Shonell Bacon is an author, doctoral candidate, editor, educator–every woman. She has published both creatively and academically–novels, short stories, essays, and textbooks. She has had an essay of hers developed as part of a live theater documentary production. In addition to her love of writing and what the future holds in her literary life, she is also an editor who loves helping writers hone their literary craft. Since 2001, she has edited for hundreds of writers who have gone on to pursue self-publishing careers and have been published within the traditional publishing arena. Her love for helping writers also moved her to begin writing articles and commentaries regarding the writing life and craft, and she publishes these articles on various websites. She is an educator, having taught English and mass communication courses in addition to fiction writing and other courses related to creative writing. And while taking part in all of those things, Shonell also finds the time to pursue her Ph.D. in Technical Communication and Rhetoric at Texas Tech University. Now a doctoral candidate, she is conducting research and writing her dissertation.
Get to Know Shonell:
When did you get bitten by the writing bug?
I was ten. My mom and I were at a flea market, and she bought me a .25 cent green diary. Instead of writing the typical 10-year-old girly things, I wrote sports articles on my beloved Baltimore Orioles and my own scripts to my favorite soap at the time, The Guiding Light.
When did you know that you wanted to pursue writing in a serious manner?
Probably the same time I got that green diary. During my teen years, I wrote a lot of bad screenplays, all featuring the same story – a woman who somehow comes to own a sports team and ends up falling for and getting the hot, great player on the team. LOL I finally broke away from those and in the 90′s, having recently graduated high school, I started studying the industry, trying to figure out how to become a better writer and how to break into the industry.
Plotter or pantser?
Definitely plotter. I visually write my stories bit by bit until they are pretty much developed, then take to drafting an outline and writing the story. I don’t let the outline confine me, however. I often go outside the outline; however, doing an outline gives me structure and enables me to be a fast writer. And not a fast writer who gets an idea and jumps to the computer and a few chapters in peters out. I typically go hard and fast until the story is done.
What genre(s) do you write?
Hard question, and it shouldn’t be, right? I consider myself a life writer–I write the stories of life. Extraordinarily vague, I know. Sometimes, my stories fit really well into a genre, and sometimes, they don’t. For the most part, I write mysteries/thrillers, and the bulk of my work tends to fall into women’s fiction.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
1- Do not write to fit a trend; they come and go, and so will your work.
2- Write from the heart; if you don’t care about your work, no one else will either.
3- Study the writing craft; it’s great to write because you have the love of it, but at some point, you have to show people you are serious about growing as a writer, too.
4- Get into PR; no one is going to promote your work as hard as you do. Study the various ways, online and offline, that you can sell your work to your audience.
What is your very favorite thing to do when you’re not writing?
Two things – watch sports and listen to music. Music evokes the same emotions I receive when a story lulls me to the laptop. It soothes this savage beast and sparks me to write. I ADORE sports and before I became a teacher, writer, editor; my dream was to be a sports anchor for ESPN, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a Sunday NFL game, the frenzy of March Madness, or a Saturday afternoon baseball game, you can often hear me commentating on the games just by walking past my house, LOL I’m THAT vocal!
We’ve talked about how you came to writing, the kind of writer you are, advice to aspiring writers, and your non-writing time. Let’s get to one good question about Into the Web. Why should people buy it?
OK, time to sell myself, I guess. LOL. Reason? Death at the Double Inkwell, the debut novel in the Double Inkwell series, has been my favorite book to write. I consider it the best story I’ve written, and I have plenty of novels written in the arsenal. Readers have enjoyed DDIW, giving it a 5-star rating, and they still purchase it and tell me how much they love the story. Once I finished the last sentence of Into the Web, I knew it was the best thing I’d written–better than DDIW. I loved the entire process of writing it and loved the layered stories that find their way into ITW. Love, lies, secrets, murder, mayhem, and the great sisterhood of Jovan and Cheyenne? Not much more a reader could ask for!
Synopsis: The minute twins and mystery novelists Jovan and Cheyenne Parham find their lives settling into a nice rhythm, all hell breaks loose – in their personal lives and in the latest crime they find themselves mixed up in. Jo is trying to build a relationship with Mark Brockman, but the deaths of her husband and Mark’s wife, and the sordid nature of their coming together keeps her from jumping into the relationship with both feet. Cheyenne is head over heels in love with former detective-now P.I. Ian Davenport, but unexpected news and Ian’s involvement in a new case causes Chey to second guess the deepness of their love. Trying to figure out their love lives becomes all the more complicated when Jo and Chey are thrust into a series of kidnappings and murders involving young girls who seem to make the wrong friends online. When a mayoral candidate’s daughter is kidnapped, Ian finds himself on the case, much to the chagrin of Chey considering he spends an awful lot of time holding and caring for the candidate’s wife. Bringing the girl home safely and finding the killer pushes the twins to the limits of their personal and professional lives. Going into a web of infidelity, lies, deception, and murder often leaves all involved in disarray. Will Jovan and Cheyenne find themselves, once again, trying to pick up the remaining fragments of their lives once this is all over?
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