Tuesday, January 18, 2022

New Release: Shannon Lawrence's The Business of Short Stories, My Favorite Short Story by J.Q. Rose #bookspotlight #booktour

New Release: The Business of Short Stories by Shannon Lawrence

Hello and Welcome to the Focused on Story Blog! 

I am thrilled to introduce you to Author Shannon Lawrence who writes fantasy and horror short stories. But, she isn't here today to share fantastical or scary stories. Instead, she is celebrating the soon-to-be-released business book, The Business of Short Stories. Please note this book contains an excellent chapter on "how-to" write short stories with word counts of 1000-5000 words, but it goes deeper than that. This valuable resource for writers details every step a writer needs to set up a business selling the short stories as products for readers. Writing, submitting, publishing and marketing.

Shannon knows what she's talking about. She has made a career of short stories, with over a decade of experience and more than fifty short stories published in magazines and anthologies. In addition, she's released three horror short story collections with a mix of new and previously published stories. Her true-crime podcast Mysteries, Monsters, & Mayhem is going into its third season. 

I was fortunate to receive the book before Shannon's guest turn this week. As I read, I kept thinking, oh how I wish I had this book twelve years ago when I was trying to break into publishing fiction. Even after all these years, I still found some golden nuggets about this crazy industry within its pages. The book is filled with valuable information in every aspect of writing and beyond. Many of the chapters can be used whether you are penning short stories or books.

I think the most helpful point in the book for me was to have the mindset of treating my work as a product for sale. I am offering an item to customers interested in my book to entertain and/or inform them. As creatives, we kind of dodge the business end of writing. But if you want to sell books, you have to accept you are not only an author but also an entrepreneur. No matter if you are traditionally published or self-published, you are in charge of getting your books into the hands of readers. 

With a touch of humor throughout the book, Shannon spells out (no pun intended) clearly and concisely how to turn writing into a business in these easy-to-read chapter topics. 

The Business of Short Stories
by Shannon Lawrence

 Back of the BookWhether you're looking to add short stories to your repertoire as a solo pursuit or in addition to novel writing, The Business of Short Stories covers every aspect from writing to marketing. Learn the dynamics of short story writing, where to focus your editing efforts, how and where to submit, how to handle acceptances and rejections, what to do with reprints, and how to market yourself and your stories online and in person. The information in The Business of Short Stories has been distilled from over a decade of short story publishing experience so you don't have to learn the hard way. You'll find information on submission formatting, cover letters, querying a collection, sending proposals to writing events, how to create a website, SEO, social media, and so much more. This is an invaluable resource for short story writers.

There's never been a better time to get into short stories!

Release Date: February 1, 2022

Click here to Pre-order the e-Book.
Click here to Pre-order the paperback.

Shannon was curious about my favorite short story. Right away, I knew my answer. The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe. 

Yes, after all these years, I remember the story from high school English class. I bet you read this suspenseful, terrifying story in school too. If you haven't, then stop reading because I reveal the ending!! 

 The narrator in the story wants to convince us he is not insane.  

Poe never names the two characters, the narrator or the old man. The author never explains the relationship, leaving the reader to figure out if the narrator is a servant, a companion, a brother, a caretaker or a lover to the old man in the story. I was shocked at the narrator's actions toward a person whom the narrator confesses he loved. The tension, the suspense conjured up by Poe in describing these scenes kept me glued to the story. The man's bizarre behavior, without a doubt, contradicted his statement that he was not mad. 

The narrator, still maintaining he is not insane, becomes obsessed by the old man's "vulture" eye and murders him, dismembering his body and hiding it under the floorboards. When the police come to his house to check out a report from a neighbor who heard a scream during the night, he proudly allows them into the house to prove his innocence. In fact, he seats them in chairs that are right over the area where he hid the body. He was enjoying his charade, laughing silently at fooling the police.

