Tag: shawnee small

Mars Con or Bust

 

In just a few hours, I’m off to MarsCon.

This is my only book-associated event for all of 2020 and with good reason. As I explained in my first blog post of the year, I’ve been suffering from some autoimmune issues that have been kicking my ass. Well, those same pesky issues are rearing their ugly head this week, and so the fact that I’m limping my way to MarsCon at all is a miracle. Yesterday, I thought I was going to have to cancel altogether, but today, I’m dosing up on the drugs, wearing my vampire sunglasses, forgoing eating, and am going to give it a go.

It means I’m going to be quiet. It means that I’m likely to be cranky. Ooooh look, just like old Goth times! Perfect…not really. It means that I’m not going to be on my A game and that doesn’t make me happy, but at least I should get a medal for showing up. Showing up is half the battle after all.

So. With that in mind, here is where I’ll be if you find to seek me out. I’ll try my best to perk up in your presence.

Friday:

4:00pmRomancing the Reader (Room 8)

Our panelists discuss the power of romance, the range and the voice of the genre, and the blush-inducing conversations!

Saturday:

12:00pmThe Internet: Valuable Research Tool or Kitten Photo Gallery? (Room 6)

Our panelists talk about the most useful resources for authors for research and finding markets. Where do you find the information you want and how useful is it?

3:00pmSocial Media for Authors (Room 4)

Our panelists discuss building a fan base through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. Which social media platforms are helpful and which are a just a waste of a writer’s time?

8:00pmSex & Violence in Fairytales (Room L)

Naughty princes and violent godmothers. In this PG13 session, panelists discuss the role of both sex and violence in the narratives of the Grimm brothers along with other traditional folktales. Issues surrounding why many tales were later sanitized and adapted for the children’s market will also be addressed.

9:00pmWomen on the Dark Side (Room 8)

Not all women artists/creators are about unicorns and glittery vampires and silly pseudo-bondage. Some women create truly dark and challenging art and content, with just enough humor and whimsy to counterbalance all that darkness. Join our panelists as they celebrate the women creators who are creating content that connects with the deeper, darker side of all of us.

See you on the other side . . . or in this case MarsCon.

xo shawnee

Happy New Year

Welcome to 2020, my people.
 
A bright shiny new year and if you run in certain circles, another brand-new decade. Before you fight me over the nuance of that last statement, let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of this thing.
 
First off, it’s lovely to see you. Yes, I’ve been AWOL.
 
It’s been a hell of a year and I’m more than happy to kick 2019’s ass right out the ol’ door. We saw quite a bit of upheaveal at Chez Small including saying good bye to several loved ones and saying hello to whole bunch of other unpleasant such as health issues and the like that I’m really glad that 2019 is firmly behind us. There were probably some good things that happened in 2019, but so much of what happened was overshadowed by the bad that honestly, I can’t even remember much of last year. And I don’t want to dwell on those things and be Debbie Downer especially since we’ve got this clean and crisp new page called 2020 which has so much POTENTIAL to be SO VERY AWESOME; yet at the same time, I do feel like I need to offer you guys some sort of explanation as to why my writing stalled out and why Destroyer is almost 2 years overdue. (Yep, it hurt to write that out.)
 
Back in November 2018, coming off the end of another box set, I started noticing that my eyes were getting tired and gritty at night right around bedtime. I didn’t think anything of it – I’m notorious for staying up reading past my bed time, and I’m no spring chicken either. I just figured that I was entering the scary old stage also known as “needing readers” and went about my business. As we rolled into December, my eyes got more and more irritated and I was having a harder and harder time ‘seeing’ at night. Again, I thought I was just suffering from tired eyes.
 
Then I got the first corneal tear.
 
