Guest Post: The Mortality of a Writer by Shaun Allan


Shaun Allan, author of Sin  is here to share his thoughts with us! Let’s give him a warm welcome!


The Mortality of a Writer

I wonder if one of the reasons I wanted to write a novel – and all the stories and poems I’ve produced along the way – was because I longed to be immortal.

I realise that medical science hasn’t quite advanced to the stage where I can live forever, or at least until the end of an episode of Emmerdale (which feels equally as long), so perhaps my novel is my attempt at achieving that in other ways.

One of my favourite films is Highlander.  Immortals that live forever, unless they are beheaded by another.  Luckily, writers are not so blood-thirsty, especially as we’re told the pen is mightier than the sword.  With no Fountain of Youth spewing forth from my kitchen tap or mystical painting hidden away in my attic, I must succumb to the will of Time and all her minions.

And she is a hard task-mistress.

So.  I have written for as long as I can remember.  Since I could hold a pen, I’m told.  I remember, in school, trying to write my first book.  And failing.  But the stories were there.  English was my favourite subject and I did well at it.  Words have been my friend and kindred spirit almost all my life.

And then there’s the computer.  It is so much a part of life, today, that I’m surprised even a bacon sandwich doesn’t have a built in micro-chip to tell you the fat content, calorie intake and hyperlinks to where you can by the ketchup to go with it.  I have been using computers for only around 8 years less than I have been writing.  My class at school was one of the first to get computers back then, a good 30+ years ago.  You had to take an IQ test to get in – and, yes, they still let me play.

Since then, it’s a rare day when I’m not at a PC.  My full time job is heavily computer based.  My smartphone is almost surgically attached to my hand.

My eyes take a battering.  Staring at a screen all day – and, as much as I tell those I work with about taking breaks, I don’t myself – isn’t a good idea but it can’t be helped.  Add to that the time I spend on my phone.  Plus the fact that I like to relax on an evening, usually later on when I’ve done everything I need to do, and watch a bit of TV.  And I write.

I suppose there’s no wonder that I now need glasses.  Not for close up work, which surprised me as my world is mostly in-my-face, but for distance.  I notice I can’t so easily make out the details on the on-screen Sky guide.  At a concert, the singers and band are a little less distinct.  It was a subtle change.  I didn’t notice I was missing tings.  I put it down to tired eyes after a long day.  It’s not though.

It’s time.  And age (though I’m loathe to admit it).  At 45 years of abuse, my eyes are telling me I need to calm down.  Of course I can’t.  Of course I still need to work and I still HAVE to write.  My eyes must be, I suppose, casualties of war.

I’m not blind, nor am I close to being so.  The thing is, if I couldn’t do my job, well, fair enough.  If I couldn’t write…

So.  Given that Time and Age, two sides of a certain two-pence coin, play roulette with my body and my life, I wonder if I write to stick two fingers at the haughty pair.  I wonder if, by producing a book (especially one so well liked as Sin), I have joined Connor Macleod of the clan Macleod in achieving immortality of a sort.

I might lose my eyesight over it, but at least I won’t lose my head.

Sin by Shaun Allan


Sin is available at:

Also be sure to check out the interview Katelina did last weekend with the main character of Sin, Sin himself!



Author Excerpts

because I enjoyed them so much, I’ve decided to continue the author excerpts year round.  So, in the spirit of spreading the indie author love, I’ll occasionally post excerpts of other authors work. If you’re interested in being featured then please send an excerpt between 500 – 1,000 words, an author bio, links where readers can buy your book, your website or blog link and, if you like, a book cover and/or short blurb about your book to Joleene (at)  Excerpts will be posted on a first come, first serve basis.

If you need some advice about how to choose your excerpt, Edie Ramer has a great article with plenty of advice that you should check out!

What genres am I accepting? Any genre, really. Though I write primarily paranormal romance/thrillers, I have a varied audience. Strong language, hot scenes, and violence are all accepted.

Janurary 2011 Newsletter

Happy 2011! You may have noticed there was no December Newsletter, so this one is going to pull double duty, I’m afraid. Aren’t you excited?

December was a good month on a lot of levels. In the Amaranthine world, I have joined with a group of fellow authors at Indie Authors Unite. Links will be forthcoming when things are finalized. Also, participating in a Holiday sale and doing a Promotional two-day book giveaway shot Shades of Gray sales to the highest they have ever been (not counting the free downloads on smashwords!). I owe a lot of that credit to my fellow authors who have all been chipping in and helping to promote one another.

Another cool thing in December was my author interview at Sinister Echoes. Alannah asked some great questions and we had a lot of fun. If you missed it, check it out.

So what does January have in store? I will be working on the third installment of the series Ties of Blood, as well as a short story project. because of this, I am going to be very slow where book covers are concerned, and in fact I may have to turn some down. I hate the idea of doing that, but I really need to take a month and focus on my writing. I may change my inbox to send a form mail saying something to this effect.

Also, january may well bring about the first book of my friend Jonathan Harvey, aka Jissilly. He has slaved long and hard over Shades of Plaid: A Very Unconventional Weekly Journey Into Christian Living. More details when I have them!

Another exciting thing is the new Daily Samples I will be hosting on my blog. This will be samples from other authors, so that you can get to know their work, too, and maybe find something you like. The first one is already been posted, and if you’re interested in sending me a sample, then please see my blog post with all the instructions.

In return, samples of Shades of Gray have been posted on other author’s blogs. So far it has been featured by Ashlynn Monroe, Linda Prather, and Valerie Maarten. Each one has a different excerpt, so be sure to stop by them all!

All this talk about the third book makes me feel like I should mention the second book. Yes, if you missed it, Legacy of Ghosts, the second installment in the Amaranthine series, is available for purchase! You can pick up your digital copy at Smashwords or Amazon Kindle, or grab a paper back. If you’re interested in an autographed copy then drop me a line at

Legacy of Ghosts cover - fixed

After the events of Shades of Gray, Katelina seeks peace with Jorick, but it’s hard to come by in a world shrouded in secrets and threatened by a brewing storm. Though Kateesha plans to fight the same battle as Jorick’s fledgling, a common enemy isn’t enough to overcome past betrayals, and the tempest explodes into a violent frenzy. Drawn into a deathly conflict, Jorick and Katelina must learn to overcome old regrets, or risk losing their future to the ghosts of their past.

Legacy of Ghosts, the second installment of the Amaranthine series, plunges back into a world of blood and cruelty where the darkness hold dominion and vampires don’t sparkle.

You can read sample chapters at in either whole chapter format or in tiny, blog sized nuggets. Yeah, I’m all about choice.

And why should DVD’s have all the fun? Check out “The Lost Chapters” – aka the “deleted” scenes from Legacy of Ghosts. Stop by and enjoy a snippet of pointless vampire fun!

Now, let’s get on to the

Random Fun

The Interesting link: Don’t Click It Why? because there is nothing to click on this site. An experiment by the institute of interactive research, the interface is designed to give the user several example scenarios and determine whether they miss – or don’t miss – the click. Think your smart phone touch screen, only with a mouse and no tapping. The Explore section is especially cool. See if you can not click for your whole visit.

The Lots-O-Fun link: Free Rice So there’s a good chance that your playing does not feed the hungry, however, the game is addictive anyway. What is it? Basically it’s multiple choice vocabulary questions that go something like:”Basic means” 1-happy 2-friendly 3-flat 4- no frills. sound easy? Oh, it is – then they throw out words like verisimilitude. I made it to level 39 of 60. No good at English? there is also Art, Math, Chemistry, Geometry and Language learning to choose from. A fun time killer!

The Read of the month: Halloween’s Perfect Storm by LC Cooper Halloween is never out of season, especially with this amusing short story about a surprise Halloween haunting. A free read.

The Music of the month: It Doesn’t feel Like Christmas by Toad the Wet SprocketOkay, so it’s one song, and okay, Christmas is over, but come on! It’s free Toad, people! Toad! who doesn’t love them some Toad? Huh? Huh? No sign ups or user names, just click the download button, enter your email address and follow the link they send you.

The Video of the month: Cruel, Cruel Moon song by Paul & Storm, video by Mike Spiff Booth. Sent to me by Jonathan – aka Jissilly – this is a fun, lighthearted and funny song about a big, shiny moon that transforms the singer’s significant into a werewolf so that he fears she may kill him. Fun for the whole family!

(if you have suggestions for the links of the month please email them to me at – you will be credited by whatever name you choose.)

My Updates


I am currently looking for some Affiliates to trade links with. If you have a website and would be interested please let me know!

Looking for Reader Reviews! Have you read the book? Did you like it? Did you hate it? Well write a blurb and let the world know what you think! Please send all reviews to and I’ll post them on the site!

The Terrible Turtle Conspiracy:

The Terrible Turtle Conspiracy is a weekly manga/comic written by Jonathan Harvey and illustrated by Joleene Naylor that tells the story of the giant turtle attack in Tuttlesville and the interconnected aftermath.


Due to changes in Myspace blogging, the Terrible Turtle Conspiracy has moved to a new home at You can subscribe via email to have the latest comic page sent straight to your inbox, or you can read through older comics including the first four chapters, the holiday specials and the ever amazing “I am a Part of the TTTC” special one page promo comics! Come join the fun at!

In October we continued Chapter 5: Missing, in which Harold’s friend Rich hires a detective to find his missing friends, but the investigation gets weirder by the minute…

Read Chapter Five!

And don’t forget the super special 14 page bonus Holiday comic, chock full of turtle dogs, samurai gerbils, and lots of mayhem!

The comic will still be posted on Blogspot as well – Chapter Five – but the official website is certainly superior!

Website Updates

I have finally managed to updated the Cover Art Frequently Asked Questions in an effort to better serve authors seeking book cover art. I have also updated my website at

Check the Links Page for several new links to writers blogs and/or websites. There are some great authors to discover!

I added two flash fiction stories to the Flash Fiction section. The Junior Warlock of Mapleleaf Drive pits a teenage warlock against his neighbor’s evil dog, meanwhile in Attic Treasure Alex finds an old purple quill in the family attic, but harmless fun turns tragic when he and his sister try to use it.

I also added two poems to the Poetry section. Raven Darkness and Something Golden.

The Book Cover Gallery saw the addition of twenty-four new covers including some thrillers, romance, historical, and even sci-fi.

I’ve also added 16 new photos. Here’s a sneak peek at a couple of them:

reaching ice

orange autumn

Flickr Updates

In the last two months I added the following albums to my Flickr account. All of my photography is licensed under Creative Commons license unless otherwise noted. You do not need a Flickr account to view these. Clicking on the links will take you to a photo album with thumbnails.

Misc November 2010
10 photos of rain drops, the moon and my new book.

Branson, Missouri
80 photos of Branson including Christmas lights, landmarks , bridges, and rock faces

13 close up photos of frost.

52 photos of leaves, weeds, trees and a pumpkin

December Snow
29 photos of snow and frost

December Misc
5 photos of the eclipse

Blue Christmas
18 photos of our blue and silver Christmas Tree

Blog Updates:


Lost Chapters: The Black Clique
Jorick explains to Katelina why Vampires prefer black.

Lost Chapters 3: Ask and You Shall Receive
Katelina and Jorick discuss Loren’s history

Just in Case
You never know when you might need to defend yourself against a vampire…

In an Alternate Universe Part 1
Fan fiction written by Jonathan Harvey

Lost Chapters 4: Jorick of Oz
Who knew Jorick wouldn’t find a snowball amusing?

In an Alternate Universe Part 2
A second fan fiction written by Jonathan Harvey

In an Alternate Universe Part 3
After two rounds of Jonathan Harvey fan fiction, Jorick revolts.

Lost Chapters 5: They Say
The story of where the coffins come from

Smashwords explained
Smashwords eBook publishing explained for Readers and Authors

Lost Chapters 6: That Would be Cheating
The finer points of mind control in battle.

Seven Author Principles
Written off of the article Seven Principles to Build a Great social Network

Six Sentence Sunday
Six sentences from Shades of Gray for the weekly blog event

Vampires Get Depressed, Too
A fun YouTube video

The New Google eBooks program
Google eBooks explained.

Holiday Sale
Multi Author, Multi Genre event

Six Sentence Sunday
Six more sentences from Shades of Gray for the weekly blog event

Join Me
For an awesome author interview on Alannah’s blog, Sinister Echoes!

Lost Beginning
The original beginning for book 3: Ties of Blood

New Beginning
The new, unedited version of Ties of Blood

Vampire Paper Dolls
A very cool set of vampire paper dolls from Dover.

Author Excerpts
Now accepting samples of authors work to post on my blog through the month of January

Eternal Gift by Ashlynn Monroe
An excerpt of Ashlynn’s paranormal erotica, Eternal Gift


Legacy of Revolt
Short Story. After I loan my characters to Jonathan, they revolt!

