Welcome to today’s blog. I have another guest on today. Author Shannon L. Brown is joining us today to talk about her An Alaska Dream Romance Series. I met Shannon through our local ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) chapter. I strongly encourage writers/authors to join local writing groups that will provide support, encouragement, ideas, and instruction on craft. Our ACFW chapter will even meet as a critique group from time to time.
Shannon is not only here to talk about her series, she is also offering a copy (paperback (only in U.S.) or ebook) of the first book in this series (Falling for Alaska)! Please read below for details. I will stop rambling now, and let you meet Shannon:
I had discovered HGTV’s series Flea Market Flip and recorded a bunch. As I was binge watching them, I began to think about a character who remade old furniture. Jemma’s story soon came to life.
I love HGTV! It’s one of those “safe channels” with my young kids that is NOT Disney Junior 🙂 They have a lot of neat shows. As you know, everyone’s journey into writing is different. What about you? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
After changing majors several times, I got a degree in Journalism/Public Communications. That’s where I found my happy place. I wrote my first novel a few years later, but set aside fiction to write articles. After becoming an award-winning journalist, I switched back to fiction so I can play with imaginary worlds and characters. But sometimes they seem real.
I know that’s the truth! We spend so much time developing those characters, making them three dimensional, that they become so real to us. Character development is one of my favorite things about writing. But there are things I don’t enjoy as much…such as writing proposals. What part of the writing process do you dread?
The first edit. I write a rough first draft, so polishing it the first time is a big task. But I enjoy editing on the whole because I like making something basic sing.
Editing can be a necessary evil, as you well know. It seems to come in seasons for me. I’m either writing, writing, writing…or editing, editing, editing. No happy medium. I am always eager to get tidbits of knowledge from other authors. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer?
Never assume that your first draft is a finished product. (see my earlier comment) Never stop learning. Try new ways to work until your find what works best for you. Then keep learning.
I echo that sentiment. I am sold on conferences hook, line, and sinker. And I try to alternate reading: fiction book, non-fiction (usually craft) book, fiction, non-fiction, etc… I just finished Gloria Kempton’s “Write Great Fiction-Dialogue”. And am about to start Melanie Dickerson’s Regency Series. How about you? What are you currently reading?
I’m reading a sweet Harlequin Romance by Marion Lennox called Christmas at the Castle. It’s a 2013 book that I got at a used bookstore. I’m enjoying it and may have to search for more of her books.
I love discovering new authors to enjoy! I am catching up on my new favs though. One of them is very prolific and I’m only about halfway through her collection.
One thing about my writing atmosphere…I have to have music. Instrumental music. Something that won’t distract me. What kind of music, if any, do you listen to when you write?
When I’m home, I like it quiet. The odd thing is that I can write elsewhere such as in a Starbucks and music is okay.
The Starbucks I go to plays the strangest music, while the one on the other side of town plays really nice, easy to write to music. I don’t quite understand that. I have tried writing at various times of day, too. I used to be a night owl, but find that late evenings don’t really work for me as well as mid-morning and early evening. Do you have a favorite time of day to write? What about a favorite place?
Morning is usually my best time to write. I’m learning to dictate my writing with my current book, so my favorite place to write is a nearby park.
Neat! I used to dictate scenes when I drove a lot. I never quite got used to it. One of my works in progress is about the Cherokee Trail of Tears. I actually walked a portion of the trail and dictated while doing so. It was such a moving experience.
This next question is just for sheer curiosity’s sake: how long does it take you to write a book?
It took two months for me to write a book in the past, but I’m working to speed that up.
Wow! That is fast!
This question is for my readers: Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.
Crazy About Alaska, the final book in the Alaska Dream Romance series, is my latest release. It’s Holly and Adam’s story and I love Holly’s character. She’s a mother and real estate agent who’s willing to do whatever needs to be done. Readers will notice her can-do attitude on the first page.
And, finally, do you have any current projects you’re working on? Care to share?
I’m writing the third book in the Crime-Solving Cousins Mysteries for ages 8-12. Sophie and Jessica get into danger again in The Chocolate Spy which should be out before Christmas.
