Thursday, September 22, 2011

Guest Post and GIVEAWAY (A Long, Long Sleep) by Anna Sheehan

Where do stories come from?
"Where do you get your ideas from?" is a question most authors are asked at some point or another in their careers. It usually stumps them. No one asks a carpenter where they get their ideas from, or a teacher, or a house painter. The idea to trim a house with steel blue instead of forest green isn’t an idea people poke at. But the idea to marry the story of Sleeping Beauty to the story of the Terminator is something people feel a need to try and dissect.
The truth is, all ideas come from the same place: our experience. An experienced house painter will know that steel blue looks better with the echo of the mountain behind the house, while the green would be drowned in the trees. When it came to A Long, Long Sleep, my experience told me that the story of Sleeping Beauty was inherently flawed – the interesting story wasn’t how she was put to sleep. It was simply an act of evil. Possibly it was the lesser of two evils – sleep vs. death – but evil by itself is dull.
When it comes to a person, the interesting thing is not how you have suffered, but what you do to overcome it. Everyone has a sob story. I have several myself. My friends have had worse. But what they do with their lives, how they climb out of the darkness, what help they needed and what skills they had; that is what makes a life, and that is what makes a life interesting.
Life is story. The act of telling a story is to invoke a tiny life. You draw the story from your life, and the lives of others who have touched you, and other story lives, research to make it as true as possible, add in a few spices (like undead killing machines to personify the true evil) to make it taste better, mix all these elements into a stew, and let it simmer. Eventually, hopefully, you come up with something palatable; something people can swallow; something that will warm them from the inside out and touch them and become part of their own story.
For myself, I started writing as an attempt to explain how I saw the world. Something made me angry, and the only way I could express that adequately was through the written word. Ironically, I began speaking the same way – I’m one of those (un)fortunate enough to have some very lucid memories of my early childhood, and I distinctly recall deciding to learn how to talk, so that I would be able to say what was wrong with my world. At the time I had been frightened by a spider, and I couldn’t say what had scared me. After that I studied language, and the first word(s) I ever said were, "Look! Look!" followed by long sentences pointing out the world as I understood it. I started writing because I was annoyed by a teacher’s inability to understand my intellect, and I couldn’t say how I felt to her face. "Look, look!" I basically wrote. This isn’t right!
When I started writing fiction, I was doing much the same. There was something wrong, something that I needed to direct people’s attention to. Whether it was with my life, their own lives, society as a whole, or just the general unjustness of existence. There are problems. They need fixing. But the wonderful thing about fiction is, you can also direct people’s attention to how things are fixed. "Look, look!" I say. Wake up. Open your eyes. Reach out, and most of your problems can be sorted; most of your wounds can be bandaged, if not healed.
That’s basically what all my ideas are, and what all my books are about, and why I write. "Look, look!" I’m saying. See that? This is the world as I understand it. Maybe, just maybe, it’ll interest or entertain you. And if I’m lucky, it might even direct your attention.
Anna Sheehan is the author of A Long, Long Sleep, published in America, the United Kingdom, Germany, Brazil, France and Russia. A Long, Long Sleep is Anna’s first book. Find her at

And now for the giveaway:


  1. Thanks for the giveaway! I'm a follower- amandawk
    amandarwest atgmaildotcom

  2. thanks for the giveaway!

    GFC - Katie

    katie_tp at yahoo dot com

  3. Thanks again!
    GFC as Vivien

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  4. Thank you for the awesome giveaway! I really, really want to read this :)

    GFC follower Tiffany Drew


  5. I want this book so much!
    GFC Amanda M.
    amercnchic (at) aol (dot) com

  6. Interesting post. Thanks for the giveaway! It's been awhile since I've read anything based on fairy tales, so I definitely want to get my hands on this! :D
    I follow through GFC- Chey.

  7. Thanks for this great giveaway!

    GFC: Patricia's Particularity

  8. Such a great giveaway! Thanks.
    GFC thegirlonfire27

  9. A brand new author to me but this book sounds wonderful and I would love to have a chance to read it. Thank you for the giveaway.

    LadyVampire2u AT gmail DOT com

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Sheehan is a genius, just sayin.
    GCF: Kare

  12. Great giveaway. I'm really looking forward to reading this. I have heard fabulous things!

    GFC : Karis Jacobstein (YA Litwit)

  13. This book looks great! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

    Beth ^_^

  14. Thanks so much for the chance! :D
    GFC - Sierra Cullen.♥


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Sorry, but I am award and tag free zone, I do not have the time to return. Comments are reward enough :)