Valentine Giveaway!

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Valentine’s Giveaway!

My MC Kara is a baker and she thinks winning a Valentine’s baking contest will help her escape life, so in honor of Kara, I’m giving away a hardcover copy of From Where I Watch You, baking treats, and writerly treats!

Enter a comment here, or Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram (@Shannywriter) or Facebook (Shannon Grogan). RT’s and shares get you another entry! Ends noon on February 14th! Good luck and thanks  for entering!

Sorry, US only!

If you’d like to enter my Goodreads giveaway, click here. Ends February 23rd 🙂

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YA Scavenger Hunt

 

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Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors…and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from authors, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize–one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

scavenger hunt

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are SIX contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all!

I am part of the GOLD TEAM–but there is also a red team, blue team, orange team, red team, and an indie team for a chance to win a whole different set of signed books!

If you’d like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.

SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE

Directions: Way below, you’ll notice that I’ve listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the GOLD team, and then add them up (don’t worry, you can use a calculator!).

Entry Form: Once you’ve added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.

Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian’s permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by October 5th, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.

Today, I am hosting Maureen McGowan on my website for the Scavenger Hunt! Maureen-8068-LR-Color-200x300Maureen has always loved writing fiction, but side-tracked by a persistent practical side, it took her a few years to channel her energy into novels. After leaving a career in finance and accounting, she hasn’t looked back.

Aside from her love of books, she’s passionate about films, fine handcrafted objects and shoes.
Maureen grew up in various Canadian cities and her previous career moved her to Palo Alto and Philadelphia, before she settled in Toronto, Canada where she attends the Toronto International Film Festival each year.

Find out more information by checking out Maureen’s website or find more about GLORY here!

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Glory is a Deviant. That is what she was always taught, growing up in the domed city of Haven. She has the power to kill with her gaze, but she’s learned to control this power and use it only against the monstrous Shredders, who survive on the asteroid dust that mutated their DNA.

Now living in a settlement Outside, Glory has the chance to embrace her “Gift” and reunite her remaining family. But she can’t hide from the threat of Shredder attacks or the knowledge of what Management is doing to the employees of Haven.

Can she face losing everything she has left to bring freedom to Haven? Will she choose the familiar safety of Cal’s love or risk Burn’s dangerous passion? Ultimately, Glory must decide how far she is willing to go to keep her family safe, and what it really means to be a monster.

This is the thrilling finale to The Dust Chronicles trilogy.

And don’t forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books, by me, Maureen, and more! To enter, you need to know that my favorite number is 25. Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the Gold Team and you’ll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!

Enter a comment below to enter my separate giveaway–another signed hardcover of From Where I Watch You, plus bookmarks and bone sprinkles! If you follow me on Twitter, or tell me you are a teacher or librarian you get a double entry!

***UPDATE: Giveaway over, the winner was Kat Stiles!***

Oops comment box not showing and I can’t fix, so just Tweet me @Shannywriter to enter!

CONTINUE THE HUNT!

To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author, Rachel Harris!

My Debut YA Novel is out!

My debut YA novel From Where I Watch You released on August 4th, so I’m a little late to post!

It’s available via all links below, but if you wanted to order a personalized signed copy, please contact The Sequel Bookstore in Enumclaw, WA, (360)825-3144

Or call the University Book Store at 206-545-4363 to order. They have signed copies in stock. Free shipping in the U.S.!

Order links:

Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Thank you!!

The Debut Club: An interview with Shannon Grogan, author of FROM WHERE I WATCH YOU

The Sweet Sixteens

Sweet Sixteener Julie Eshbaugh recently spoke to Fearless Fifteener Shannon Grogan about her debut YA thriller, FROM WHERE I WATCH YOU (August 4, 2015 from Soho Teen).

About the Author: 

Shannon GroganShannon Grogan is a second grade teacher who writes at night (and while her kids are at ballet and baseball) in a small logging town east of Seattle. She holds degrees in education, and graphic design/Illustration. When she isn’t writing, she’s baking, reading, watching scary movies, and wishing she were at the beach. You can find out more about her online at www.shannongrogan.com.

Visit Shannon at Goodreads.

About FROM WHERE I WATCH YOU:

From Where I Watch You by Shannon Grogan

Reeling from the aftermath of her sister’s drowning and the collapse of her family, 16-year-old Kara focuses on what she knows best: baking cookies. Winning a prestigious baking contest could take her away from a miserable home life. But someone is watching and leaving threatening notes: Kara has…

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Release Day: ZEROBOXER in Gifs

Yay Fonda!!

2015 YA & MG Debut Authors

ZEROBOXER hits shelves today.

