Thursday, February 18, 2016

Ferry Tale reviews + a video update!

My new book, a love story set in Hong Kong, has been out for one week. Thank you to everyone who grabbed a copy! The reviews are starting to come in, and I wanted to share some of my favorite excerpts:

“A fun, fizzy story that takes readers from the smoggy ferry decks to the spectacular harbor views of the InterContinental Hotel’s Lobby Lounge. Young’s fondness for her adopted home of Hong Kong comes through on every page of this cheerful and charming romance . . . as effervescent as champagne.” –Maura Cunningham

“Young evokes the vibrancy and sense of possibility in her adopted home Hong Kong. Her characters are each cast with their own unique mix of endearing qualities and weaknesses. Through alternating viewpoints, you’ll barrack for Katrina and Sam as they tackle their demons and learn more about themselves and each other in the process. Ferry Tale is an enjoyably sweet and classy romance – set in the digital age, but not lost in it.” – Booklover Book Reviews

Get the book on Kindle here, or buy the paperback!

I'll be reading from Ferry Tale at a love-themed event at Aesop on Hollywood Road on February 24th. Come along if you can!

In the meantime, I've also posted a video update about my ongoing writing journey. It has been 18 months since I quit my day job! Check out the update here:

Monday, January 4, 2016

10 Plans for 2016

It's that time of year again. Last January I posted 29 Things, a report on my 14 goals for 2014 and 15 plans for 2015. Most of the items revolved around the completion of The Seabound Chronicles, a post-apocalyptic adventure series under the pen name Jordan Rivet. Here's how I did: 

1. Rewrite Burnt Sea (the Seabound prequel). Done!

2. Finish revising Seaswept (Seabound Chronicles 2). Done!

3. Publish Seaswept in e-book and paperback. Done! Here's the link to Seaswept.

4. Rewrite Seabound Chronicles 3. Done! The title is Seafled.

5. Finish revising Burnt Sea. Done!

6. Publish Burnt Sea in e-book and paperback. Done! Here's the link to Burnt Sea.

7. Finish revising Seabound Chronicles 3. Done!

8. Publish Seabound Chronicles 3 in e-book and paperback. Done! Here's the link to Seafled.

9. Write a memoir about growing up in a homeschooling family of nine kids, possibly of Kindle Single length, under the Shannon Young name. The project is complete, but I haven't yet decided on the appropriate publishing path for it.

10. Promote Year of Fire Dragons in Hong Kong and during the US/e-book launch. Done. I was also able to speak about the book at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival again in November.

11. Write a brand-new novel for NaNoWriMo, probably under the Jordan Rivet name. I wrote 34,000 words during NaNoWriMo before the Seafled publication consumed all my hours. I plan to complete the draft in January.

12. Begin production of a Seabound audiobook. This is on hold for now. 

13. Write one more secret pen name short, just for fun. Nope. In fact, I unpublished these three shorts as part of my ongoing effort to devote time only to projects that grow my Shannon Young/Jordan Rivet career.

14. Read Infinite Jest (which has been on my Kindle for a long time) and all the paperbacks I have purchased or been given this year. Nope. This one's still on the to-do list. I watched The End of the Tour on a plane recently, and it has given me new motivation. As for the paperbacks, I made decent headway but my Kindle lured me away almost every time.

15. Make enough money from writing to avoid returning to my day job. I ended up taking a part-time teaching job for October-December to replenish my savings. I'm back to full-time writing until April, at which point I'll reassess my situation again. I have big plans for the intervening months!

2015 Milestone Roundup

-Completed and published three full-length novels
-Completed a new as-yet-unpublished memoir project
-Honed my promotion strategies, eliminating time-consuming tasks with low ROI
-Had my first 10,000-word writing day
-Had my first 100 sales day
-Broke into the top 2,000 e-books on all of Amazon on three occasions
-Planned a new series, a fantasy about a professional duelist in a mountaintop kingdom, and wrote the first draft of Book 1
-Exercised my "focus muscles" to the point where I now regularly manage 6-hour writing sessions
-Kept up my writing and production schedule during the months when I had a part-time job with a lengthy commute

Here's one I never expected: an interview in Chinese!

10 Plans for 2016

Looking ahead to 2016 is quite exciting. My writing and publishing process is getting smoother, and I have a better sense of how long things take. I've decided to set 10 goals for the coming year.

Here are my plans for 2016:

1. Release a box set of the Seabound trilogy.

2. Finish my NaNoWriMo project, a Hong Kong love story called Ferry Tale.

3. Publish Ferry Tale under the name Shannon Young.

4. Complete Book 1 in my new fantasy series.

5. Commission covers, possibly with custom artwork, for the fantasy series.

6. Write Book 2 in the fantasy series.

7. Publish Books 1 and 2 approximately 6 weeks apart to gather sales momentum.

8. Write Book 3 in the fantasy series.

9. Write first draft of a new post-apocalyptic book (this great idea jumped fully formed into my head on the MTR one day).

10. Publish Book 3 in the fantasy series in time for Christmas.

Thank you all for supporting me along the way, and especially for buying my books and writing reviews. You have all been so kind and helpful. Apologies if you don't see me outside of Starbucks for the next four months!
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