Thank you so much, Shannon, for being “here” today and for the giveaway! Stay tuned, readers, for more details about Falling for Alaska and the giveaway!
Falling for Alaska
Jemma inherits a house and moves to small-town Palmer, Alaska. As she begins her business of flipping furniture, her gorgeous but unpleasant neighbor gets in her way. Sure, she’s making some noise. A little sawing. A bit of drilling. Her dream’s at stake. And she’s not sure about living in Alaska.
Nathaniel loves Alaska and moved here for peace and quiet. That’s been shattered. He’s terrible with relationships. But when a stray puppy enters his life, his heart begins to heal. Could Jemma and Nathaniel have a happily ever after?
Falling for Alaska is the first book in the sweet and clean Alaska Dream Romance series. If you like wild destinations, real struggles, fun stories—and a dash of Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy, then you’ll love Shannon L. Brown’s heartwarming series.
Book 1: Falling for Alaska
Book 2: Loving Alaska
Book 2.5: Merrying in Alaska – A Christmas Novella
Book 3: Crazy About Alaska
Each book has a happily ever after ending and stands alone, but it’s most enjoyable to read them in order. This ebook also contains a preview of Loving Alaska. The author was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, so she really gets Alaska and you’ll see the difference in what she writes.
Enjoy an Excerpt
“Bench or bookshelf? Which do you want to be?” Jemma Harris walked around the beat-up old dresser sitting in the garage next to the house her great-aunt had recently left her in Palmer, Alaska. She removed the drawers and stepped back. Nodding once, she said, “Bench.” Jigsaw in hand, Jemma began the transformation.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Mr. Gorgeous from across the street open his front door. He wore his usual neatly pressed chinos and dress shirt, his dark, wavy hair adding the only element slightly out of control. Refocusing on the blade in her hand, Jemma cut off the dresser’s top, then started a curve on the right side.
Something poked her shoulder. When she reached out to brush it away, her hand met with warm skin. Jumping backward, Jemma stood with the jigsaw in front of her like a weapon.
“What are you doing?” Mr. Gorgeous shouted over the sound of the saw.
Gorgeous but none too bright. She pushed the off switch and removed her protective glasses. “I’m sawing wood.”
“No.” He sighed with obvious frustration. “What are you doing making so much noise?”
“Um, creating a bench?” She pointed at the half-altered dresser. Seeing it in her mind in a fresh yellow with white trim and a matching padded seat, she knew it would be beautiful.
“A parent will happily buy it for their daughter’s room—at least I hope so.”
Her neighbor’s mouth dropped open. “This is a business? The noise I’ve put up with for weeks isn’t temporary?”
“Yes. No. Yes, I’m planning to open a store.”
“So you won’t continue making noise here and being a general nuisance?”
Now he had her hackles up. “A nuisance?”
His hand swept over the area. “Noise. Grime. Chaos.”
Focus on patience. He was her neighbor, so they needed to get along. Forcing a calm note to her voice, she said, “I’m Jemma Harris. It may appear chaotic to you, Mr. . . . ?”
“But I can assure you everything is under control.”
With a little too much eagerness, he asked, “Will you be gone soon?”
As soon as I can make this pay, she thought, wondering how someone so attractive on the outside could be the opposite on the inside.
Buy Links for Falling for Alaska
More about Shannon
Shannon L. Brown has been a real estate agent, an administrative assistant, in retail, and more. When she began writing, she knew she’d found her happy place. After becoming an award-winning journalist, she moved over to fiction so she can make everything up.
She has two series. The sweet and clean, contemporary Alaska Dream Romance series revolves around three sisters. The Crime-Solving Cousins Mysteries are for the 8- 12-year-olds in your life. They will enjoy these fun page-turners best described as modern Nancy Drew–type books.
Connect with Shannon and her books
Author Shannon L. Brown is giving one copy of Falling for Alaska (paperback (only in the U.S.) or ebook – winner’s choice), the first book in her An Alaska Dream Romance Series. To be entered in this giveaway, please post a comment below or answer this question: