Season 3 Episode 33: Shehanne Moore on the Writer/Publisher Connection

Welcome to Tea, Toast and Trivia.

Thank you for listening in.

I am you host, Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this moment with you.

I am beyond thrilled that I am travelling over 7,000 kilometers to meet up with Shehanne Moore in Scotland to discuss the connection between a writer and publisher.

Shehanne, also known as Shey, is a published author of stories that detail the best and worst of human behaviour, as opposed to pouts and flounces.  She set up Black Wolf Books, a small royalty paying publisher, presently taking submissions by invitation only.

Today, Shey shares her thoughts on how to foster an authentic relationship with a publisher motivated by a mutual desire to publish books that resonate with readers. Shey is a storytelling who understands the process required to bring those narratives to readers.

Thank you for sharing this moment with Shey and me on Tea Toast and Trivia.  A special thank you, Shey, for sharing your knowledge and experience.

Listeners, I invite your to meet up with Shey on her website, Shehanne Moore You can follow Shey on Goodreads as well as Amazon at Shehanne Moore

You are only an internet click away from being swept away in a daring adventure.

Until next time we meet, dear friends, keep reading, keep safe and be well.

Shehanne Moore on the Writer/Publisher Connection Tea. Toast. & Trivia.

75 Replies to “Season 3 Episode 33: Shehanne Moore on the Writer/Publisher Connection”

  1. Haven’t yet listened in, dear Rebecca, but will do so eventually to this T.T.T. seemingly daring reading and listening experience. A pleasant week to you and Don!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You will love this conversation, Jean-Jacques. Let’s head out into an adventure with Shey. As Helen Keller once wrote: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure.”

      Liked by 3 people

  2. That was great, Rebecca and Shey. I admire authors like Shey so much. Creating interesting characters, passion, mystery, conflict, tension, resolution, forgiveness, so on, putting it all together, and making a story relevant, readable, and desirable is like magic to me. I read Shey’s Lady Fury and it had everything she mentioned in the interview. As a master story teller, Shey carried me along getting me involved in the characters and all their quirkiness instead of being tangle up by her writing.

    I really like Shey’s take on houses as characters. Houses and buildings all have stories to tell, and they can be fascinating stories when a good researcher and storyteller can tease out what those old buildings have witnessed over the years.

    Characteristics I imagine that are essential for being a good novelist include being a bit wild, irreverent, skeptical yet optimistic, and having a lot of experience with various aspects of life. From our blog comments and exchanges, I can see that Shey is wild, wonderfully skeptical, quite contrary with a positive attitude that makes people feel good.

    Listening to Shey talk about publishing and publishers made me think of “Paperback Writer” by the Beatles, which has excellent opening and closing lines: “Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book? It took me years to write, will you take a look? …I could make it longer if you like the style. I can change it ’round and I want to be a paperback writer.”

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Timothy, my God, this is some comment. I am speedless but I will say something. For me it is characters over plot which is why i never start with a plot. They should drive the plot because of the kind of people they are. So I just let them be. But yeah, tying all the ends after holding them for 90 thou or whatever is something…I try not to think about. I just go be wild. |You know me too well actually. I have always loved the Paperback Writer start. it epically describes, even the politeness you crawl up to a publisher with, hoping they will take pity cos of the years you ahve given this. Thank you again.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. You are welcome. You are well deserving of so much praise for your stories, wit and refreshingly feisty way of being.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Timothy.. I must use your ‘wild, irreverent, skeptical yet optimistic’ words somewhere. I honestly must. I aye say, I dinnae be, I just am and I prob am a pain in certain places..(not wanting anyone to think I am not what my mam would have called, a ‘well brought up girl,’ notice I don’t name the place I was a pain in, or how my mam could think a place where they had to rename streets to get folks to come live on them was a place where you could be well brought up,.) But truly.. One—?? I get this huge personal kick..not in that place… when a guy reads one of my books cos I only went into romance to get out there with a full length book and then having done that, I thought, I can’t do this their way, are we joking? So a few years got wasted there, leading to tTWO– comments like yours have made it all worthwhile

