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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Exciting Pwned news told through iZombie gifs

First off, for the official (actual professional non-gif'd version of this announcement go here!)

I go through phases. Obsessions really. And once I'm done with one, I keep it in my back pocket to take out at a later obsession date. Like with Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog. I love that thing. And for a while I was full-on obsessed with it. Then randomly, three years later the obsession came back.

That's not important.

What is important, is that my latest obsession is iZombie. Seriously. That show is fantastic and hilarious and spot on.

And so, without further ado, here's some exciting news about Pwned, as told by iZombie gifs.

Once upon a time I had an idea that I wanted to write a book about gamers. The only problem was that gamers weren't cool yet. And being a nerd definitely wasn't cool yet. But I was both of those things. And therein lay my dilemma. I wanted to write about what I love (gamers and nerds) but didn't think it would sell.

But somehow, that didn't stop me. I wrote the dang book anyway. And Pwned was born. But because I was so sure no one would ever buy a book about gamers (keep in mind I had no crystal ball to tell me one day me and my nerd friends would be the cool kids) I didn't shop it around to agents or publishers, I just self-published that puppy and sent it out into the world.

Much to my surprise, people actually read it. Like, living people who weren't related to me. People who didn't have an obligation to read it! And all of a sudden, it just so happened that nerds became cool (which I'm still not sure how we pulled that off, but go us!).

And then one day at Comic Con, home of my people, I ran into Adam Sidwell, whose publishing house I've been stalking for quite some time. We got to talking and I told him about how I'd brought a copy of my book Pwned to give to Felicia Day. Because you cannot meet Queen Felicia Day and not offer up some part of your soul to her epicness. In this case, Pwned was the part of my soul. So Adam takes a look at the book and asks me to send him the manuscript. And guess what happens after that? Yep. This little self-published nerdfest is going on the road! I mean... not literally... well maybe literally. What I mean is, Pwned is being re-release through Future House Publishing.

This is awesome for many reasons, one of them being that after months of stealthily stalking Future House Publishing, my love for them is all out in the open and we're now partners! I no longer have to lurk or be a giant creeper by perusing their Facebook page at odd hours.

Because I was starting to feel a little... well...

And they were probably starting to feel a little...

And so now, Pwned is back!

"But Shannen," you say. "We've already read Pwned. Why do we care?"

Excellent question, friend! While this is probably more exciting for the people who haven't actually read Pwned because it'll be SO MUCH MORE ACCESSIBLE, it's still at least semi-exciting for you too!

Sometimes, a dev editor will look at your book and say, "This needs to be clarified" or "I bet we could make the story better if this happened". And while these thoughts have always been nagging me before meeting said editors, when it's just you and your characters trying to muscle through a scene that might not be working, it can feel a bit like this.

And then you try to say to your character, "Hey, we can't do that because this scene just isn't working like you think it is."

And you characters then reply with, "I don't care. Write it anyway."

And then you start to question why in the world you're talking to fictional people you made up yourself.

But guess what. Those scenes that I was never all that sure about, are now different. And while the book hasn't changed so much that you won't recognize it, I'm actually very excited about the different things that have been added, changed, and taken out.

So that, random citizen, is why this is exciting even if you've read the book. Although the real reason this is so exciting, is just because Future House Publishing has been nothing but wonderful and they're full to the brim with epic people. And pairing up with them, means big and exciting new things for Pwned.

So stay tuned for things like a release date, a new book cover, info on the sequel PVP, and all the freaking epic stuff we have in store for this book. Because believe me. We have end-game-content sized plans for this thing.

Also, go watch iZombie.

Until Next Time,


Saturday, October 17, 2015

That one time I thought I was a ghost hunter on The Queen Mary

Hey there friends!

How is October treating you?

What am I saying? Of course it's treating you well. It's October. Best month of the year! And we haven't even gotten to Halloween yet!

Oh October. How I love you.

Anyway, if you guys haven't checked out my newest book Parrish yet, you should totally get on that, because it's about ghost hunters and mysteries and romance and embracing your inner weird and all sorts of other things. So really, if you think about it, October is ideal timing to read this little gem.

For those of you who have read it, the below will make sense, and for those of you who haven't, at least enjoy the video of me running away from a cleaning lady while trying to play it cool.

So in Parrish, my characters go to investigate The Queen Mary. Now I didn't actually pull all of this stuff out of thin air. First off, The Queen Mary is definitely haunted. Second, I happened to stay there on my honeymoon because The Husband and I are just those kind of people. We also wanted to go to The Winchester Mystery House but didn't have the time.

