Working and Writing

giphy

Hello my loves! Happy almost Halloween!

I’m sorry I’ve all but abandoned you over here. It’s difficult to remember everything I’m committed to and sometimes, something gets left by the wayside. Too bad it’s my blog. I’m failing at Twitter pretty hard too.

giphy2

But at least I’m still writing! I’m currently working on the outline for my NaNoWriMo project this year–the spin-off of the spin-off of my Ash and Ruin Trilogy. Was that confusing enough for you?

giphy1

You’ll remember I released Dandelions, that was the first spin-off. In that story the main character’s sister is Maggie. Maggie wanted her own story. So I’m writing that. That’s the spin-off of the spin-off. I have the first act written, and if you’d like to read the rough draft of that you can head on over to my Patreon page and, with just a small pledge of $3 a month, you can read it and all the other fiction I’ve shared there and will continue to share (click the pic to be taken to my page!):

new patreon

If you pledge more, there are rewards that come with those pledges! I hope you’ll check it out.

I’m hoping to use NaNoWriMo to finish the rough draft of this book so I can focus on something new and witchy, inspired by my recent exploratory trip to Ireland. If you’d like to read about that, you can see what I posted over on the Spellbound Scribes’ Blog. You should follow us there! We’re a group of fantasy writers who post weekly about writing, reading, and all things bookish.

So, while I may forget to blog from time to time, know that I’m still working to bring you fiction and stories and words.

tumblr_nca0sivsar1s2wio8o1_500

xoxox

One Month Until Hexed is Released!

Exactly one month from today the Eighth Matilda Kavanagh Novel will be released! And I just wanted to thank all of you who have already pre-ordered your copies, each one means so much to me!

If you missed my earlier announcements and want to pre-order yours, you still have time!

Hexed

Pre-order links:

Amazon Barnes and Noble | Smashwords Kobo iBooks

Catching up

I’m trying to be better about this space because I’ll forget about it for months at a time and then it’s awkward when I come back, acting like we’re cool, like I haven’t abandoned you for so long and am trying to pick up like it’s only been a couple of days.

So, with that in mind, I’d like to remind you that you can follow me on quite a few platforms outside of this blog. I’m usually much better about being active an vocal there.

We’ve got my FB fan page. I’m good about keeping people up to date about writing and bookish things there. And, I promise, I don’t spam post so I won’t be clogging your feed.

2017-07-28 11.03.48We’ve got my twitter feed. I’m far more outspoken there. I don’t shy away about my rage screaming over politics. If you like to keep art and artist separate and you don’t swing toward the liberal side of things, consider this your warning about my twitter space. I like the freedom I have there and I won’t apologize for it or anything I say or share there.

Then we have Instagram. Oh, I do love Instagram. That’s a lot of puppy pictures and what crazy hair color I’ve got going and food pics and coffee (lots of coffee) and of course, bookish stuff.

patreon bannerAlso, I have a Patreon page (with a new post up today!), where you can help keep me from being a starving artist with your monthly pledges. You can pledge as little as a dollar just because or you can pledge $3 a month and have access to all the exclusive fiction content I’m sharing (right now I’m posting the installments of Maggie’s [from Dandelions] story that will eventually become a real book, but you can read as I write), at a $5 pledge you get a free ebook of your choice each month and the rewards grow from there. Also, every patron gets their name listed in the acknowledgements of each book that releases as long as they’re a patron. I’d love to see that list of names grow.

spellbound widget invertedAnd, of course, we have the Spellbound Scribes. Through accidents and luck, I somehow became the moderator of this awesome group blog where I, and some awesome fantasy authors, post once a week on various bookish and writerly things. It’s very informative and helpful, I think.

10-Coupon-Vector

Second to last, I have two manuscript critique slots open for August. I don’t have any time in September, so if you want to grab one of these two slots, now is the time. You can check my rates and philosophy on my Manuscript Critique page and contact me at shaunagranger82 @ gamil dot com. If you mention you saw this post, I’ll give you 10% off the total cost of the critique!