For most people a corneal scratch/abrasion/tear is pretty straight forward. It hurts, yes, and it’s highly uncomfortable, but the eye is a quick healer and for most sufferers, within a couple of days, symptoms abate. For me, not so much. Not only didn’t it get better, it got much MUCH worse. Like a whole holy hell worse where I’d rather stay up all night putting drops in my eyes than fall asleep. What was happening, as I found out later was that my eyes were so severely dry that my eyelid was ripping the SCAB RIGHT OFF MY EYEBALL while I slept. Yep, you read that right. Let that sink in. Ripping a bandaid off your eyeball every night. And the doctors couldn’t figure out why I was waking up in sobbing pain in the middle of the night until I finally saw a cornea specialist who basically saved my life. Finally, someone who knew what was wrong…
 
Yeah, the funny thing is when you have one autoimmune disease, you’re likely to get another. Okay, not so funny.
 
 
My diagnosis? Bloody auto-immune complication. My body’s cells are not just attacking my skin and my intestines, my body has decided to rage war on my eyeballs, too. So my body is attacking the glands and things in my eyes meaning I’ve got constant inflammation and no tears and oils. Not only am I prone to spontaneous tears and abrasions (thanks eyelids, you fuckers), but I’ve got diminished vision when I’m in an autoimmune flare and when I’m not in a flare and I can see relatively well, I still can’t stare at a computer screen very long because the eyeballs dry out (thanks eyeballs, you fuckers). So that’s why my writing has stalled out and my career has come to a standstill.
 
There have been many, many times over the last fifteen months that I’ve almost thrown in the towel and given up on being an author. Nothing feels quite as bad as being in pain and watching your career tank and not being able to do anything about it. Or sitting down at your lap top and trying to write just one page and having to give up because your eyes feel like they’ve been doused in gasoline and set on fire. To say I was on the edge would be the understatement of the year. And the thing is you can’t really complain about it because someone somewhere has it worse than you. If the worst that happened to me is that I couldn’t write anymore than I should be grateful, right? That’s no way to live, I’ll tell you that for free.
 
So, what saved me? Well, other than fountain pens, probably a handful of friends and close author chums.
 
And me. I saved me.
 
Because I refused to give up. I whined, cried, complained, raged against my stupid body on a daily basis, but I never gave up. If I got one paragraph written or one page (I haven’t been able to write more than 1,000 words at a time since diagnosis), I still called that a win. And you know what?
 
IT PAID OFF.
 
Today, at noon, I finished Destroyer. At 92,857 words, the first draft is done.
 
Destroyer Book Cover
 
 
 
 
Even the drop of water eventually erodes away the stone, my people. So if I can do it with wonky eyeballs, so can you. Don’t give up – whether it’s your dream or your health or something that seems completely unattainable to you – NEVER GIVE UP THE FIGHT. Because eventually you’ll get there, too.
 
This is what I say for 2020. Screw all the other resolutions. Just keep this one: Keep fighting the good fight. You will succeed.
 
 
See you on the other side.
 
xo shawnee
 
 

Dragon Con or Bust

Well, the time is upon me.

In three days, I leave for the land of awesome, that is to say, Dragon Con. Most of you know that this is my first time and like any first, I’m full of fluttery anticipation, yet at the same time, stamping down on a whole lot of trepidation. It’s big. There’s lots of people. The crowds will be of epic proportions. You know, all the chaos is that a 5 day nerd convention full of 80,000 people.

Yeah, let that sink in.

80,000 people.

Yikes.

And while it may be like running the gauntlet and my tired old body hasn’t recovered from the jet lag from being in the UK, I’m still ready to embrace the crazy. It helps that I have lots of author friends also going, and we all plan to be propping up a bar in a hotel at the end of each day. It’s what we call Author Therapy 101. But if you’re around, or if you’re tempting to come even for a day, come look me up. I’ve offered to take any member of my Fan Club out for a drink, or several if they come hunt me down. I extend that offer to you, too.

This is where you can find me:

Title: The Plot Thickens: Mystery & Suspense in UF
Time: Fri 01:00 pm Location: Chastain 1-2 – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Description: Often a mix of genres, Urban Fantasy tends to typically contain an element of mystery and/or suspense. Our panel discusses why they feel this component necessary to the stories they wish to tell.

Title: Open vs. Closed: Worldbuilding in Urban Fantasy
Time: Sat 05:30 pm Location: Chastain I-J – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Description: In Urban Fantasy, the supernatural is either known to the human world or hidden from it, & our panelists will discuss which approach they use & why.

