- Anna P.
Indie Support Sunday: S.O. Callahan
I will admit that while I enjoy seeing all of Shannon’s posts, I still haven’t picked up her debut, Fella Enchanted. Everything about this book intrigues me from the title, blurb and of course the gorgeous cover. It’s part of my winter reads, along with the second book—Fella Ever After.
As a fellow ‘22 Debut author, Shannon’s stories combine fairytales and historical romance to give you a story that obviously can’t be missed. Like a lot of writers, Shannon started writing her stories on printer paper that was later stapled together to create a makeshift book of sorts. While writing is something she does on the side, she’s not completely shutting down the chance to maybe one day write full time.
Fella Enchanted and Fella Ever After are available in Kindle Unlimited.
What inspired you to write—was it another author or books you read as you grew up?
I’ve always loved to tell stories. Before I could even write, my first books were just folds of printer paper stacked and stapled together. I would decorate the pages with stickers and force my family members to listen to a new version of the story every night. Eventually, I moved on to writing in any notebook I could find, and the rest is history.
Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in?
Love stories are my favorite. There’s something about those sweet, tender moments that just make my heart so happy.
Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?
Self-publishing allowed me to be in control of every part of the process. For me, writing is something I do for fun. It’s a hobby. So I didn’t want to put pressure on myself to meet deadlines, change things I didn’t want to change, etc.
What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?
The best part is sharing my stories with other people who love the same things I do! All of my work comes from my heart, so when someone else enjoys something I’ve written, I just feel so lucky to have been able to make that connection.
The hardest part has been marketing. I am not a social media pro by any means, so I’ve had to learn how to effectively share my work with others. It’s been a fun process, but sometimes I see the instant success of traditionally published books and I wonder what it would be like!
Do you write full time or is this something you do on the side? And would you want to write full time?
I would love to write full time! But right now it’s just a hobby that I enjoy very much.
Other than writing, what is something you enjoy and are really good at?
I love reading, of course. I also enjoy baking and needle felting.
If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?
Oooh, that’s a tough question. I think I would have to stick with historical fiction.
What are some of your all time favourite books—ones that you recommend to people or can reread multiple times?
Nicholas Evans is my favorite author — I’ve read his books several times over. But I find new books that I love all the time. This year my favorite so far has been Prince of the Sorrows by Kellen Graves, another fantastic queer fantasy romance!
What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?
Write, write, write, write, and have fun.
Can you briefly tell me about your book(s)?
My debut novel, Fella Enchanted, is a new adult queer fantasy romance set in a fictional 1890s Ireland. The story follows Peter after he’s recovered from a serious illness that swept through his village. His life has settled back into a somewhat normal routine, only to be upturned by the arrival of Breck, a rare new face. Quirky and confident, Breck takes a special interest in Peter, convincing him to come out of his protective shell and learn how to heal emotionally. Peter soon discovers that there’s much more to Breck’s story, as well, and that fairy tales aren’t just for children.
Of your book(s), who is your favourite character?
I think my favorite has to be Breck, because he’s the first one I could really see clearly in my mind when I started writing Fella Enchanted. He was the one who inspired the story to become what it did. Plus he’s just a cinnamon roll of a character! I loved writing him.
What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?
Fella Enchanted allowed me to combine so many of my favorite things: romance, fantasy, historical fiction, nature, horses, Ireland. I had a rough idea of the story I wanted to tell and used those things to craft it into something I had a lot of fun writing.
How much of yourself do you put into these characters?
So much! They all have little bits and pieces of things I find important, struggles I’ve faced in my own life, etc. I think it’s the best way to make characters relatable and lovable (even the ones that don’t do very lovable things sometimes).
When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?
I hope readers will feel the passion and fun behind my writing. It comes from my heart. And with any luck, they’ll finish the last page with a big smile because I’m a sucker for a happy ending!
What is a story/stories that you really want to tell?
I have so many exciting story ideas saved for the future! I think my biggest struggle will be deciding which project to focus on next. Another historical fiction, or maybe a contemporary to switch things up a little? We’ll see what happens.
What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?
Right now I’m working on book #2 for Fella Enchanted! Get ready for lots more sweet, silly moments between Peter and Breck.
What are your most and least favourite tropes?
Most favorite tropes would probably be friends OR enemies to lovers and forced proximity. Least favorite is anything with a yuck factor. I also really dislike most pet names if that counts. haha. They are just so cringey!
What are some tropes you want to write in the future?
I would love to attempt an enemies to lovers storyline, but I’m not sure I’ll be any good at it. Sweet romance is my wheelhouse.
What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?
I think romance looks different for every person, and that needs to be reflected in books, too. Not every couple has hot, steamy, traditional sex every night. Not every couple has to get married, have children, etc. A “perfect love story” is still fun to read about, but I enjoy it so much when I read a story about two real, imperfect characters finding love despite everything that is telling them they’ll never find it.
What is your favourite thing about the romance genre?
The romance genre gives me my fix for Happily Ever After endings. That’s all I’m really looking for.
THIS OR THAT
Ebooks or audiobooks
Historical romance or romantic suspense
Single and Dual POV
Standalones or series (Depends — I like standalone for contemporary romance and series for fantasy romance.)
Music or silence while writing (Usually silence unless I need to get into a specific mood for what I’m writing.)
Plotter, pantser or plantser (Total pantser! I start with the roughest idea and some character names and let the rest play out as my creativity sees fit.)
Tea or coffee
Cold or warm weather
Morning person or night owl
Illustrated cover or photo cover
To stay updated on all her book news, follow Shannon on Instagram!