Writing Through Grief by Shannon McNear


This article was written by a dear friend of mine, and it expresses so much of what I feel and have been going through.

Am I writing as much or as fast as I feel I should (for myself or for my fans who have bugged, er nagged, er encouraged me to finish my current WIPs)? No.

But I’m not giving up. I feel I’m slogging through chest-deep mire at times, but I am writing. I think, I hope, the final products will be better for my having slogged.

Only time will tell.


“My Writing Process” blog tour

I was tagged by my good and dear writing friend Shannon McNear for a “My Writing Process” blog tour. She had been tagged by our friend Donita K. Paul, who was tagged by author Cheryl McKay, who was tagged by Rene Gutteridge, who was tagged by “Mom’s Night Out” screenwriter Andrea Nasfell, who had also tagged Cory Edwards, the screenwriter/director behind the fun, hilarious animated film “Hoodwinked” who tossed the dog that worried the cat that chased the rat that ate the cheese that – er sorry, that bit got away from me there.
Anyway, on to the questions!

1) Who are you?

Well, it depends on the day of the week, and also which planet I’m on, but mostly I’m an Overlord on a quest for galactic domination. Muahahahahahaaaaaaa! Never fear though – I’m currently on hiatus, as is the e-zine for which I’m an Overlord: Ray Gun Revival.

However, when on this planet, my mild-mannered alter ego is a wife, a mom, a homeschooler, a grandma, mummy to an adorable chihuahua, a retired martial artist, a gymnastics coach, a hippy, a gardener, and a lover capes and swords. And purple: got a thing for purple.
Oh, did I mention capes?

2) What are you working on?

I have three active works in progress. Book two of my Deuces Wild series, which is a western-in-space romp, and has no capes in it. Dang. I will have to try to work some in somehow. Hm…  (due date: October-ish*)

Also, the sequel to Sword’s Edge, a sword-and-planet science fiction novel, and it does have capes – well, cloaks, same difference: they swoosh! (due date: January-ish*)

Not that I’m an overachiever, but in addition, I have a prequel to Sword’s Edge which takes place one thousand years beforehand and has lots more of an overt science fiction element to it. And, no I haven’t found a place to put capes in it, but I’m working on it. (due date: November-ish*)

* subject to the fickleness and rudeness of Real Life™

3) How does your work differ from others of its genre?

My work has capes. Lots of capes. Besides that, well, other than the television show Firefly (and movie Serenity), I don’t know of tons of space opera with a western element to it. Have I missed lots of stuff that I’d love to read? If so, let me know, please!

Also, I really am not aware of lots of medieval meets high-tech stories like mine. The closest I can come to it is the Pern series by Anne McCaffrey – which if you haven’t read them, why not? And no, I am not comparing myself or my writings to the great Anne McCaffrey, that takes hubris beyond anything even I can imagine!

And again, I could be missing tons of stories that have a medieval meets high-tech vibe, so if I have, let me know. I only have enough on my To Be Read pile for about three millennia, so I’m always looking for more!

4) Why do you write what you do?

Because the voices in my head won’t shut up!

And I’ve always wanted to explore other planets, and since that’s just not possible, I do the next best thing: create other worlds so I can visit them. But empty planets would be boring, so I have to put lots of iiiinteresting (said in my best Bugs Bunny the Beautician voice) people on them. Oh my, yes, so many iiiinteresting people!

5) How does your writing process work?

Most of my stories have come from dreams. Literally. I will have a great dream and when I wake up, I start writing. Many times to finish the interrupted dream because dagnabbit, I want to know how that dream ended!

I generally get an overview of a story – the overall story arc – in my head, and a scene or two that are vivid (from a dream, or daydream, or some scathingly brilliant idea), and I fill in the gaps from there as if I were a reporter, following my iiiinteresting people around and chronicling the events. Sort of. Well, more or less; it’s hard to control such iiiinteresting people. At times I have to go back and rewrite to force my characters to make different decisions so they don’t totally mess up my story arc.

One still managed it however. He was to be a Tasha Yar – a red shirt (yes, I know she really didn’t wear a red shirt, because hey, that would be too obvious) who became dear to my readers then was slated to die. Instead he totally changed the story arc not just of one book but of the whole blinkin’ series! And he refuses to die. And another character has threatened to refuse to cooperate if he does die. Does anyone else have their characters extort them?

Right now, I get very little writing time, so naturally I’ve given myself three deadlines in a short time span. An author friend has stated that writers are masochists. I agree. I tend to grab writing time when I can between lots of very rude Real Life™ interruptions. But I work best with deadlines, so there you go.

Okay, my job now is to tag two other people. It was hard narrowing it down, but here I go:
Jane Lebak


Shannon McNear finals in RITA!

I just wanted to announce that my very dear friend Shannon McNear is a finalist in RWA’s 2014 RITA Awards for Romance Novella!

Way to go, Shannon! (I can say I knew you when!)

BTW, the story is called “Defending Truth” and it’s in A Pioneer Christmas, Barbour Publishing, Becky Germany, editor.

That’s my Shannon, folks!

*confetti and happy dances*