It’s that time again! Time for another guest! This months’ guest is Shannon Donelson!
Shannon Donelson lives in a small city outside of Buffalo, NY. where they see snow 99% of the year with blistering humidity the other 1%. She lives with her husband, three daughters, two cats, two goldfish, one dog and a partridge in a pear tree. Shannon writes a lot of flash fiction, short stories and recently finished a novel from beginning to end. She loves reading and writing urban fantasy, epic fantasy, horror and crime/mystery. Her blog consists of book reviews, writing advice and some of her own short stories. She is excited to get the blog ball rolling with a new website and content. Add her on Twitter and say hello!
A: It depends on what I am writing. For example, spent a month doing outlines and research for my current novel. I had to research magic systems, supernatural creatures and myths and legends. I still go back and look up more information as I rewrite it, to make sure it feels authentic.
But that’s a novel. I wrote a short story on Kurt Cobain that was entered into a contest. This one took me a few hours of research. This mostly consisted of heroin, suicide and Cobain’s relationship struggles.
FYI – If anyone ever say my complete Google search history, I think they would be scared!
Q: Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
A: Since a lot of marketing is now done on social media, I think the key is to not be annoying. I recently began following a user on Twitter. They market their blog. 47 times a day. The same cycle of 5 posts make their rounds every couple of hours.
While you want to make sure that whatever you’re marketing gets to the most people, you need to be aware of other people’s time. No one wants to have to sift through a ton of your promotions while trying to manage their own or catch up on social media. This will result in losing followers, and people will not longer see your tweets, or have as much interest in whatever it is you are marketing.
Q: What is the hardest thing about writing?
A: Everything about writing is hard! Getting your butt in the chair when you have a large family is hard. Balancing your real job (if you have to have one) and writing is hard. Avoiding distractions is hard. Coming up with ideas that are marketable is hard!
However, since I have finished the first draft of my first full novel, I have discovered that the hardest part about writing is rewriting. Tearing your precious story to shreds. But it needs to be done. Sometimes I sit here and shake my head while trying to edit my story. It’s. Hard. But worth it, all of it is.
Q: Where do you see publishing going in the future?
A: There is so much that now rides on social media, that even if you had no interest before in participating, you almost have little choice. Publishers are looking for writers who already have a large social media presence, or who have high traffic blogs. The internet is the best way to get the word out, and pubishers are taking advantage of it. However, I do wonder how much longer books will actually be put in print, and not completely e-book’d in the future.
Q: Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
A: Unfortunately, I don’t. I’m sure it wasn’t very good, as even in just the last four year my writing has improved. And my first stories would have been 20 years ago. (Saying that out loud really makes me feel old.
Q: If you could be any one of your characters, who would it be and why?
A: My main character in my novel is brave, witty and charming. A lot of good traits. Being her would be pretty neat. She goes on an adventure that allows her to meet a lot of interesting people. Plus, the name Jade is so cool!