The Genesis of Quave #scifi #hightech #suspense

The Genesis of Quave by John E Parnell Imagine a world where computer hackers become too clever. Now imagine a world where the hackers design a computer virus that becomes its own functioning entity and their own enemy. This is … Continue reading

T. M. Shannon’s writing process

T. M. Shannon

From tiny idea to the book shops. What is your writing process?

Having the idea: 

It’s not always “sit down and let the ideas flow”. Ideas pop up when you least expect it, and need to be written down or at least remembered (luckily my memory is good). 

Sometimes an idea would come with such a burst of energy that it’s not only writing an idea down – but twelve pages of the beginnings of a story that goes nowhere. But it’s still saved, idea 001 so to speak, left to return to and either bring to life, or leave to give to dust. 

My other dream is to write a Role Playing Game. Sadly, I don’t know coding, but I know writing. Either way, these blunt ideas were the conception for The Torment, The Shadow, The Heart. 

Author T.M. Shannon
At first, I had such a urge to write that I did a lot of Hero of Talbadas (Vol 1) on the fly. I began on the PC, creating the idea of the world – what became the Verity in the published version, but then, like most writers, I had a day job to go to. I would leave work early, and take my time getting home just so I could write in an exercise book. Afterwards, I’d re-write it on Word, improving the narrative as I went. The project stalled near the end of the third book in the fantasy trilogy, all motivation gone. What I needed was to look at getting published for that final push.

To get an agent or just to publish yourself you need to get the book up to a high standard. It starts making sure you have the book that you want. Revising is simply making sure your work makes sense. As I went with The Torment, The Shadow, The Heart I ended up removing some chapters and putting them in book two, took the start of book two and used it as the denouement for book one, and re-wrote a few things in between. It was just a matter of improvement.

Past revising, editing is like “cutting the fat” off a steak. Go through and find proofing errors (I missed some of them and had to go again). Go through and ensure the formatting is good. Go through and make sure it makes sense i.e. delivers the narrative well. And after that, it pays to get it checked out by a fresh set of eyes.

This last step I actually haven’t done with The Torment, The Shadow, The Heart but intend to soon. It’s a bit of a monetary issue, but I wasn’t going to let that get in the way of my dream of becoming a published author


This is it. You’ve written your book and now you want to sell. You look up agents, send a couple of copies out, you get rejected. Twice was enough for me to give up trying about two years ago . . . until I heard about Createspace. All of a sudden, I had the chance to fulfil my dream AND give myself the drive to keep writing.

Past this process, marketing is the only part left. But that’s a blog post for another day, I suppose.
The Torment, The Shadow, The Heart

The Hero of Talbadas, vol. 1

“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…

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.
FREE books to be won!
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
“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?!”
moved for the study, his eyes set in cold, calculating slits. “Out for a
,” he growled…

How to Get Ideas for Books


Lisa Binion

Before I began to write, the complex plots in the books I read would amaze me.  I just could not figure out how the authors of these books came up with such fantastic ideas.  Since beginning to write, I have discovered ways to come up with some terrific ideas.


Take a look at your own life.  Life has a tendency to throw you into all kinds of situations, and each situation can be made into a story.  Softly and Tenderly came from the death of my mother when I was nine-years-old.  It was a traumatic time of life for me, and it took me a very long time to recover from her death.  I could have turned it into a mystery or a story that made people cry.  I could have written events just as they happened, but I really would not have been satisfied doing that.  I chose to make it creepy.

A few years ago, something happened to me that I’ll never forget.  It is something that I don’t want to live through again.  While I was out jogging, a spider must have fallen on my shoulder or in my hair.  That’s bad enough in itself, but when I discovered this spider on me, it was in my ear.  I didn’t realize at the time it was a spider.  All I felt were its legs as it crawled deep inside my ear.  Many excruciating hours later, I finally managed to coax it out by about drowning it with hydrogen peroxide.  It was one clean spider when it hit the floor.  I couldn’t let that horrifying event be for nothing.  I’m writing a book, Whisper, very lightly based on what happened.  Again, it will be a tale of horror.

If you can’t decide on an event in your life to write about, take a look at things that have happened in the lives of people you know.  Read newspapers and magazines to see what interesting things have happened in the lives of people you don’t know.  Check out current events and what is happening in the world today.

