Friday, December 27, 2013

Finding Fiction Friday - Krystal Shannan

It's the final Finding Fiction Friday of 2013!  And today I'm very excited to have paranormal and contemporary romance author Krystal Shannan here with us ...

Romance author, Krystal Shannan, lives in Texas and is married to the love-of-her-life. They have a spunky young daughter who believes in fairies and keeps them both on their toes. Krystal professes to loving shoes, but avoids wearing them at all costs. She enjoys reading romance in all genres, but especially paranormal. Her favorite book is ACHERON by Sherrilyn Kenyon. But really, if it has a ‘Happily Ever After’, she’s on board!

Krystal, please tell us about your journey in writing.  What made you decide to try to be published?

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today! My journey in writing began as a child. I have always been a storyteller and till this day I have notebooks of stories I wrote as an elementary student all the way through middle and high school. I finished my first full length novel while I was in college, but decided it was just for practice and locked it away in a vault for my eyes only, lol. After I graduated, I got married and writing took a short hiatus as I adjusted to being a responsible adult with a full-time job. In 2012 the writing bug (which never really stopped biting) came forth again and I sold my first novella to a small e-press. A twist of fate gave me my rights back before it could be published and I self published it instead of trying to sell again. That was my ‘Ah Ha’ moment. I haven’t looked back since and now have 8 books in my catalog. Two sold to small press, and 6 self-published.    

Tell us one thing about yourself that you think might surprise us.

I was homeschooled J Never set a foot in a public school or any type of classroom until I started college. Then I go and become an elementary public school teacher… Go figure. LOL.

I want to touch on all of your books and series if I can.  Your first release was “Open House”, the first novella in the “Pool of Souls” series.  Tell us a bit about that series, and what it was like for you when you first hit that virtual “publish” button.

The series is based around two Greek gods, Aphrodite and Ares. Aphrodite is the ultimate matchmaker, connected on a physical level with each and every human soul. Her very existence is to match the immortal souls of humans to their soul mates, no matter how many reincarnations it takes.

Hitting that publish button was nerve wracking for sure. I knew the concept was pretty good. I’d sold it once already. So I was pretty confident that I had a good idea and my writing was up to par. Interestingly enough, though both Pool of Souls books get fabulous reviews, they sell very few copies per month. I think the ‘gods and goddesses’ readers market is tough to break into. I’ve seen a slight rise in sales from adding other books to my catalog, but nothing truly significant.

“Finding Hope”, the second book of the series, was not only your first full-length novel, but also your first paperback publication.  How was that experience different for you?

The biggest difference for me was being able to hold the book in my hand. It was ‘real’ on a different level than just the ebook. I have copies on my shelf next to my desk and it’s tangible proof of my effort.

In between, you hooked up with Decadent Publishing for “A Very Russian Christmas” and later with “Just Right”, a pair of more contemporary, non-paranormal stories.  Was there a big difference for you, first, in writing without the paranormal aspect, and second, in working with a publisher versus self-publishing?

It was very different. I struggle to write stories where characters don’t pop up with supernatural capabilities. Those two stories were just sort of happened…I’m not sure where they came from. I loved both AVRC and JR, and absolutely enjoyed working with Decadent’s editors and staff. They were friendly and helpful and I learned a TON, which helped me on my next self-published projects. I would definitely write for them again, but I would
not want to limit myself to publishing with small presses. I like the freedom and control I have with self-publishing more.

The “Vegas Mates” series came next.  This is your shifter series.  What drew you to write about shifters?

I read shifter books constantly and love that paranormal world. The animalistic instincts mixed with magick. It was a natural world for my mind to create and thrive in.

Your most recent release, earlier this month, was “Trevor”, another more contemporary romance novella and by all appearances the first of a new series.  Tell us a bit about this story.

Trevor is one of four siblings. Caiden, Harvey, and Lizzy will all be getting their story soon. Like most of my stories, the character, Trevor, just popped into my head one day and started stomping around until I agreed to write it all down. As a reader, I like reading about an entire family, so it was natural for me to build a series feel for the four siblings. Caiden told me his story last week and his book will be next. Harvey and Lizzy are still holding out on me, but they will come soon. Caiden will make sure of it J

It was a stretch for me to create outside a paranormal world, but I truly believe in stretching my boundaries as an artist. Also from a business standpoint, I don’t want my readers to be surprised when I hop genres. I do believe that 70% of my writing will continue to be paranormal, but I like having the option of switching it up and I want my fans to expect that from me.

What do you have coming up next?  Contemporary, paranormal, or a little bit of both?

Like I said above, I will finish the MacLaughlin novellas quickly. The next Vegas Mates book is on the docket and the start of new paranormal series set in a small town in Texas. I’m super excited about it. There will be dragons, vampires, and a slew of other paranormal creatures that you might have never even heard about! Me and mythology are besties.

What about being published and the book industry in general has most surprised you?

How friendly authors and bloggers are. It’s a world I’d never ventured into before and I LOVE it. I wish I’d gotten into blogging years ago, maybe I would have published sooner, too.

Now, somehow, you find time to write despite also being a school teacher.  How do you keep that balance?

I don’t sleep much…no, seriously. I probably get on average about 5 hours of sleep a night. I drink copious amounts of caffeine and keep on truck’n. My husband is a rock star and entertains our munchkin on the weekends for several multi hour sessions so I can work in the quiet of my office without the ‘momma look at this, momma I need, momma, momma, momma!’ LOL. I get a lot of writing on the weekends and I’m lucky to be a music teacher and I have NO take home work. So no grading papers for hours like my poor friends when they get home. So I get a lot of work done in the evenings after my daughter is in bed. I try never to disappear into the office on weeknights until the little one is safely snoring and won’t miss me.

To close the interview, I have ten questions for you, plus one.  Here they go!
  1. What is your favorite word? Seriously!
  2. What is your least favorite word? Why…
  3. What turns you on? A beautifully sculpted male torso J
  4. What turns you off? Hairy bodies. I’m a smooth skin kinda gal.
  5. What sound or noise do you love? My daughter laughing.
  6. What sound or noise do you hate? Snoring!
  7. What is your favorite curse word? Shit.
  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Counselor.
  9. What profession would you not like to do? Anything pertaining to the medical field.
  10. If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates? “It’s so good to have you here!”
  11. What question have you never been asked, that you wish someone would ask you? Can’t think of one…

Krystal, thanks so much for spending time with us.  Can you let us know where to follow you, and where we can go to purchase your work?

Thank you so much for having me!!!

Krystal Shannan
Putting Magick in Romance one Soul Mate at a Time.
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Rudy and Trish are the main characters in Patricia and my published short stories in the "Evernight: Romance in a World of Darkness" anthologies.  You can get to know them as well as get 23 other great stories!  Here's where you can find them:

Evernight Volume 1:   Amazon       XoXo          ARe

Evernight Volume 2:   Amazon       XoXo          ARe

Finding Fiction Friday will be going on a bit of a hiatus as my writing partners and I need to focus on getting on our novels edited and submitted.  But, we plan to be back this Spring with more new writers and artists for you to get to know.  In the meantime, stay tuned here for news as our own dream nears fruition.  Cheers, and Happy New Year!!!!!

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