Finally, just to remind you, or tell you if you don’t know, the eighth Matilda Kavanagh Novel is set to release in September! Eeep! And you can preorder your ebook copy now at your favorite ebook retailer.

Hexed

Pre-order links:

Amazon Barnes and Noble | Smashwords Kobo iBooks

Hexed – Pre-order Links Are Live

If you’ve been waiting for the next installment of the Matilda Kavanagh Novels, your wait is almost over! The eighth book, Hexed, is now up for pre-order on all your favorite ebook retailers! Get yours now so you can wake up on September 5th and find it waiting for you:

Pre-order:

Book 8 in the Matilda Kavanagh Novels!

Hexed

Pre-order links:

Amazon Barnes and Noble | Smashwords Kobo iBooks

New Release!

It seems like only yesterday I’d started writing this piece of flash fiction for my patrons over on Patreon about a girl in an attic, waiting for the monsters to go to sleep for the day. All she had was a BB gun and a little bit of hope–and a little bit of a smart mouth. But I loved her. And now she’s out in the wild for others to read and get to know.

I really thought this was going to be a novella and a standalone. But once I hit the 40k word mark, I knew there was plenty of story left and when I got to the last chapter, I realized there was, not only a sequel to be had, but other stories from other supporting characters to be written.

I’m not sure if the next book in this spin-off series will be the sequel (though yesterday I thought of a perfect title for it) or if the next will be Maggie’s story. I’m really excited to write Maggie’s story because hers will take place before Containment and mass evacuations, which I think will be very interesting to see.

But one thing I do know is that I’ll be sharing the stories, one flash fiction bit at a time, on my Patreon page. So if you’d like to be able to read before it’s polished and packaged and released, you can sign up to be one of my patrons! Every little dollar helps! And if you sign up for more than $1 there are more rewards to be had! But I do make flash fiction pieces available to all patrons $1 and more.

Anyway. Happy reading if you’ve gotten your copy. If you haven’t, I hope you will. If you haven’t read my Ash & Ruin Trilogy, I think the book is clear enough to stand on its own, but you can always pick up the trilogy at your favorite retailer before starting Dandelions.

Dandelions 1 kobo

 

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Kobo Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | ibooks

(It, along with all of my other books, are available on all of Amazon’s sites, but there are so many to list, so just do a quick search for it and you’ll find it!)

Cover Reveal and Pre-order Links!

Oof, it has been a minute since I last posted here. I am sorry about that! But at least I’m coming back with something fun and exciting, right?

If you’ve been following me on other outlets then you know I’ve been working on the very first companion novel to my Ash & Ruin Trilogy. I finally have the release day set and the cover is all pretty and creepy, just like we like it for our apocalyptic adventures!

So, are you ready to see it?

At fifteen years old, Gwen’s world has ended. Not because she’s gone through a break-up. Not because her parents are ruining her life with a lame curfew. Not because her grades are struggling. Not in the way a fifteen-year-old’s life usually ends.

At fifteen years old, Gwen has burned the dead bodies of both her parents and fortified her home against the plague-spreading monsters who killed them, waiting for her sister, Maggie, to make her way back home in the apocalyptic landscape that is the world now.

At fifteen years old, Gwen’s world has ended, but she’s not giving up. She’s not giving up on life, her home, or her sister. Because all you have left when the world ends is hope, so that’s what she’s got, a BB gun and hope.

Hopefully it’ll be enough.

Dandelions 1 kobo

You can pre-order your ebook copy now at these sites (more to be added as soon as they’re live):

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Kobo Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | ibooks

(It, along with all of my other books, are available on all of Amazon’s sites, but there are so many to list, so just do a quick search for it and you’ll find it!)

I’ve Kept My Promise About Patreon

If you remember, I posted that I was giving Patreon another go and I promised I was going to be better about posting there and making it worth your while to become a patron of mine.

Well, I think I’ve done a fairly good job about it.

There are some exclusive fiction posts that only patrons can read and I’ve started adding some flash fiction for everyone. Yes, that means these posts are available to anyone to read, without pledging any money.

