Shawn L. Bird

Original poetry, commentary, and fiction. All copyrights reserved.

Four years ago… October 9, 2012

The week before Thanksgiving in 2008, I was given Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga to read by one of my English students.  That Thanksgiving weekend I bought my own copies of the books, read through the series again, and then poured over Stephenie Meyer’s website, reading everything I could about the genesis of the story, the process of writing, what she’d done to find an agent, and the adventure her life had become.

I was completely, totally, thoroughly inspired.  An idea sparked.  I’d had a story floating in my head for decades.  I’d written it down in a couple of versions before, but it wasn’t right.  I had known I needed a hook, but I just couldn’t figure out what it could be.  Stephenie gave me the solution: mythology.  Just as she had used vampires and werewolves, Greek mythology could be melded into the experience I wanted to share in order to provide the depth and conflict that had been missing in previous drafts.

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving (that is, this very day four years ago) I began writing Grace Awakening.  That first day, I wrote about five double spaced pages.  The second day I did the same.  Then the third.  By the end of three weeks I had 75 pages of writing.  I set the goal to keep writing 25 pages a week. I met or exceeded that goal each subsequent week.  Twenty three weeks later, the first draft was complete.  It was the week before Easter, and I had 155,000 words.

A couple of weeks after Thanksgiving in 2009, I went to the Surrey International Writers Conference.  I pitched the book to a small Vancouver publisher.  She was interested and asked to see more.

A week before Thanksgiving in 2010 I signed the contracts with Gumboot Books.

In 2011, Gumboot Books went out of business, but Grace Awakening Dreams was released anyway through Lintusen Press in July.  By Thanksgiving 2011, it had been in the list of  Top iTunes Fantasy books in Canada over a hundred times.

In 10 days, I’ll be back to the Surrey International Writers’ Conference to pitch Grace Awakening Myth, a companion novel that tells  Ben’s version of  his battle for Grace.

It’s a lot to be thankful for: four years of creativity, empowerment, challenge, excitement, growth, and adventure.  It’s been an amazing ride!

Four years ago, when I started typing, I would not have been brave enough to imagine that I’d be in this place today.  But here I am.   My friend Heather observed, “Where will you be in another 4 years? Do you not love the “wait and see”‘ of life?”   The thought of it hit me in the gut.  Where will I be? I can only dream where Grace will be, keep writing, and hope I’m holding tightly to her coat tails as she explores the world!



Double Wow! September 7, 2011

I have been following Grace’s movements on Kindle, since they have each book’s ‘Bestseller Stat” right on the listing. (FYI, she’s in the top 9% of e-book sales today).   I have been very curious to know about iTunes listings, because it seemed to me that most of the people I was hearing from had bought their copy on iTunes.

Just this week I discovered the iTunes Book Charts. Grace Awakening has a profile there. I learned that it was doing quite well, so well in fact, that it had been making regular appearances on the list of  Top 100 Fantasy eBooks in Canada!  Needless to say, I was excited. (Picture Shawn squealing and leaping about).

Last night I went through every chart from the day Grace debuted at 34th place (her best stat).  I was absolutely astounded to discover that she spent 14 days straight in the Top 100 during the first two weeks of August!

Holy Cow!!

After that, she’s popped on and off the list, so she’s sitting around the 100 line.  She’s been on again the last couple of days. I am so excited that my book baby is off in the world making her own friends. I can’t believe that she’s holding her own statistically with authors like J R R Tolkein, Terry Goodkind, and David Edding! I’ve read those guys!

I read a lot of SciFi/Fantasy as a kid. I am one of those Star Trek and Star Wars nerds. It’s so cool that Grace has a place among ‘my people.’ 😀

I hope she has the staying power to keep there, and that more people find her and fall in love with her and her friends.  I’m really looking forward to the release of Grace Awakening Power, and seeing what she does when she’s not just dreaming, but has some potency behind her!  Will she take off into the stratosphere?

Thanks to you for reading. Grace and I appreciate you entering our world.


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