Friday, March 25, 2011

Featured Author: Shannan Albright

It was utter coincidence that I scheduled Friday's Featured Author, Shannan Albright for today's post, which just so happens to coincide with the release of her novel, Dark Passion Rising: A Dark Breed Novel. So let's give a warm welcome to Shannan, on what is sure to be a hectic, exciting day!

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I currently live in Las Vegas, NV with my husband of seven years a beautiful step-daughter and two cats and two dogs. When not writing I spend my time oil painting or with my nose in a book. An avid reader I always loved to write and would make up stories and do my own illustrations.  Coming from an artistic family I was kind of the black sheep since I preferred writing and Illustration to the more serious portrait work or still life that my family gravitated to.

Tell us a little about your book:

Dark Passion Rising: A Dark Breed Novel is a Paranormal Romance available from Evernight Publishing on March 25, 2011.

What is your story about?

Tambra Ellis has just had her world turned upside down! Surviving a bite from a Lycan, attracted to one hot vampire guy and now she has to look forward to turning into something from some bad werewolf movie. 

Marcus Valerian has enough on his plate without the added complication of Tambra Ellis. Fiery and independent? Sure. Beautiful with a body made for sin? Oh yeah. And a human cop. Tambra is everything he needs to stay away from.

As leader of the Tribunal’s enforcers it’s up to him to find out why the Dark Breeds are going feral and killing humans in ever increasing numbers. Tambra’s life is in the balance as the secrets of her past place her in the middle of old deceits and a betrayal that will change the world forever.

Will Marcus and Tambra’s love survive or will it be too late?

How long have you been writing? Have you been at this for a while, or is this a new journey?

I have been writing and illustration my stories since a young child. I had some wonderful English teachers in my school years who encouraged me to write and it is from their encouragement that I kept at it.

What inspired you to write Dark Passion Rising?

I was at the Freemont Experience with some friends one night when it struck me. The whole downtown “Old Vegas” feeling would make a great setting for a Paranormal Romance. I got this great idea for a hero and after fleshing him out everything just fell into place. 

What tools have you used in your journey to improve your writing? 

Boy, I have tried so many I can’t even remember them all. The ones that worked the best for me had to be the workshops from other RWA chapters along with several books on GMC, a great one by Tami Cowden on POV and Shayla Black’s workshop on storyboarding  have all been a great help.

Are you a solitary writer, or do you utilize critique groups?

I have always been very solitary but I am starting to get involved with a critique group that I started myself on the internet along with another already established one and find it a great help.

How much of yourself is present in your writing? Do you look back and find that characters possess a little of your own self in them?

I find a little of both to be honest. There are some characters that are nothing like me. It’s those characters that really pull out my best work since I really have to learn their language. I have one heroine that is very difficult for me to write and once I studied her I found out she was too much like me.  

Tell us a little about you, the reader. What authors/genres do you love and why?

I gravitate to the dark and gritty. I love JR Wards Black Dagger Brotherhood and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunters. I love Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy since you can build a world with your own rules I also love Historical Romances since I love history especially dealing with Elizabethan and Middle Ages.
Who is your literary idol and why?

My ultimate idol would have to be Margaret Mitchell. That woman had me front in center in the war. Her characterization of Scarlett was brilliant! She was someone you loved to hate being both bad and good. It’s a character that stays with you long after finishing the book.

Name one character in any book that you would like to share a cup of coffee with. What would you discuss?

That would have to be Vishous from J. R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood. That man is seriously twisted! I could see us discussing his complete devotion to his Shellan Jane, what his take is on his Mother the Scribe Virgin. What would it be like knowing your mother was a Goddess? How someone as brutally abused as he had been could still have sensitivity and at his very core good.  

You mention you're an illustrator as well as an author. Do you approach your art differently than your writing, or is there a comparable creative process involved?

Actually my process is the same. I start with a basic sketch and build out from there. Adding the flesh and bones and the color last. Just like when writing, I do the outline, premise, characters and fill in from there.

How has the small-press experience worked for you? 

So far very well. I got very lucky with Evernight Publishing. They have been very supportive and I have found from the whole process from submission to release to be a great journey.

Aspiring authors often look to those who've made it through the barrier of endless 'no's for advice. Any words of wisdom you'd like to share?

Keep writing. If you love the printed word no one can take that from you. Concentrate on that love you feel when you are writing because that's the real reason any of us do what we do. If you're stubborn and keep at it, take workshops, hone your craft you will get a 'yes' come your way.

Want to learn more about Shannan Albright and her writing? Find her at the following links:

 Thank you, Shannan, for appearing on the blog, and best of luck to you. Enjoy your publication day!

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