Shean PaoWhy did I start writing? As a child a read voraciously. Fairy tales were my favorite. I loved being transported into another world. I began writing my own stories and poems in the 4th grade. I started and finished a book when I was fourteen, as well as numerous short stories, none of which I had the confidence to try to publish.

Fate took me down a different path and I became a graphic designer. In the past 20 years I’ve worked for advertising agencies, printers, high-end real estate companies, book publishing companies (how ironic, but it taught me how to layout a book!) and now I am the creative manager for a non-profit that raises guide dogs for the blind.

I’m very happy to be returning to my first joy, and pretty determined to follow this old path of writing. I went back to college and took creative writing classes with the intent to minor, but it wasn’t until I joined a critique group many years later, that things really took off.

Besides writing, I’ve been researching marketing and self publishing for over three years now. As I learn how to navigate the self publishing and marketing world, I will offer tidbits and tips. As well as samples of my writing for you to enjoy. – or throw tomatoes at – up to you.

Quite a lot happened in that first year. The most crucial was being talked into writing a novella by a critique friend. I was currently working on a novel, but my friend suggested if we had a novella completed, it could be used to generate interest and fans while I spent a longer chunk of my time working on my novel.

Well, one thing led to another, and that novella ended up being a book. But the exciting part is when I started taking some online writing classes from Dave Farland, a NYT best selling fantasy author. Dave and I worked on the editing of The Feather and the Moon Well, and when it was finished, he chose it to be the debut novel to launch his Dave Farland Discovery Program for new writers. It will be published by WordFire Press in 2016.

I am a member of the Palm Springs Writer’s Guild and write a blog with tips on self-publishing and improving your writing technique.

I am happily married to a marvelous and talented photographer and graphic designer. We live in Southern California with a brilliant (all parents call their children brilliant don’t they?) African Grey Parrot named Zen, as well as a cuddly and beautiful Sun Conure, CJ.