Nine for NaNo October 31, 2013Posted by shannonmuir in Uncategorized.
Tags: 9forNaNo, book coupons, discovering the heart's duty, Fill The Inner Circle, Half Truth and Full Lye, NaNoWriMo, nanowrimo 2013, National Novel Writing Month, National Novel Writing Month 2013, Nine For NaNo, shannon muir, smashwords coupons, the phoenix burns, touch the stars
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This year, alliteration is my motivator as I go for “Nine for NaNo”. NaNoWriMo, run by nanowrimo.org, motivates writers to complete a 50,000 word first draft in the 30 days of November.
I’ve done it for eight prior years, and I have hit the mark eight times.
This year, with my prequel to THE HEART’S DUTY entitled DISCOVERING THE HEART’S DUTY, watch me go “Nine for NaNo!”
Here is the list of all my manuscripts:
2005 – TOUCH THE STARS (Womens Fiction/Romance, now available indie self published published in ebook and print)
2006 – FILL THE INNER CIRCLE (Womens Fiction/Coming of Age, indie self published published forthcoming – part of the Willowbrook Saga, available as ebook)
2007 – THE FIRST THE LAST THE ALWAYS (Womens Fiction/Coming of Age, indie self publishedpublished forthcoming – part of the Willowbrook Saga)
2008 – ALL THAT YOU LEAVE BEHIND (Womens Fiction/Romance – indie self published forthcoming – part of the Willowbrook Saga)
2009 – AN UNEXPECTED TURN (Womens Fiction/Romance – indie self published forthcoming – part of the Willowbrook Saga)
2010 – THE PAPER TRAIL (Contemporary Fantasy, status pending)
2011 – HALF TRUTH AND FULL LYE (Paranormal and Supernatural/Romance/Mystery, first book in the Truth Revealed series, available as ebook)
2012 – THE PHOENIX BURNS (Romance/Contemporary Women/Womens Fiction – indie self published ebook)
2013 – DISCOVERING THE HEART’S DUTY (Womens Fiction/Contemporary Women – prequel to indie self published book THE HEART’S DUTY – writing begins November 1st!)
As in past years, I will be offering the “first draft free” through Smashwords as part of their offering to NaNoWriMo contestants. So download DISCOVERING THE HEART’S DUTY as it becomes available and continue to come back throughout the month for free updates to watch the story unfold! Realize anything you read may ultimately be subject to change, but it lets you be part of the process too.
To celebrate going “Nine for NaNo,” this year I am upping the ante by providing coupons good at Smashwords.com for the prior year “winning” titles. Use the below coupons now until December 1st and get these titles FREE when entering coupon code at checkout:
FILL THE INNER CIRCLE (2006 NaNoWriMo winner) - NA36A
HALF TRUTH AND FULL LYE (2011 NaNoWriMo winner) – JY66N
THE PHOENIX BURNS (2012 NaNoWriMo winner) – CX76C
TOUCH THE STARS (2005 NaNoWriMo winner) – XD27G
Thanks for your support! See you at 50K!
Prep for NaNoWriMo 2013 October 23, 2013Posted by shannonmuir in Uncategorized.
Tags: discovering the heart's duty, NaNoWriMo, nanowrimo 2013, National Novel Writing Month, shannon muir, the heart's duty
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I’m prepping to go into another NaNoWriMo, where if I complete this one will be in my ninth consecutive November “win”. This caveat came about because I attempted Camp NaNoWriMo this summer with the same 50K limit, but fell a bit short – a bit over 10K of words. I found it really didn’t go with my writing style, and being with a whole “cabin” of unmotivated people – some of which even dropped their word count to “win” – did not motivate me. I think the self-focused route works for me.
So what to write? Well, to be honest, it was going to be the 6th book in the Willowbrook Saga as of my plans in the early year. Then that became the manuscript I tried at Camp NaNoWriMo. So what to do?
In one of my earlier books and one of the few not to start as a NaNoWriMo project, THE HEART’S DUTY (of which a portion of it began serialized on Goodreads), the main character’s mother evolved into a character that left a lot of interesting questions. Given the kind of man her second husband turns out to be – spoilers! – why does she end up married to him in the first place? We have hints of why her first husband left her, but is that the whole story?
So what I have ready to go is DISCOVERING THE HEART’S DUTY, from the viewpoint of Kristine (McHenry) David’s mother in the aftermath of her divorce and the choices she makes to become the woman we know later in THE HEART’S DUTY. I have a feeling I’m going to discover levels of complexity to her character that were not apparent to me doing the other book. I have a month and 50K of words to find out!
