Thursday, January 30, 2014

January Giveaway Almost Over!

Elementary, my dear blogger!
Don't forget to follow this blog and me on twitter to take this fine British gent home with you tonight.  (Technically, he'll be shipped to you).  Follow @ShawnPKeenan and and leave a comment in the posts.  That's it, you're entered!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

It's Errant Author's First Giveaway!

All that's missing is a little button you push to hear his voice.
It's amazing to think how long I've had this blog going without doing a giveaway.  Everybody knows you buy friends, happiness, and followers with bribes.  Well, our first contest is custom tailored for fans of pasty-white British thespians with sophisticated, baritone voices.

This giveaway's prize is a one-of-a-kind charcoal rendition of everybody's favorite Sherlock Holmes, as recently featured on Entertainment Magazine's January 24th cover.  Here's how you win:

Become a Twitter and blog follower before the end of January.  The Twitter handle to follow is @ShawnPKeenan and the blog is  Once you're following both, just comment on this post and you're entered to win.  What if I'm already following you on Twitter and on this lovely blog, Shawn?  Great!  Just post!  And feel free to mention who you might like to see drawn for future contests.  The winner will be chosen randomly and contacted via Twitter.

Best of luck to all you Cumberbatch fans out there.  See you in the comments section!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Kirkus Review of my 2013 Workout Routine

An enthusiastic effort that yielded minimal results.

Keenan’s latest attempt to defy genetics, heredity, and history by weighing more than a wet Great Dane left this reviewer wondering the delusion necessary to make this repetitive effort year after year expecting different results.  The workouts started with a blind optimism only expressed by the most naive of hearts or by those recovering poorly from sun stroke.  The sentiment imbuing the entire effort that “things will be different this time” left me wondering if Keenan knew something he wasn’t sharing, or if perhaps that much needed steroids were finally involved.

A few short months into the routine, it was clear that performance enhancing drugs had not been utilized and that the aforementioned optimism was already giving way to a more natural and reasonable acceptance of ultimate failure.  For every pound of muscle gained, an inexplicable two pounds of some other bodily matter escaped his frame, disproving the Law of Conservation of Matter as well as promises made on the wrappers of protein power bars.

By Fall, with only a statistically insignificant amount of gains made, it appeared Keenan could still achieve his goal by either wearing thicker clothes or ingesting non-lethal heavy metals.  Unwilling to compromise his principles, Keenan continued on his path undeterred, insistent that he fail on his own terms, in his own way, the way he always did and always would.

Frustratingly relatable, unforgettably devastating, and completely predictable, this effort by Keenan checked all the boxes you want checked in a yearlong workout goal.  Coming within a pound of his objective with a week to go was a thrilling end to the journey, but it was his unexpected throwing in of towel at the eleventh hour that left this reviewer wondering, “Will he even bother to try this again?”  Only if he learned nothing.  And I think it’s clear he never does.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Trying to Get An Agent has Turned Me Into the Joker

It's not about the foreign rights, it's about ... sending a message.

Have you ever wanted something to happen and dreaded it happening all within the same moment?  It’s not easy to do.  It involves two disparate emotions flowing through your uh … internal feeling tunnels … simultaneously, and it’s a weird sensation.  I imagine it’s a bit like driving up the Holland Tunnel in the wrong lane.  In a bathtub.  Nude.

That’s how I feel about hearing back from an agent with my novel UNSEND.  Every few days (fine every hour) I go to my inbox to see if I’ve gotten an email from that stranger onto whom I’ve pinned almost five years of hopes and dreams.  Now, keep in mind, said person didn’t ask for this responsibility.  This is still a very one-sided relationship and she is undoubtedly considering many, many works to represent.  If she is the sun of my publishing universe right now, I’m at best, a Pluto.  And that’s Pluto the demoted dwarf planet, not even Pluto the furthest, coldest, smallest planet on the fringe of everything.      

So I really want to hear back from her and learn if she’s going to invite me to the dance.  Another possibility is an “It’s Not Me, It’s You” letter.  There really is no in between at this point.  I’ve sent a revised version of my book that I believe addresses the concerns she expressed with my first submission.  This rewrite will either appeal to her or it won’t.  It’s like brie, or blue cheese dressing.  (Hopefully it's like ranch.  Everybody loves ranch).  It wouldn’t make sense for her to suggest more rewrites at this stage without an offer of representation, so this will be an all-or-nothing response.  There is, undoubtedly, a line of wonderful submissions waiting their turn behind mine.  If I didn’t accomplish what I set out to do with this rewrite, there is somebody else waiting in the wings who can and will, or did and has with theirs.  And I truly wish them the best. 

Remember that scene in The Dark Knight when the Joker is standing in the street watching the Batcycle scream toward him?  In his deranged (and typical) state, the Joker was mumbling to himself.  “Come on.  I want you to hit me!  I want you to do it, I want you to do it.”  He was twitchy, he was agitated.  And he was excited.

That’s me checking my email.  “Come on.  I want you to email me!  I want you to do it, I want you to do it.”  Do I really?  I don’t actually want to be rejected.  In theory, I only want that email to show up if it’s a positive response.  But I also want to make progress, and that requires accepting that there are two ways forward from here.  So with nothing but lint and knives in my purple, hand sewn suit, I stare down my inbox and invite that moment.  I feel the emotions.  Excitement, dread, anticipation, apprehension.

It’s time for a breakthrough or a breakdown.  They'll probably feel about the same at this point.

Come on.  Email me!