Category Archives: About me

Monthly Writing Update

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Yes, it’s been forever since I have written. I have no excuses except that I have been flat out busy with life. I have so much coming up in the coming months, both personal and professional, that to sit down and compose a blog post has been difficult.

So, what’s been going on…

I have been taking a break from my own writing to help my sons get their comic book novel career off the ground. The three of us have been collaborating on everything from content to book cover design. Their first book, Darq was released a month ago and I couldn’t be more proud.

 

Their next book, Rexwind, is coming out soon and they already have three, yes three books, in the fryer so to speak.

I can also announce that they have asked me to write one of their characters and I am excited, nervous, and slightly anxious. I have never written a character before that wasn’t my own creation, nor have I ever had to follow a certain storyline or writing style.

Apparently I need to keep it at around 100 pages, so this is going to be interesting.

Once I get that written, I am going to start on my next book, and I am literally bouncing up and down in my chair to write Jasper. You got to meet him in The Wicked Thorn and I can tell you that his story is extremely different from anything I have ever done.

I have another announcement to make and that is, I will be working on a second cookbook! This past winter was my first foray into the football pool world and every Sunday, Red Zone was on the t.v. and I was in the kitchen making football snacks. When Superbowl came around, my family voted on their top ten and I now have an abundance of appetizer recipes floating around that I want to share with everyone.

Oh and my boys are going to be starting college this fall…needless to say, it is going to be busy around the Barczak household.

I am also going to to be doing a huge book promotion for all of my books, so keep an eye out for that!

 

Much love~

Shannon

 

Extra! Extra!

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Yes, it has been forever since I have posted anything. I can tell you though, that I have been working like a mad woman over the past several weeks, and I can finally share some exciting news.

My entire body of work will be available in print!

Amazon is now printing my books for me and I have spent many days (and nights) editing and formatting my first trilogy. I just received the paperbacks and I am beyond happy to see them in print.

I also worked on new book covers with Seppin over at SeppinRek and I am in love with how they look.

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You can go here to purchase the print versions!

 

 

I am also thrilled to announce that my new book The Wicked Thorn is almost done!!!

This book has been a huge departure for me and I have loved every minute of writing, and editing. I cannot wait to share with you my new series on vigilantes and I hope…like really, really, hope, that you will be just as consumed by them as I am at the moment.

I will let you know more as the release date (2/14/2017) draws near about the story and I am also happy to say that I will be doing an interview about The Wicked Thorn on SeppinRek.

I think I even scammed a podcast interview so that is sure to be amusing.

Happy reading!

 

~Shannon

 

 

Making the Superhero Leap

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“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” -Socrates

 

“Where have you been?

“What have you been up to?”

“Are you writing?”

When is your next book coming out?”

 

Jeez, you take a few months off…

I’m joking. It actually warms my heart to receive emails or Facebook messages asking me if I’m okay and what’s been going on with me. To put it simply, I have 17 year old twin boys who are graduating next May and those that have been through the dreaded senior year of high school with your child, know exactly what I’m talking about.

Senior pictures, college campus tours, pouring over course catalogs, starting the application process, and of course the fantastic forms known as FAFSA…times 2 for me, which is just awesome.

I told my husband that I was going to focus on them and that’s what I have been doing up until last week or so.

I couldn’t help it. The laptop was calling and I started on my next novel The Wicked Thorn. It took me a few days to write the first chapter, which is unusual for me, but I powered through and got it done.

Now I can’t stop and to be honest, I don’t want to stop. I’m scared and excited to write this book because it is unlike anything I have ever written and it’s also unlike anything out there on the market.

Why are you switching genres and writing about superheroes some may ask? I am finally here to tell you why.

Get comfy.

My boys have been obsessed with superheroes since they were four. I always thought it was a stage they would grow out of like most kids, but I was very wrong. In the sixth grade my son Ethan told me he wanted to be a writer and forgive me, but I kind of blew him off. I just didn’t think he knew what he really wanted to be and I pushed him to explore another avenue of interest…he ignored this advice of course, and I am grateful he did.

A few years later, his freshmen year in high school to be exact, we had a life changing moment. It was an ordinary day. He and I were alone in the car going shopping and out of nowhere he started to talk to me about his passion for writing, most importantly, writing about superheroes.

I had no clue as he rambled on for 45 minutes just how much thought he had put into his plans and I was taken aback by the fact he had not only created comic book characters that were pretty cool, but he had dreamed up a whole comic universe with different phases.

One year later, his twin brother Wyatt expressed an interest in joining his brother on his path to world comic book domination, complete with games and hopefully in the distant future, movies.

And so SeppinRek Entertainment was born.

Not many people know, but I am the world’s most underpaid secretary. I help write and edit all of their articles, answer emails, e.t.c, but what I also do is participate in daily conversations about comic books, movies, games and so much more.

What started out as a passing interest to maintain a relationship with my growing young men turned into a major focus of my life. I can’t escape it because I am immersed in it on a daily basis.

Every single person marvels at my relationship with my boys. Yes, we are ridiculously close and we spend a lot of time together. My daughter is also now fully interested and she plans on working for her brothers one day with her own line of superhero girls.

My husband thinks we’re all geeks, but he’s trying to get into it as much as he can.

Switching genres from paranormal romance to I-Have-No-Idea-What-To-Even-Call-It, contemporary romance/superhero novel(?) is a big leap for me and yes, I am scared to death it is going to crash and burn.

But I am also extremely excited and the best part is, I have two experts living under my roof who have actually encouraged me and been my greatest inspirations. We have sat together and thrown ideas around for months.

Not only has my new journey down this path been incredible, but my sons have also started their writing adventure. Ethan is only a few chapters away from being finished with his first graphic novel, but Wyatt finished his last week.

He wouldn’t let me read it when he was writing and the other night he FINALLY let me read 2 whole pages.

I burst into tears when I was finished. His writing blew me away, but it was the fact that my son, my little superhero (as we used to call Wyatt since he was always the first to do everything) wrote a book.

I’m tearing up right now just thinking about it.

The Wicked Thorn is not just my next book. It’s my new lease on life and I owe it all to my boys. I had planned to do a trilogy, but now I am not going to limit myself to just 3 books. I may conjure up a few more superheroes, who knows?

 

~Shannon

 

 

 

Summer 2015

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I had many plans for this summer in regards to writing. I was going to finish book two of my new series and get started on the third  book. I was also exploring with the idea of a newsletter and I was truly going to focus on marketing.

All those plans went out the window when my twin boys passed their drivers license test. I’m not sure how to put it into words, but this time honored act of impending teenage freedom put me into a funk.

I don’t want to say that I’ve had writer’s block because I have my outlines all done. The story synopsis for all six books have been floating in my head for awhile, but something held me back and that something was an all knowing sense that this was the last summer my boys would be home for any length of time.

They’re sixteen. A minute ago they were six, I swear. I think the driven writer in me shut down and the protective mama kicked into overdrive. We binged on Netflix and went to the movies. I dragged one of them food shopping with me every week. We stalked Comic Con online for all the big announcements and trailers. I wanted to spend every last precious minute with them and I do not regret it one bit.

I am also beyond excited to announce another project and this one involves my sons.

About five years ago, my son Ethan, announced he wanted to make video games. Like any mother, I rolled my eyes and muttered “You and every other young boy.” I tried to be patient for this stage to pass, but to my horror it did not.

When my other son Wyatt announced last year that he and Ethan were going into business together, I was shocked. Wyatt had always been Ivy league bound and he was going to explore the world of Archaeology.

Then something magical happened. The two of them stood in their Guidance Counselor’s office and started bouncing ideas of each other in quick succession. That’s when I realized, not only was this real, but they had put a lot of thought into this project.

They had a business plan and when Ethan started telling me about all the characters he had been dreaming up for years, I listened with awe.

This kid knows what he’s talking about. He has each different phase planned out and he has background stories that put mine to shame. They both agreed to start off with writing a comic book first and they started a storyboard this summer. Wyatt is looking into graphics, while Ethan focuses on story development.

They even started their own website and it will feature their journey, as well as game reviews, movie trailers, movies, and comic analysis. Ethan even designed the logo for their company:

 

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I am so proud that I can barely contain myself. I know that they are shooting high and it is going to require a ton of work, but I believe in them.