Here’s how I’m feeling, having finally reached publication day:

Here’s a description of the book using words:

A Sci-Fi Thrill Ride Set in the Action-Packed Sports Arena of the Future

A rising star in the weightless combat sport of zeroboxing, Carr “the Raptor” Luka dreams of winning the championship title. Recognizing his talent, the Zero Gravity Fighting Association assigns Risha, an ambitious and beautiful Martian colonist, to be his brandhelm––a personal marketing strategist. It isn’t long before she’s made Carr into a popular celebrity and stolen his heart along the way.

As his fame grows, Carr becomes an inspirational hero on Earth, a once-great planet that’s fallen into the shadow of its more prosperous colonies. But when Carr discovers a far-reaching criminal scheme, he becomes the keeper of a devastating secret. Not only will his choices place everything he cares about in jeopardy, but they may…

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Fearless Fridays: Fonda Lee Describes the Publishing Experience Using Horror Movie Gifs

2015 YA & MG Debut Authors

I confess: I am a wuss when it comes to scary movies. I am 100% down with thrilling, suspenseful, or violent. Bring all that. But when it comes to full on scary—you know, the kind of movies with blurry poster images of screaming faces and tag lines like “Evil Awaits”—I am a sad coward.

I attribute this to the fact that I suspend disbelief way too easily. This is a helpful trait when it comes to being a speculative fiction reader and writer, but if you tell me that Candyman will appear if you say his name five times in the mirror, or that I’ll die in seven days if I watch this creepy video—well, damn I kinda believe you and now I’m not leaving the spot under this table.

Since this is Fearless Friday, I thought it would be appropriate for me to use one of my fears—scary movies—to describe…

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It’s Not Just Tax Day

2015 YA & MG Debut Authors

If you just finished your taxes, great job! We’ve got some great links to help you unwind…

Book Deals and Rights Sales

Gail Nall and coauthor Jennifer Malone sold a new book! PLEASE RSVP will come out with Aladdin in Summer 2015, with a sequel to follow that fall.

Interviews and Cool Posts

Shannon Grogan shares her query and a day-by-day account of her journey from querying writer to agented author.

Shallee McArthur reveals a few revision secrets for creating tighter plots and molding deeper characters.

Sharon Roat interviews Lucy Connors about the release of her latest book, THE LONESOME DOVE.

Fonda Lee dishes on being an Asian-American writer in her interview with V.T. Bidania.

Cover Reveals

YA Books Central has the cool cover of Fonda Lee’s ZEROBOXER (and if you click that second link, you can enter to win an ARC!).

Simon P. Clark reveals the…

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scbwi & my agent story

I’ve been messing around my website here and realized I’ve never done a blog post (at least that I can find, or remember) about signing with my agent, Sarah Davies of Greenhouse Literary. I did have a page on here for awhile about it but it’s time to take it down and make room for other things, so I thought I’d turn it into a blog post, so I can keep it forever. 🙂

During my querying years, I always wished that every writer would post their queries and query stories on their websites/blogs since the agent query process is such a HUGE part of this publishing journey.  With the first novel I queried I sent out over 120 query letters over the course of almost a year and a half. I had five requests out of those 120 queries. Five. Five requests, 120+ rejections. Ugh.

For the next novel I kept the query in mind while I was writing, and I had a file where I’d stick little query notes for the time I would need them. With the last novel I had bought Elana Johnson’s online book From the Query to the Call, so I started with her awesome format. I started writing my query in the summer (before I started sending it out in December), and worked on it a little at a time for almost 5 months! Of course during that time I was also revising my novel. I had my critique partners critique the query for me and then I was ready to send it! So here are my stats for this novel:

Query 1: 12/12/12 (uh, I thought submitting on this date would bring me luck)

Reject 12/13/12 (obviously it didn’t!)

Query 2: 12/12/12

Reject 1/30/13

Query 3: 12/18/12

Reject 12/19/12

So, after Query 3, I was having flashback feelings of the first novel I queried! So I went back to the query drawing board for tweaking. I had just bought Mary Kole’s book and started at the end, with her query help section. Reading this helped me fine-tune it a little bit! But… it was January, and I always hate January! Holidays were over, I had to go back to the classroom and practically start over with my kindergartners, and go on a diet. Ugh! Surely January couldn’t bring me luck. I almost waited until February to start querying again.

Little did I know this would be my best January ever!

