Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Short to Long ~ Shannon Frost

I'd like to welcome Shannon Frost today to share her gambit of going from short to long works.
It’s such a pleasure to be here and to celebrate with everyone on this beautiful day of October 7th, because you see, it’s a very special date in my new novel, Conquest. It’s the birthday of main character, singer extraordinaire, Jesse Alexander! To be able to share this day makes it that much more wonderful. But I’m sure some are wondering, who is this Jesse Alexander? Well, as with many good stories, let me begin at the beginning.

I’ve been writing for years, ever since I penned down what I thought would be my greatest piece in the 4th grade, “Forest Fire, the Littlest Racehorse”. While it was a fun tale filled with action and excitement, I believe, and hope, I’ve surpassed that fine story, and let’s just say my work has taken on a more mature aspect. For the past few years, I’ve written mainly m/m erotic romance. I’ve had two m/f short pieces published, but I simply don’t hold the same passion when writing boy meets girl as I do when writing boy meets boy.

I first got rolling into writing m/m back in 2005 when I was still in college. Now, saying that makes me sound younger than I am, so I’ll admit it took me seven years to finish a BA. Hey, it wasn’t all my fault. I had to eat, so that meant working full-time. While I was in school studying writing, I was still trying to uncover my author’s voice and waiting for my muse to find me. Then an assignment came through for writing dialogue, which made me huff in agitation since it couldn’t be taken from any piece already worked on in class and I didn’t know what to write, but it was then my muse came to me. After pondering for less than five minutes on the assignment, Jesse Alexander burst into my mind larger than life. He had a compelling story to tell, and how could I deny him and his partner, Evan Arden, from taking the stage?

While I worked on Conquest, I came to the conclusion for the first time that I wanted to be a published writer, I wanted to share my work with readers with the hope of bringing entertainment and happiness. But to get a novel published with nothing in your portfolio can be a tricky task, so I started researching what I could do to get my name out there and present myself as a serious author. Some authors find themselves an agent, others may go to self-publishing. I took the route of writing short stories as a way of proving I could be marketable to a publisher.

I submitted my first short story in 2006 to the Cleis Press anthology, Best Gay Romance 2007 edition, and to my astonishment, it got accepted. The story, “No More Mirages”, was actually a spin-off of Conquest using one of the secondary characters, Brandon Alexander, Jesse’s older brother. Encouraged by this success, I wrote more short stories, though rather sporadically. I actually find it quite challenging to develop two or more characters and establish a relationship in 5,000 words or less. Though I certainly won’t complain, because I’ve had the good fortune of being featured in some wonderful anthologies, the most recent being Surfer Boys edited by Neil Plakcy and published by Cleis Press. I’ll also be in an upcoming anthology from Ravenous Romance titled Bedknobs and Beanstalks edited by E.M. Lynley, which is a collection of fairytales with a gay erotic spin.

So for me, I went from writing long works, to short, back to long, and now I do both. The short stories were a means to establish myself in the field with the hope of bringing recognition to Conquest, and it looks like it worked. Conquest will soon be joining the ranks of the many other outstanding titles at MLR Press, an honor beyond any dream I could’ve had for it. And so with that, Happy Birthday Jesse!

To keep up on the latest with my writing, please feel welcomed to visit me at

Conquest blurb:

As the vocally gifted lead singer of his band, Conquest, Jesse Alexander refuses to let anything hold him back from achieving his dream of becoming one of the greatest performers to ever hit a stage. Evan Arden was thought of as a musical genius when at the height of his career, he vanished from the spotlight. Together, their relationship is just as intense as their music careers, but with the pressures of success and fame pushing down on them, Jesse must decide what's more important to him, his life of music, or his life with Evan.

Thanks again for joining us, Shannon and Happy Birthday, Jesse!


Devon Rhodes said...

Don't forget to give Jesse a birthday pinch to grow an inch! ;)

Enjoyed your post, Shannon!

Shannon said...

Thanks, Devon! I'll be sure to pass the pinch on to Jesse's partner, Evan. That could be a whole new story right there ;-)

Jeanne said...

LOL, Devon, I never heard of that one!
All sorts of naugthy visions running through my head!

Victor J. Banis said...

Hmm, I've been doing it so long (now, now, I'm talking about writing here) I'm not sure if I remember how it began. Yes, I do, I started with short stories and, gasp, poetry (never mind, you don't want to read them.) Then I got intimidated by all those real writers saying short stories are the hardest, and I started writing novel. Actually, the those paperback books in the sixties were more like novellas. It's only been in the last few years that I started writing short stories again, and to my surprise I found that I liked it and had an affinity for them. So I did quite a few over the last, say, 5 years. And these days, because of my age, it's a lot less intimidating to sit down and think about writing a short story than it is to face the prospect of writing a novel. Hey, I may never get the latter finished!

On the other hand, I'd hate to have missed my fun with Tom and Stanley in the Deadly mysteries. Truth is, I think I'm just a writing Ho.


Shannon said...

Hey, Victor, thanks so much for swinging by! Now that's interesting how you got started by writing short stories and poetry, and I don't think I'm the only one who will see your post and want to read some of your poems. I think an anthology collection of your short stories with poetry dabbled throughout would be really cool.

Jeanne said...

Cool idea, Shannon and thanks Devon and Victor for stopping by and leaving a comment

Sloan Parker said...

Neat to hear how you got started, Shannon. Best of luck on the release of Conquest!

Shannon said...

Thank you, Sloan! So glad you stopped by :-)

Neil Plakcy said...

I will be able to say I knew you when you were just getting started, Shannon-- though not as far back as "Forest Fire." Congrats on the new novel & best wishes for lots more success!

Shannon said...

Thanks so much, Neil! Yep, you can say you knew back when, and you can also take some credit for giving me a boost by having me in your awesome Surfer Boys anthology :-)

Jeanne Barrack said...

Thanks so much for stopping by everyone. I can't wait for Shannon's book. It is about music, after all and I believe in music! ;~D

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