Category Archives: Upcoming Books

The Struggle has been real…

This is me. Standing on a dock, staring out at fog, and begging for it to make sense.

At least that was me…now, the fog has been lifted.

I’ve been feeling conflicted for several months now. I’ve been trying to help my boys get their company started and I also found a newfound passion for writing, and creating with them, comic book characters.

I enjoy it. It’s been a great experience. I also wrote and published The Wicked Thorn. It was a book that I felt very strongly about writing and I am so glad that I did. I also wrote my first comic book novel which just came out titled Wave.

But something has been missing. I’ve tried to get started on the second book, The Wicked Shadow, but it hit me like a ton of bricks the other night why I’ve been dragging my feet.

It’s not my book to write.

So, in a SeppinRek staff meeting consisting of me and my sons, I gave them Thorn and Jasper and to use these characters as they see fit. I also told my son Wyatt, who is a very talented writer, that he needs to write Jasper’s story since he was the one who has been excited for him since day one.

I love writing and being involved in this comic book world, but I also love writing my paranormal romance. I miss it and I have decided to keep them both separate. I’ve had a story outlined for quite some time now and I have to write it.

I’m going back to my roots in a way and the setting is in my adopted hometown of Charleston, SC. There is so much rich history here and the hauntingly beautiful area is going to be a perfect backdrop for a tale that is going to be quite epic.

Wings of The Fallen is going to combine myth and legend, good vs. evil. Mythology and ghost stories are going to intertwine to make (I hope) an unforgettable tale of discovery, adventure, and most importantly, love.

I know that I have been M.I. A. and I apologize to my fans, but I needed this time to explore other creative avenues. I’m glad I did because now I have a clearer vision of who I am and what I want to do.

I’m excited to introduce you to my new heroine and I cannot wait until you meet another character. I’m not sure if there has ever been one like him before, certainly not what being he is (sorry, not going to spoil it yet), but that’s all I can say right now.

It’s nice to be back and I look forward to keeping you updated on a more regular basis.

~Shannon

 

*If you do want to check out my comic book novel, Wave, you can click on the link below*

Books by my boys!

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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

 

The Wicked Thorn Part One

 

It’s almost here.

I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence.

The Wicked Thorn started taking shape in my mind almost a year ago and to see it finally be ready to publish is insane to me. I never imagined that I would write such a novel. I was perfectly happy to continue writing in the paranormal romance genre for a long time.

I enjoy it and I think I’m pretty darn good at it, but sometimes ideas grab a hold of you, and they refuse to leave. I have talked about how and why this book came to fruition. You all know my twin boys are in the comic book business.

Did I ever really think I would create my own vigilante universe? Absolutely not.

 

Have I been worried since I started writing this book that people may think it’s too far from the norm for me and hate it?

One hundred percent.

In the end though, if I am going to be the writer I want to be and practice what I preach, I must abide by  my own mantra, and that is, write for yourself.

In a way though, I didn’t just write it for myself. I wrote this book for my boys and for my daughter, who loves superheroes as much as her brothers. I wrote it because I’m the mom who takes my kids to the first night showings of every comic book movie and I also went along with my sons to see Batman: The Killing Joke in the theater. Netflix premieres of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage? Yup, you’re staying home so we can binge watch.

This is my life and I am immersed in it every single day. Discussions on what is happening in the comic book, gaming, and movie world are a daily staple in this household. I help write and edit content on my boys website and I also have been guiding them as they start the process of publishing their first novels.

I suppose it’s really not that surprising that I would want to add my own twist on this genre. Unfortunately, there really isn’t much out there to compare it to and I find myself stressing out over how to classify and tag this novel on Amazon.

Contemporary romance/ crime romance/action romance?

But enough about that. Let’s get into the good stuff.

So, who is The Wicked Thorn?

I suppose he’s a cross between Batman and Nightwing. He’s not as dark as Bruce Wayne, but he does love his gadgets and is unmatched in hand to hand combat. He also loves his city and he is determined to stop it from rotting from the inside out as it is plagued in crime and corruption from the recent economic downturn.

This book is set in Boston and I had fun using it as a background for my story. I adore the historic city and growing up only a few hours away, I have walked those streets many of times. I checked the map as I was writing and memories of my numerous visits would always make me smile.

I also loved writing the female heroine. Bry McKenna is unlike any character I have ever created and it was a joy to write her point of view. I also had the best time getting to know her family, the more I wrote her story.

It wasn’t all hearts and roses. I second guessed myself all the time. I sent out an emergency email to my friend Cathy, who reads my books, and I knew I could count on her to be blunt with her honesty.

Her thoughts were that she never had read anything like this, and while she has seen movies similar, she had never actually read it in a book form.

She also told me she loved it and not to stop writing it.

This was the first book that I have ever been insecure about and I think it was because I didn’t have the paranormal aspects to fall back on. I also spent almost an equal amount of time between the male and female protagonists.

