We’re very happy today to have the author: Shannan Sinclair. Her first novel Dream Walker had been released on February 14th. She is a self-published author who shares with us her experience and her first book.
Do dreams really come true? Much to Aislen’s dismay, they do. So sets up the premise my new paranormal, science fiction thriller, Dream Walker.
They say, ‘write what you know’ and there are two things I know well. I know the quirkiness of my hometown, Modesto, California where a majority of Dream Walker takes place and I know firsthand the adventures that can be had in the realms of our dreams.
Dream Walker, the first book in the Walker Saga, follows the journey of Aislen Walker, an ordinary young woman who only wants to finish college, become a nurse, and maybe travel the world someday. But one night she has a nightmare and watches helplessly as a young boy murders a man in cold blood.
What she desperately wants to believe is only a bad dream turns out to be an actual, real-world crime! Is Aislen going crazy? Or is she, as her estranged father tells her in further dreams, really a “walker,” one with a special talent for crossing into different dimensions of a quantum universe?
In this case, Aislen has stumbled into The Stratum, a dimension run by a powerful organization that manipulates and controls the real-world through it. And they really don’t like strangers wandering in, fouling up their plans or exposing their nefarious deeds.
Aislen must decide what’s true and what’s a lie, who she can trust and who she can’t and discover who and what she really is, in a reality where nothing and nobody is what they seem.
After twenty years of studying quantum theory, philosophy, mysticism and holistic theology, I wanted to weave those concepts with some of my own strange dream experiences into a fictional adventure.
I am definitely not unique. Everyone at some time has experienced phenomena that doesn’t fit into the confines of logic and science. Every individual has a dream space on a nightly basis and has probably had experiences that have left them wondering at the nature of reality and consciousness.
Dream Walker explores the question: is our mind really only contained to our brain? Or is it possible that space/time/dimension travel, although not yet something we do on a physical level, is something we have always done through consciousness?
The whole process of writing Dream Walker was an intuitive one for me. I followed inspiration and my gut feelings. From the beginning I was drawn toward the path of self publishing. But after I finished Dream Walker, my head got in the way.
I had a fear that I wouldn’t be considered legitimate as a novelist if I didn’t try to go traditional by querying agents and finding a “real” publisher. I felt that I was taking the easy way—coward’s way—afraid of rejection slips and taking my licks. So I started checking the boxes on the “traditional route” task list so I could prove myself.
But each step on that path was like the worst case of writer’s block I ever had. Every move I made in the Trad direction was like walking through sludge. I had zero enthusiasm for it. It seemed all wrong. So I started researching self publishing again.
It is such an exciting time to be a writer! The opportunities and services supporting independent authors are abundant and incredible; workshops, websites, books and blogs specifically geared toward the indie author. It was like the printing press was just now created and the only one deciding if something gets published or not is the writer! I started getting super excited again about taking the D.I.Y. path.
Yes, it is a lot of work. It means I have to manage the production of my book; setting it up for the printing press, converting it for Kindle and Nook, and dealing with the distributors directly. It also means I have to market and promote the book myself. I created my own website. I write my own press releases. I arrange my own book launch and blog tour and build my own author platform. Plus, I am in charge of both quality control and the professionals that I hire to assist me in making my product the best it can be. And on top of all that, I have to write the next book in the series.
So why would I do this Indie thing? Who in their right mind would take all that on? Wouldn’t it be easier to attempt to go Traditional and have someone else do it?
Well, it turns out that most of those tasks would end up on my to-do list anyway. Apparently, the agent gets you the publisher, the publisher prints your book and the rest is up to you. Especially if this is your first time to the rodeo, like me. The likes of Stephen King and James Patterson may get a little more than that. May.
Second, I get to retain the rights to my book. If I got picked up by a traditional publisher they would want to retain the electronic and movie rights to Dream Walker. Sorry, but retaining those rights is important to me. I have a vision, damn it! It involves the Oscars and Tom Cruise.
And rather than the 17.5% royalty a traditional publisher would let me have for my e-book, I get 65-70% by going to the distributor directly. Being that I wrote 100% of the book, I think that is fair.
What sealed the deal for me was a story a friend of mine shared about another author. She scored an agent after six months of pitching and querying. Three months after that her agent found her a publisher. She was thrilled to announce that her book would be available for her fans to read in January of 2014, two years and 2 months from the time of her announcement! I was like, “No way! Three of my books could be available to read by then!”
That’s when I committed to the Independent, Self Publishing Plan of Action for Shannan Sinclair and Dream Walker. I immediately went to CreateSpace and assembled my paperback. That took about 2 hours. I uploaded it to their server in 20 minutes. Twelve hours later, I order my proof and two days later, my paperback was on my doorstep. And as soon as I approve my proof, within 12 hours it will be available to my readers. No waiting 2 to 3 years to hold my book in my hands or have people read it.
That was the ultimate deciding factor in going Indie: the visceral rush in having control over my vision and the speed with which I see the results of my work.
Thanks to Shannan Sinclair, she gives away a paperback copy of her first book: Dream Walker. This contest is international as amazon ships to you. It ends on March 17th.You just need to fill out the Rafflecopter form below.