When you go shopping or go to town to pay bills, notice what is going on around you and listen in on other people’s conversations.  Just try not to be too obvious about what you are doing.  Is there someone you see doing something unusual?  Maybe someone is dressed in an unusual way.  Did you see someone walk away from their cart only to have someone else come along and pick up an item out of their cart?  Was that arranged beforehand?  Maybe it was a trade of some kind.

Perhaps your neighbor has a strange habit.  Does she walk outside every morning at exactly the same time and look down the road?  Is she watching for someone?  Why?  And who is she watching for?  I’m sure you can come up with all kinds of interesting scenarios to explain that.

Listen to your muse.  Pick up a sheet of paper and write down a word that interests you, a word that has a lot of meaning for you.  Now start jotting down other words that your main word brings to mind.  Before long, a story should start to form in your mind.  Keep at it long enough, and you should have enough to start writing.

One other way you can come up with ideas is to look at story prompts.  There are hundreds of these floating around on the Internet.  A lot articles on my BellaOnline Fiction Writing site have story prompts included in them.

Story prompts happen all around us each and every day.  All you have to do is notice them and build a story around them.

Softly and Tenderly
Death’s doors will part and evil shall be seen through the eyes of a child.

“Mom died in her sleep last night.” Those are terrifying words for a child to wake up to. The beetle that falls off the stretcher and stares at her is only the beginning one of the strangest and most frightening times in Lori’s life. Death is not a pretty thing, especially not when the funeral is to be at the Lights Out Chapel and Crematorium.

Once she walks into the funeral parlor, she experiences things that no little girl should ever have to experience. No one is acting normal. No one can see what is going on. Is Lori the only one who sees the blood oozing from the pictures of Jesus on the cross? Doesn’t anyone else see the beetles? Is Lori hallucinating when she sees her mom sit up and hears her speak? There is absolutely nothing soft and tender about what happens to Lori.

From her overly morbid piano teacher to the creepy preacher and a father that just isn’t acting like himself, Lori is surrounded by people and things that hint of something bizarre. Once she leaves the Lights Out Chapel and Crematorium, things will go back to normal. Or will they?

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Something to whet your appetite: a short excerpt from Softly and Tenderly.

“Lori, it’s your turn to say bye now. You need to tell her that you love her and how much you will miss her.” Daddy put me down next to her coffin and placed his hands on my shoulders. He pushed me so close to her death box that I felt the white satin that overlapped to the outside. It rubbed against my hands. At least it was soft for Mommy. She would be comfortable in there.

I decided to speak out loud this time. Maybe no one else would bring me back up here again if I spoke my goodbyes out loud. “Mommy,” I began, but then I started crying so hard I couldn’t speak. Daddy rubbed my shoulders until I quieted down and could begin again. “Mommy, I love you. I don’t want you to leave me. Please come back. No one, not even this Jesus, is worth leaving me over.” I opened my eyes and looked at her. She hadn’t moved since Mrs. Minuet had dragged me up here. But then her eyes opened, and she stared at me. She was staring at me! I sucked my breath in and felt my legs grow weak as my head began to spin. With one hand I grabbed on to the edge of the coffin, while with the other hand I grabbed hold of Daddy’s arm.

“Daddy! Daddy! Mommy’s not dead! She looked at me!” I screamed as I jumped up and down. “She was still alive when they took her out of the house. I saw her trying to get out from under the sheet.” I pulled on his arm and shook it. “Please, Daddy. You’ve got to save her.”

Daddy was beginning to sound a bit mad. He picked me up and held me over top of Mommy. “Maybe if you give her a goodbye kiss you’ll understand she’s dead, and believe me when I tell you she isn’t coming back.” I was so close to Mommy’s cheek that I could see the makeup was beginning to cake in her pores. There was no warmth rising up from her body, only icy coldness.

Author Lisa Binion

Lisa Binion is a writer, editor, and wife. She makes her home in the beautiful state of Kentucky. Her two children are now grown, but she has been blessed with two beautiful grandchildren, Tyler and Zoey. Her family also includes four dogs, four cats, and two goats.

As the Fiction Writing Editor for BellaOnline, she writes articles, reviews fiction books, and interviews fiction authors. She is also an editor for Silver Tongue Press and Edit 1st. In her spare time, she attempts to clean house and relax.