The flash fiction I’m working on right now is a novella set in the Ash and Ruin universe, which, believe me, was difficult to get into the mood for after the week we’ve had. But I’m pushing through! Fiction is where we find escape and help to deal with the real world around us. So I keep writing.

Supernatural, prophet, Chuck

Anyway.

I hope you’ll check it out, check out the reward levels I have set up for patrons. If you become just a $1 a month patron, you will be included in the acknowledgements of my upcoming book, the seventh Matilda Kavanagh Novel! If you sign up for a higher amount, you’ll get some awesome, tangible rewards!

Check it out here.

Remembering to Reward Yourself

When you work for yourself, you don’t get awards or bonuses or raises for your hard work. No boss is coming into your cubicle to say thank you and give you a gift certificate to Starbucks for that report that stole a piece of your soul. There’s no promotion hanging in front of you like a carrot that you can’t wait to take a bite out of.

tumblr_n94ef3odT21s2peono1_500As an author (especially a self-published author) there’s no one else to reward you for your accomplishments. It’s you. Just you. Sure, your partner or friends might give you flowers and bagels when you publish a book and, believe me, those little gestures mean the world because it reminds you that other people recognize what you’re trying to do. But you have to remember to reward yourself.

People often forget to take care of themselves. It’s easy to do things for other people, it’s easy to spend money on someone else. I get so excited to buy people the perfect present and watch them open it, especially if it’s unexpected. But doing that for yourself? It’s hard. It feels selfish and frivolous, maybe even a little desperate? But it’s not. It’s not any of those things.

When you work a 9-5 job (really 8-6) there are people holding you accountable and chances to move up in the company or at least get raises and bonuses, so why then, when you’re on your own, would you feel badly to reward yourself?

When I finish a book, I reward myself. When I publish a book, I reward myself. These rewards don’t have to be anything crazy and extravagant (though, there’s nothing wrong with that either), just something that I can treasure and later can look at and say, “Oh, I got that when I finished World of Ash.” “Oh, that was when I published the last of the Elemental Series.” It’s a memory as much as a reward.10348444_855653917792682_3923520702654342654_n

Personally, I love trips to my local comic book store, Hypno Comics, and I love perusing the toys. It’s a small thing, less than $15, but these little things sit on  my desk and make me smile. When I found them, I clutched them in my hands and squeeeeed over them.

And I happen to be a bit of a shoe horse. I love to be barefoot more than anything, but I adore shoes and boots, and when I published Time of Ruin I spotted a pair of gorgeous grey (fake) suede boots. They fit like a dream and were on sale (less than $40!) but I was putting them back, talking myself out of them, until my husband reminded me I hadn’t rewarded myself for publishing TOR.

image (11)And in the next five minutes they were purchased. Yeah, it’s still averaging in the 80’s right now and I won’t be able to wear them for another month or so, but I have them and I love them and I deserved them.

You deserve a reward. Even just dinner out at your favorite restaurant (that is my normal reward for finishing the first draft of a book)!

Go, order your favorite glass of wine and toast to your accomplishment. We’re always talking about refilling the well to keep going, well remembering to congratulate yourself is part of that too. You did something amazing, you deserve recognition, do something nice for yourself. Here’s to you and to me and to everyone who needs a little reward.

photo (34)

Happy 2014!

So here we are, a new year!

Yesterday I was over at the Spellbound Scribes’ Blog talking about my 2013 resolution and how I did. You can check that post out here.

My resolution was kind of insane really. I came very close to accomplishing the whole thing and even did more on one goal than I planned, but it was probably too much. I’m not going to force that much on myself this year. But I am going to make some resolutions. I’m putting them up on here to keep myself accountable – I don’t know if I would have made as much progress on my 2013 resolutions if I hadn’t put it out into the world to see.

Fun resolution: A Blessings Jar. A lot of you probably know what this is, but for those of you who don’t, this is where you make the effort, throughout the year, to write down the nice, awesome, fun, cool things that happened to you through out the year on little slips of paper and put them into a jar. At the end of the year you empty the jar and read the pieces of paper. It’s so hard to remember all of the nice things that happen through the year because the stressful, sucky, crappy memories are much louder. We find ourselves thinking, “I’ll be glad when this year is over,” even though some awesome things might’ve happened. I’d like to remember those awesome things better.