Summer vacation is almost over. The kids start school next week and the craziness of life will begin. I know that I didn’t get any of my writing goals done, but what I did accomplish was a deeper relationship with all three of my children and for that I am thankful.

The Fairyland Queen is almost halfway done and I now have a hankering to finish the first draft. The series as a whole is starting to excite me again and I look forward to being back in the land of writing.

Check out my boys website. They’re just getting started, but I guarantee it will be a hit and who knows, maybe someday SeppinRek will be as big as DC or Marvel.

To be honest, I think it will be bigger…but I’m their mom so I have to say that!

 

http://www.seppinrek.com

 

Twenty Questions

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I just received an email from a loyal reader who wanted to know if I would answer twenty questions for her. I was more than happy to respond and I had a lot of fun answering them so I thought I would share it on my blog for all my readers to see!

1) Hair up or down?

Down, except when it is ridiculously hot.

2) Jeans or Yoga’s?

Jeans.

3) Painted or unpainted nails?

Painted toe nails, unpainted nails.

4) Favorite color?

Black and red.

5) T-shirt or Dress shirt?

Dressy t-shirt.

6) Flip Flops or Sneakers?

Flip flops. I hate sneakers.

7) Big purse or small?

Big or small, as long as it’s Coach.

8) Tattoos?

Not a one.

9) Piercings?

One in my left ear and one in my right.

10) Diamonds or pearls?

Diamonds, darling.

* It’s also my birthstone*

11) Favorite animal?

My dog Ruby and a Moose… I’m from Maine.

12) Favorite food?

Um…Food. I’m not picky.

13) Rap or Country?

Country, although I do enjoy old school rap from time to time.

14) Height?

Short… 5’3 and 1/2. That half is very important to me.

15) Watch Sports or none at all?

Love to watch sports, especially any New England team, but I do not participate due to excessive clumsiness.

16) Favorite book?

Pride & Prejudice.

17) Ocean or Lake?

I love to stare at the ocean, but I’m a lake girl all the way.

18) Google or Bing?

Google.

19) Favorite Flower?

Red roses and daisy’s.

20) Dress or Skirt?

I wear tennis skirts everyday when the temperature is over 70 degrees and since I live in South Carolina that means I’m in a skirt for about 9 months out of the year.

 

Thank you so much for emailing me! I love to receive and answer questions from my readers 🙂

 

The Art of Taking a Break

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Someone recently asked me what I had been up to lately. It seems my disappearance from the outside world has not gone unnoticed. I answered simply that I was taking a break and I was soon going to go back to work on finishing editing the fourth and final book in The Fae Witch Series, The Cursed Scepter.

It’s funny, really. After writing seven books, this was the first occurrence that my body and my brain shut down at the same time. The second I wrote out the epilogue, I turned off my laptop and I haven’t booted it up since yesterday.

I have joked that for the last three weeks I have discovered the joy of having Netflix so please leave me alone to my mindless pleasure of watching various television shows and movies that I have missed while I have been entrenched in my writing over the last two years.

I spent a whole week with my children during Spring Break doing nothing, but enjoying their company.

I have basked in the joy of sleeping and plowed through a box of photos that should have been gone through ten years ago.

In short, I have been living a quiet life while my brain recharged.

I tried to tell someone last week how I had been feeling and I think I can finally put it into words.

All my life I feel like I have lived in my head. When I finally gathered the courage to write all my stories that had been crowding my brain, everything exploded at once. I now had the fortitude to put my thoughts together so I could share them with the world and just like that, ideas and words saturated my very being.

If you want to know what it is like to be a writer, well, imagine a thousand browser tabs open on your computer at the same time. Try to picture a million words, faces, names, and plots spinning around in your head on a continuous cycle.

In short, it’s a creative dam that rushes out and never quiets. The stillness of a creek becomes a roaring river and the soft flakes of snow turn into a piercing storm of sharp ice shards.

This was the first time that the world stopped spinning rapidly and I could finally take a breath. The drive inside of me slowed and I knew that I had to bask in the peacefulness that I realized instinctively would be over soon enough.

My time out is coming to an end. I have to finish The Cursed Scepter. I also have to start on my next project which I am bursting at the seams now to write. It was originally going to be a two book series, but of course, me being me, had a flash of inspiration the other night. I now am adding two more books and the ideas and possibilities have given me the familiar goose bumps up and down my spine.