THE HEART’S DUTY (SECOND EDITION) EBOOK NOW PERMANENTLY 99 CENTS October 19, 2013Posted by shannonmuir in Books, Writing.
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After much thought, I have decided to permanently drop the price on THE HEART’S DUTY (SECOND EDITION) for the ebook to 99 cents. This change has already been submitted to Smashwords and Amazon and should hit other vendors soon. This has been done for the following reasons:
- Some people already purchased the first edition, any many more received it for free during giveaways around its release
- Just slightly under half was available in first draft form on Goodreads
- The added Epilogue is also available online
Due to associated costs, the price of the print book will not change.
That said, there are plans underway to do more with this stable of characters. THE HEART’S DUTY doesn’t end here!
Get the Ebook here for 99 cents:
A Familiar Theme… August 31, 2013Posted by shannonmuir in theme, Willowbrook Novels, Willowbrook Saga, wisps of writing wisdom, Writing.
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Those of you who are familiar with my written work probably notice I focus on a recurring theme, some in more sensationalist manner than others. Women and motherhood, and how they come to that point, shows up quite a bit. Yet all of this is written by someone over 40 who doesn’t have children of her own. I’m sure some people who see my material wonder what gives.
I wanted to be a mother since I was fairly young. Not the dating and social type, I watched from the sidelines as teen pregnancy unfolded in our relatively small town. Back then I felt compelled enough about my feelings to write a Young Adult novel that I tried to sell to an agent unsuccessfully. Frankly, I had a long way to go on my skills though the determination was definitely there. That book became the seed of what evolved into The Willowbrook Saga, though the book actually dealing with that part of the timeline – radically revised – has not yet been released.
In the beginning , it hadn’t been my intent to build up a twisted town with an underground way of dealing with these issues, of which I personally don’t find acceptable. However the concept of one of the teachers secretly having been born through a teacher/student affair decades earlier came in fairly early in development, and exploring that became the real core to all that followed.
Just to be clear – I don’t believe that a lot of what the young women go through in my books are right. The idea I’m exploring is what do you do if you don’t know any different, and even if you do, what effort does it take to get away from something so entrenched in a culture – both personally and on a larger scale?
My respect for real life mothers is very strong and very real, even if I’m not in that club, and my hat is off to you. I just am exploring the making of choices in some rather strong environments.
For more on the series, see http://www.willowbrooknovels.com
Have been blogging just not here… August 31, 2013Posted by shannonmuir in wisps of writing wisdom.
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The past month has meant considerable time and effort for both INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS at http://www.house-of-books.com and DISCOVERWORDS at http://www.discoverwords.com. Also, I was traveling a lot this month. All promised Comic-Con commentaries are now available at INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS.
Be sure to check both sites regularly to get information on books, often including interview questions I have supplied, as well as commentaries from me about the publishing business or the joy of “discovering words”.
Comic-Con Commentaries not forgotten… July 31, 2013Posted by shannonmuir in Uncategorized.
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Came home to a work deadline and immediately after got rather sick for days on end. My commentaries are half finished and saved in draft form on Infinite House of Books. I’ll let you know when they get up. So very sorry for the delay!
Comic-Con Bound July 19, 2013Posted by shannonmuir in Articles, Conventions.
Tags: comic-con, infinite house of books, shannon muir
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Commuting back and forth to San Diego Comic-Con. Be watching over at Infinite House of Books at http://www.house-of-books for some commentary and highlights.
Going Where The Eyeballs Are But Staying True To It All June 17, 2013Posted by shannonmuir in Uncategorized.
Tags: animation, commentary, mobile, shannon muir, video, websites
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An interesting discussion came up when I was at my grandmother’s memorial service. When I was there, some people asked me didn’t I want to be in animation and were trying to figure out what I do now (writing self-published fiction and quality assurance for family focused websites) still fit in with that. It took a bit of explaining, but the shortest version is that the venues in which the medium of animation is being used is changing. In order to be able to move with the times, and perhaps work my way into something more directly tied in with the production of animation – though the lines are getting less and less clear – I’ve been versing myself and becoming more proficient in mobile media as a whole which strongly seems to be the future of where animation is being made for. Several years ago, I thought the next logical leap might be actually be viewers taking control of their own stories in the form of things such as the multiplayer online game, like a choosing one’s own adventure book on a massive scale; turns out that wasn’t quite where things were at looking back. In case you’ve ever wondered how I left television animation came to apply at and ultimately spend several years in the kids and family virtual worlds realm. It’s always been about story and animation as a medium in the end, not necessarily the venue in which the animation appears. As things change, it’s required a lot of out of the box thinking and being able to redefine what things mean. Through a series of events I did not set into motion, I came to work quality assurance for kids and family websites that now feature video and may be the medium to be in for the future. So as far as I’m concerned I’m still very much doing what I want to do. I’ve echoed that theme often in this blog, that flexibility is key so long as you stay with the passion and the heart of what you want to do.
