Since there seem to be a lot of new people around (what with the new book release, and all), I thought I'd do a welcome/intro post.
Hi, and greetings! In case you aren't here because you read my books, I'm Shanna, and I'm a writer. I generally post Monday through Friday, unless I'm out of town, and sometimes on Saturday if I'm bored or think of something to say. I talk about a lot of random stuff. Topics likely to be addressed include books, writing, the publishing world, movies, television, life in general, and geeky type stuff. I don't talk about reality TV (other than to mock it). Most of the TV I discuss seems to involve things like spaceships and aliens. Sometimes I do interviews with other authors. I occasionally do "book reports" of books I've read that I want to recommend. I generally don't say negative things about specific books because, for one thing, I don't have time to talk about all the books I like. I certainly don't have time to spend bashing a book. For another thing, since other authors can be seen as "competition," I feel like I have a bit of conflict of interest, so book talk should stay positive. I have no such qualms about movies or TV.
I generally try to talk about writing -- the craft or the business of it -- on Wednesdays (Writing Wednesdays, get it?). Every other week I do a more general post that also goes out to a mailing list, but at other times I may do something on a writing topic that's more aimed at regular readers of this blog, who seem to have a lot of common interests. I am open to questions about writing or publishing that you want to see addressed. Just leave a comment.
I copy the same blog content to three different places, LiveJournal, Blogger and MySpace. That way you can find me in the easiest way for you (or that isn't blocked at work). Most of the discussion in comments seems to happen at LiveJournal, and that's where I'm most likely to respond, since that's more of my own personal hangout and I simply like the form factor for commenting there better. Regular commenters range from readers I've never met to readers I've since met at some event or another, to people I know from conventions, to online friends from my pre-book days to real-life friends, some of whom have known me for more than twenty years. Mom pops up from time to time, too (so keep it clean). My general policy on responding to comments is that I will respond if I have something to say to add to the discussion. Unless I'm really bored and procrastinating, with the volume of comments there sometimes is and with my work schedule (or what my work schedule should be), I can't really manage to respond to absolutely everything. If I don't respond to your comment, it just means that you said it all and I have nothing to add (or that I'm really busy and being good by not playing online). It doesn't mean I don't love you.
Because I'm not married and don't have adorable children or pets to talk about, there aren't really any regular "characters" who get mentioned here from my day-to-day life. There are the parents, sometimes referred to as the Parental Units or "the folks." I do not live in their basement. I have my own house about two hours away, which means we can keep in touch pretty easily and talk often. We've managed that fun transition toward me being a real adult so that we're now actually friends in addition to the parent/child relationship. Then there's the person known as "my anchorman" who is the weekend local news anchor I've had a huge crush on for years (my longest-lasting relationship so far). He went to the same journalism school I did, but at a different time. I have e-mailed him (but to compliment the newscast, not to tell him I want to have his babies), and that, sadly, did not manage to turn into an ongoing correspondence that led to him wanting to meet me. He also didn't seem to be intrigued by the article about me in the newspaper last year so that he felt compelled to contact me. I'm always working on schemes to meet him and then chickening out of them. It's an ongoing thing. The latest is that I may need to visit a TV newsroom for the book I've started working on, since one of the characters is a TV reporter and I haven't worked in TV news since 1990, and things have changed since then. Of course, it will have to be that station, since it's the sister station of the place where I worked. Otherwise, I generally try to respect my friends' privacy, though I do mention writer friends by name when I run into them at writing-related events, since it's good book karma to help promote your writer friends.
Finally, I found my battle cry, and it even sounds like something I might do/say: