. Not in a million years could I write a whole novel without a map. Possibly a short story, but never something that is going to be almost 300 pages long. I’m just not capable of staying on course that long. I could start out writing a vampire romance and end up in a high fantasy with elves. So for something as complicated as The Shining Ones series where I’m balancing multiple sub-plots plus two fictitious worlds (spoiler alert) and of course, the main story line, I have to be on my toes, and the only way for me to do that is to outline, outline, outline.

And unlike what pantsters may think, we plotters do have grand moments also where the trolley goes off the track into a glittering, sparkly over-the-top mound of pure creative genius, where characters take control or something so utterly unexpected happens that you wonder if you’re channeling your inner Stephen King. Just because we plot doesn’t mean we don’t get carried away in a good way. Even with a iron-tight outline, Watcher did not end up where I expected – both in a good and bad way.

Editing monster

On both my previous books, I was an editing monster, and what I mean by this is that I would edit the hell out of the book every step of the way. Not just once, not even twice, but mulitple reads, multiple large edits. Every day. All the time. Before I’d start writing for the day, I’d be editing.

Even though it goes against the grain for me, I’m gonna say it out loud: Editing during the first draft is not a good idea. It’s chokes creativity and slows you down. Don’t do it. Get it all out on paper first, write faster than you ever have, and then start the editing process once you get the words “The End” on the page.

I have not listened to this advice twice now, and it’s has completely shafted me. It will take you forever to finish and burn you out before you even get to the major edits with an editor. Don’t get bogged down in the minutiae until you’ve got your draft finished.


Steady as she goes – 2K/day limit

The most words I’ve ever knocked out in a day is around 10K. That was probably one of the longest days of my writing career and an anomaly to say the least. It just doesn’t work that way for me (see below). I also found that after pushing myself that hard my next couple of days were hardly what I would’ve described as “productive”; they were, in fact, a mini burn out. I pushed too hard and paid the price for the remainder of that week.

There are some authors where 10K words a day are normal. I’m not one of those authors, and there’s definitely no way that I’ll have 10K of quality words either. Not only did I kick my own ass writing too much, but I probably threw away half of that work when it came time to editing. And that sucks.

I’m a big believer in pacing my creativity. My motto is if I can get 2K of words done a day that have quality and substance then I’m quids in. 5-6K of words that I just end up throwing away doesn’t do me any good and only serves to frustrate me further. Also, side note, it’s not an efficient use of my creativity.

So that’s what I aim for – 2,000 words a day.

Scene by scene

If I think too hard about writing a 300 page book, I still panic. Even though I’ve done it twice now, that anxiety hasn’t gotten any better, and there are days, like today, where I want to punch my inner muse right in the face for even remotely suggesting writing a series in the first place.

The only way I know how to deal with that level of anxiety, especially at the start of a new book, is to avoid thinking about the big picture, and start thinking of it in smaller chunks. In other words, while my heart may be screaming, “OH MY GOD. THREE HUNDRED PAGES!” at me over and over again, my brain has gone for a much more reasonable approach of “You can do anything for a week. Just write this scene this week then you can stop.”

And it works. I trick myself into taking it scene by scene (hence the outline, people) and by the time I’ve gritted my teeth and made it through that scene, I’m ready to start the process over again, and hammer my way through. Before I know it, I’m five or six chapters in and at this stage, have bought in, so I’m good to go for about 70% of the book. Don’t ask about the last 30% – that’s another blog post.

But the point is that by breaking my chapters down into multiple scenes and focusing on them one at a time, I can push my way through the anxiety/writer’s procrastination and get the job done. I highly recommend it to any author struggling alone, and a book that talks about this in depth is Make A Scene by Jordan E. Rosenfeld. Great book, worth reading.

Back to the grindstone. My next post this week will be about reviews. Trust me, it’ll be a doozy.


xo shawnee