Going On An Adventure May 27, 2013Posted by shannonmuir in analysis, Book Expo America.
Tags: adventure, bilbo baggins, book expo america, shannon muir, the hobbit
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Last weekend I went back to where my father was born, where my family first lived after my father retired from the Navy, and last week specifically where our larger and extended family said a collective goodbye to my mother’s father – and for me, the last of my grandparents. A lot of what came up I knew, but a particular statement by my grandmother’s younger sister struck me in a way I never thought of before. She mentioned how if Grandma Jeanne hadn’t had the courage to marry my Grandpa Porter and leave the Dakotas for Eastern Washington, that the rest of the family might never have left (both sets of parents and all the siblings all ended up leaving the Dakotas for the Pacific Northwest in various locations). Sixteen years ago, I left behind the comfort of getting to know a family I’d strongly come to know and love and no longer moving to exotic locations for well over a decade to go to the only place my skills could be used then, from the relatively small town that became my life to a giant metropolis called Los Angeles. In some ways that would be a similar leap to my grandmother’s, jumping into the great unknown then. She had no way of knowing their decision to go there would work out and succeed, she just did it. Neither did I. I’m thinking I had more in common with her than I ever realized.
Now tomorrow night, I prepare to take a redeye overnight flight to New York, another major metropolis I’ve never visited, to attend Book Expo America to represent my blog Infinite House of Books. After last week, and then working nonstop in between (including over the Memorial Day holiday), I’ll be getting anything but a breather in the city I understand never stops. This is my first adventure off the West Coast (with the exception of Nevada and Montana but essentially the Western side of the Continental U.S.) in I think nearly 20 years. As I said, I may have left home, but I also stay close to it. I’m excited and admittedly even a little afraid. One of the last things I promised my Grandma Jeanne was that I’d do something for myself, and I chose to go to a city where I’d never been.
It’s also kind of strange, eerie, and appropriate to me that right around the time my Grandma Jeanne first got real sick, Peter Jackson’s version of my favorite book ever came out as a movie. It’s the story of someone who used to dream but has gotten comfortable and put off adventuring as that’s what’s expected of him. Unexpected visitors bring him to realize what he’s meant to do. For those who don’t recognize the film, it’s THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY.
So in the words of Bilbo Baggins (from the movie as that’s what’s in my head): “I’m going on an adventure!”
The Changing Landscape of Animation May 6, 2013Posted by shannonmuir in Advice, analysis, animation.
Tags: analysis, animation, animation career, animation non-artist, animation studio, changing landscape, distribution, non-artist, studio
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A couple weeks back I got an email from a young woman thanking me for articles I’d written in the past on non-artists in animation and talking about how there doesn’t seem to be much out there on these areas of the field. Those pieces were done largely in the early 2000s but interestingly enough – and perhaps sadly – her observation remained correct. A lot of what is still covered about the ways people can be involved in animation are the artist and directorial positions; that said, the writer is getting more exposure than the past, but still that usually tends to be all that’s out there. She really thanked me for finding what she had and that someone at least tackled the topic.
I’m mulling over why that hasn’t changed, especially with animation easier to produce than ever before. Perhaps because it has become more of a case where people can write, produce, and direct more on their own and the concern really becomes more about marketing and distribution. Perhaps it is all the changes in the studio system model where things are developed and sent straight to their own networks instead of having to shop around. There’s other factors too and I could probably write a book just on that. The key is that the landscape is ever-changing, especially in the way that created content – animation and otherwise – is ultimately consumed by the end user and that seems to dictate a lot of choices. The two main points here are content being mobile, and content being on demand. The idea of being confined to home at a fixed daypart is long gone.
I think in general a lot of what I’ve written in my columns and books are still relevant when it comes to the larger studio system, but those areas aren’t necessarily the first line of how to break in anymore. It may be very possible to make one’s own way and make a difference in further changing the landscape of the animation industry. The key is to do it smartly and make back on one’s investment in doing so. I wish I had an easy formula to recommend for that, but I don’t. So many aspects are still in flux.
My hope is that people are, despite the unpredictability, still willing to try – as long as they do it in a well thought out manner that doesn’t put their own futures completely at risk. We still need innovative pioneers for animation to grow and evolve.