How have you fared during the pandemic?
It’s been a roller coaster, as I’m sure it has been for everyone. I didn’t have the downtime a lot of people had at the beginning, because I actually took on a second role at work and still had to work as normal on the primary job (I was a bookkeeper for a small restaurant, but started waitressing when we lost employees who couldn’t risk working with the public due to health threats). Which meant I was constantly busy. I’ve got two teens at home, and while they’re deeply independent, I’ve tried cutting out time to spend with them, even if it was just watching a TV show or a movie with each of them so they’d get mom time. It probably helped me, too.
What’s been keeping you busy?
Work kept me busy until mid-August, when I quit the job. Not one to allow myself any downtime, I decided a pandemic was the perfect time to enroll in online college to finish out my Bachelor’s degree. I previously had an Associate’s in Psychology, but the Bachelor’s will be in Business Administration Management and Marketing, which I’m hoping will help with the business aspects of writing and podcasting. Oh yeah, I also started a true crime and paranormal podcast with a friend in the fall and released two books, one of them launching only two days before the state shut down due to the pandemic.
What was your favorite piece of new horror media from the last year?
Antebellum. It’s a beautiful film. I always have trouble talking about it, though, because it would be too easy to give away the twist, which they purposely hid in the trailers. All I can say is that it’s deeply disturbing in a Handmaid’s Tale kind of way, and that there’s a wonderful piece of empowering imagery near the end that involves a bit of “taking back” of something.
What are you looking forward to most in the horror community for 2021?
I have a tendency to not read the newest books out, though I watch movies as soon as I can. So this year I’m hoping to read more horror as it comes out.
What keeps from throwing in the towel when things get tough?
Honestly, I’ve come quite close this year to throwing in the towel on a few things. (And I *did* throw in the towel on some things, but that was planned–my job and a volunteer job). But I’m part of several wonderful writing communities that are encouraging, and several editors have come through for me in the last month, with surprising bits of encouragement that will keep me going for at least a tad bit longer. My brain runs at light speed and never shuts off, but I’m trying to learn to meditate for a bit of mental health. Even if I interrupt myself all the time, just taking that time to find a peaceful place and BREATHE makes a huge difference.
What projects do you have coming up?
I’ve got a story coming out in Terror Tract this month, possibly another short story collection in the fall, and I’m outlining two nonfiction books. Plus, I’m hoping to finish a horror comedy novel I’ve been working on for a while. Maybe slow down on the short stories for a while.
Important Links for Shannon Lawrence
- Website: https://thewarriormuse.com
- Podcast website: https://mysteriesmonstersmayhem.com