Query 4: 1/2/13

No response

Query 5: 1/4/13

1/21/13 Full request (wishes of good luck as she bowed out later due to my offers of rep)

Query 6: 1/7/13

Reject 1/16/13

Query 7: 1/8/13

Same day Full request (bowed out later due to my offers of rep–didn’t have time to read yet)

Query 8: 1/10/13

1/11/13 Full request

1/21/13 offer of rep! (from an agent who rejected my last story)

Query 9: 1/10/13

1/16/13 Full request

1/22/13 offer of rep! (from an agent who rejected my last story)

Query 10: 1/10/13

1/14/13, Full request (this agent knew I had offers and I was confused by their emails regarding   if they were still reading or  not, or bowing out.)

Query 11: 1/11/13

1/16/13, Partial request

1/22/13 reject

Query 12: 1/12/13

1/14/13 Full request

1/17/13 offer of rep!

Query 13: 1/16/13

Same day Full request

1/19/13 offer of rep! (from an agent who rejected my last story)

Holy cow. I walked around like a dork with my mouth hanging open! The requests blew me away (because of history of course).  Those requests had me in unending smiles. Really. I was over the moon to be getting REQUESTS! And I thought, wow, this so cool, these awesome agents wanting to read my story. But of course the LITTLE VOICE comes in and says, yeah, but they’ll think your story sucks, so I’ll sit back and eat popcorn and wait for the rejections to come.

But then…the offers.

Within that one very fun week in January I had four offers of representation from AMAZING agents! Including Sarah Davies who had been at the top of my list for almost two years! And even though I had the offer from her, the other agents spent the time reading and loving my story that it was very difficult to make the final decision. Actually, this part was painful. It’s no fun to reject anyone.

This is where SCBWI played a part in my query success. I attended my first SCBWI Western Washington conference in 2010 and kept the booklet from it so I could query those agents later. Actually, one of the agents at that conference was one of the agents above to offer rep! I think I’d gotten a request from her because I’d been able to reference that conference in my query and mention that she’d read my first page in a First Pages panel and said that based on that, she would’ve kept reading to the next page!

At my second regional SCBWI conference, in 2011, I was lucky enough to have an MS consultation with Sarah Davies, where she actually nominated my story for a most promising WIP, and asked me to query her when I was ready. Nearly two years later, I queried her. 🙂

My name was listed with a bunch of other writers on the next screen.

My name was listed with a bunch of other writers on the next screen.

So, here is my final query (minus the greeting, word count, etc.):

 

Sixteen-year-old Kara McKinley thinks winning a national baking contest will help her escape her life, which includes her Holy Roller mom and the stalker who might have killed her sister.

Kara is alone.

She tries to be a girl who cuts class to smoke weed. But her sister isn’t around anymore to teach her, or to tell her what a cookie-baking loser she is. And even though her sister is dead, Kara can’t escape what she did to her before she died, or the creepy stalker notes she’s now getting at school.

He watches.

He follows Kara, hiding and leaving her love notes. So when a teacher encourages her to enter a national baking contest, Kara sees her escape–the prize, a scholarship to culinary school in California.

Kara works on her plan for winning the contest but there are distractions: like that guy who hangs out in Mom’s café, the unanswered questions about her sister’s death, and her stalker–he’s getting closer, his notes more frequent and disturbing. Kara has no one she trusts enough to tell, and if she doesn’t figure out who he is, she’ll lose everything. Her chance to escape. And her life.

 

This little query letter brought me to my agent, and this novel is now in the process of becoming my debut with Soho Teen, out next year! If you want to read a little more, here is my success story on QueryTracker.

Querying is both painful and rewarding, an up and down of emotions (as is the submission process, but that’s an entirely different post to come!) and if you are on that ride now, I feel for you, my heart feels for you because I know how hard it is. It’s worth it though, isn’t it? I think so. Every grey hair, every tear, and every pound gained due to gobbling chocolate was worth it because it’s a dream come true. Keep going! And go to writer conferences, especially SCBWI because it makes a difference! ❤ 🙂

ALL FOUR KIDS: An Interview with M.G. Buehrlen, author of THE FIFTY-SEVEN LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE

2015 YA & MG Debut Authors

We are so excited to share with you an interview with M.G. Buehrlen, whose YA Sci-fi THE FIFTY-SEVEN LIVES OF ALEX WAYFARE is out right now!

 For as long as 17-year-old Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Visions that The57LivesOfAlexWayfare-144dpimake her feel like she’s really on a ship bound for America, living in Jamestown during the Starving Time, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World’s Fair.

But these brushes with history pull her from her daily life without warning, sometimes leaving her with strange lasting effects and wounds she can’t explain. Trying to excuse away the aftereffects has booked her more time in the principal’s office than in any of her classes and a permanent place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Alex is desperate to find out what her visions mean and get rid of them.

It isn’t until…

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