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

 

 

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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

 

 

 

Surrendered Moon is Released!

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I am very thrilled to announce that Surrendered Moon is released and available for digital download!

Writing a six book series was quite a challenge for me. The whole process took longer than I thought, but I am pleased with the end result. It’s going to be hard to close the book on this series. I’ve been with these characters and getting to know them for well over a year now, but alas, it is time to say goodbye.

I hope that you enjoy the final installment in The Hidden Realm Series and I thank you for your continued support.

 

 

Official Blurb:

In the final installment of The Hidden Realms series, best selling author Shannon Barczak invites you along on an unforgettable journey of love and salvation.

Lady Marianna of Fairyland was now officially the Queen of the Werewolves, but King Maximus wasn’t quite ready to surrender to her just yet. Magically encased on a crazy witch’s property for two weeks, the new couple tries to repair their fragile relationship and start over once again.

As they make their way back to the Werewolf Realm, new dangers greet them and a horrible tragedy, as well as a shocking imprisonment, threatens to tear them apart once more.

Join Marianna and Maximus as they navigate the magic of The Hidden Realms one last time!

 

Download here and start reading!

 

~Shannon

What I’m Reading & Watching this Summer…

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I receive a lot of questions about being a writer. One question that is almost always asked of me, is what am I reading right now and what do I recommend.

I don’t like to recommend books because every person has different tastes in books and genres. I pretty much will read anything you put in front of me, except for scary-wet-my-pants horror.

I won’t read it, so don’t ask me.

Here is list of what I have read this summer so far. It’s not a big list since I have been incredibly busy, but I do always find time to read.

 

DC Universe Rebirth: Yes, I read a comic book. My boys are in the business after all and I am also researching my next project. I actually enjoyed it, although probably because it was a major event in my house when it was released, but it was interesting.

Don’t laugh!

 

Eternal Vows: I have a confession. This book has been sitting in my Kindle library for some time now. It was a freebie and I finally after about 2 years got around to reading it. I enjoyed it. You never know what you’re going to get with a freebie, but this one was pretty good.

 

Harry Potter 1-7: I read the entire Harry Potter collection almost every summer. It’s a rite of passage for me.

 

Red Queen: I just finished this book a month ago and I am obsessed with it. On to the next!

 

The Paper Magician: This was a fun read and it truly is for all ages.

 

The Alchemyst: Where has this book been and why have I not read it before now? I am now on to book two!

 

Awakened Moon: Yes, I read my own books, especially when I am getting ready to edit the next book in the series. It really helps me get into the groove and also makes me remember anything I might have not mentioned in the next book as I edit.

 

What I’m watching…

I don’t know why I was worried about this series not being as good as the books. Holy Smokes!

My first thought when I finished with the last episode of season six was, I can’t wait to watch it again.

 

Yes, we are a big DC Comics household and I don’t care what anyone says, I liked Suicide Squad. It was fun and I thought it was even better the second time around.

 

 

This is an excellent adaptation of Jane Austen’s novella Lady Susan! Highly recommend!!!

 

 

So, I watch Real Housewives. Yup, I admitted it to the world. My favs are New York, Beverly Hills, The O.C. and Jersey. In that order.

I know I should be ashamed, but I’m not.

 

I love watching sports and the Olympics are two weeks in which I can be a sports nerd to my hearts content.

 

 

It’s summer. It’s baseball season and I am more often than not watching the Red Sox almost every single day.

I’m from New England and it’s in my blood.

 

~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

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