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Discovering Things For Readers and Writers to Love… Where to Start? August 15, 2015

Posted by shannonmuir in Articles, commentary.
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Starting this quest to answer the question “What do Readers and Writers Love?” has been harder than I thought. It’s been difficult to find anything focused.

I’m wondering how people find out about things that they as readers and writers might love, that aren’t book recommendations.

Feel free to take the conversation to Twitter with the hashtag #readerswriterslove and I’ll share my thoughts here as I find them too!


What Kinds of THINGS DO READERS AND WRITERS LOVE? August 9, 2015

Posted by shannonmuir in Articles, information, products.
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That’s a pretty broad statement, admittedly. I believe it fits my audience though, as I’ve been in animation, as well as prose. It could be adaptations of one media into another. Helpful products like e-readers. Maybe it’s a great new app.

I don’t have all the answers.

Let’s find out together. Come join me.

Changes Coming to This Blog… but Animated Insights (And More) Can Still Be Found! August 8, 2015

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If you came here looking for Animated Insights, be sure to follow the link to get to its new home!

If your interest in my name comes from my new pulp and genre fiction ventures, please come visit my Shannon Muir, New Pulp and Genre Author blog on Tumblr.

Want to know more about what I’m doing on YouTube or Vine? Visit Discover Words on Tumblr for all the latest.

Lastly, to get great interviews, guest blogs, and excerpts from other prose writers, I invite you to visit my site Infinite House of Books, in business since 2013.

This blog’s focus will be changing, stay tuned for what the next steps bring for “things that readers and writers love” which should apply to everyone.

Looking at the stats, I see I still get some traffic here, but I also want to make it easier for you to find the specialty content you want. Thank you for your support. I hope you will support me in all my endeavors.


Posted by shannonmuir in Articles.
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I have no shortage of books to read around my house. This has nothing to do with reviewing – in fact, both Discoverwords and my sister site INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS moved to an interview only mode (except in extreme circumstances where it is a requirement for someone to agree to an interview) because my work schedule is so demanding. Yet that doesn’t change the fact I love to read.

My interests are very eclectic, from fantasy and science fiction to more literary fiction (and very partial to female leads across the board). Usually I end up moving between several books at once and just have to let my mood dictate. For example, the current science fiction series I’m reading has a well developed female lead (Honor Harrington in At All Costs) but at times densely packed military sequences that don’t work well for a quick pleasure read, to an ARC of a just now published book that I am eager to finish but don’t seem to be able to find the time (Cherry Money Baby) that has a much different tone. I also follow a book club, She Reads, and have often selected their choices to try as well and have yet to be disappointed – their latest as I write this was another ARC I picked up at Book America Expo (The Husband’s Secret) so I want to start that as well. So I usually just decide by what I feel I can handle that day. Some days it’s no reading at all, but on those days I’m usually writing.

I wonder how other lovers of books decide what to read. Discoverwords.com is always open for moderated comments. I’ve provided Goodreads links to all book titles if you want to see what I’m mentioning. Feel free to share and discuss!

NOTE: A slightly modified version of this post originally appeared at Discover Words. It is posted under the original post date.


Posted by shannonmuir in Articles.
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Recently, in pursuit of a little research for a short story project, I visited several used bookstores. It’s always interesting going into used bookstores when you at best have a vague notion of what you need, or at least so I’ve found.

What I needed was to find materials featuring female leads written in the pulp era. Didn’t find a lot of that, but learned to my amazement that there were women suspense writers in the early part of the 20th century (as in, as early as 1910 for some titles, though these are reprints in the 1950s). Personally, I thought that was really cool. Found a couple of reprints of these titles and brought them home to check out.

For more information on these two authors, check these Goodreads links –




In the end, I’m not sure if they’ll help me spark interest in my project or not. However, I’m sure I’ll learn a lot from taking a look at them, and at the very least be inspired. Looking forward to find out what I see as I discover words…

NOTE: This was originally at Discover Words and has been posted with the original post date.

Comic-Con Commentaries not forgotten… July 31, 2013

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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!

2015 UPDATE:  Please be advised that in early 2015,  a major crash happened at INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS due to a PHP update that wiped out the blog and the ability to restore it. There is new content from February 2015 forward at http://www.house-of-books.com, and as time permits I am building a “best of” old articles and interviews at Tumblr at http://infinitehouseofbooks.tumblr.com/ 

Unfortunatlely, the referenced reviews appear to be lost.

Comic-Con Bound July 19, 2013

Posted by shannonmuir in Articles, Conventions.
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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.

Donating Your Time and Talent in Today’s Animation Industry February 10, 2012

Posted by shannonmuir in Advice, animation, Articles, Mentorship.
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Today, many people in the industry find it tougher to be giving of their time and talent.  Time’s hard to come by because often you’re scrambling to find work on a show (either staff or freelance), and then finding the next show to move on to when that one’s wrapped.  Also, especially for the writers, there seems to be a fear out there that if they listen to people’s ideas, and either already have something planned or later inadvertently do something similar, that they’ll be sued.  These factors can make sharing one’s time very tough.