More Book Covers
Book Covers for The Gypsy, You’re Next, Adaire Park, & Before You

The Party
A silly short story about a costume party that goes horribly wrong

Book Covers Round 2
Book Covers for Monster Story, The Shoestring Greeting Card Company, Uncommon Bond & Here Begin the Lessons.

Even More Book Covers
Covers for Photographing Love, The Blooms Between Death and Reincarnation, Owner’s Manual for Injury Prevention, Insatiable Love, The Cry of the Morning Glory, Siddhartha Gautama, The Pleasure of Rustics & An Anthology of Deady Mysteries.

A Couple More Book Covers
Covers for The Hill and Alien Challenge

Internet Ramblings
Fun things I’ve found online and a poem about the color red

Anatomy of a Book Cover
The Book cover for The Voices of Cellar’s Bridge: Katherine’s Hop from sketch to finish. Also featuring a poem about the color orange.

A Question of Evil
A silly short story about a vacuum salesman’s bad day

Another Batch of Book Covers
Book covers for Bramdean, Shades of Plaid, Advertising for Love, You and None Other, and Don’t Murder Maria.


Legacy of Ghosts – Chapter 1
Chapter 1 of the new novel

Legacy of Ghosts – Chapter 2
Chapter 2 of the new novel

Legacy of Ghosts – Chapter 3
Chapter 3 of the new novel

Legacy of Revolt
After I let Jonathan Harvey write a story with Jorick and Katelina, my characters revolt.

The Party
A short silly story about a costume party that ends in unforeseen disaster

Where’s the Respect?
After comments from MySpace’s marketing department that bloggers don’t make up a high enough percentage to count, some of us are understandably upset…

The MySpace battles rage on.

Poets Round Table: Openings
A roundtable poem about the rescued miners that I contributed a stanza to

Blogophilia 3.0
Testing the new platform and photos of fun with hats

Supplier Shortage
A silly short story. The Vampires’ King is dead and, worse, they are out of kittens!

Internet Randomness
Some interesting things I ran into online and a poem for the CPC Simple Sunday

Anatomy of a Book Cover
While other people wrote books for NaNoWriMo, I did a cover…

Random and Boring
Exactly what it says. featuring three videos of our trip to Branson

Blogophilia 43.3
More boring yack. featuring book covers.


Testing This Out
I am making an effort to move my personal blog from Myspace to wordpress – one post at a time.

Bubble Wrap
A rant about over protecting children

Destiny and Rice Crispies
The story of how Rice Crispies changed my life….

Blogophilia 43.3
Random holiday yacking. Featuring Random Book Covers

The Scanner Saga
After a computer upgrade my scanner suddenly doesn’t work…

A Visit from the Relatives
There’s nothing like family…

Demon’s Freedom
Flash Fiction. A demon gets his freedom from the family line that commands him.

TTTC Special message
A special Merry Christmas from Jo and Jonathan

Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Yahoo Groups
A take off of the famous Kindergarten list

A rant about people’s need to slam one another down

Laundry Theft
A funny rant about a seriously aggravating incident: someone steals a load of my clothes from the laundromat


Projects I hope to finish in January are

Legacy of Ghosts Trailer
Pick a personal blogging site
book covers for other people
The rough draft of Amaranthine Book 3: Ties of Blood
The special Bonus comic for the super secret TTTC Publishing Project
I wouldn’t mind finishing up some other misc artwork, but we’ll see about that

If you have ideas or suggestions on what could make this newsletter better, or just want to give me your opinion on something, drop me a line at

If you would like to unsubscribe from this mailing, please send a mail to with the subject UNSUBSCRIBE.

Have a great month and a great year!

Jo 😀

Holiday Sale


It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas out there – or at least a lot like winter. Cold, snowy, icy and gray. But don’t let the winter weather get you down! Cheer up with a good book at a great price.

The Indie Authors Unite Kindle Holiday Sale features awesome, discounted reads from authors like Valerie Maarten, Delle Jacobs, Jodi Langston and more.  Take a moment to check out the deals, then snuggle up with a hot cup of coco and tell mother nature to be cold and snowy without you!

Why wait until Christmas for a present? Keep  an eye on the right side of my blog (right at the top) where I will be posting links for free reads every day or so until the 25th.

Stay warm and Happy Holidays!

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