        Liked by 3 people

    2. I love your thought: “I can see that Shey is wild, wonderfully skeptical, quite contrary with a positive attitude that makes people feel good.” You have a wonderful way with words, Tim! A perfect description. I am especially enjoying your poetry. Have you ever considered self-publishing a collection of your poetry? I believe that self-publishing is the next iteration in writing, poetry, and storytelling. I am looking forward to Shey’s return on how she moved into becoming a publisher.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I’ve thought about self-publishing, but that is still a lot of time and work. I’m enjoying what I’m doing with photos, writing, and music and putting them on WP, YouTube, and SoundCloud. I look forward to your next round with Shey, also.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. I agree – the more I look into self-publishing, the more I see how much work is involved. Love following your YouTube. Could you send me the link to your SoundCloud!!?

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Yes I will. Mostly the same songs, but there are a few songs that are only on SoundCoud. I also put all five of the T.U.L.I.P. songs together into one song that’s on SoundCloud.

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Timothy you have a wonderful way with words and your photograph is epic. Maybe you will get the time to get out there with these things in the form of a book but as you say you reach a lot of people as you are and you enjoy it so that is what counts.

        Liked by 4 people

  3. Interesting conversation, and I look forward to the next installment, as well! What I find to be the most frustrating about submitting to publishers and agents are the ones who don’t get back to you AT ALL or just send form letters with no personal response to your submission.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Absolutely. It is very disheartening. In fact heartbreaking after all your work on everything, from the letter to the story. The business is cutthroat. They are wading hundred of subs a day, so they don’t have time to personally respond to each of these as a publisher is also running a biz of getting a signed book out there on a schedule, editors–expect 3 rounds, copy editors, proof readers, cover designers, marketplaces, accounting. An agent is wheeling and dealing, looking after royalties and doing the sub for you. You literally do have ten secs to get their attention. And no matter how good the sub is, it also has to tick the box of being what they are looking for–something that can change week to week. BUT that never means you should give up.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. No, no, never lower your expectations,. Just reinforce your teeth and go again. I said elsewhere that the traditional model changes by the day. Rebecca says below many of the things I’ve found to be true. And not just me. While it is nice to have the traditional seal of approval, so many who did–myself included– found that if the publisher could even be bothered to tweet about your book, you were lucky. You could be held over barrels re contracts, in terms of being ‘ sewed.’ I’ve also seen so many talented published authors get hung up on the fact that they could not land a contract with their dream house and sadly disappear from view and lots leave agent who could only get them in the door of a house that took unsolicited mails anyway but then that agent would take a big cut of the sales. (That’s also changed big time with the advent of self publishing and various publishers setting up. ) I have probably said here already,’We don’t call the muse, it calls you,’ and if the story is there in you wanting and waiting and bursting to be told, then you do it. whatever xxxxxxxxxxx

        Liked by 4 people

    2. Thank you for listening in, Becky, and joining the conversation – very much appreciated. I too, am looking forward to Shey’s return to discuss her transition into publishing. I believe that self-publishing is evolving and that traditional publishers will be required to revisit their business models. While I do not have any expertise in this area, Shey’s insights confirm that writing and storytelling is evolving, with change occurring at an exponential rate.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. Shehanne, this is a masterful and entertaining discussion in response to Rebecca’s always-insightful questions. You offer brilliant, useful advice for authors wanting to get published or to self-publish. You’re obviously an expert in both the writing/creative side and the business/marketing side of the book world.

    Also, I enjoyed the early-in-the-podcast conversation about houses — the ones we live in, not publishing houses 🙂 — and how they have personalities and are alive in a way. That can especially be the case with older dwellings.

    For writers and aspiring writers, I can’t think of a better use of nineteen minutes than listening to this podcast.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Gosh Dave, you are way too kind. I’ve just been involved one way or another in this biz for a long time and I have sat both sides of the desk on it in terms of being a writer and an editor. The changes since I was first published in terms of a full length novel, have been speed of knots, so I just wanted to try and break that down a little for those who don’t want tied in them. I did love the comment on houses. I often think old ones whisper if you let them and have the ears to listen. We’ve lived most of our married life in old houses and abandoned ones really interest me. A house stands centre stage in my last and my present book. Just a few things I wanted to explore here. Thank you for the lovely comment.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. I am delighted that you listened in, Dave. I knew you would enjoy this conversation. I believe that self-publishing is the next iteration in storytelling and traditional publishers will soon recognize, and may have already recognized, that they need to revisit their business models. Storytelling has just been given new life with blogging, podcasting, gaming and augmented reality. Shey has been their from the beginning, forging the path for many that will come and widen the pathway. This is an exciting time, full of opportunity for those who take up “pen to paper.”

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I think, for a long time ‘p gate keepers were there for a reason but I also think too many excellent writers and storytellers could get nowhere if they did not tick certain boxes. So indeed, it is an opportunity. The Brontes were self publishing pioneers. THAT is not to say we are all the Brontes. (If only ) It’s to do, I guess, with them seeing it …at that time… as the last place you could go, when books we have none of us have ever heard of had the doors thrown open to them. SO? Why no-one should give up and we should consider various avenues because we never know what the future holds OR, in this flimsy world we live in, what books will stand the test of time.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I agree with all of your comments,Rebecca. Publishing is such a different world now from what it was when I trained to be a fiction writer. Our professors (both undergrad and grad) made a point of NOT teaching the business of writing. It made sense in an undergraduate program for beginning students of the craft. In a master’s program, it didn’t make as much sense. I’ve had to learn it all the hard way.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Ah, Shey, wonderful advice for writers and a lovely conversation! As I was listening, I realized it is very similar in so many fields. Reminded me of my experience while looking for record labels for my music, or galleries for my paintings. I have to add though that there is one more element which is quite out of our hands, the element of luck/good fortune. 😉 Thank you both for a brilliant conversation!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Also, my friend, there is also an element of right place, right time. The planets aligning in other words. (I think we’d have said so but the script kind of went out the window! And there was a quick seismic shift of medium we were using after I was signing to rebecca cos she couldn’t hear me at all!) But yep , that should have been there. The thing is if it is what you want then –and let’s face it, we don’t choose the muse, it chooses us–you keep going. ( I know I preach to the converted here!! ) Thank you for the fab comment. And for listening.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes, we need to be aligned with the universe which is a task by itself but yes, we keep going and that we should! It was a pleasure listening! 🤗🙏

        Liked by 4 people

    2. Thank you so much for listening in and joining the conversation. I agree wholeheartedly about the element of luck/good fortune. It goes to back to Henry David Thoreau’s thought, “I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” It is about being open to possibilities and taking risks and allowing things to evolve. Mind you, that is easier said than done. Have you ever noticed it is easier to read a quote than live a quote. Perhaps that is why we need each other. Sending many hugs your way. You continue to be in our thoughts during your heat wave.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Ah, yes… much easier to read those words and getting that golden balance, however simple, is not easy.
        Thank you, my dearest Rebecca for your thoughts too! Many hugs and love your way.

        Liked by 3 people

  6. Rebecca, what can I say except thank you. As always you and Don go that extra mile to get something sounding good. Still laughing here about the night we did that and the links wouldn’t work!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What a wonderful time we had meeting up across a continent and ocean – looking forward to the next podcast chapter. Thank you so much for sharing your insights expressed with sincerity and compassion. I am grateful for writers – they work diligently to bring out a story. While it is comforting to know that famous writers have received reject letters and have gone on to experience fame, that does not lessen to angst that comes when a form reject letter is delivered to the mailbox. It seems that traditional publishers need to revisit their business models. Books and publishing is experiencing a disruption. Stories cannot be contained.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. Firstly I cannot believe this was 19 minutes long – it flew over. At this point, I have to declare an interest- I am published by Black Wolf Books. After listening this you probably understand why. Shey is incredibly knowledgeable and generous with her expertise. I learn so much from her and continue to do so. Not much more to say other than this was a great conversation- but then, when 2 of your favourite people are talking how can it be otherwise?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Paul, I think you were going to be in this but the links didn’t work right, or whatever. Hope you’re good and that you are ready to have publish hit on book 2. Let me know.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Paul was to be on this conversation, but the technology gods were not with us that day. I’m going to connect with you on the timing of our podcast conversation. I LOVE our conversations.