Anyway, I pulled a ton of what happens in Parrish from various places we visited and stories we heard on The Queen Mary, so enjoy some pictures from 5 years ago.

So I was a huge dork and decided to dress all old fashioned to try to freak people out on The Queen Mary. Irrelevant to Parrish, but still, wanted to share.

The long hallways where you can see from the back of the ship to the front.

The haunted pool where all sorts of shenanigans go down in Parrish.

Remember when Sadie runs into the changing rooms near the haunted pool because she hears a voice? Well here are the changing rooms. They're said to be haunted as well... but I guess the whole ship is so.......

More of the pool area.

And the beautiful gold doors I love.

The bathroom in Brighton's room that has the salt water knobs, where Deacon insists she'll get botulism if she uses it.

So there are some of the places on The Queen Mary mentioned in Parrish! And as a bonus, here's a very old video of me trying to be a ghost hunter and failing miserably. We were walking down one of the long hallways on the B deck (which is supposed to be the most haunted deck) when I heard a door close beside me, so I start walking faster and The Husband laughs at me because, in fact, it was one of the cleaning people leaving a room. Of course I try to play it cool and force myself not to run or scream, but I couldn't hide the little half job I did for a second there. Oops.

Apparently I'd make a horrible ghost hunter.

Hope you're liking Parrish!

Until Next Time!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

The wonders of the world are all here on display

10 Science Collaboration Points if you can name that band ^^^

Also, I'm slightly worried that in my attempt to smush the spam out of my life I may have disabled comments on my blog... so if it says you can't post a comment, just shoot me a Facebook message or something. Because knowing me, I would do something like that.

Anyway! On to books news galore!

2015 SLC Comic Con

I will be there! And I will be on panels. And it will be awkward. I tend to turn into a super hyper person when I get around tons of people (which is weird because I'm the world's biggest introvert) so my panels are usually all over the dang place. I don't have my panel schedule yet, but I should in the next few weeks and I'll post it for everyone!

I just know I'll be dressed as Rocket Raccoon.

And I'll be looking like a fool on panels, and I'm going to meet Felicia Freaking Day.



In case you missed that.

And of course, I'm going to give her a copy of Pwned since she helped inspire it with all of her girl gamer power. And it'll probably be a really awkward exchange, but I'm okay with that. Because even she says you're never weird on the internet (almost). And Comic Con is basically the internet.

Authorpalooza at Barnes and Noble!

I'll be signing books at Authorpalooza at Barnes and Noble on September 19th in Sandy! So come out and say hi and bask in the total and utter chaos that is Authorpalooza!

My second Authorpalooza is actually where I ended up meeting my critique group, and how can you not love a group of writers who wear wedding dresses to critique each other's pages?

Parrish release date!

Parrish... you know... the ghost story I've been telling you guys about for two years now? Yeah. That one. It'll be out September 28th! September is apparently a very busy month for me book-wise! I'm SO flippin excited for you guys to read this one. And I know I say that about every book, but this one especially, because I LOVE Jefferson Parrish and his totally creepy ghost hunter vibe. These books are the best because October is my favorite month and Halloween is my favorite holiday, and The Husband and I watch scary movies all month long, and creepy is the new cute. So read it and be creeped out with me :)

Keeping June release date and cover!

Keeping June (the last book in my June series) will be coming out December 19th. And I'm really sad about that. I mean, I'm happy you guys will get to read it, but I'm also super sad to not be writing anymore June books. June was my second book published and I've been working on these stories for years. It'll be really weird to not be writing or plotting a June book. And it sort of breaks my heart. Plus this last book is SO full of feels. So just be ready for that. So. Many. Feels.

I've got the beautiful cover from Jackie Hicken and will be doing a cover reveal soon! So stay tuned for that!

Beyond Lyra!

Beyond Lyra (the sequel to Under Zenith) will be coming out in February! Not sure of the actual day yet and I may move the date if some crazy thing comes up. But I already have the cover, which I will not be revealing for a while :) And I'll just tell you it's full of CRAZY stuff. But what else would you expect from these books?

And since I'm not showing you the cover yet, here's Hayla :)

Erasing Emily!

Erasing Emily is a book I've thought about writing for a long time. And I didn't mean to write it. But I sat down and it sort of wrote itself in record timing. SO it's done :)

It's no secret that Blake Sennett is sort of my music idol.

The Elected is my favorite band of all time, and every time I've met poor Blake Sennett I've gone total fangirl on him about how beautiful and profound his lyrics are and how much they mean to me. This poor guy is probably two seconds from getting a restraining order.

