Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Torment, The Shadow, The Heart by T.M. Shannon

The Torment, The Shadow, The Heart
by T.M. Shannon

How do you keep your writing different?

Well, the short answer is: I write it.  I sit down with an idea in mind, and I write it out.  It comes out the way I want it to, things happen that I want to, and people say what I want to.

The long answer is: writing is as personal as your eyes, your voice, your fingerprint.  It’s what makes you you.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for influences: TSH is the perennial farmer with a destiny (Luke Skywalker, anyone?), Talbadas is the perennial “kingdom at risk of attack” (which is virtually every fantasy ever written).

It’s not a new idea: neither is the “famous last stand” (O.K. Corral, The Alamo); or, ”nice girl meets cranky boy; they start off hating but end up loving,” (Mr Darcy, how lovely of you to come!).  Ideas like these will always be with us; it’s the delivery that sets my writing apart.

It comes back to the fact that I write it.  Influences in mind, I’m happy to let slip where the idea for certain aspects (or even particular scenes) came from.  Then it becomes my delivery (my author’s “voice” so to speak), my version of the basic “plot.”

Then it gets expanded, contracted as drafts or edits come and go - in three months, I’ve already gone from the wordier first edition to a leaner (not yet pro-edited) second edition, which is 30 pages shorter and combines a few chapters together in a method I’m using for battle scenes in Volume Two.

It becomes my pride point: this is my style, the way I envision my writing.  And to a point, I will defend it.

Very recently, I got a review on my book.  2 Stars, mostly constructive, a little “snide comment” (prepare yourselves, reviewers don’t quite believe in professional courtesy - sorry about the watermarks, but did you think it’d be nice to tell me personally?).  There are a few style points I’ll correct, but not change 100% because its my writing.

What got me was the reviewer’s “fanboy” opinion on the forging scene.  Without giving too much away, the reviewer found herself lamenting that my writing wasn’t like her favourite author’s.  Two days it shook me (the next time I hope it’s easier!), leaving me thinking, “how dare you suggest I do what another author does?”

The reviewer didn’t understand how it upset me so much.  Well here’s the thing: I’m me.  I’ve spent all my life being me and I’m proud of me.  I write my way, not anybody else’s.  I have my influences, but that’s my sword to forge (and it’s more than just the sword being made - something the reviewer missed in her criticism).  It comes from my heart - and writing is a labour of love.  If you don’t like your writing, it hurts you, and you give it up to do something else.

T. M. Shannon

Genre: Epic/Heroic Fantasy
Publisher: Self-published through
Release Date: 11 February, 2013

Book Description:

“To a kingdom facing darkness, a Hero will come…”

As the King of Talbadas nears his end, and treasonous parties seek to usurp the throne, young farmer Halm Dresden finds that his father’s dying advice, the actions of two elves, and a nightmare vision have put him on a destined path. While impressionable youth and some of his friends join this treacherous league, Dresden has a sword made and prepares for looming conflict…

About The Author:

T.M. Shannon works full time, pays rent, and has a head full of ideas.

He is currently living the dream in Sydney, Australia with his darling other half, and a 99% well-behaved son.

TM Shannon Blog | History of Talbadas | Facebook

Excerpt 1 - “Grab”

Dresden got to his feet, stretched his arms and legs, and cracked his neck and knuckles both. He looked to his family with eyes that no longer showed compassion, but dreadful finality; and he made peace with the possibility that he may never see them again.
Dresden?” Kethis asked uncertainly. Bindie and Gorden peered at him.
This will not be,” he said bluntly, his voice calmly level, different. “I will not have my family, nor the people of my town, fear for their lives.” He had nothing else to say; and having uttered those words, he strode for the hallway.
Mum, where is he going?” Gorden asked excitedly. “Where are you going, Dresden?!”
He moved for the study, his eyes set in cold, calculating slits. “Out for a walk,” he growled…


  1. This sounds like a great read and I wish you all the success on your release:) Pit Crew

  2. Many reviewers have a lot to be desired. I don't want to read a book just like someone else's work. I want your work to be original. It might not be the way I personally like, but that won't mean you didn't succeed.

    1. Thanks Rebecca,

      I'm still getting used to these wonderful foibles (and pratfalls) of being published and getting reviews.

      It's all a learning curve for me!

  3. Great post. I enjoyed reading it! The book sounds great. Enjoy your tour!

    Pit Crew

  4. I would love this book. Have a good time on your tour!

    Pit crew