20 March 2013

Guest Post - Why I Write by Shannon MacLeod

Sometimes, love lasts lifetimes

The Celtic Knot: Suit of Cups on Amazon US and Amazon UK

I thought about writing a piece on how I write, but couldn’t get further than sit down and start typing. With me, the writing is more about the why. I write because I love telling stories and making people laugh. I write because I dig hearing my kids say “My mom’s a writer.” I started writing because I was unhappy. Desperately unhappy. Gnaw your own leg off to escape the trap unhappy and at the time I thought I couldn’t do a thing about it.

I was a solitary kid growing up, so my imagination was my best friend. I never knew the meaning of boredom – still don’t. I’ve got way too much stuff going on in my head to EVER run out of things to think about. In my situation, it all boiled down to a loss of control. I didn’t like the way things were at all. I made Eeyore look positively giddy by comparison and I was convinced the light at the end of the tunnel was an oncoming train. So I did what was second nature – I created a fantasy world with imaginary playmates. I controlled everything right down to where the grass grew and the outcomes were all like I wanted them to be – an unfamiliar yet heady feeling, to be sure.

After a while I started making notes. Those notes turned into chapters and the chapters eventually turned into books. When I wasn’t writing, I was reading about the process, devouring everything I could find on how to write query letters, how to submit manuscripts and how to write more efficiently. I did research to write knowledgeably about things I knew next to nothing about. I used Google Earth to describe places I had never been. I read novels by my favorite authors and started a notebook of things I liked/didn’t like. I knew the layout of my local library better than the librarians did. And as the tiny snowball of my imaginary world started rolling downhill and gaining momentum, an amazing thing happened – I started taking back control of my real world and learned how to be happy again. Now I can’t imagine my world without it.

I write about what I know – growing up in a close knit Scot-Irish neighborhood with magic simmering just below the surface of everyday life. The Arcana Love series is about a large Irish family living in the US. There are four books, each based on a suit of the Tarot. The Celtic Knot: Suit of Cups (now available from Lyrical Press) is the story of Ian, the middle son of the Kelly family and how he met his true love Lily…again…and again. The next book in the series is The Gypsy Ribbon: Suit of Wands, arriving sometime in 2014 and that one…well, you’ll just have to wait to see.

In the meantime, my next novel coming out later this year is entitled The Rogue on the Rollaway – a Scottish time travel that goes awry and ends up in Ireland. I’ve also begun outlining The French Twist: Suit of Swords and can’t wait to start the writing process again.

I could be really dramatic and say that writing saved my life, but that is closer to truth than fiction. For me it’s the best therapy ever and costs no more than the price of pen and paper (The Celtic Knot: Suit of Cups was first written longhand, in red ink because I thought it more romantic *rolls eyes*).

I received an email a couple months ago with a wonderful question posed by an aspiring writer. She asked “What is the most important thing you can tell me about writing?” I thought about that long and hard before I replied. My answer was simple:

Do it.

Just do it.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done it before – start now, this minute. Don’t worry about your spelling or if your participles are dangling. Write. Even if you only write three sentences a day, write. Do it on the back of napkins or carry notepads in your pocket. Do it by flashlight after lights out, on the bus, in the bathroom, but do it. Everybody has a story that needs telling - don’t deprive the world of hearing yours.

In between writing and daydreaming about sexy Celts, Shannon MacLeod lives a life of servitude to two spoiled cats. She enjoys pondering the mysteries of Tarot, rainy days, good music, lively craic and spending long hours staring at her beloved ocean. An avid wearer of dangerously high heels, she watches Lord of the Rings more than any sane person should and can, in fact, reenact the battle scenes using interpretive dance.

Shannon is the author of these upcoming paranormal romances from Lyrical Press!

The Celtic Knot: Suit of Cups (available 1/7/13)

The Gypsy Ribbon: Suit of Wands (coming 2014)

The Rogue on the Rollaway (coming 2013)

The ShadowFox Tarot (written under the pen name Jennifer ShadowFox) is available now from Schiffer Books…there are whispered rumors of a new Tarot book due out later this year...

Proud member of Romance Writers of America and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers

Visit Shannon at http://www.shannonmacleod.com and at her blog

Find her on Facebook and Twitter and Goodreads  


  1. Hi Shannon, I enjoyed your post. Your comment, "I started writing because I was unhappy." is exactly why I started writing at a young age. And like you, it turned out to be therapy for me. Though at the time I didn't make that connection. I've always written romance but when I first started, none of them had happy endings.

    Now I'm a firm believer that all romances have a happily ever after ending, and I write because I enjoy it. I'm in a happy place in my life.


    1. Thank you so much - I'm glad you enjoyed the post! Writing is indeed wonderful therapy and so much more. :-)

  2. Great article, Shannon! Good for You, and CONGRATS on the publication of "The Celtic Knot: The Suit of Cups"!!

    Personally, when dangling I watch my participles. ;-)

    1. Thank you, Jordan - and THAT is why I totally <3 you. :-D

  3. We share a lot in common. Raised as only child, not many friends, over active imagination saved me from nightmares because I made them my own.


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