Author Spotlight: Shannon Mayer
I’d like to welcome urban fantasy writer Shannon Mayer, author of Dark Waters. Shannon has also published Sundered, Bound, and Dauntless. We’ll learn more about Dark Waters, but first, let’s see what Shannon has to say…
1. Sum up your current WIP in one to three sentences.
I am working on the sequels to Dark Waters. Urban fantasy blended with Celtic myth, sea monsters, and a world of lies and deception. Not to mention the whole saving of the world business.
2. What do you love about being a writer? What do you hate?
Love the freedom to explore my ideas, to create worlds, characters, show readers what they’ve been missing out on with the traditional world dictating what they can and can’t read. What I hate? I would have to say that the stress of trying to do ALL the jobs that a publishing house would normally do is difficult, though hate is a strong word.
3. If you have pets, what are they and what are their names?
Cats- Eli and Feemie, Boxer dogs- Ruby and Keeda, Horse- Motion, Cows- Ophelia, Wheezy, Vivian, Obi- Wan
4. Where does your story take place? Why did you choose this location?
Dark Waters takes place on Vancouver Island, West Coast of Canada, because it’s where I grew up. I used to think it was boring and dumb, then realized that a lot of people would find it interesting and maybe even exotic. Funny how that is when you grow up in a place, you see its foibles, but others only see its uniqueness.
5. What made you decide to self-publish instead of the traditional route?
The lack of forward momentum in the traditional route and when I realized that it would easily be over 2 years before my book even saw the shelf, it decided to take matters into my own hands.
6. What does a typical writing day look like to you?
Up at 6, write for 2 hours. Feed all the animals back to work till lunch. Break, back to work until I have to feed the animals or the husband and then in the evening I work on my social media and promotion/marketing.
7. What advice do you have for writers who are on their own path to publication?
Keep at it, don’t give up and don’t take criticism personally. If someone takes the time to tell you why something isn’t working in your writing, it’s because they want to help you, not because they are trying to be an ass. (Those ones are obvious. They have nothing nice to say and go out of their way to be rude.) Take the comments, and realize that your work probably CAN be better, if you will allow it.
8. When did you know you wanted to be an author? When did you realize it could actually become a reality?
I wanted to be an author since I was a teenager, but seeing as everyone I knew thought that being an author was something you did only if you were Stephen King, I didn’t it too seriously. When I was 25 my husband encouraged me to chase my dream and here I am, doing just that.
9. What is one mistake you made along the way to publication that you’d like to change?
Taking as long as I did to dive into the e-book world. I wish I’d been braver and had taken that plunge, even a year ago.
10. What does your editing process look like?
I do a rough draft, a couple of passes on my own, then off to the beta readers, back to me for a tidy up and then to my editor. The editor will do 2-3 passes with me revising in between, then off to my copy editor who will do a pass. Then I revise and do a proofread and a final pass and I call it done.
Ashling sat next to Grandpa, and took his hands in hers, speaking softly to him. I looked out the window, not really seeing the view, just thinking.
Our family was a weird one at best. Mom had all but ignored us, though, if there was one of us she preferred, I suppose it would have been me—though saying she favoured me was a stretch. All it meant was that she hadn’t completely ignored me. As a young child I’d seen how her behaviour towards us affected Ashling and tried to make up for it in my sister’s life. Grandpa, he’d favoured Ashling, coddling and spoiling her to the point where I wanted to pull my hair out, while he snubbed me, many days acting as if I didn’t even exist. It didn’t surprise me that I’d always felt as if we didn’t fit; as if there was some gaping piece in our genetics that kept our mother from loving us.
Grandpa gave a grunt, silencing Ashling, then slowly turned to face me. His eyes were just like mine, a golden amber that had gained me more than my share of double takes.
“You. You will kill her. Bitch,” he snarled, surprising me. His hands flexed against his chest, the linen of his pale yellow pyjama top rippling under his fingers.
Ashling gasped and my eyes popped open wide. “Grandpa, watch your language,” I said, my response automatic. It’s what Mom would say if she were here.
He stood, fast, faster than I’d ever seen him move. “YOU WILL KILL HER YOU BITCH!” he screamed, his six foot height towering over me. Ashling started to cry and I made a motion with my hand, a hang loose signal. It was our sign to get help when Grandpa was acting up. I wasn’t afraid—this wasn’t common, but it wasn’t unheard of with him either.
I stood up, and lifted my hands to the air. “Okay then Blake, I’ll go.” I started to sidle around him. At the last minute I realized I should have just gone over the bed, but then I’d never had him raise a hand to me before. Yelled at me, yes. Hit me? Never.
He lunged at me, his fingers wrapping around my throat before I could react. Shocked, I stared at him for a full second before I realized the trouble I was in.
Ashling started to scream. “Somebody, help! He’ll kill her!”
“That be the idea Ashling,” he said, his eyes fierce as they bored into mine. I fought his hands, clawing and scraping at the wrinkled skin, astounded at the strength in his old muscles. My body began to sag as the blood slowed to my brain. I knew what was happening but I couldn’t stop it. The black dots that danced in front of my eyes were getting bigger with each passing second.
Voices, footsteps, more yelling. But still those hands clenched around my neck. His fingernails drew blood, the warmth trickling down my back.
For more information on Shannon, visit her blog: http://shannonmayer.blogspot.com