Thursday, March 17, 2016

What in the world happend to Shannon Guymon?

So my friends, it's been too long since I've blogged.  I apologize. And I want to take this chance to tell you what's been going on and what I've been up to.  I feel like most of my readers are my friends so it's only right that you guys know what's up.  
So as most of you know, I was a single mom of six kids in 2011.  Before that, I'd write a book every now and then, but it was more like once a year. Some people might have called my writing a hobby. Pssht But after my divorce, I had a choice, do I get a job ... working in an office away from my kids.... being miserable - OR I could get serious about my writing and see where that takes me.  I prayed about it. A lot. And went with writing.  
I knew I'd have to write and write a lot.  I wrote under my pen name Katie Lee O'Guinn, and dove into the world of werewolves and witches. That was a lot of fun.  I also began writing contemporary women's romance. Clean romance and had a lot of fun doing that.  But in order to support my kids and pay the bills and put food in all the many tummies I needed to feed, I had to put out a book a month. Sometimes two.  
So many people would write me and ask me, how? How in the world are you writing a book a month.  I'll tell you the simple reason.  I had to. It's amazing what you find out you can do when you have no other choice.  My kids depended on me and I had no where else to turn.  Yes, I could have gone on welfare or gone to my church and there's no shame in that. But I knew I had it in me to stand up on my own two feet and see where that could take me.  
My brother Zach would go to the LTUE writer's conferences and come back with all the great advice and pass it on to me. He'd write down copious notes in the hopes of giving me the help and inspiration to make it.  My brother Zach Hill - amazing guy and a great uncle.  Also an amazing writer. I'll always be grateful to him for being my best friend and moral support during those crazy four years.

I still remember my first check from Amazon that came through.  I was sitting at the table and just staring in awe. I was literally shaking in my chair and had tears running down my face as I stared at the computer screen.  I called over my kids and sat them down and I said, I want to tell you about a miracle.  This miracle is just as big as the parting of the Red Sea.  God is good and God is looking out for us. His hand is over us and you should know that.

During those four years when I put out a book a month, the words flowed. I would sit down on the couch with my laptop and put my fingers to the keys and the words flowed like manna from Heaven, because that's what it was. It's hard for me to even take credit for my books because it was such a blatant gift from God.  I'd look down at the words I'd written sometimes and I'd say to myself, I'm not this good. This can't be from me.  And I was right. But it was through me that these books were written.
Last year though, 2015, I'd have to say the words didn't flow quite so fast and free. I could feel myself drying up.  Yes, I was dating a lot more which I think was good. I'd spent so many years writing about what I thought romance was it was high time I experienced it first hand. It had to help my writing to actually go on a date. It might even help me describe kissing if I could maybe actually kiss a real man.  

But then I did it, I went and fell in love.  It happened so fast and so wonderfully, that it felt like another gift from God.  One of the best gifts God could ever give to be honest.  And by the way, all those critics who like to tell me romance never happens that fast in real life? Ha! Sometimes it's faster, thank you very much. 
Well, then I did something really crazy, I jumped off the cliff and got married.  Yay! Best decision of my life.  Marrying my sweetheart has been amazing and wonderful and even better than I imagined it would be when I'd write about it in my Fircrest books.  Love is grand, my friends.  Love is amazing.
I've been married 6 months now and I have to say, these have been the happiest six months of my life. So much has changed and happened and I'm still in awe and so grateful for Heavenly Father for looking out for me.  Life has been hard. Incredibly hard at times, but for every sorrow, I know that God will make it up to us. If not in this life, then in the next to come for sure.  
What hasn't happened in the last six months though, is any writing.  I've had so many of you write in and ask when Kam's book will be out. And I haven't known what to say.  In a couple months, in a few months, but then a few months pass by and I have no book.
I have to tell you though, these last six months, along with being so amazing because I'm a newly wed, have been hard too.  
My beloved brother, Zach Hill, died unexpectedly from a pulmonary embolism that took his life instantly and with no warning, leaving his new bride a widow and the rest of his friends and family reeling in shock.  Mourning a brother who has died is hard. Mourning a brother who was your best friend and confidant and your biggest supporter is something I'm still trying to figure out how to do.  
So bear with me. 
We also had a wedding last month. I threw my first wedding shower and I think I did okay! And now I have another wedding coming up in June.  
So I'm being stretched in new and crazy and wonderful and hard and sad ways that I wasn't expecting. So I hope that all of my friends and readers will continue to bear with me and just know that I'm aware that you guys are waiting for Kam's story. 
Things are different for me now. My well was drying up last year. I was beginning to burn out and it was beginning to make me nervous. The tidal wave of words that would flow out of me, doesn't quite flow the same way.  Probably because my hubby is always dragging me away to romantic dates and kissing me and taking me on motorcycle rides and spoiling me rotten.  

But I want you to know that I will start working on it.  It won't come fast. It's not going to be done in a month or even two or three. But I will begin and see where that takes me.  
Also - of note and of great importance to me - I won another Swoony Award this year! Free Fallin' won Heidi's Choice award- So honored to be singled out. Thank you Swoony Awards!
And not to be forgotten, - California Dreamin'!
The CA Dreamin' collection received a 4.5 star review from InD'Tale Magazine which also means that it earned a Crown Heart award. My story Stay With Me, was so much fun to write. If you haven't read my short story, now's the time to enjoy a little beach time.
One last announcement: I've decided to take half of the proceeds from my Fircrest Series, and donate that money to the organization O.U.R.  - this organization is INCREDIBLE.  If I could give all of my money to them, I would because they help rescue little kids from being sex slaves.  Please go to their page and check out what they do. They even have a movie called the Abolitionists that I've seen at Megaplex. It shows exactly what they do and how they take down the sex traffickers who abuse these children for money.  
I will continue to support this cause in any way I can.  (I would actually love to go on a mission myself) hint hint O.U.R. But I hope you will also support this organization. 

My new webpage gives a link at the bottom of the page and pledges my support as well.  Last month I was able to send them a check for $1,363.00.  I hope to send them even more.  If my books can bring joy to others and at the same time help free little boys and girls from a hell I can't even comprehend, then that fills me with joy.  The only true joy I've found, is when we serve our fellow brothers and sisters.  It's all about bringing light to this sometimes dark world we live in.  I hope we can all do our part. 
So please know that I'm thinking about you and also thinking about Kam and where his story will take him.  His story will be the very last in the Fircrest series and then I will begin all over again in a new town with new friends and people that will hopefully lift you guys up and bring a little fun and laughter and romance to this world. 
Take care and do some good today,
your friend,