Title: Guardians or Adversaries? Angels in Urban Fantasy
Time: Sun 10:00 am Location: Chastain 1-2 – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Description: Our authors explore the fascinating concept of angels on Earth, discussing their roles in the human world.

Title: Magic, Psychics, and Superpowers–oh My!
Time: Sun 07:00 pm Location: Embassy EF – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
Description: There is magic, then there are superpowers and mutants. What is genetic–and is it still fantasy, or is it really science?

 

With that said, wish me luck, and as always . . . see you on the other side.

xo Shawnee

 

USA Today Bestselling Shades of Fae

 

For those who didn’t see the news on my social media feeds last week, the Shades of Fae boxset hit the USA Today Bestsellers list at #107. After months of hard work and dedication, this fantastic group of authors ticked a box on their bucket list and I feel lucky to have had the privilege of working with such a funny and talented  lot. They were amazeballs.

If you haven’t picked up your copy of Shades of Fae, you still can. It’s available at all major book outlets online although the price has gone up to $2.99 since release week. My new series, The Shaded Veil debuts in this box set and won’t be available as a stand alone until 2019. So if you’re at all interested, now’s the time to pick it up before it’s gone.

So now it’s back onto Destroyer for me as we get closer to Dragon Con at the end of August.

Enjoy the rest of July, peeps, and as always see you on the other side.

 

xo

shawnee

Back from the Dead

*whispers* Hello, yes, it’s really me.

I know. I’m as shocked as you are.

Where the hell have you been?

I’m glad you asked. I think the appropriate answer is everywhere.

Since October, I’ve  . . .

  • Become a USA Today Bestselling Author
  • Written 2 books (more on that)
  • Re-vamped this website
  • Attended a half dozen cons and book events
  • Written some ’80s short stories

And that’s just off the top of my head. No rest for the wicked, right?

So I haven’t been active on this blog, but you might’ve seen me around on Facebook or gotten my newsletter every two weeks. There aren’t enough hours in the day for everything, but hey, I’m trying.

What’s going on now?

I’m finishing off edits on The Shaded Veil, the first book in my ’80s epic fantasy mash up. It’ll be available in the Shades of Fae boxset come July 10th and you can grab it there until mid-October at which point it will come out of the set. It will be releasing as a stand alone in early 2019 once the next book in that series is ready to go. There will be three books in total in the Shaded Veil trilogy. I’m having a blast writing them so I’m eager to get back to that series once the Shining Ones is done.

Speaking of, I’m back on Destroyer next week. It’s already partially written, but I’m almost afraid to go back for fear that I’ll throw it all out. But I won’t. I know everyone is waiting for the end and it’s coming. Destroyer will be out before the end of the year. I’m hoping for October so fingers crossed. It’s later than I would’ve wanted by about a year, but I had to shuffle around due to other commitments. Life gets infinitely easier once this book goes off to the publisher next week.

And yes, I haven’t mentioned Love Like Blood and the Night Kind series. Some people have looked for it outside of the original box set it was in. It’s not available yet, but I’m hoping for sometime next year if I can get Dorian’s story written since he’s the first book in that series. I’m not good at juggling series unfortunately – I have a tendency to get world contamination – but I’m shooting for 4 books next year. Wish me luck.

Other than that, all is well at Chez Small. We survived the flooding so thank you for all your concern and prayers. We were lucky – some of our neighbors weren’t. The neighborhood still looks like a warzone, but everyone is doing what they can to get back to normal. Climate change is real, folks. The year we’ve had so far in Virginia is bringing that home. It’s been like living in a disaster movie, but humankind endures. That sums it up nicely.

I’m also desperate for a dog. I’ve now gotten to the point where my grief over Hazel is far enough in the rearview mirror that I can actually look at dog videos without bursting into tears. So yay me! Anyone with dog advice is more than welcome to chime in or drop me an email. I’m hoping we’ll be a dog family again by the Autumn.

Anyhow, back to the writing den. I’ve got a newsletter to get out and some final edits to go over.

Thanks for your patience, everyone. See you on the other side.

xo shawnee