Tag Archives: The Em Suite

The Write OWL

Writing A Series—Djuna Shellam The Write OWL—Episode 16

Writing A Series

Djuna Shellam The Write OWL—Episode 16

The Em SuiteWriting a series is my topic for this Djuna Shellam The Write OWL—Episode 16. As a reader first, I love the series. When I watch a movie, if I’m completely engrossed in it, I’m saddened at the end because I want more. The same, of course, is true for a good novel. I just don’t want it to end. Well, as a writer, I get to do what I want, and I want the story to go on and on and on.

The Em Suite did not start off as a series as I explain in the video, but I’m so thrilled it became one. There is a downside to writing a series, for me, anyway. I find that while I’m writing, my brain is so many stories ahead, working out logistics and plots—it can be a bit distracting for an impatient person such as myself.

There are many other stories I have on the flightline, waiting their turn to fly, but right now, it’s difficult for me to think of straying from The Em Suite. I’d almost feel as if I was a big fat cheater if I did.

As I mention in my video, there are aspects about writing a series that make writing easier. For instance, you already know the backstories for most of your characters, you know them best—inside and out, you don’t have to work as hard to figure out how they might respond in a given situation or to another person. The difficult part is making sure you have continuity between books. The fact is, I’m not a patient person, but writing a series is forcing me to be, and the biggest reason why is continuity.

I’ve found if I rush myself, I overlook or completely forget about certain elements in the current story that would be completely out of character or out of place. If I let myself wait and ponder about the story, sure enough, I’ll find myself sitting up in bed, from a deep sleep, realizing that my character can’t do that then because she was someplace else in another book! Or something to that effect.

But I’m enjoying writing a series, and I hope my readers are enjoying it as well! Speaking of The Em Suite series, you can find all three current ebooks exclusively at Amazon.com. Just click HERE.

djuna shellam

Regrets Equal Opportunities—Djuna Shellam—Episode 15

Regrets Equal Opportunties

Episode 15

Regrets Equal Opportunities is the subject of this Wednesday’s Djuna Shellam The Write OWL episode. For me, my biggest regret in life has actually turned out not to be a negative, but more of an opportunity.

Sometimes I allow myself to go the “oh poor me” space where I whine about “wasting” so much of my life (one of my regrets), a life that naturally gets shorter by the day. It’s not a pleasant place for me, so I try to avoid it. When I began writing in earnest, I discovered I could parlay my regrets into interesting storylines where I have the power to rewrite history. Or, to be more precise, create history—for my characters, and ultimately, for me. Now, rather than retreating into the unhappy place, I can write.

So what do I mean? Simple. Make a mistake in life? Let a character make a better choice. Did you forget to… Travel around the world? Have kids? Invent anything? Save money. Make money. Be happy? Walk across the country for a cause? Pursue your dreams? Love the one you love? Leave the one you don’t love? Shall I go on? I could…

I don’t know how other writers do it, but it’s cathartic, sometimes, for me to address a regret through one of my characters. Now don’t go looking for me in everything my characters do, undoing regrets, because most of the time I’m weaving other people’s experiences and regrets into my characters’ experiences, with perhaps a thread or two of mine.

As I mention in Episode 15, Regrets Equal Opportunitiesmy biggest regret was not realizing, or understanding is probably a better word, that I was smart. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m some kind of genius or anything, just that until I was in my twenties, I thought I was not smart enough to do the things I wanted to do. Writing is a great fix for that. I can do all the things I ever wanted to do through my characters. I mean, how great is that? It’s almost like magic.

So, regrets? I don’t have no stinking regrets. I have opportunities.

If you haven’t read it read, The Em Suite is available exclusively at Amazon.com. Where else can you get hours and hours and hours of entertaining escapism for less than $10?

djuna shellam

Genre—Djuna Shellam The Write OWL—Episode 12


Djuna Shellam The Write OWL—Episode 12

Genre is the topic of today’s Sunday episode of Djuna Shellam The Write OWL. It’s Mother’s Day, so it’s a short one. On that note, I want to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all the good mothers in the world. Yougenre deserve to be pampered, loved, adored and waited on hand and foot. Accept nothing less, expect more—you know your kids do. Ha!

