What first got you interested in writing? What has kept you doing it?
In college, I discovered I had a knack for writing and editing articles. Professors paid me to flush out or refine articles. I moved on to a regional magazine where I became the Assistant Editor and later moved into private industry. Technical writing kept the wolf away from the door, but fiction fed my soul (yes, that’s a cliché, but true, nonetheless). I would write at night, after everyone had gone to bed, freeing my imagination. I had just finished editing Capricorn’s Child when Hurricane Katrina took it as her own. Unfortunately, she also took all the computers, along with everything else. After we moved to Georgia, I started again. Writing is like chocolate. It seeps into your body and releases endorphins. Well, for me, it runs a close second.
Do you have the support of your family and friends? Has that support always been there, or has it changed since being published?
I do have the support of my family and friends. My best friend, Mary, passed away while I was writing THE SHOPPE OF SPELLS. The book is dedicated to her. She was always pushing me to write, from the first day we met. My husband and son built me the perfect office in which to create. My sister was my first fan. My daughter helped me set up my first signing and my son-in-law produced my book trailer. So yes, I have a hugely supportive base. One group of people I would like to mention are those friends I have met on Facebook and Twitter. They are incredible. I don’t think I could have done all this without their support, guidance, and encouragement. I am an avid supporter of authors doing social media for this very reason. You will find people more than willing to take the time to encourage you.
What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? Strangest habit? Is there anything you have to do before you start writing?
There are a couple of things. Foremost, I have to have coffee. My husband gets it going so all I have to do is fill the mug. In jammies and robe, I grab my coffee and a cup of dry Honey Nut Shredded Wheat and go to my desk, where I share the dry cereal with my most adoring fan, Pookie. At 16+ years, she’s still the most gorgeous 65 pounds of black fur I’ve ever seen. So, I check my emails while sharing my morning cereal with her. Once I’m done, she settles down for her after breakfast nap and I start writing or editing.
What advice would you give to a new writer?
Write! If you have a story, write it down. Let it take you over. Stop worrying about grammar and format and who’s going to say what. Just write. You can worry about the other when you edit. Having said that, I feel a need to add something. Writing is a craft, an art form. To write you need to master the language. If you haven’t, study it. Words are the paint you use to form a picture. They vary in color and texture. Use them poorly and you have nothing but marks on paper; use them well and you have a masterpiece.
What has been the biggest challenge of your career so far?
Marketing. No matter what you think, a writer has to market herself. I am a very shy woman who has spent much of her life in the background. It is extremely hard to market myself. I’m learning by doing things like this, but it’s still difficult. In a perfect world, I’d write, turn in my work and write some more. However, people what to know about the author. Luckily, I have my social networking friends to help push me through the hoops. Also, fortunately, I have people like you, who are willing to have a relatively unknown author on their site. Thank you.
Has a reader ever complimented you on your writing? What was the best thing you ever heard, and who told it to you?
I have been fortunate in that I’ve had wonderful reviews and compliments from readers. Each one makes me either cry or giggle like a little girl. Each time a reader takes the time to let me know how much they like my work, I fly high as a kite. It also helps me dig in and want to write the next piece. Having said that, I have to admit that the most incredible thing I ever heard came from my 22-year old son. I asked him to help me edit, since I thought my eyes would fall out of my head before I got done. He had some great comments and suggestions, but when he came to me and said, “Mom, I really like it. You are a wonderful writer,” I cried. One, my son is very analytical, so I didn’t expect that and two, he’s a guy and my story is paranormal romance. He and my husband (who has read it and told me I was a “great” storyteller) both like the fact that it crosses gender and can be enjoyed my men and women alike. Not too long ago another man reviewed it and said the same thing, that he felt it could be enjoyed by both. That’s huge to a writer.
What are you working on now? Could you give us a little taste?
I am finishing MEADOW’S KEEP, Book II in the GateKeepers Series. It is due to be released end of spring/early summer. It is the story of Jasmine and Eryk. Jasmine was introduced in THE SHOPPE OF SPELLS, which is available now. Here’s a teaser:
Jasmine Monroe once felt like damaged goods. But, not anymore. Her latent abilities, although appearing too late to save her from a brutal attack, will keep her safe from anyone ever hurting her again. She’s made sure of that. Secure in that fact, she’s moved on. Until she meets her first love’s doppelganger.
Eryk Vreeland, a misfit and embarrassment to his upper-class/upper-crust family, is a magician. His shows are renowned, his contributions to charity astronomical, his illusions precise. Except, not everything is an illusion. Sometimes there is real magic.