So, how can you be generous and assist others while overcoming these concerns?

Volunteer your time to be on panels at conventions.  These provide moderated environments where you can answer people’s questions in a public forum.  Perhaps your answers can aid or inspire people you might otherwise not interact with to achieve their goals.  It can also be good public relations and get your name out there — but, in my opinion, that should really be a happy side effect.  Admittedly there are some who only do it for the exposure though, so don’t be surprised.  I’ve volunteered for panels at both the Gathering of the Gargoyles and for several years at Comic-Con International: San Diego.  It should also be something to try working into your schedule simply on a networking level; yes, it takes time but it could indirectly help you land that next job.  You never know who you might meet at the convention!

If you have a little more time, look for charity organizations that can set you up to be a mentor to a youth whose goals match your area of expertise.  These would be controlled, monitored, and documented arrangements.  However, if you go this route, be certain that the organization is trustworthy and has a longstanding history of helping youth.  Due to personal schedule restrictions, I’ve never had the opportunity to be a mentor (but would love to), but in other ways have had contact with two Los Angeles-area based organizations I feel comfortable to recommend as examples.  One is Create Now! (formerly Write Now!), which deals with institutionalized at-risk kids from ages 5 to 21 and mentoring them in the creative arts.  Another is the Fulfillment Fund, which covers more than the film and television, but has a big amount of support from the entertainment industry; the goal of this organization is to identify promising disadvantaged or disabled youth, and help them pursue advanced education to reach their dreams. Investigate and see if there are similar programs in your local area, and get their history and examples of places they’ve worked with.

So, there are ways that you can give use your background and interest in the animation industry to help others – and this doesn’t have to be something you just do at one time of the year.

(originally published 2001 at Suite101.com)

Doing Interviews As An Author October 17, 2011

Posted by shannonmuir in Advice, Articles, Books, ebooks, epub, indie, indie publishing, Kindle, marketing, Mentorship, Writing.
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The last couple days proved an interesting experience for me, as I did several author interviews by email. One received publication so far over at Indie Writer Zone’s Indie Insider, and the other still is forthcoming. Years back, I interviewed professionals in the animation field as part of a regular column I did over at a site called Digital Media FX, where I gave people insight into the varied careers involved for people in animation who did not draw. This came from the fact that I myself, while very much in love with the medium of animation growing up, wasn’t really aware of all the opportunities people who didn’t draw could have provided they had the needed skillset. I knew there could be writers somehow (to this day, not really sure how, as that interest began in the mid 1980s before the prevalance of all the “making of” featurettes and information on the Internet), but I didn’t know what else lay out there. When I moved to Los Angeles in 1996, the first job I worked was as an animation Production Assistant on JUMANJI: THE ANIMATED SERIES. Then I saw the whole pipeline and the possibilities, and my view changed a bit over time.

So here I am in 2011, now finding myself on the other side of the interview. I will say that my respect for the people I interviewed certainly went up doing this experience. The first interview I sent off I think answers the questions all right, but that person likes to send out a lot of Twitter snippets with his quotes and in hindsight I’m not sure I’m all that “Twitter byte” quotable. My college training is in Radio-TV as well as English, so I definitely know what that is. If you’ve ever talked to me in person, short and to the point sometimes isn’t my strong suit. The Indie Insider interview asked questions that lent themselves to longer answers and I responded accordingly. I did see Indie Writers Zone actually pull some quotes out of that interview for Facebook, which surprised me that they were able to; I liked the selections.

 Some of the questions really made me have to stop and think, and I needed to keep in mind though the questions asked about me in specific, if I read the article just starting out today what would I really want to know and potentially apply to my own situation. You need to be careful and say potentially because in doing interviews or columns or commentary such as these, you must remember your audience will be at varied stages in the career track and one size does not in fact fit all. The trick comes that your readers must remember too.

These interviews came about because I wrote letters to the people introducing myself, providing links to my various books, and in most cases taking the tact “if you believe I am appropriate please contact me about the book(s) you would like to cover”. I left the control in the hands of the sites. After all, right now I am more interested in just making myself known that just any specific title on my backlist, and that might mean one ebook connects with one niche while a different title resonates with another. With future titles, I’ll definitely be focused on making a campaign around that specific ebook. Right now, being new to the indie game (though not the writing game), I’m just pleased with any opportunity to introduce myself.

If you’ve got a site that does author interviews and you believe my background may be a fit in some way, this is an open invitation to get in touch. Ebook publicity aside, I love mentoring and “paying it forward”. I’d be happy to help in any way I can.

Writing Articles and Advertising Yourself… April 27, 2008

Posted by shannonmuir in Articles, marketing, Uncategorized.
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I found recently I generated more buzz than I expected to about myself when I did an article on animation writing for WOW!-Women on Writing for their online April issue.  Simply by having information about myself in my attached bio at the end, those few short lines motivated more than one or two people to seek me out and send emails.  Still having to figure out how to answer most of them, I honestly wasn’t prepared for it.  So, when dashing off those few sentences at the end to summarize yourself at the end of any article you’re asked to do a bio for, choose those lines carefully.  You never know whose attention you might attract!