Plus, there is a lot of action, which as you know, is my Achilles heel.

I pray that my readers give this book a shot and I also hope that they love it as much as I do. I have no intentions of leaving this world I just started to create and really just want everyone to come along for the ride with me.

But, it’s back to formatting and next time I will talk more about where I want this series to go and the challenges I will have to overcome the further I get into this exciting new project!

 

~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

 

 

Writing a Stand Alone Novel vs. a Series

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“Learning never exhausts the mind.” -Leonardo da Vinci

 

I have written thirteen books and one cookbook.

Not bad, right?

Interestingly enough though, The Wicked Thorn is proving to be quite a challenge and also a great joy.

It truly feels like I am starting over again in many ways. I am not writing a series, where I can tease certain things, and slowly reveal major revelations over three, four or six books. No, I have just one shot to make sure everything I want to say and write is wrapped up in a large, shiny, package.

Writing a stand alone novel is difficult. I have always had the opportunity to gradually introduce my characters and plot, but this is quite different. I keep second guessing myself on certain scenes, like whether or not this should go in or that should be introduced. It is simply something I have never had to ponder over before and it’s definitely playing with my head a bit.

I enjoy fast paced novels and I always have tried to stick to that preference when I write, but this book is not a story I can rush. I find that I enjoy writing more in depth scenes and dialogue (Although honestly dialogue has never been a problem for me).

I am also tackling my nemesis…the action scene.

Where it was once a groan inducing part of my job and I just have to get this over with, I now am taking my time because it is such a huge part of the story. I have to admit that I have been reading comics and graphic novels to get a feel for the genre. Thankfully my boys have an endless supply of material and knowledge.

I also have to keep repeating my mantra that you must always write for yourself and not for profit, or commercial glory. I have no idea if anyone is going to want to read about a vigilante and how he tries to, not only save his city from crime, but also as he attempts to have a relationship.

My heroine is different as well. She is young and a tad naive, but I am slowly getting to know her steel spine as I write her character. How is she going to handle not only falling in love for the first time, but also finding out her new love lied to her and is a vigilante?

And I have to start and finish their story in one novel.

I’m almost halfway through writing the book and I’m beginning to feel more comfortable, and more confident, but self-doubt can be hard to overcome.

This is a learning experience for me and I have to say that I am loving every minute of it! I will talk more about this book and the others that are going to follow, the further I go along.

I hope and pray that my loyal readers are ready for this change because I know that I am embracing this whole new and exciting chapter!

 

~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 Update

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It’s summer! The air is thick and the vegetation is lush down here in the heart of Dixie. Summer is the time when I miss my home state of Maine the most. I think of the warm, picturesque scenery almost every time I step outside in the saturating, oppressive muggy heat of South Carolina.

I miss the cooling waters of my lake and hiking in the shadows of mountains for a refreshing nature walk. I think of the ice cream stands that are only open in the summer and almost every town has one where all the locals flock to as the temperatures rise.

I no longer see fresh produce stands on the side of the road and I am forced to contend with the overcrowded farmers’ market on Saturdays. I remember when I was a kid, we used to make the trek a few miles down the road at least twice a week to a rustic stand where the vegetables and fresh corn were displayed neatly. There was never anyone manning the stand. There was just an old tin box where you left your money for your purchases. No one ever thought to leave any less than you owed or take any more than you paid for.

In a perfect world, I would spend my summers in Maine and leave before the weather cooled to come back to South Carolina, but right now I am content that I at least have a nice, big pool in my backyard to enjoy.

I am beyond happy to say that I have finished the final book in The Hidden Realm Series.  This book was a bit of a struggle for me. I’m not sure if it’s because I was exhausted or if it’s because I was sad to say goodbye to these characters that have been a part of me for a while now.

Surrendered Moon picks right up where Awakened Moon left off and I have to say that I laughed, and cried, as I wrote the rough draft. Maximus and Marianna were a fun couple to create. Yes, Maximus is scarred by his two hundred years of torture, but Marianna almost distracts him with her bright outlook and bossy ways.

I’m hoping to release the book by the end of July and then I am going to start on a project that is…a bit different. I think it’s either going to crash and burn, or be something really special.

More on that later…

For now, I hope that you all take time to enjoy these lazy days of summer. This is one of my favorite passages about this time of year.

“Spring flew swiftly by, and summer came; and if the village had been beautiful at first, it was now in the full glow and luxuriance of its richness. The great trees, which had looked shrunken and bare in the earlier months, had now burst into strong life and health; and stretching forth their green arms over the thirsty ground, converted open and naked spots into choice nooks, where was a deep and pleasant shade from which to look upon the wide prospect, steeped in sunshine, which lay stretched out beyond. The earth had donned her mantle of brightest green; and shed her richest perfumes abroad. It was the prime and vigour of the year; all things were glad and flourishing.”
—Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

 

~Shannon