As a Multiple Sclerosis patient, it has become necessary for me to reinvent myself. I have ... and continue to ... refuse to lie down and die, or in this case, follow the normally prescribed drugs and treatments that do nothing to defeat my disease. I am not only surviving by pursuing alternatives, I am thriving. I do the things specialists told me I would never be able to do. I walk and hope to one day even run regularly. I retain my cognitive and creative abilities for the pleasure of my readers. Although you may never see me on my daily walk, you are welcome to read my novel(s) and in doing so, come to ask yourself, "How can the 'out of the box' protocol she has followed, help my loved one with an autoimmune disease like Multiple Sclerosis?"
Sharing one of my favorite blog hop stops
I understand that your new novel touches on the tender subject of PTSD. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) Do you know someone who suffers from this?
Shaunna: I knew a veteran as a child and I will not soon forget the cautions when playing with him. He would bounce me on his feet in the air or let me use his huge muscular frame as my personal "jungle gym" as long as he was on his back and invited me to do so. He loved children and still does. Never, ever could I touch or try to tackle him from behind. Today I know why. Then I didn't.
What have you learned in your research that has surprised you most about PSTD?
Shaunna: It amazes me how common this is on one level or another. Most cases of PST are not extreme, but if you think about an experience in your life that frightened you, you might realize you deal with the post traumatic stress. For me, I was in a car accident as a child. It was during winter months and the car flew several feet into the snow. (I drew on this experience for a scene in the book.)
There was a situation in my life many years ago involving a helicopter. It was years before I could hear a helicopter nearby without an ominous feeling. But let’s move on to something lighter. What is your favorite bit of writing advice?
Shaunna: Write what you know and love. Write for yourself, not your imagined perfectly matched editor or publisher. Should you one day find them, they will, if they know their stuff and we all hope they do, bruise you and your precious fledgling novel. (Smile - those bruises heal and make you both better.)
So you have imaginary publishers too? [whispers off stage: I thought I was the only one.] You can’t imagine how relieved I am to hear that. [smiles happily]
...What is your writing process after your initial story idea?
Shaunna: For me, and I don't advise doing this. Pray for inspiration then sit down and let my fingers follow the racing, but calm thoughts. If I really listen, there aren't a lot of changes. With my current WIP it is different, this WIP has been written for a while, submitted more times than I care to count and yet, it won't let me sleep. Basically I'm merging the thoughts with what is already there on the page. Some of it is good and needs to be kept, some of it needs to be deleted.
So, you don’t advise authors to pray? [eyes open wide in disbelief]
Shaunna: I do advise authors to pray. I don’t advise ... well, never mind. Next question.
Are you a plotter or a pantster?
Shaunna: I'm a pantster. Sometime it gets me in trouble, like now with Talisman. I have to keep it fresh enough that I don't get bored knowing how it ends.
Do you have a favorite flavor of ice cream?
Shaunna: That's easy, Rocky Road, preferably Dreyers Grand Light (I used to work for Dreyers.)
Meep! [lip quivers] You worked for Dreyers? [takes a shaky breath. Turns to the side: I don’t know if I can continue. Then, nods] Do you have a favorite writer’s ice cream—I mean memory? Writer’s memory?
Shaunna: The day I knew Dark Days of Promise would be published. I didn't know by whom or when, I just knew it would be.
Tell us a little about your newest book coming out. The title, blurb, genre, publisher etc.
Shaunna: Dark Days of Promise is an Inspirational Romantic Suspense published by Desert Breeze Publishing. Release date is September 21, 2012.
Thirty-four year old Vicki Laramie must learn to trust before she can love, but she might die trying.
While Vicki’s children grapple with the death of their father—a man whom she’s successfully fabricated as a loving father, a lie her rebellious teenager recognizes—she must find a way to support her family and find a role model for her boys. She never intends to fall for Staff Sergeant Chase, her best friend’s son, who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). She’d much rather choose a safer man to love, but her children have a voice in the decision she makes. With two deaths to deal with, a suitor after her money, a rebellious son, and Sergeant Chase’s repeated attacks, she can only hope to survive the danger she faces. If she doesn’t, her children will be left without either parent.
Whew! Well, it’s time for some ice cream. Don’t you think?
Shaunna: You won’t hear an argument from me.
(Thank you to Tina Scott for letting me share this here.) If you would like more information on dark Days of Promise, please click on the tab at the top of the page.
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