Tuesday, September 6, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with 'Storm of Arranon' R.E. Sheahan

I have always been a reader. I love books. When I’m not able to read, I listen to audio books. I started writing while working as a Paramedic/Firefighter in Northern California. Trust me, it’s not like it appears on TV. There was plenty of time for books, mostly reading them. I didn't seriously start writing until I moved to my ranch in Oregon. While waiting for lambs to be born in the middle of the night, I would head back to the house for an hour or two and sit down at the computer. Before I knew it, I had a manuscript. Not a good one, but a start.I joined critique groups and attended writer's conferences. I was on the fast track to learning. 

In 2013, I received an honorable mention in Writer’s Digest’s Self Published book awards for MG/YA. I guess I am learning something!

Ideas from dreams follow me into warm sunny days or the quiet of falling snow. “What ifs” feed a vivid imagination. Even mistyped phrases may lead to an "aha" moment. Brain storming sessions standing in windy, dark parking lots with fellow writers release thoughts that pry at the corners of my mind, grasping for purchase. Sometimes the ideas pursue me, with persistence.

For More Information
About the Book:

 A forbidden birth. A remarkable young woman. A marauding alien society. The battle begins.
 A brutal alien society invades Korin and Arranon, intent on destroying the two worlds that make up Cadet Erynn Yager's home. Forced to expose her strange abilities and reveal her forbidden birth, a guarded web of secrets unravels.

Stranded on an unfamiliar planet of eternal winter and predatory wildlife, the mysterious living consciousness of Arranon intervenes, leading Erynn on a mystical journey. 

Aware of Erynn's potential, the alien enemy pursues her. She struggles to gain control of her growing powers while in a constant race to elude the invaders, and join the forces preparing to fight a mounting occupation. 

Erynn’s secret may be her worlds' only hope, but at the cost of her life. Swept up in a chain reaction of events, Erynn's dedication extends far beyond service and duty. She learns the true meaning of sacrifice. 

Along with courage and hope, Erynn finds something unexpected on her journey of awareness and growth.


For More Information

  • Storm of Arranon is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Welcome R.E.! Before you started writing your book, what kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

No research. I did look up languages, and chose Gaelic, then created a variation of Gaelic for my books. Most of my preparation included and still includes learning the craft of writing—and coffee—and maybe an occasional cupcake.

Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?

I queried agents and publishers. I pitched to agents and publishers at writer’s conferences. After several months, I decided to self-publish. I continued to submit to agents and publishers and was told by a fellow author as long as I’m self-published, they won’t consider my work. I’m not sure this is true. Encouraged by another author friend to submit my manuscripts, the publisher loved my work and offered me a contract.

If self-published, did you hire someone to format the ebook version for you or did you do it yourself?  Can you tell us what that was like?

I did try to do the formatting, but I’m easily frustrated, so I hired someone. It’s not expensive. Quick and simple for those that do eBook formatting routinely, and I don’t turn into Kylo Ren throwing a temper tantrum.

If self-published, how did you determine the price?

Three authors in my critique group had first books coming out at the same time. We talked about pricing with each other and the group. We considered prices of books in the same genres and word count/pages. I have changed the prices of the eBooks a couple of times and may again in the future.

If published by a publisher, what was your deciding factor in going with them?

As of June 2016, I did sign a contract with a publisher for book four and they have a first option on book five. I spoke with staff members, making a heart choice as well as an intellectual decision to sign. Their company is small, but in business for over five years and growing. I read and had friends and author friends read the contract. A standard contract similar to the large, (big five), publishers, except my royalties are higher. Woo Hoo! In the future, we will talk about the first three books in the series. Like maybe a boxed set? For now, I’m looking forward to this experience while working with a positive and encouraging publisher.

If published by a publisher, are you happy with the price they chose?

We aren’t there yet.

Did you purposefully choose a distinct month to release your book?  Why?

No. When they’re ready, I publish.

How did you choose your cover?

My neighbor is a retired Hollywood illustrator that worked on movies like Alien and Predator. He volunteered to create my cover! We got together a few times, he asked me questions about the book, and came up with what I believe is the perfect cover.

Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?

Oh my gosh. Both!

Did you come up with special swag for your book and how are you using it to help get the word out about your book? 

I tried bookmarks, didn’t really work. I’m open to swag suggestions!

Did you consider making or hiring someone to make a book trailer for your book?  If so, what’s the link?

I made a short trailer. I also paid to have a couple of others made.

What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?

I think it’s a great idea. I have free days on kindle and send print books often. I’ve had to stop sending international though, it just costs too much.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released?

Have your book edited, professionally.
Have your book proofread, professionally.
Send your book through beta readers.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do after their book is released?

Have a contest to give books away, like on Goodreads.
Schedule free days on kindle and promote those days.
Take the book to libraries and bookstores and provide them with copies.

What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out? 

I did do a lot of this, but after the fact. This was all new to me. I’m still on the learning curve when it comes to promotion and marketing. Much more demanding and time consuming than writing the book!

Do you have a long term plan with your book?

Just keep writing the series. Well, actually that seems a bit out of my control. The characters won’t let me stop until their stories are told.

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

My book is pretty basic. Good Vs evil. I write what I see—like a movie in my mind. I write what I would like to read. My characters aren’t perfect, but they believe in each other and what they’re doing. Their choices aren’t always the best, or correct, but their decisions are from the heart.

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