Shannon tells us about his writing process.
My current book is called Returns. It is a thriller set in the fictional town of Everett Valley, Georgia. The tale revolves around Samuel Carsten. He is a young part time journalist and professor. He is called to the reading of his estranged grandfather’s will to find things are not what they seem. Soon, he is burdened with the knowledge of the horrors of his family. Samuel can choose to bury the unspeakable acts and become extremely wealthy or have the secret exposed and destroy his life.
I have always been fascinated by people that create chaos in the world through their unspeakable acts. I think often times we tend to forget the impact killers have on their own families and the lasting legacy. I was watching a documentary about serial killers when the idea popped into my head. I ran from the room to jot down some notes and the book was born.
I try to develop stories where the reader feels invested in the lives of the characters. When you pick up my book I want there to be expectations of my writing. I want people to know they will have to think, but at the same time it will be a wild ride.
I used to start writing without notes or outlines because I knew where my story was going, but the process seemed slow. Eventually, I started writing rough outlines. The outlines generally do not include dialogue unless I have a line that works out during the process. I have found that the outline format I use is much faster and it keeps me focused with the direction of my works.
I want people to understand that writing should not be about the money. I know many aspiring authors read the great stories about people writing books becoming rich seemingly overnight, but for many of those writers it has been hard work and multiple works that have pushed out which have created the success. The easy way to explain what every writer should do is simple; work. Write a book you are proud of and want to share. Once the book is published, market and write then write and write some more.