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Monday, December 3, 2012

Shauna Kelley: The Joy of the Season and the Benefits of Blogging

Please join me in welcoming Shauna Kelley, who participated in the challenge for the first time last year. I'm happy to say she'll be joining us again. She's here today to tell us about the books she's published recently.  

I am honored to be here. The A to Z Challenge was the first challenge I particulate in, and has helped to  welcome me into/teach me about blogging.  I am particularly grateful to be here in December!
December is my favorite month. I am a lover of decorating, a huge fan of baking, and most of all, a rabid gift-giver. I am doing a Friday series over on my blog on my favorite gifts, but here I want to focus on the gifts that being part of this blog community provides me. 

I blog because I write. I started my blog to promote my first book, Max and Menna, and, as people who blog solely to promote their work often learn, it was ineffectual. I took too long to realize that my blog was not a podium, but a conversation. 

I now know that the benefit of my blog is not in having space to talk about my work, but in having a way to connect with writers. For centuries, writing has been an isolated profession. Now, the blog world offers us a community in which to support, encourage, and celebrate with each other. This is a gift, and one of the best ones I’ve received in a long, long time.  

The power of this gift rang through loud and clear during the launch of my second book,  Don't Wake Up, which was deemed by more than 40 agents and small presses to be “unmarketable.” It is the story of Gillian, who plays a dangerous game with her husband. He awoke from a coma claiming he cannot remember their life, but she recalls all too well years of manipulation and pain. She invents a family in attempt to get Ricky to acknowledge that this, too, is a lie. However, as her deceit grows, she begins to wonder how far she can go to punish a man for sins he cannot remember committing.

After so many rejections, I might never have published the book if it weren’t for the community around my blog helping me to understand:
  • When you’re telling your community about an achievement (like publishing a book) it is no longer just self promotion (which I find very uncomfortable) but instead becomes sharing good news with friends.
  • The market for my “unmarketable” book is right here. I have friends here that appreciate my book despite its length, its subject, and everything that makes it “high risk” to a press.  
We’re all here for different reasons, but we’re all here. And now that you can definitely tell that Christmas brings out my mushy side, know that I am thankful to be writing now when I have this gift of a community!

Thanks for being with us, and  helping to get us in the spirit of the Christmas season.
- Tina


Tina said...

Thanks, Shauna for being with us. I'm looking forward to reading, "Don't Wake Up", it's a GREAT premise and new ones are hard to find these days.
Tina @ Life is Good

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

It is an awesome community!

Tami Von Zalez said...

There are so many benefits to blogging - for me it is a creative outlet, a venue to inject a spirit of fun.

Come visit me at my Countdown to Kitschmas!

D.G. Hudson said...

Once the discussion with other writers starts, the blog becomes fun.

Last year was my first year on the A to Z Challenge as well. I'm already thinking of ideas for the next one. (it's a great motivator to write, if you come up with a theme) I'm not a 'pantser', must have plan.

Enjoyed your post.

ShaunaKelleyWrites said...

Tina, I hope you enjoy it!
Alex, you are a big part of the reason for that, sir.
Tami, on my way...
D.G., learning the term "panster" came from me through blogging and is, in and of itself, a gift. Can't wait to hear of the new theme...

LTM said...

oh, it's so true, Shauna! I've found some of my best writer-friends through blogging. I wouldn't give it up for the world! And you're even more right about the marketing. I've found so much support and encouragement from my bloggy friends who've been with me through the process. Max & Menna sounds great! Best of luck w/it! <3

ShaunaKelleyWrites said...

Thanks, LTM. And thank goodness for blog friends.

Lynn Proctor said...

the blogging world is really inspiring!

Arlee Bird said...

Blogging has provided the most opportunities to writers and those who would like to write than anything in history. What a great platform for creative expression through words.

Wrote By Rote

Tia Bach said...

You are so right, Shauna. Blogging has become a very important part of me as a writer. I'm so glad the writing community gave you the push to put out what I know is an excellent book, since I so enjoyed reading it!

Last year was my first A to Z as well, and I loved it. I can't wait for April!