About Shannon McNear

A transplant from the Midwest, Shannon McNear has lived for the last 20 years in the Lowcountry of South Carolina with her husband and eight children. With two graduated and in college and the younger six still homeschooling, she does her best to steal slivers of writing and reading time in between being ballet and drama mom.

Read more about Shannon.

Get Thee to a Conference

One of the earliest—and most annoying—pieces of advice I received several years ago, when I first came back to writing with the aim of publication, was go to a writer’s conference. Isn’t going to happen, I said. I was a stay-at-home mother of seven, busy schooling my children, the youngest still a nursing baby. There [...]

How NOT to Promote Yourself

“Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.” So, last week I talked a bit about marketing and looking at it from a fresh angle. What might be some ways to NOT promote yourself (or others)? When looking for an opportunity to present your story to an [...]

The Dreaded “M” Word

There’s much said in writing circles about “marketing.” Most of it I did my best to ignore, at least until getting my first contract, when I realized it was suddenly relevant and I better pay attention, because even traditional publishers have limited resources for that sort of thing. Over the years, I heard lots of [...]

The Value of Primary Sources (Part 2)

So, continuing the discussion of how primary sources can feed our stories … I forgot to mention that spelling and punctuation were not standardized until sometime in the nineteenth century. This can be very jarring for those of us trained to be picky about these things! Just keep in mind as you write that misspellings [...]

The Value of Primary Sources (Part 1)

Story research can be intimidating, thrilling, exhausting. When it comes to writing historical rather than contemporary, it’s doubly so. You must consider dress, transportation, location, accessories and weaponry. Then there are manners, customs, modes of speech … and a sometimes-overlooked aspect of writing the past: mindsets and attitudes. People in different time periods often thought [...]