INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS turns 5 years old in April of 2017. Due to a massive failure with the blog’s previous provider, all blogs prior to February 2015 were lost. However, the administrator has the original assets on file and a calendar of featured content. As a lead-up to the anniversary, features will be released on the fifth of each month that chronicle a period in the blog’s past and some of the highlights still worth noting today. For this installment, find out how INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS began. Enjoy!
INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS started in a period when administrator Shannon Muir was unemployed. She’d been doing some book reviews for a friend of hers, Gina Ruiz, but also wanted to see if she could take on the challenge of building and running a WordPress site to make her more employable. So, she took her love of books and wanting to support other struggling authors, along with her own needs to grow professionally, and launched INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS in April 2012.
Many of the early people featured as Shannon Muir found her footing came from the ranks of script writer friends who also happened to have books or e-books available.
One of the authors featured early on was Richard Mueller, author of the Glen Gleason mysteries. With three books in the series, Glen Gleason is a “lapsed screenwriter” of police procedural who comes to his college town to retire but ends up doing anything but. All books in the series are still available as e-books:
DEATH ON THE PRAIRIE – Amazon, Smashwords
FALLING TO IOWA – Amazon, Smashwords
THE DARK OF WINTER – Amazon, Smashwords
In the meantime, she began to contact different blog tour providers, hoping her samples with Gina Ruiz would allow people to give her a chance. Finally, in June, a couple of blog tour promoters gave her a chance. Here are highlights of what was run during the month of June 2012.
The very first book run on INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS that didn’t come from Shannon Muir’s circle of friends was entitled THE ORPHAN, THE SOULCATCHER, AND THE BLACK BLIZZARD by Kimberlee Ann Bastian. It appears to have been reissued since, and also no longer in print, but you may be able to find it used via Amazon or another preferred retailer.
Later that month, INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS had the honor of being one of the early people to feature Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar as she toured for her book, MOMMY BUT STILL ME. This book and her follow-up books garnered good reviews and ratings. The original interview done for this book was found on file and is being reprinted below. All links are relevant as of reprint time.
INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR (REPRINTED FROM JUNE 2012)
What initially got you interested in writing?
I needed an elective while doing my Masters program and there was an MFA at the university where I was studying. The course fit my schedule as it was a seminar and so it was a practical choice rather than an artistic one.
But then when I got into the class, and I wrote my first short story (part of the assignments), the semester loomed ahead of me. That first one was so hard: I didn’t think I could do it; everyone else was interested in mainstream fiction about suburbia, I was writing about immigrants in the U.S. It felt like such a huge gap and I even thought about plagiarizing a published story by a South Asian writer to prove to them how important other types of stories were. But I didn’t: I kept at it and wrote this story everyone loved. And I was hooked.
How did you decide to make the move into becoming a published author?
I’ve been published as a non-fiction author because I do a lot of literary analysis of female writers. But no one (not even my family) read those books because they were mostly academic and very dry. I kept dabbling in creative writing: fiction and memoir while going to writing residencies and conferences. This is where the drum beat of digital publishing got to me. After years of publishing in literary journals, being rejected by main stream publications, and dismissed by agents, I took the plunge into ebooks in August 2011 and haven’t stopped since.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
My writing is honest: whether in fiction or memoir, I talk about the feelings,, challenges, and everyday circumstances that make being alive and human exciting, terrifying, annoying. I hope they relate and also know they are not alone in whatever they are going through, whether it’s moving to a new home, losing college friendships, thinking about having a baby, or starting out as writers.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Writing allows you to connect with yourself and with others. It’s that shared experience of going into someone else’s world that started my passion for books as a young reader and it’s what fuels me now as I invite people to see slices of life from my point of view.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
The discipline needed to give your story everything is not for the faint of heart. Everyone things of the bestseller lists; few want to spend the days, weeks, months, or years at the desk to make sure the story is bestseller worthy.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Be 100 percent honest about what you want to get out of writing. Is it money? Is it fame? Is it prestige? Or the chance to say you’re writer a dinner parties? People often say “I want to get this story into the hands of readers” but then when you probe, it’s money they’re really after. The money may come but you may have to wait a very long time. It rarely happens with someone’s first book (and when it does, we secretly hate them! JK)
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
Recently I found a new way of storytelling and that’s through short films. I love directing, editing, and even now trying my hand at filming pieces.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
MOMMY BUT STILL ME – Amazon
Join us again next month on the 5th to find out the highlights of July to December 2012 as the countdown continues to INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS and its 5th anniversary in April 2017!