Allow me to introduce myself…

Over the years since I decided I wanted to grow up and be a writer, I’ve discovered the job description of a novelist includes a whole slew of things above and beyond and sometimes entirely unrelated to writing novels. This includes, but is not limited to: operating one’s own marketing and publicity machine, establishing one’s “brand” (whatever that means), deciphering technical computery stuff better left to people like my husband, and navigating the often confusing waters of publishing arcana. For other (better?) writers, teams of agents, editors, and etc. accomplish many of these tasks in exchange for a piece of the author’s pie.

Me? I’m something of an anal-retentive, do-it-yourself pie hog, apparently. Not entirely intentionally, but there you have it. I’d love it if someone offered me a check for millions in exchange for a story I’ve written, but in today’s publishing world, that’s less likely to happen than ever. In light of this knowledge, I’m perfectly content to settle for my little niche in the long marketing tail, thank you very much.

And so, dear reader, I have established this little blog-thingy in which to interact with you and sharing my journey to publishing glory (or infamy, as the case may be), should you happen to be interested. Hugs to you for knocking on my door, peeking in, and saying, “Hiya!” Come on in, grab a beverage of your choice, and have a seat.

The first topic I’ve chosen to natter on about, for no real logical reason, is The Author Bio. In the timeframe and location where I was raised, talking about yourself in anything other than deprecating terms was the same thing as bragging. I took the lesson to heart and find the idea of writing a few paragraphs about ME incredibly daunting. But here goes, anyway.

I must first confess that I don’t have any real credentials for being a writer of fiction. Aside from a single college-level composition class, I have no formal training to speak of. But I’ve always loved to write. I’m the weirdo who preferred essay questions to multiple choice, the one who looked forward to term papers, the one who consistently turned in more pages than the minimum required. And I’ve been a life-long voracious reader with eclectic tastes, thereby absorbing amorphous lessons about plot, characterization, pace, and structure across genres.

I never set out to be a writer, but never looked back once the bug hit. I read the Twilight saga – yeah, I’ll admit it – and was far more inspired by Stephanie Meyer’s personal success story of a stay-at-home mom taking advantage of such a creative outlet than I was the prose (not that it was really all that terrible, actually). Purely for reasons of self-actualization, I thought, I could do this. I could tell a story I dreamed about.

Then, building on my obsession with all things Harry Potter, I began writing out my little fantasy happy-ending for a secondary character from those books, George Weasley. Borrowing a fantastical premise and a few established characters from a fully developed world, I began to write. And write. And write. The result, begun in August 2008 and completed (mostly) by that December, was George & Annie: An Unofficial Biography. It was a test, of sorts: did I have the wherewithal to write an entire novel? Could I stick with it through to completion? Would anyone else not think it was awful or stupid?

Happily, the answer to all three questions was yes. Nearly 430,000 words and three fanfiction archives later, George & Annie boasts an estimated 2000 readers from dozens of countries around the world. I’m humbled and eternally grateful for all the encouraging reviews and constructive criticism this project has received. These, above all else, have spurred on my efforts to write original fiction of my own, the first novel of which I hope to make available online by the end of this year.

The rest of the story? Please check out the “About Me” button on the menu above to read an updated mini-biography, then leave a comment and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time,

Shanyn

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