Friday, 5 November 2010

With These Words: Shae Connor

A Writing Journey

I’ve always been a writer. I come from a family of writers, to the point that I joke about having printer’s ink instead of blood in my veins. (Although I guess that's a little out of date, considering I'm being published electronically so far!) I started out my career as a newspaper features writer, and at first, I loved it. I got to interview people, figure out interesting ways to present their stories, cover entertainment events, and even meet celebrities now and then. I didn’t have to deal with the deadline pressure of working on breaking news, and once my editor figured out that I was pretty sharp in that area too, I started getting assigned more editing tasks.

It took me a couple of years to figure out that the job was draining all of my creative energy. I didn’t think of myself as a fiction writer back then, but I did have ideas floating through my head all the time, both fiction and nonfiction. The catch was that, after spending the bulk of my 40-hour work week writing, I had absolutely no desire to write a single word on my own time. And it was gradually starting to eat away at me.

My turning point came when I was shifted into a layout editor position, giving up the bulk of my writing duties at work. That was so much better. I was responsible for designing our page layouts, which gave me some creative outlet (albeit limited), and switching from writing to editing gave me freedom to write on my own time. I’ve stayed in editing since then, with few if any writing responsibilities, and it’s worked very well for me. It's challenging enough to be interesting, without taking away from my creativity.

Even after the switch to editing, though, it took a few years for my right brain to kick back in fully. That’s when I started writing fanfiction. I know a lot of professional authors are afraid of admitting to any connection to fanfic, but I don’t see it that way. I think writing fanfiction can be an excellent training ground for writing original fiction, for those who are interested in making that transition. I learned how to write better description, how to develop characters, how to “hear” a character’s voice in your head, and how to accept criticism and editing of my work. It’s akin to an apprenticeship, where you gradually learn the different parts of the job until you’re finally cleared and released to go off on your own.

My novella, Model Student, actually originated as a fanfiction story. It was quite a divergence from the original material to start with, using a fairly small proportion of the main characters’ backstories, so I didn’t have a long way to go to make it fully original. The other two stories I’ve had accepted have been fully original, as is the novel I’m working on now for National Novel Writing Month. I have multiple other original stories in the works as well. I still write fanfic, but chances are those stories will stay in the fanfic realm.

From here, my goal is just to continue writing. I don’t plan to make writing a career, since I’ve been that route already. I don’t want that kind of pressure on a regular basis again. In the end, I’m doing this mostly as a hobby. The fact that I can get paid for it is just a very nice bonus!

Featured Book

Model Student
Author: Shae Connor
Publisher details: Dreamspinner Press

Genre: GLBT

Buy Link

Making his living as a model allows Aaron Stevens to pay his way through film school at NYU. While on a photo shoot, he meets Matt Carson, a journalism student who wants to interview Aaron for his senior project, and they feel an instant connection that catches them both off guard.

As their relationship develops over the next week, they open up to each other about their pasts, but attraction won't be enough to keep them together unless they can share their secrets too.

EXCERPT

Look Out For

Sharing Christmas

This will be released in December as part of the 2010 Advent Calendar Set Naughty or Nice series of short stories

Pre-order HERE

Description:

Santa's got a list, and he's checking it twice. Will you tell if your lover's been naughty or nice? In these stories, the winter holidays will shine brightly whether with sweetest love, cackling laughter, or blistering passion. Get a story a day in the month of December, all with holiday flair. Your Christmas present to yourself!

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About Shae

Shae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she works for the government by day and reads and writes about pretty boys falling in love by night. She’s been making up stories for as long as she can remember, but it took her a long time to figure out that maybe she should start writing them down. Now, she usually has far too many stories in progress, but when she does manage to tear herself away from her laptop, she enjoys running, hiking, cooking, and traveling, not necessarily in that order.

Shae posts short reviews, drabbles, and thoughts on writing and editing at

Her blog,http://shaeconnor.blogspot.com.

You can contact her at shaeconnorwrites AT gmail.com

or follow her on Twitter @shaeconnor.

 

Welcome to the world of publishing Shae and I wish you every success.…..

5 Speak To Me:

Tam on 5 November 2010 at 11:41 said...

Great piece EH. I read Shae's story and quite enjoyed it. I thought the boys seemed like young men, as sometimes I think guys that age are either written as much more mature. I'm getting the Christmas anthology so I'll look forward to Shae's story.

Congrats on getting published Shae and good luck with NaNoWriMo. I've heard it's tough. :-)

Erotic Horizon on 5 November 2010 at 20:10 said...

Thanks Tam...

Sad to say I missed Shae works in my last buying haul, but I have it on my list for the next time...

I love the blurb on the book and really looking forward to reading it now..

E.H>

Blodeuedd on 5 November 2010 at 20:22 said...

Nice post, and lol on the ink :)

Erotic Horizon on 7 November 2010 at 21:58 said...

@Blo.

Thanks for coming by hon..

:)

Shae Connor on 8 November 2010 at 14:58 said...

Thanks again, E.H>!

@Tam Thanks for the extra boost! NaNo's going well so far, but there's still a long way to go. :)

@Blodeuedd Glad you liked it! That line about the ink always makes me snicker, too. :)