Tuesday, 17 September 2013


This is Shannon McRoberts!
I told you she was beautiful, but here is what you don't know about her in her own words:
My name is Shannon McRoberts.  I am an independent artist, author, and poet.  I have been self-publishing books of all kinds since 2005.    My first book was a poetry book called Poetry for the Chronically Heart Broken and Depressed.  That book has since been replaced with a more robust collection called Erosion of the Heart.  This book is also available in paperback and eBook formats!   

My first ever sci-fi book, The Secret of Genetic Corp X, has been compared to Blade Runner.  I also recently re-released this book in paperback.  

My favorite books, The Daughter of Ares Chronicles, feature Athine, an immortal born goddess that I created for the series.  In these stories, I take mythologies of all kinds and turn them on their ears!  You think you know about gods, dragons, and vampires?  Think again!  

When I am not working or creating fantasy worlds for my characters to live in, I enjoy being lost in MMORPGs, good books, Poser, and the company of my friends and family.  

I currently live in Kentucky with my wonderful husband and beautiful daughter.  

 Who hid the camera crew under our table?
As it is Shannon's Birthday today, we decided to grab a movie and spend some time together. The mall is packed for a weekday. We are exhausted from the long wait in the queue not to mention thirsty. There is a less than an hour left before Daughter of Ares Chronicles - The MOVIE starts. At a nearby cafĂ© we settle our comfy little rear ends on some cushy seats and rest our elbows on the table while we look at the menus.
"What are you having?" I ask Shannon.
"Oh, the Chocolate Milkshake of course!" She winks and smiles.

"Excellent choice, I'll have the same," I put the menu down and rub my hands together in anticipation. The waitress takes our orders and menus before she dashes off to the next table.

"I know, right? I'm so clever some times," she does a little jiggle to go with her joke. 
I give a big chuckle and look around the packed cafe. "So this should be fun, huh?"
"FFUUUN? I haven’t heard of this word before." She tilts her head to the side in gest. "Lately, all I do is work and work and write books.  Occasionally I sleep.  Maybe that is fun? Sometimes I get to play Guild Wars 2, like once a year."

"Pht! I know what that is like! Good thing we are getting out today," I try not to think about work.
"Yeah, my free time is often usurped by my soon to be 5 year old daughter. However, on days when she is watching her favourite show or playing a fun game I can get away with working on my books or my art.  Even sometimes I get to play a game of Guild Wars myself!" she states in an almost naughty and guilty manner, but her face radiates joy.
I'm about to respond when the waitress brings our ice cold Chocolate milkshakes. We both take a huge gulp.
"Brain freeeeeeeeze," we both squeal simultaneously.
As soon as my vision returns, I decide to ask her about her book. "How long does it take you to write a book, by the way?"
"I started writing the first installment in 2009 while on maternity leave. I don’t remember when I actually finished it. However, as soon as I got done with that one, book 2 appeared in my mind, then 3, and then 4. I was done with book four at the end of 2012. I stayed up for two days and wrote that one.  I then didn’t get Verses of Athine all edited and cleaned up to the wonderful example I have now until April of 2013 when it was released in paperback. So, really maybe about 4 years." Her eyes widen to accentuate her last statement, "it takes a lot to write, raise a child, and work a day job!"
"Oh Lordie!! Don't tell me you are one of those supermoms I'm so jealous over?" My eyes almost refuse to assume their normal position, after I rolled them so high.
Shannon bursts out in laughter and gives me don't be stupid look. "I’m just your average mother.  Working every day to get food on the table….I just happen to have an awfully creative center! My ultimate dream, like so many others, is to make enough money to stop worrying about the day job and focus on writing. I could literally be writing 2 to 3 books every other month if I could just sit down and write. However, real life likes to intrude on my fantasy adventures!"
"Yeah,  real life and working full time sucks!" In order to not sound like a whiney 5 year old, I add a positive spin, "But then again, there is nothing sexy about a struggling author." I laugh at my own lame joke. "So, what's sexy to you?"
"I don’t generally classify anything as sexy. I guess most of my artwork could be seen as a certain kind of sexy. I am not one of those people that will be like oh that is incredibly sexy….I just don’t operate like that," she begins to speak in a robot voice, "--warning, does not compute….syntax error?" I'm laughing so hard I almost knock my milkshake over.
"Aw boy! You are a regular Carol Burnett with the mind of Anne Rice, you know that?" I state.
"Anne Rice?" Shannon questions and turns serious, "Anne Rice! She got me to read, enjoy it, and fall in love with  vampires and witches even more." Shannon exclaims.
"Okay, so I guess now I who your author hero is!" I snort and then burst out laughing again. WTF?     
Shannon shakes her head and smiles before taking another few sips from her milkshake. 
"So, there's a huge cast in this movie!" I change the topic.
Shannon seems excited. "Yeah, the main ones are Jaimie Alexander that plays Athine , Bridget Regan who is Harmonia, Morena Baccarin portrays Nikeda and Jason Momoa is A’tiasul."
She says the names so fluently, had I not read the books I would have responded with Bless You.
Instead I shake my head. "Shit! I still can't believe they made your book into a movie. They say that the graphics are better than Lord Of The Rings, Narnia and Harry Potter! What made you write the story in the first place?"
Shannon looks up and thinks for a second. "Verses of Athine is actually four books under one cover.  I wrote the first “verse” one day on a whim. I was so tired of not having Buffy or Xena anymore.  Ever since I was little, I have been looking for those great female leads.  The ones that focus on the “not in distress” damsel. You know the kind where she can take your head off in 5.3 seconds."              
"I know! Give me a strong women over some finger twiddling little girl any day!" I almost look like a preacher with my hands in the air. "Please tell me your next project is the same kind of thing?"
"Well, there is Cursed Bloods, which follows directly after Verses of Athine.  This will focus on the Cursed Bloods and their invasion of Zarra’s realm, Ythofra.  It will also give you more information on what happened to the dragons (Shutharja) and their queen.  There are many twists and turns involved.  I have a possible book 6 in the Daughter of Ares Chronicles cooking in my mind, but I also have a totally different kind of paranormal book cooking in my notebook right now!" Shannon looks absolutely stunning with her glorious grin and glittering eyes as she beams about her work.
I purse my lips and nod. "Sounds like somebody is going to be a huge success!" I smile.
"Mmmmm...I’d like to measure success in dollars and cents, but life is more than money, although I wouldn’t object to having more of it.  I think I measure success based on how cool I sound on paper.  I’m pretty awesome.  I had goals and I obtained them. When people at my job or my mother’s office see my book or my artwork they are like WHY are you working this dead end job?  I usually reply “starving artist” doesn’t pay for the mortgage.  I really do think I could be more successful in the art and the book world if I wasn’t 1) shy and 2) promoted myself more in real life and 3) would move away from the small town I live in...which I won’t because I have that pesky mortgage!"
"Hey!" I say. "One of these days you will pay of that mortgage and then some!" I encourage her.
"Aw thanks" she gushes. "I think mostly my art work pushes me to create stories behind the characters.  Then my characters inspire me especially when I write a story with lots of plot twists and turns.  Then my fans inspire me because they so get what I just did and they are as excited as I was about it.  That is what I really want….people to read my stuff and be like WOW!  OMG! That keeps me going when the going gets tough."
"I feel exactly the same!!" I think the amazement was pretty evident on my face, because Shannon just nodded like she got me. It is such a great moment that I don't want to end it, but then mother nature decides to intervene.
"Hey, we should get going but first I need to visit the little girl's room," Shannon looks at her watch and then picks up her bag.
"Right then, off we go!"

Shannon could be you friend too...

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