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Paul – are you ready to add to this conversation. Technology prevented a three-way conversation, but I remain undaunted. Sending hugs and more hugs!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Always ready Rebecca, I would be thrilled to be involved in any future three-way conversation about getting the product up for sale- Although, to be frank, you and Shey have coverted so much already and quite splendidly too. Even if the new gods of Technology had been smiling on us and I would have been involved in the above conversation I could not have added anything more than you guys already covered. Come to think of it perhaps the new gods were acting kindly by keeping me out of it. Perish the thought but compared to you two I would have looked like a bumpkin!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Oh I dunno Paul. Maybe we have converted to an all singing, all dancing interview next time. I am sure Don will say ‘No problemo.’

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Thank you, Shey and Clanmother for this inspiring and informative conversation! It was a learning experience on several levels for me! Shey, from a very young age (7) and writing about things like houses, etc. has a life of experiences to share with us who have so much to learn. Her many experiences with publishers, no doubt gave her a special wisdom when doing her own self-publishing. We learn from diverse experiences, and in this case from diverse publishes. We do well to learn from others! ! !

    Liked by 5 people

  9. I aye think, what is life, if not for learning in? Sometimes the hard way too… In writing terms I can think of time I took on the editorship and putting together of a magazine without knowing how to draw a text box in word. Let me tell you of the buckets of tears that were shed and the steep learning curve that one was But we get there, people get there. Thank you so much for taking your own valuable time to read and also to comment so kindly. Lovely to meet you.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Hi REbecca and Shey, this is a wonderful podcast and I really enjoyed learning about Shey’s writing experience. I love that she writes character driven books, I like that type of book best. A comment Shey made about one of her characters saying that tomorrow is a good day to be nice and kind reminded me of Scarlett from Gone With the Wind and her survivalist attitude to life. I knew that Shey had been traditionally published, as has Diana Peach, and have read posts by both of them as to why they made the change. It is definitely food for thought for new entrants like me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was thinking about Scarlett as well , Robbie. Stories are powerful reminders that time sorts out issues, that all we need to consider it to be who we are today. I am delighted that you joined the conversation!!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I greatly enjoyed your conversation with Shey, Rebecca. I never in a million years thought I would go the self-publishing route, but here I am doing it! I look forward to the continuation of the conversation.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Liz, for listening in to this conversation. I am looking forward to the launch of Grief Songs, which I have pre-ordered. Thank you for you marvelous support of the writing community.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. You’re welcome, Rebecca. Thank you for preordering Grief Songs! I appreciate it. I’ll be participating in a book signing sponsored by the Peterborough Poetry Society (assuming the pandemic doesn’t shut it down).

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Well done Liz. You know I think it’s a bit like online dating. In the ‘olden’ days it was looked down on and you wouldn’t dream of doing it, but I know so many young people who met their partners that way and very happy they are too. Years back there were all these vanity presses on the go, charging the earth to put out your book. But now there’s quite a number of very successful authors who dropped the agent, dropped the publishing house and self publish. The other thing about publishing houses I found was, that for many the huge gap between signing off on a book…indeed signing a contract…and seeing that book out there, was ridiculous. Certainly I found it was, when the book would get bunged at you with short notice for final checking because it was going out in two days time and you had nothing in place re advertising, book tours or anything and no time to even look over the thing. But hey it’s already in place with all the places they placed with. Or your editor had gone awol and the publisher had forgotten all about your book. So the control on everything fro release date to price, is within your power.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. A large part of the reason I decided to go the self-publishing route was the traditional publishing experience you described. That, and people were asking when my next book would be coming out because they enjoyed the first one.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Liz, again good for you. Truly, you could have sat up to two years with a publisher. They are handling a lot of authors. But even way back when I wrote for comics?? It came down to economics of what they took from authors each month in terms of a buy contract and what that cost them. So, you get out there. xxxx.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. A lovely trailer, Shehanne. I enjoyed the interview and agree with you that writing is a business as well as a creative endeavor. That business part is hard work and though a book is finished, the work of marketing goes on and on. Excellent info on querying and paying attention to what publishers are looking for. And what your readers are looking for. I also enjoyed your recommendations about how to handle rejection. Rejection is a given in this vocation and we have to handle it productively. And I love flawed characters, so keep it up, Shehanne. Thanks to you both for the fun interview.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aww xxx thank you. Rejections is awful. All your hopes sinking to the bottom of the sea. I could paper the wall actually. But I think that is how, if you are really determined, you learn the ropes. How you become realistic, you look at markets and targeting. I was never a romance reader or writer. But like that, after years of letters and working elsewhere at the industry I thought right, I have more chance here of getting in a door. Alas of course I still wanted to be true to the kind of people I wanted to write about. And there was a time where I could have been with a big romance house but I stepped back. In my heart I thought, I don’t know that I want to write and to change, the kind of things they are asking me to. I’d rather try for a place that will take these characters sans frills regardless. The romance genre has changed a good deal since then too which is good. Thank you again and so glad you enjoyed.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I started out as a traditionally published author, Shehanne and switched to indie. It’s a change I never regretted. It’s easier to pave our own way and think outside the box as writers. But listening to feedback from all sources is key if we want to be at the top of our game and continue to grow. Loved the interview. Best of luck on your writing journey.

        Liked by 2 people

  13. I am still al long way away from publishing, but I’m thinking about it. This was very interesting. To hear from someone who has been on both sides of the equation gives me a lot to think about. Thanks Rebecca and Shehanne.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am so glad that you joined the conversation, Dan. Publishing has always been a mystery to me because of the complex nature of this industry. How does timing work? It is serendipitous? Who to contact, how to present your work, how long to wait for a reply? It seems that experience is a great teacher. Shey’s idea of contacting several publishers never occurred to me.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Oh yeah, Dan if you are approaching agents or publishers, get a tailor made mail made up and just change bits each time. The industry tends to move at the rate of molasses and many don’t get back at all. Put your eggs in many baskets.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I hit send too soon. Probably late this year of early next – it’s a series, and I think it’s going to go live in quick succession.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank YOU Dan. Even though you are maybe a long way from publishing, it is good start now thinking re routes and looking at them all, looking at publishers etc. You can even look for reviews on them to get a feel for whether they are worth approaching and what they can offer an author. Way back I would spend a certain amount of time doing that. That was probably before KDP came along. But it does give you ideas re what you are working towards.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks – I do need to start considering options. I’ve been writing as if the option is KDP. I appreciate your sharing your experience.

        Liked by 3 people

  14. You are more than welcome. If it’s a series and you want to go in quick succession then yep, you could do a lot worse than go KDP. That’s the truth. You would then have the control of the release dates but also not be pressured into churning out the books all at once.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Fabulous Podcast guys!
    I adore Shey’s voice, and I love that you both laughed here and there!
    The laughter kept the podcast FUN!
    All of Shey’s advice is great!
    I adore her books. I’ve read all but one!
    Rebecca, you are the hostess with the mostest!
    Be well!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Resa – you have added glamour and elegance to my life over the years. I say this in all seriousness -I am honoured that you have bestowed upon me, the title of “Art Director.” You have inspired me to go on mural treasure hunts and introduced me to Flapper Press – brilliant articles. And you introduced me to Shey, a wonderful writer and friend! You bring a community together with laughter, colour, glamour and adventures. Sending hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Rebecca!
        You are a lot of fun to have around in my blog world.
        Your enthusiasm for the arts across the board is contagious!
        I just learned of a new type of music, Fado …Portugese Blues, from a mural I found of The Queen of Fado, Amália Rodrigues.
        The realm of creativity is an endless horizon!
        Hugs flying at a very high altitude to you. Just look up and grab them!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. What speed! The hugs arrived from a very height altitude and showered me with glamour and joy! I am wearing my hat with feathers.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Oh good! I believe the higher hugs fly, the faster they arrive at their destination.
        Love that hat! Holly said feathers look great in berets. I’m going to do that!

        Liked by 1 person

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