Jasmine stumbles upon a secret that will change Eryk’s life forever, and in doing so, she must face her own destiny as well. When Jasmine and Eryk are forced together to rescue and protect a young woman, each must overcome the barrier that protects, yet hinders any personal attachments. The safeguards must come down to combine their abilities and, when that happens, their attraction strengthens—beyond their control—until they can barely tell where one person stops and the other begins.
Can their hearts take the toll? Will they surrender to one another or risk a disaster to stay apart?
Tell us about your latest book.
THE SHOPPE OF SPELLS is the first book in the GateKeepers Series, a paranormal suspense set in the quaint southern town of Ruthorford, Georgia. Morgan’s relatively normal life is turned on its ear when she learns not only that she is adopted, but her birth parents are dead and she now holds half-interest in a business with their ward, Dorian Drake, who, despite his riveting good looks, can barely conceal his hostility toward his new partner. Morgan discovers that she is more than she seems and together she and Dorian have the ability to control a portal to another dimension. Unable to contain their growing attraction, Morgan and Dorian dance around their desires and her burgeoning abilities, until danger forces them to face their destiny.
Here is the Prologue to get another taste:
Morgan lay motionless, listening, struggling to define what woke her. A faint hum, almost imperceptible, thrummed through her body, battling the very rhythm of her being. There was something familiar about it. Was that hum from a smoke alarm going off in the distance?
The air crackled around her.
She released the breath she’d been holding and opened her eyes. Damp curls clung to her neck as she shifted up on her elbow and scanned the room. Streaks of light spiked beneath the closed bedroom door—the only light penetrating the room’s inky blackness.
Panic seeped into her sleep-fogged brain. Fire! She threw back the covers, felt a slight tingle as something brushed against her leg, and watched a faint violet outline disappear into the darkness. Thank God, her cat was in the room with her. Morgan swung her legs over the edge of the bed, felt the soft carpet under her toes and tried to remember all the rules about fire as she rushed closer to the spikes of light snaking toward her feet.
She reached out and patted at the door with her fingertips. The wood was cool to the touch. Her heart hammered as she watched the sparking light sizzle across her feet. Not hot, exactly…more…electric. Her mouth went dry. She forced her hand around the doorknob and, not getting a shock, turned it and pulled the door toward her.
Blinding white light, like that from a welder’s torch, filled the doorway, forcing her to shield her eyes.
“It’s okay,” a deep voice cajoled, “I’ve got you. Close your eyes and let me guide you.”
Squinting, she looked down and saw a strong hand reach through the light toward her. She eased her hand forward to meet his. As their fingers touched, a sudden flash of violet, followed by a bolt of energy, exploded between them, thrusting her backward—into nothingness.
Her arms flailed, her hands grasped, seizing empty space.
Morgan screamed—a soundless howl, as her breath was sucked into the void.
She tumbled backward, plummeting into a black abyss.
With a jolt, she sat up in bed, drenched in sweat.
How can people find out more about you?
As I might have mentioned before, I love my Facebook friends and can be found there most anytime. You can “like” Shanon Grey on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ShanonGrey, on twitter at http://twitter.com/ShanonGrey, or her website at http://www.shanongrey.com/. I am also on Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4833324.Shanon_Grey and love friends. I am just now learning to navigate Google + https://plus.google.com/104464798445036136367/posts
If all else fails, I love to hear from people at firstname.lastname@example.org
Now, let me thank you for having me visit. Although I don’t particularly enjoy talking about myself, you helped make it easy. And, besides, I do love talking about readers and books and writing, so it worked out beautifully. Thank you so much.
A little about the author —
Shanon Grey weaves romance and suspense with threads of the paranormal. THE SHOPPE OF SPELLS is the first in her series, THE GATEKEEPERS, about the quaint town of Ruthorford, Georgia and its very special inhabitants. PENNYROYAL CHRISTMAS ~A Ruthorford Holiday Story~ is out in e-format as well. MEADOW’S KEEP is due to be released this spring. Under contract with Crossroads Publishing House, her books are available in e-format and print at most booksellers.
Shanon spent her life on coasts, both the beautiful Atlantic and the balmy Gulf. Hurricane Katrina taught her the fragility of life and the strength of friendship, family, and starting over.
She just found out that her son salvaged notes and pages of her original novel, Capricorn’s Child, which she thought has been destroyed with everything else. (Ironically, a neighbor found her marriage certificate in a tree.) She plans to resurrect her original novel one day.
She currently lives in Coweta County, Georgia, trading the familiarity of the coast for the lush beauty and wonder of the mountains, where her husband fulfilled her lifelong dream—to live in a cottage in the woods, where inspiration abounds