So let’s talk about genre. As it turns out, this will be the first of two episodes on the topic
. Apparently, I have a lot to say about it. Currently, my series is listed under the genre lesbian fiction and lesbian romance on Amazon. It was quite a dilemma for me trying to decide where to list them. Niche genres are great if they’re not too small, and they’re terrible if they are. General fiction or romance are genre categories that are much too large, in my opinion, and my books would most likely get lost in the millions of books available there (I might be exaggerating, but I don’t think I am).

I never set out to write in a particular genre, in particular, the lesbian genre. I just had a story knocking around in my head I thought was good enough to tell, and wanted to tell. That it turned into a series of that genre was also not planned. I follow the stories, wherever they lead. Wherever. Right now, they’re leading me through the lives of lesbian characters. Who knows what will happen in the future? I sure don’t. In five years I could be telling the stories of exiled Grakgors from the planet Siragia of the Xlokystraa Galaxy. And they may or may not be lesbians. Wait… hmmm…

I believe at some point I may split the genres. It will be at the risk of hurting my overall ranking, in order to open my series to more readers, especially those willing to explore a bit, but it will probably be worth it in the long run.

Less than a week away from the launch of Prairie Fire. You can pre-order yours right now HERE. See you Wednesday!

djuna shellam

I’m Not Em—Episode 9—Djuna Shellam The Write OWL

“I’m Not Em”

I'm Not EmIn this Wednesday edition and 9th episode of Djuna Shellam The Write OWL video series, “I’m Not Em,” I address the notion that my character Em Martín of The Em Suite might somehow be me. I understand, in some ways, why that assumption might be made. I’m not able to speak for other writers, but for myself, I can say that there is some truth running through all aspects of my characters and storylines, so that in a way, yes, Em is me. Except she’s not.

What I’ve always found odd is that people who have known me forever have leapt to the conclusion that Em is me and I am Em. I remind them, “I’m Not Em.” Some know me quite well, so it’s made me really ponder the possibility that I may have been writing Em as myself and not even know it. I know I’ve done the same thing with friends of mine who are writers, looking for the character who might be them. I think it’s human nature to want to find a connection with the writer and their characters. At least for some readers it is. However, after much pondering, which is something I do quite a lot, I’ve come to the conclusion that, while Em and I might have some internal similarities, and she might give voice to something in me from time to time, the fact is, she is a fictional character derived from various pieces of, yes, me, but other people I’ve known or even just met in my life.

I don’t know how other writers create characters, but for me the process is Shelley-esque, where my characters are drawn from pieces or composites of many other people—fictional or otherwise. I don’t want to imply I’ve created monsters, but that in order to create characters, a writer has to stitch them together with traits, characteristics, physical attributes, and so on that come from various sources. But the most important thing to take away from today’s blog is… “I’m Not Em.” Of course, in order to see why, you’ll just have to watch the video.

I hope you enjoy today’s episode. Please leave a comment, or better yet, subscribe to the Djuna Shellam YouTube channel so you don’t miss out on any new episodes.



djuna shellam

Intro To Alice Hollywood—The Write OWL—Episode 8

Intro To Alice Hollywood Book One The Em Suite

Djuna Shellam The Write OWL Episode 8

Hiya. In this Sunday episode of my video blog, or blog, Intro Alice Hollywood, I talk about my first book in the series The Em Suite. I have so much I’d like to say that gets stuck somewhere in my brain, but you know me and the little green light! Drives me mad sometimes. I thought I’d include a snippet of the description from the Alice Hollywood page, and if you’d like, even a link in case you wanted to know even more than I manage to tell you in the video. Intro Alice Hollywood.

intro alice hollywoodAlice Hollywood is a young spitfire from Hollywood, California. She and her best friend, the poor little rich girl Em Martín from nearby Bel Air, CA, are stationed on a remote military base in West Texas in the mid-1970’s. 

Worldly Alice “Hollywood” Hollywell is notorious for changing “teams” without notice. Em is shy and seemingly sheltered and has a secret. Despite their differences, their friendship blossoms into something they never imagined. The arrest of their friend Whitey, and rumors about an investigation into his friends and associates creates a frightening environment, complicating everything. 

On base, and particularly within their inner circle, the atmosphere is rife with suspicion and fear. Alice and Em realize the military is a very dangerous place for them, and quickly find themselves in the middle of a rabid witch-hunt. Decisions are made with disastrous consequences. (For more, click  HERE)

I hope you enjoy my Intro To Alice Hollywood video. Please feel free to leave a comment, or better still, subscribe to my YouTube channel! Until next episode…