But that being said, because I listen to his music so much, I started to feel like all of his songs were linked, and they started coming together in this story in my head. So, thinking I'd never in a million years get permission, I asked Blake Sennett if I could write a book where I used his song lyrics as chapter titles because his songs are what had inspired this story. And by some miracle, HE SAID YES! I basically took the story I imagined from his songs and wrote a book about it. And I really love it. It's very different from what I normally write because it's a bit more... how do I put it... normal. It doesn't have ghosts or robots or otherworldly places. It has a boy and his doomed relationship with his childhood sweetheart. And I love it. I'm currently shopping it around to agents, but one way or another you guys will read it. And then you'll need to listen to The Elected and figure out which chapters belong to which songs :)

If you don't know Blake Sennett from The Elected, you might recognize him from his first band Rilo Kiley :)

That's about it for now. I'll  keep you guys updated on PVP as the time gets closer!

Until next time,


Monday, July 13, 2015

Because I love ghost stories

So, for the past year you may or may not have heard me obsessively talking about Jefferson Parrish and Sadie, and ghosts and all things creepy. I mean... for the most part that's just me. If I'm not talking about ghosts you might want to make sure a body snatcher hasn't come along and stolen me. But there's actually a reason for all of this.

This year, I'll be finishing up two different series. In April I finished off the Sugar Coated Trilogy (which I'll silently shed a tear for since those characters are now gone from my writing agenda).

And in December I'll finish up the June Series when the fourth and final book comes out. (Another silent tear because it's JUNE! How can I not write her anymore?)

But it's okay. Because what better way to fill that void, than with a new series? And a series that lets me pretend it's the best month of the year (October) all year long? So at long last, I am VERY excited to finally announce that September 28th I'll be releasing the first book in my Parrish Chronicles (because "Chronicles" sounds way more ghost-y and hardcore than series)! I have absolutely no idea how many books will be in the series because I intend to write it so that you can pick up any book in the series and not be lost. Of course there's an overarching story throughout the books, and character development that means it's best to start at the beginning. But each story has it's own unique plot. So this thing can go on for as long as I love ghost stories (so forever... probably). At the moment I have 4 books planned out, but let's be honest, it'll probably go way beyond that.

So let's tell you a bit about the book AND show you the eerie cover!

My little gang of misfits are twenty-somethings out of college who all just happen to be ghost hunters... because that's totally normal. Right? They're tight on cash and live in Portland and REALLY need to find a way to not be evicted from their adjacent apartments.

This is Sadie Smith. Sister of Michigan Smith (who will have her own non-related book one of these days).

Sadie lives in Oregon with the rest of the gang. She's Cuban and feisty and tomboy-ish with her cute little pixie cut and loves the paranormal but has a huge problem.

This boy.

Jefferson Parrish. He's the self-proclaimed leader of  this little ghost hunting group. He's basically a Tim Burton character come to life. He and his cousin Deacon Parrish (below) are British... and cousins... and tall... but that's about where the similarities end. Jefferson is passionate about ghost hunting. Unfortunately he's also passionate about Sadie. And he's not really the subtle type. In fact he likes to walk a fine line between romantic and just plain creepy. But it's not his fault. The boy loves ghosts. How could he be normal? Oh and did I mention? Jefferson is Hayden Temple's cousin... and he sort of HATES Hayden because he thinks he's a perfect Golden Boy.

So there's some nice family conflict for you. But it also means Hayden and Isla will be popping in and out of the series :)

And then, of course, we have Jefferson's cousin, Deacon Parrish.

He's scared of women, socially awkward, and never serious. His default is to either talk about video games or try to make everything into a joke. And he just happens to be in love with...

This girl.

Brighton Gilbert. She's a bit of a walking contradiction. She looks like a cheerleader turned super model. But she has asthma, anxiety, panic attacks, and about every phobia and social disorder you could ever possibly imagine. It's sort of amazing she even functions like a normal human being on most days. And being part of a ghost hunting group would seem like a really bad idea, except for the fact that she's the technology genius in the group. So she doesn't investigate. She just manages the equipment from the safety of the van. She also happens to be cousins with the rest of the blondes. You know... Amelia, Reagan, and Isla.

So these little weirdos who have stolen my heart, will take us on our ghost hunting adventures, but each of them have a little something more to them than meets the eye. None of these things will actually be stated outright in the first book. But if you can figure out what each of them are before I tell you in the following books, you'll get 100 Science Collaboration Points!

Anyway, enough novel-length reading. Let's see the cover!


Like now.


Or maybe now!



