Friday, November 16, 2012

Shawntelle Madison: KEPT out 11/27!

Welcome to SHAWNTELLE MADISON, a friend I met through the St. Louis Writers Guild. Shawntelle is a web developer who loves to weave words as well as code. She’d never admit it, but if asked she’d say she covets and collects source code. After losing her first summer job detassling corn, Shawntelle performed various jobs—from fast-food clerk to grunt programmer to university webmaster. Writing eccentric characters is her most favorite job of them all. On any particular day when she’s not surgically attached to her computer, she can be found watching cheesy horror movies or the latest action-packed anime. She lives in Missouri with her husband and children.

The Writers’ Lens is about "Bringing fiction into focus." What brings your writing into focus-- the characters, the stories, the love of words? For me, it’s all about the characters. Each of my stories starts out as one person I want to follow. There’s something about them that is unique and I feel compelled to write about them. Whenever I start a story, I’m walking with one person. In the end, both the reader and I have met not only the protagonist, but a cast of characters with their own stories. If I’ve done my job, the reader will want to know what happened to the majority of the people the protagonist met.

How do you find time to write and do a demanding job? Most of the time, something has to fall between the cracks. (I try not to let it become too many things.) I have to keep up with a to-do list in Outlook or I start to get behind, especially when I have to tackle both work and writing. Since I work from home during the day, I have to deal with the distractions of a messy home, work, and writing. So the answer to the question is get organized and stick to it.

What do you think readers will like about your book? I hope they will enjoy rooting for Natalya and feel empathy for a flawed character. I love to write about protagonists with flaws. If you start out at the bottom, the only direction you have to go is up, and like any reader, I love that kind of journey.
What's your favorite way to interact with fans/readers? I love social media! Especially Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus. I could chat on those for the longest time. What’s cool is that you can bring others into the conversations and anything goes!

How much fact is in your fiction? I try to make things as factual as possible—I do write urban fantasy so this is rather difficult. But when I can, I include real street names, city names, and more. It adds local flavor and grounds the book. In Kept, I really wanted to incorporate Russian history into certain places, and some of those are real facts blended into the narrative.

What's the highest compliment someone could make about your writing? The biggest compliment in my humble opinion would be to say I entertained them. When I read a book, I want to forget about work, the house, and the family. I want for that moment in time to fall in love with the hero or want to kick butt with the heroine. I hope to do the same for someone else.

KEPT (available Nov. 27):  Fresh from defending her pack in battle, Natalya Stravinsky, a whip-smart werewolf with a lovable neurotic streak, wants a little rest and relaxation. Once an outcast, she's now eager to rejoin the ranks of her New Jersey pack, and has even gotten a handle on her obsessive urge to hoard holiday ornaments. Yet Nat barely has time to revel in her progress before the next crisis comes howling at her door.

Nat's father has suddenly gone missing, captured by the Russian werewolf mafia. And as Nat steps up to save her dad from a mob boss's deadly game, two men step in to play another round for her heart: her gorgeous alpha ex-boyfriend, Thorn, and her new flame, the sweetly sensitive wizard Nick. With her life growing more harried by the minute, Nat must stay cool, calm, and collected . . . or else risk losing everything.  

This is T.W. Fendley. Thanks for reading and commenting on The Writers' Lens. 

You can find out more about me at

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