Indie Support Sunday: Shannon Nikole
Every time I discover another 2022 Debut author, I get really excited. So when I saw someone sharing the cover and blurb for Shannon’s book, I had to get my hands on it.
But beyond that, I’m just so happy for Shannon because she’s now a published author and her dreams are all finally coming true! Writing contemporary romance with a suspense twist is truly a skill and I am so excited for the world to discover Shannon’s books and fall in love with them. But, I’m also really looking forward to what else is in store for Shannon and her stories.
Have you got your copy of Finding Starlight yet? Click the link to make that happen and then keep reading to get to know everything about Shannon!
What inspired you to write—was it another author or books you read as you grew up?
I’ve always loved writing and often used it as a form of escapism growing up. It’s always felt like a necessity for me—whether it’s a poem, a one-liner, or a short story. I’m drawn to it. My dream has always been to write a book but I never thought it was possible. Until now.
Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in?
The romance genre is relatively new to me, actually. It wasn’t until COVID hit that I really began to embrace the genre which resulted in a huge binge of romance novels. I was hooked after reading all of Devney Perry and Catherine Cowles’ books. Those authors introduced me into the romance world and I haven’t looked back since.
Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?
The flexibility to be on my own timeline was a huge thing for me. I didn’t want to feel rushed to put something out into the world that might not have been ready. Beyond that, though, I really like having a hand in every step of the process. It’s been a huge learning experience and a lot of hard work but having that freedom to do what I wanted was super important to me. ’m also not sure I would have had the patience to go through the trad publishing route but I wouldn’t mind giving it a go in future.
What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author?
The best part is all of the wonderful people that I’ve met on this journey. I’ve made so many wonderful friendships that are so important to me. My life has genuinely changed because of the friendships I’ve made. I’ve never felt alone on this journey. The worst part? Feeling overwhelmed with all that is on your plate at all times. But it’s worth it. And I kind of like that overwhelming feeling. Most of the time.
Do you write full time or is this something you do on the side? And would you want to write full time?
I write on the side. I’m currently a full time Business Analyst within the insurance world. But I wouldn’t mind writing full time in the future. Who knows what’s in store for me!
Other than writing, what is something you enjoy and are really good at?
Ooh, if we want to get real weird, I’ll say that I enjoy ghost hunting! It’s my favorite hobby. I also like crafting, though! Crafting sounds more normal.
If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?
YA! I’ve been a lover of YA for a very long time.
What are some of your all time favourite books—ones that you recommend to people or can reread multiple times?
My Year With Eleanor by Noelle Hancock
Tattered by Devney Perry
Tattered Stars by Catherine Cowles
What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?
Find your tribe within the writing community.
Set goals and break them down in order to make them more manageable. Daily goals, weekly goals, etc.
Remember that progress is progress—no matter how small.
If you ever feel stuck, do a writing sprint. Write for 15 minutes and then take a break. Repeat.
Remember to acknowledge how much of a badass you are! You are writing a book! You’ve written a book! You’ve published a book! It’s all amazing and deserves to be celebrated!
Can you briefly tell me about your book?
My debut novel Finding Starlight is a contemporary romance/romantic suspense. It’s set in a small town in Pennsylvania where the female main character, Ellawyn, finds herself a fresh start. With new friends, and a stalker on the prowl, she finds her life flipped upside down.
Of your books, who is your favourite character?
The female main character, Ellawyn. She grows a lot and comes out stronger than ever.
What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?
Finding Starlight’s inspiration began with a real life event and eventually grew from there.
How much of yourself do you put into these characters?
So much of myself can be found within Ellawyn. Most specifically, her backstory. There’s a scene within Finding Starlight where Ellawyn tells the male main character about her past. That scene was so therapeutic to write. It was my opportunity to own how I felt during a dark time within my life and to acknowledge it. Ellawyn gave me a voice to do that.
When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?
I hope the readers can connect to the story and the characters. I hope the characters are well liked.
What is a story/stories that you really want to tell?
Gosh, there’s so many. After my debut series is all wrapped up, I really want to do a standalone about a theory that my family had regarding something that happened a few years ago. It’d be romantic suspense, of course. I’m excited.
What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?
Next up is books 2 and 3 of The Quimby Grove Series. These next two books will still be suspenseful but will be more easy going than Finding Starlight. More playful, more wit/banter. It should be a good time!
What are your most and least favourite tropes?
I love a good single dad trope and marriage of convenience! Least favorite would be love triangles.
What are some tropes you want to write in the future?
I’d love to do an enemies to lovers book or marriage of convenience!
What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?
Mental health and trauma.. I’ve read quite a few books recently that have tackled these subjects head-on and I’m always so impressed. Mental health and trauma impact so many people and it’s nice to see some of these sensitive topics being represented within the books that we read. If you struggle with mental health, you are not alone. If you have experienced a trauma, you are not alone. You are worthy of love, understanding, and your own HEA.
What is your favourite thing about the romance genre?
The happily ever after. The hope. The journey. I love it all.
THIS OR THAT
Ebooks or audiobooks
Historical romance or romantic suspense
Single or Dual POV
Standalones or series
Music or silence while writing
Plotter, pantser or plantser
Tea or coffee Pepsi Zero
Cold or warm weather
Morning person or night owl
Illustrated cover or photo cover