I sort of love it. Which might be conceited because I made it. But I don't care. I'm a little Jefferson-level-obsessive when it comes to this series. And that's Sadie on the cover... in case anyone cares... which maybe you don't because you haven't read it yet. But I do :) Every cover will feature a different character, and they'll all follow the creepy watercolor motif.

Seriously guys. This is the series I write when I want to make sure writing is fun for me. I mean... it's always fun. But nothing makes it more fun than these characters.

I'll be posting the first few chapters up on Wattpad in the coming weeks, so if you're interested, you can find it there!

So there you have it. I'm in LOVE with this series and I can't wait for you to meet them. Because I love them and I think you might too... hopefully. And even though Jefferson sounds crazy... just wait. I promise he's not.

Also, I definitely modeled Jefferson Parrish after Mika. Who just happens to have a creepy Tim-Burton-esqu music video. So enjoy a singing version of Jefferson Parrish :)

Here's the official blurb-y thing.

Sadie Smith was absolutely certain of three things: (1) ghosts were indisputably real; (2) she and her three friends were some of the best (if not the most . . . conventional) ghost hunters in Oregon; (3) her teammate Jefferson Parrish was always the scariest thing in the room—even during a paranormal investigation. In a face-off between supernatural beings and Jefferson's lack of social skills and Tim Burton-esque vibe, there really was no contest.

But ghosts—unsurprisingly—aren't great at helping to pay the rent, so when Sadie and her friends receive an anonymous letter from a mysterious client offering an undisclosed sum of money in return for finding the link between four haunted locations, it's an easy sell. Going on blind faith and a few vague instructions on how to reach their first location, the ghost hunters set out only to see clue after clue falling into place. As they piece together a sinister mystery reaching back to the 1800s, the group starts to wonder if they're in over their heads, or if they're on the path to unraveling a love story that was buried long ago—and one that should stay buried.

And here's where you can add it to your shelf on Goodreads!

Until next time!


*This probably doesn't need to be stated because who's going to sue me for my two laser turret action figures and a bowl of cereal? But The pictures I posted are my dream cast... not... you know... affiliated in any way with Parrish.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Things I learned from #Storymakers15

I'm going to just come right out and say it. I've never been to a writing conference. I wrote my first book "The Breakup Artist" thinking it would never see the light of day and until it was published by Cedar Fort and Jolene Perry wrote me an e-mail where she introduced herself, I didn't have any idea there was such a thing as a writing community.

Even after writing more and more books and even after meeting more authors in Utah and making more friends, I still didn't quite understand what a writing community was. Once I joined a critique group I heard a lot about the Utah writing community, but I don't know that I really understood it.

It wasn't until these past three days that I spent at the LDS Storymakers Conference that I realized that this place doesn't have a writing community, it has a WRITING COMMUNITY.



So here's what I learned in those three glorious days.

Don't go into a Publication Primer group you're supposed to lead telling yourself "I'm SO not qualified to do this", because your group will inevitably be awesome.

Authors can get DOWN

Everyone needs that one friend who will sit at the back of the class with them and make Pretty Little Liars references.

Critique groups might be even more awesome/weird than X-Men

 Always watch your back, because Charlie Pulsipher might suddenly run at you like a dinosaur

 Don't bother trying to look fancy. You'll just be an exhausted, psychotic mess by the end of all of this

Always keep your cool when you're about to meet James Dashner, and try not to say things like, "I've now touched someone who's touched Dylan O'Brien" because that just comes off as creepy 

 If you're going to take a group picture, make sure you treat it like a Pitch Perfect poster

Read other people's books. Because they're fantastic

Don't creepily take a picture of someone you spot buying your book... because you'll find out later that they were in your Pub Primer group and you'll have to come clean.

 Always listen to Mindy Holt. She is the Oracle of all awesomeness

Weasel your way into the boys club if you can (I'm looking at you Frank Cole, Tyler Whitesides, James Dashner, Charlie Pulsipher, and others)

Sign someone's arm, because it'll make you feel like a rockstar

Take epic pictures, just because you can

And track down agents you thought looked like a certain character from a TV show and take pictures with them, because there's no faster way to kill your career :)

Although I mostly pranced around and took pictures, I actually did learn valuable things that I probably should have learned before releasing 9 books into the world. Mostly querying and pitching.... things.... But I did learn that I can describe Parrish as:

What would happen if Tim Burton turned Scooby Doo into a twisted love story.

Oh how I love that story. Can't wait until October when you guys can love that little weirdo as much as I do.

So there you have it.

Storymakers firmly has my vote.

Until next time,

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