I asked today’s Guest Author to fill in my Friday spot because she’s done something I think is pretty amazing. Published at 16, contract, then all gone, and then here we are. LitWorldInterviews has the reputation as the Indie Authors place but I also think there is an Indie Author attitude. Today’s guest has that to me. I suggested a number of topics but one idea kept seeping in, even into other ideas. Welcome, Author Shannon A. Thompson.
The holidays are usually a very happy time for me as a writer. Extra time to write and watch the snow at the same time? Sign me up. I am a lover of snow…which is probably why my first novel, November Snow, revolves around the fluffy stuff. But the winter of 2014 wasn’t filled with smiles and snow and writing adventures. It was wet with rain, and it seemed quite suiting to wake up with tear-worthy news in my mailbox.
My publisher of two years had closed the doors.
As every writer knows, the publishing world is a chaotic one. It isn’t easy to get published, and it doesn’t get easier just because you’ve been published once (or even a dozen times) before. This realization becomes damning when you realize the main piece of advice in the market is to keep publishing new (and quality) work, constantly and quickly. But my situation had frozen one month before my fifth novel was set for release. I was stuck.
It’s rather redundant to explain my devastation, but it was there, nevertheless. I wasn’t sure what I would do. I couldn’t clear my mind. Should I self-publish everything I previously published? Should I try to find a new publisher? Should I just give everything away for free? Should I just stop for a while?
Previously in my career, I allowed seven years to pass between my first novel and my second novel. This was because I have made that “I am going to stop for a while” decision before, and while I think it was a necessary lesson for me, I knew I couldn’t do that this time around. Not again. But that was all I knew for certain. Everything else was a looming cloud of “What now?”
To my surprise (and ultimate delight), my dedicated readers were the ones who took over. My fans and supporters and fellow writers who have guest blogged on my website, www.ShannonAThompson.com, came to the rescue. They knew and understood my pain and frustration and confusion and heartbreak, and they showed me their outpouring love by commenting, sharing, and messaging me. I spent days and weeks just talking to them, listening to them, and absorbing their thoughts and ideas about where I should go and what I should do. So many were willing to help me self-publish and so many were willing to accept me into their publishing houses.
It was overwhelming, but it also touched a rare place in my writing soul – a place where I have given up before and a place where I know I won’t give up again. How could I give up my publishing path? Even when it went dark and I could not see, my readers lit it up to a brightness I have never experienced before. I couldn’t give up. I had to move forward, and I had many paths to consider, but I knew I had to ultimately take one.
It’s difficult to explain how one path overcame the others because I don’t believe one “overcame” another – I think I was guided to the final destination by the love of my readers. In this case, a very helpful and fellow writer, JK from House Kelley, suggested Clean Teen Publishing, and he even took time to explain why he loved them so much. Clean Teen Publishing stuck out like a beacon from the beginning, mainly because I was already familiar with the publishing house as well as many of their authors, books, and the blogs that reviewed their work. That familiarity brought warmth to that lit-up path, and I decided to try it out by submitting.
With readers helping me, I signed a contract with Clean Teen Publishing in one month, and my paranormal romance, The Timely Death Trilogy, is re-releasing with new covers and interiors this summer and fall. We announced our deal recently. (http://shannonathompson.com/2015/02/11/ww-a-new-publisher/)
The group at Clean Teen already feels like a family to me, and I know they feel that way because their dedication, warmth, and acceptance of all authors reminds me of a group I will always keep dear to my writing heart: my readers.
My readers were the ones who saved my career – and they also saved me – and for that, I am eternally grateful. May every author and reader find a group they can refer to as family, as friends, as fellow bibliophiles. Our words are endless when we all support one another in sharing them.
I’m a 23-year-old author, avid reader, and a habitual chatterbox. In 2007, I was 16 when my first novel, November Snow, was published, and a lot has happened since then. My work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies, and my first installment of The Timely Death Trilogy became Goodreads’ Book of the Month. I am currently represented by Clean Teen Publishing, and Minutes Before Sunset releases on July 28, 2015. Writing is what I do, and I love it more and more every day.
As a novelist, poet, and blogger, I spend my free time writing and sharing ideas with my black cat, Bogart, named after my favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart. Between writing and befriending cats, I graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, and I travel whenever the road calls.
I am also an editor and social media marketer, and you can read more about my services by clicking the link. You can also reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be drinking a coffee when I read your message.
Talk to you soon!
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