My name is Shawnee Small, and I’m an indie urban fantasy author who also dabbles in romance and horror. I’m pretty outgoing until it comes to something like this, and then all of a sudden, I feel like I’m on a dating game show, and I keep holding my breath hoping you’ll pick me even though I’m the awkward, quirky one in the corner.
My new book, Protector, just launched this week on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback formats. It’s the sequel to Watcher, which was my first foray into writing a full length novel, and it’s currently free on Amazon for the kindle so you may want to start there first.
Having said that, Protector continues the story of Poesy Wharton, a twenty-something waitress who finds her life turned upside down when a stranger named Adam Walker walks into Paddy’s Bar and Grill where she works. The story takes place on Tybee Island, a place I love, and has a little bit of everything: romance, angst, otherworldly beings, and of course, murder, because everyone likes a little blood now and then.
Let’s Get To Know Shawnee Small
Q: What are the top five books that have influenced your career?
A: This question throws me into a panic every time. The Sandman comics by Neil Gaiman is the obvious stand out. After that, I’d say The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix, Weaveworld by Clive Barker, The Stand by Stephen King, and The Farseer Trilogy from Robin Hobb, but I’d read anything that Robin Hobb put out, probably even her shopping list.
Q: If you could go back in time before you published your first book, what advice would you give yourself about publishing?
A: How much time have you got? The big one for me as an indie author would be – “Hire professionals. You’re good, but not that good.” I would give that advice to any indie author actually. My first edition of Watcher was an absolute train wreck, and I can never take that back. Even after going back and doing a major re-write, I still have to live with that first edition. Now I have a whole team behind me: content and copy editors, cover artist, formatter, proofreader. It’s expensive, but worth it.
Q: What’s your favorite AND least favorite thing about being a writer/author?
A: I love writing stories, but I also hate writing stories. It’s a weird thing, really. You put so much pressure on yourself to perform like a monkey, that some days, I wonder why I even do it. Then I remember how much I love stories, and then I go back to my desk and start again. It’s a strange psychological thing – high highs and low lows – but nothing beats that feeling of seeing your book in print.
About Protector (The Shining Ones Book 2) by Shawnee Small
What would you do if the man you loved . . . wasn’t a man at all?
Poesy Wharton now knows the secret that Adam Walker has kept hidden from humanity for millennia, but at what cost?
Already struggling with the knowledge of Adam’s true nature, Poesy has to come to terms with the actions he took to save her life—actions that have left her more, and less, than human. When Adam’s unexplained absences cause a rift between them, Poesy is no longer sure she can trust him, so she must put her faith in a perfect stranger to uncover the truth before everything she cares about is lost.
But that won’t be easy.
Because the killing spree continues across the sleepy little community of Tybee Island, and before it’s over, Poesy will have to confront her biggest fears: that the man she’s in love with may be a killer—or that a greater menace is coming, one that will change the face of humanity forever.
Protector is the sequel to Watcher in The Shining Ones series.
“I already said I’m sorry,” I said defensively.
He was right, of course. I was letting the side down in all sorts of ways. The right thing to do would be to let Adam go, and this whole mess would disappear. All I had to do was walk away, move on and accept a future without him in it. It could be that easy.
“Look, it’s bad enough your old man is tooting all around this island that you’re gonna work for him. You told me you were gonna take care of that.” I’d been so caught up in Arthur the last two weeks that I’d forgotten to have the talk with Joe. I opened my mouth to apologize again, but Stevie shushed me. “I don’t wanna hear. Sort it out or else, and if your late ass wants to be forgiven, then you’re gonna do two things for me with no questions asked and no complaining.” He jabbed his finger at me.
“What? Give you my firstborn? Just say it,” I answered.
Stevie smiled at me. “First off, you’re working St. Paddy’s day, all day double shift, no ifs or buts. We’re gonna be packed and I need at least one experienced person here.”
That seemed reasonable although premature, as it was still weeks away. Working a double shift would be easy, even if I’d miss all the festivities downtown. A small sacrifice . . . so?
“And secondly, Birdie’s girl, she’s all your problem now. You’re gonna train her, you’re gonna work all her shifts, and you’re gonna get her up to speed before I fire her ass. I want her in tip-top shape in the next four weeks – otherwise, you and I are gonna have an issue. I don’t even wanna hear one complaint out of yer mouth right now. I mean it, Poe. Not one.” He glared at me, even his scruffy beard looking stubborn and defiant. He had me on a hook.
Screaming right then would’ve been the wrong move, so I merely grunted. Stevie smiled. “Good, now that we’ve got that settled, your girl is in the kitchen and all sorts of confused. Now’s as good as a time as any to be getting on with it. Get on back there.” Stevie jerked his thumb back toward the kitchen.
Katie was in the kitchen, just as Stevie had said, when I pushed my way through the doors.
“Oh, hi, Poe.” She was clutching a napkin to her face, a small hint of mascara rubbed around her eyes like she’d been crying. Crap.
Katie Fitzpatrick was not what one would call “waitress material.” She was a pampered Cali girl living on a trust fund and slumming with the local kids. She wouldn’t last a month at the current rate, Birdie’s girl or no. And she was now my problem.
“What’s wrong?” I asked reluctantly.
She grimaced and looked at me. “How am I supposed to keep up?” Bewildered, she pulled a wad of tickets out of her apron pocket and shoved them at me. “I wrote it all down and gave the tickets to Cookie, but then it got busy and some new people came in and I tried to take their order, but Stevie started yelling at me about food in the kitchen and I got the food, but forgot about the new people, and then they left. But they yelled at me, too, and I’m just trying to help ’cause –”
Katie burst into tears.
Jesus. I felt about as comfortable as a hooker in confession.
“It’s going to be okay.” I patted her shoulder awkwardly. “You’ll get the hang of it. It just takes time to get into a rhythm around here, and Stevie’s bark is worse than his bite. I’m sure he thinks you’re doing just fine.”
“You think so?” asked Katie, her big brown eyes looking into mine.
“Sure.” A little white lie never hurt.
“I don’t know if I’m cut out for this. I just want to help Birdie, you know, show him that I’m supportive of the band, do my part, but it’s so . . . degrading,” Katie whined.
I was almost speechless. Almost.
My favorite quote from Protector (The Shining Ones Book 2) is:
“She’s about as useful as a blind man in a bowling alley.” – Stevie Flanagan, owner of Paddy’s Bar and Grill