It suddenly occurred to me that I’ve wasted a lot of prime blog-real-estate that I could have used connecting with my readers and followers….I used my previous blog to do a few reviews and to post about other authors, but the other day I realized that I was probably not using it enough to talk about my work. I was relying on everyone to visit my Amazon Author or Smashwords Author page and read my bio. I do not think that this process was using my space wisely and that is part of the reason for the new blog (www.theobsidianpoet; you are here) and overhaul of my main site (www.shannonmcroberts.com; you should go there).
Today, I want to write on a topic I *thought* readers knew about. My very first page, my Amazon Author page, says this: Shannon’s books are not long at all as she feels that something should be left up to the reader; no you don’t really need to know that the walls were blue on the fourth floor to enjoy a story! When I started writing I began with no intentions of anything other than writing the story I wanted to read. When I wrote The Secret of Genetic Corp X , I started stepping into new waters. This was my first prose attempt without a school project writing prompt. It took me almost two years to write the story because I was having a hard time getting all the twists in, but one thing held true-I was writing the story the way I wanted it to unfold. Not some agent. Not some reader that was hard-core sci-fi. Just for myself and the way that the story needed to be told. Later, on whim, I let my best friend read it and he loved it. After a second friend of mine read it and really enjoyed it, along with the spouse of another friend, I thought maybe I had written something worthwhile. (Why is it that when you write prose you never have enough confidence in your story?) Publication came a few weeks later with a print version available at lulu.com and a hideous cover because I wanted it all to be “my art”.
Of course, for me, it would be almost 7 years before I started shouting from the rooftops about my books. It wasn’t until I learned from another friend about e-books and Amazon that I really picked up steam. It was an answer to my prayers. No mandatory deposit, no waiting, just instant gratification of having my book “out there” quickly and in a format that could be updated without paying extra money! The Secret of Genetic Corp X and my more recent book The Daughter of Ares quickly went up on Amazon as an e-Book. That is when I was faced with coming up with content for an author page. It was also at that time that I came up with that line I showed you from the very page.
I understood after writing two books that my style was partially based on how I liked to read. I have not always enjoyed reading (a tale for another time), but at this point in my life I had read hundreds of books and there was one thing in common with all of them. Are you ready for this? I skip filler. Doesn’t matter what kind of book it is or who wrote it either. I DO NOT LIKE FILLER. What is filler you ask? All those silly details that I do not need to know. Information that doesn’t serve some major part in the story. That extra chapter that seems to give the book length, but not depth. For some readers, I have found, this is an essential element. Unfortunately, for me, I do not want them, need them, or love them. So, naturally, when I write I do not put them in my story. I put in the highlights of the things I think you need to know. A lot of readers have picked up on this point and have really liked that fact! Yet, some people have essentially said they do not like the lack of details. (One person said I had a lot of fluff and no stuff, but my teachers always told me fluff is filler and I am pretty sure I have no filler!) I think the people that do not like my level of detail probably have no clue this is exactly what I was trying to accomplish. Why? Because I’ve never made it public knowledge outside that one tiny line. When I read, I want to use my imagination. I don’t want to be spoon-fed a story. When I write, I write the parts that I would actually read.
The best definition I can give you, outside of having you visit my excerpt pages, is that my writing style is something like a comic book and a video game story line. Neither of those items have overwhelming detail, but both have influenced me. I love comic books (so much I met my husband at a comic book shop) and I love reading the story lines in “walk-through” guides to video games. However, neither of those items have the level of detail I like to have. I want slightly more than those items offer, but not as much as many authors throw at you. Thus, that is how I formulated my writing style somewhere in my subconscious. I wanted a book with a topic I would enjoy with all the details, or lack there of, that I need to enjoy a story.
Now, if you are still with me, I would like to direct you over to www.shannonmcroberts.com (or artistauthorpoet.com) to visit my newly constructed book pages under the “author” section. There you can find my painstaking work of creating a one stop shop of sorts. You can read a random chapter excerpt from all three of my books, see highlights of reviews I have gathered, and click on a very helpful “purchase” link if you decide you would like to try the book. Remember, Athine Verses: The Beginning (book 1) is always FREE! (YES, it is in Verses of Athine so if you have read the free book and want books 2-4 you can skip The Beginning).