Should be easy resolution: I’m going to be better at my personal blog. I don’t know how I became the unofficial manager of the Spellbound blog, but I focus on that blog much more than this one. I want to fix that. I’ll be making a better effort to put something up every week, even if it’s only a reblog or a pic, I’m going to do better.

Writing resolutions:

  1. I will complete the second book in the World of Ash trilogy by 4/15 and I will have it published by the end of the year.
  2. I will polish my NaNoWriMo novel and start to query it.
  3. I will write a stand alone Solstice/Christmas story and publish it in November.
  4. I will start working on a new novella trilogy idea (note, idea, not necessarily write and finish) for  my penname.

That’s it as far as writing. I may very well write more, I hope I do, but I’m not going to over-extend myself this year like I did last year. Nope, not gonna happen.

But I think that all looks good. And I feel good about it. So, Happy New Years everyone! What are your resolutions?

All Hallows Read – Halloween 2013

Last year was the first year I ever participated in All Hallows Read. If you’re not familiar with it, it is this cool concept that Neil Gaiman came up with, where on Halloween you give out at least one scary/Halloween-themed book to kids to help promote reading. Though it doesn’t have to just be kids, people are taking the concept and running with it, which is pretty cool too. But the idea is to promote reading among kids who might not be so excited about reading.

Now, I’m no fool, I don’t just give out books, I also give out little goody bags and then offer the books too. Last year I only gave away five books. I was heartbroken when one little girl looked me in the face and said, “I don’t like reading.” Yeah, this is what we’re working against.

I’ll admit, last year I was actually kind of nervous asking if kids wanted the books and often found myself not asking, especially if it was a huge group of kids at one time. Though often, once you drop the treat into their pail or bag, the kids turn and run too quick for you to say anything about the books. I found it was way easier to give the tiny tots books because their parents were right there and I could look at the parent and say, “Would s/he also like a Halloween picture book!?” And of course parents loved that.

But this year I decided to be more active and vocal about the books. And this year not ONE kid said no if I got the chance to ask. Yes, some still turned and ran before I had a chance to ask, but if they lingered just a second, that’s all I needed to quickly say, “I have books too! DO YOU LIKE SCARY BOOKS?!” Once again the parents of the tiny tots loved it and were happy to take the picture books, but the older kids surprised me so much. Last year, every single pre-teen and teenager said no when I asked if they wanted a book. But not this year.

I gave out seven copies of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline to kids ranging from 7 years old to 12 years old. I gave out four copies of Forest of Hands and Teeth to teens ranging from 13 years old to 15 years old. I gave out nine copies of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps to kids ranging from 7 years old all the way to 16 years old. And that 16yo zombie boy was my favorite. I looked at him, sad I didn’t have an “age appropriate” book for him because his friend got the last copy of Forest of Hands and Teeth and said, “You might be too old to want Goosebumps.” To which he replied, “No way! Never too old for Goosebumps!” And happily picked one from the stack.

I also gave out five copies of It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and around 10 copies of two different Witch-themed picture books to various tiny tots. And often, when I held out the choices, the kids (even as small as 2 years old) would pause and actually consider which book they’d like to pick.

At one point, I heard one mom say to another, “Oh yeah, I think they do that every year. They gave us a book last year.” That’s right, I’m developing a reputation which is fantastic. And very often I heard kids yell to their parents and friends, “I GOT A BOOK!” Which of course made me do a little Halloween dance. At one point a little girl yelled from our porch, “They’re giving out books!” And I was really worried she was warning people off but then five kids came running up for their books. I can’t even.

But more surprising? We ran out of goody bags because there were actually more trick-or-treaters this year than last, but we still had books. So when people came to the door, I apologized about being out of candy, but offered the books instead and you know what? They happily took the books. Not one kid said, “No thanks.” Not. One.

So I started out with nearly 40 books and now only have 5. This is amazing.

Gave away one more book right after I took this pic.

Gave away one more book right after I took this pic.