However, while conversing with the policemen, the narrator hears the thumping of the heart under the floor. The sound continues and becomes louder. He is amazed the police cannot hear it. He becomes agitated when they do not mention the beating heart. Believing they are mocking him, he screams at them and confesses he killed the old man and buried his remains under the floorboards.

I wish I could impart the suspense built up through Poe's words, but I could never do it justice. You'll have to read the story to experience it yourself. 

I began writing stories in second grade and I was (and still am) an avid reader. I had never in my life read such a terrifying story. The powerful writing wrung such terror in my heart and captivated me with the emotion he penned on paper. Poe grabbed me by the throat and shook up my brain. His remarkable storytelling transformed my idea of how to tell a story. I learned how much a well-told story affects the reader. Poe's writing widened my storytelling horizons. No longer creating stories to amuse me, my purpose was to entertain readers and engage them with a memorable experience. From that moment on, I decided to meet that challenge with every word I write.

Thank you, Shannon, for stopping by the Focused on Story blog during your book blog tour today. And thank you for helping me to celebrate the book birthday for Arranging a Dream: A Memoir on your blog, the Warrior Muse.
Click here to visit Shannon as she continues her book release tour.

Author Shannon Lawrence
Connect online with Shannon:


Thursday, January 20, 1pm-3 pm--Workshop on writing life stories--Hernando Computer Club, Senior Center on Rhanbouy St., Spring Hill, FL--Join the club at the site and enjoy the workshop!

Wednesday, Jan 26--Writing and Memoir Coach Danielle Anderson's new release for writers, The Magic of Writing with Heart.


Natalie Aguirre said...

Congrats to Shannon on her new book! It sounds like an excellent resource for short story writers.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

A product for sale - good analogy. Congratulations, Shannon!

J.Q. Rose said...

Yes, Natalie. So much helpful info from birthing the story to getting into reader's hands.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks for stopping by, Alex.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Thank you for that great review, J.Q.! I already told you, but Poe's tale is one of my absolutely favorites. It's stuck with me through all these years, too. Such a phenomenal example of short story writing and building suspense!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Thank you, Natalie, I sure hope so!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Thanks, Alex!

J.Q. Rose said...

You're welcome, Shannon. It's a pleasure to host you. Your book is going to be a great help for writers who are interested in being entrepreneurs!

cleemckenzie said...

Great to see Shannon and her great new book everywhere on the blog-o-sphere.

Pat Garcia said...

Congrats,Shannon! I learned so much about enduring while sending in submissions through your blog on IWSG Day. It helped me to keep at it and I say thank you. I've preordered your book and look forward to reading it.
And thank you JQ for introducing Shannon.
All the best.
Shalom aleichem

Helena Fairfax said...

Thanks for sharing about Shannon's book, JQ. It sounds like a really useful resource for people trying to break into the short story market. The Tell-Tale Heart is one of my favourite short stories, too. I found it absolutely terrifying when I first read it as a teenager!

Marsha said...

Hey, JQ. Interesting how powerful The Tell-Tale Heart still is. I don't let myself drift too far back in memories of this story, because the stress of it all makes me nuts. :) As always, you've done a great review. I've shared.

J.Q. Rose said...

Yes,indeed. Thanks for stopping by.

J.Q. Rose said...

Pat, you have been a lesson for me in not giving up. Thank you for visiting.

J.Q. Rose said...

Yes, I read it in HS. Why do teachers want to scare us to death when teen agers????

J.Q. Rose said...

I think the reason Poe wrote the book was to traumatize teen-agers when reading it and beyond! Even when I know the ending, I am still terrified every time I read the story!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Thank you, Lee!

Shannon Lawrence said...

Thank you, Pat! I've enjoyed seeing your successes and endurance since we met online. I wish you much continued success!

Shannon Lawrence said...

I read it first as a teenager, too, and have loved it ever since. Truly a creepy read! Thank you, Helena.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Thank you so much, Marsha.

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