I think I pushed myself to the edge with the Skye Trilogy and The Fae Witch Series because those were the two stories that wouldn’t leave me for so long and I had to get them out before I screamed.

My screams are now sighs of happiness and instead of being sad that it’s over, I am actually content.

Being an Indie Author is tough. There are so many of us out there and we work tirelessly in hopes of reaching as many people possible without the benefit of outside help.

We cannot lose sight though of what’s important and that is our stories that we want to be told in the best way possible. To do that we need to take care of ourselves and our spirit. I have learned that sometimes taking a break is easier said than done, but when I get the chance again, you’re darn sure I’m going to take it and enjoy it to the fullest.

Now, it’s time to get back to work…

 

 

Q & A with the author

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I love receiving questions via email and Facebook. There is nothing an author loves more than to answer questions about their work with people that truly are interested.

 

1) How do you write so quickly? I feel like you’re releasing books every few months.

It’s true, I do write fast, and I have been on quite a tear in the last year or so. I can only attribute it to the fact that it took me a long time to take this leap into writing and now I can’t seem to stop.

 

2) Your ‘Diary of an Indie Author’ blog posts seem to suggest you hate mainstream publishing, what do you have against them?

I have nothing against mainstream publishers. I respect and admire many of the publishing houses out there. I do not like it though when certain people in the publishing world take cheap shots at self-publishing authors. I do not take those insults lightly and I also feel the need to call them out on their remarks as it not only pertains to my profession, but also to other talented Indie Authors who work very hard.

 

3) What advice can you give to aspiring authors?

Write what you like and not what you think someone wants to read or what will sell. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, ‘Oh, I’ve always wanted to write a book,’

OK, then what has stopped you?

It is not an easy profession nor can you expect a steady paycheck. You have to have a blinding passion to write a book and if you have it, then you’ll know what to do when you’re done because nothing will stop you from publishing.

 

4) Have you ever thought of writing something other than paranormal romance?

Yes, I have and I am happy to say that I will be exploring contemporary romance later this year.

 

5) What are your future projects?

I hate to answer this question because I, like many authors, are fiercely protective of our work and we don’t like to give too much away before we are almost ready to publish.

Right now I have finished the third book of The Fae Witch Series, The Cursed Dagger and I will be releasing it at the end of March. I also have finished part one of the final book in the series, The Cursed Scepter, and I hope to publish in May of this year.

I can say that I have an ambitious year planned as far as writing. I have a stand alone contemporary that I want to start on soon. I have the option to add four other books to the series, but it does not have to come out one right after the other so I can go back at my leisure if I choose.

I have a paranormal trilogy planned and I have already started working on my outline.

I have an idea of a two book series that is in the very early stages. The inspiration for it hit me like a bolt of lightening the other day and I can now think of nothing else!

 

6) Is it hard to balance motherhood and writing?

No, not at all. My three children come first and always will. My twin boys are almost 16 so they are pretty self-sufficient, yeah that was the sound of my heart breaking a little, and my daughter who is 8, is also very understanding. I honestly do most of my writing at night when everyone is sleeping so my work generally does not interfere with day-to-day life. The only times it stinks is when I have to get up early to get them to school after only sleeping for a few hours!

 

7) How do you come up with your ideas for a story?

That is such a hard question to answer. I find inspiration in everything around me. It could be a picture, it might be a phrase or a song. A writer notices details that others may dismiss and while they may stroll past none the wiser, a writer is already writing characters and plot lines in their heads.

 

8) Have you ever written about people you know?

No comment 😉

 

9) When will your books be in print?

My books can be in print right now, but I have chosen not to explore that option just yet. I suppose it’s because I feel bad  that I would have to charge someone $10- 12 dollars for a print version of my work when they could download it for $2.99-3.99.

 

10) If you could meet one author, dead or alive, who would it be?

I don’t really drink, but I would have to say I would definitely knock back a few with Hemingway.

 

11) You always ask this in your interviews, so what’s the weirdest thing you have ever googled?

I’m a writer of paranormal romance so let’s just say I have googled some sketchy sh*t.