Sunday, January 22, 2012

Guest Post with Shannon Muir

As many of you know Shannon Muir is our current Author in the Spotlight. She has graciously agreed to do a guest post with us and we are very happy to share that with you today. I hope you enjoy it just as much as we did!

I will let Shannon take it from here.

I knew I wanted to write since I was ten. It started with poetry, then short stories, and then I fell in love with animated television and decided I wanted to write for it. Most people assume you need to have art skills to write animation, but I never thought it, and I don't know why. For years I spent time pursuing that as my primary goal, but remained willing and open to learn other skills along the way, which led me into discovering the joys of being on an animation production team. Eventually, the opportunity to write animation came and I did several scripts for a Japanese produced television series. Later, at a time when animation production jobs were hard to come by found myself able to write about animation both for my masters thesis and in the form of two textbooks about the animation business and share what I learned with others.

After a long stint in virtual worlds, where I headed as it seemed animation and gaming storytelling led, I found myself unemployed for what has now been six months. In that time, it's allowed me to rediscover those initial loves that got me into writing to begin with, and that other than annual participation in National Novel Writing Month ( for the past seven years and a couple short story sales online while unemployed in the early 2000s. Being able to indie self-publish allows me to improve my craft while building daily goals and structure to stay optimistic in tough times.

My last long form prose attempt I made at seventeen when I wrote, sent, and found myself rejected by a New York literary agent for a YA novel. Those characters, along with several other screenplay works that came after and folded into that universe, are at the heart of the Willowbrook Saga which I will unveil in eBook form in 2012. You can find out more at

It's been an amazing adventure rediscovering these characters and picking up earlier in their lives than when I first wrote about them, allowing me to see them through fresh eyes, which makes it fun and exciting. I'd love to be doing this and say I could make a living just writing, but that is not to be, at least not as of yet. I've always needed to do other work on the side, and am happy to, but the passion for writing always burns in my heart. If it does for you, then my  advice is to not give up, even if you can't make it be full-time work for you. One of my longtime mentors once told me that writing is as much a part of us as breathing. I'd have to agree.


  1. Writing and breathing synonymous? I agree, Shannon. Many mornings, I awaken with thoughts, ideas, or story lines running through my head. What a wonderful way to begin the day!

    1. I so understand the "discovering the characters." I don't mean to be too warm and fuzzy, but at the start of the book, it's like they're friends we haven't met yet.

  2. Thanks for the comment. It's one of those things that, although my mentor said it many years ago, I keep in mind for just that reason. It makes me want to jump in and be involved in that world. I always hope it pays off for readers too.

  3. Alicia, also agree with your comment too. A well written book should be just that for writer and reader alike, comfortable enough that we want to forge on and read or write more, and yet full of surprises.