Here is the final part of the Shayne, Cameron, Lane interview from DragonCon 2018. Finally, Lane gets a word in edgewise over those two loudmouths. 😉
Interview with Shayne, Cameron and Lane. Part 3.
Joelle Reizes (JD Blackrose): Shayne lets go back to your process…
Shayne Silvers: Mm-hmm
Joelle: …because, I think, and I think your readers really wanna understand. Because, it’s really funny you know, I follow you on Facebook. I’m there all the time. I see what people are writing and their asking. First of all, they pay really close attention to detail. Right?
Shayne: Yes, yes.
Joelle: They know your books. I mean sometimes I feel they know them better than you do.
Shayne: That’s possible. That is very possible, yeah.
Joelle: They ask the most, most detailed questions.
Joelle: And you’re putting out what I consider to be a phenomenal amount of work, just quantity word churn. And they are like write faster.
Shayne: Tell me about it. <Laugh>
Joelle: So, why don’t you talk a little about that process?
Joelle: And how many words you actually have to produce. And how many hours that actually takes.
Shayne: Yeah. So, I’ll kind of back up a little bit. But, when I had a full time job which was 2017, like through the first part of 2017, I was a banker. And so, I had two toddlers at home, wife, full time job. And so I would find reasons to take long lunches. You know whatever it was, meetings, client meetings that I needed to do, or I’d be brain storming at work. Taking notes while I’m reading a report or something. I’ll jot down quick notes for Nate or Callie or anything. But basically I would get home spend some time with the kids. And as soon as they go down, I mean, it was butt in the chair. You have to work. And so there was probably the majority of 2016 and 2017 I was sleeping four hours a night. And working and publishing every six weeks like clockwork. And the writing part wasn’t hard. The writing part has never been difficult for me because I am always thinking about it. So people see that I start a book on day one and on day fourteen it’s done. And they think that’s amazing. But they don’t realize that I live it. Like, as I’m walking down the street and someone is talking to me. I’m probably not listening. I’m probably in my head outlining Nate or outlining Callie.
Joelle: That makes me feel a lot better. Okay, yeah, great.
Shayne: Yeah, it’s not that they are not interesting or anything, it’s that I’m literally more interested by this world that I’m creating. It’s more fun. And so they will see that I sit down on day one and on day fourteen I’m done and they are like how? That’s not possible. I’ve been outlining for three months.
Joelle: Right. But …
Shayne: You know, in my head.
Joelle: … Okay, so you’ve done your first draft.
Shayne: Yeah, so I write about fifteen, about ten to fifteen thousand words a day. In six to eight hours. And then, so I finish a book, draft one which is pretty close to finished because I do kind of edit as I go. Not like Cameron where he has to have it finished before he can continues. But I‘ll finish chunks. So I’ll finish a hundred thousand word book in ten days. And then I’ll spend about five days editing and going through all the foreshadowing making sure there is no inconsistencies or anything like that. And then that’s it. It’s done. And then I’ll send it to the editor. They’ll take a couple of days, two, three, four days. And then the beta team. They’ll get for seven to ten days. And then publish. But in the mean time I was still doing all the business side. I was doing all the advertising. And trying to keep up with the group. Because the group has gotten ridiculously large. There are so many conversations. And then they want to do conventions, get togethers, book signings, and things. So, it’s become a lot more time intensive.
Joelle: Yeah, you’re lucky.
Shayne: And it’s great. No. There is no complaints.
Joelle: It’s huge.
Shayne: But they will say hey Shayne we want to talk to you on Facebook or this or that. And write faster.
Shayne: <Laughing> It’s like I can’t do both. Yeah. <Laughing>
Joelle: For those who are not writers. The amount of words Shayne churns out in a day is really phenomenally unusual. I really need to make that really clear. That is not normal. That is really not normal. Like Cameron was saying, if you can churn out two thousand words in a good sit down, like that’s actually pretty good. I mean that pretty average.
Cameron: That’s six hundred thousand words a year. More than that.
Cameron: Almost seven hundred thousand a year. Which, I mean, that is seven solid books. If you do two thousand every day.
Cameron: Most people take weekends. They take holidays. They take some time off because they need time to process. So you don’t end up getting your seven hundred thousand words.
Cameron: We just amped up the quantity because we can.
Joelle: Yeah, so it’s a lot. It’s a lot. And there are times when, for example, I’m writing and, you know, I just don’t want to.
Shayne: Mm-hmm. Absolutely. Absolutely.
Joelle: I just don’t feel like it. You don’t want to sit down.
Joelle: So my technique for that is to say write five hundred words.
Joelle: Just, whatever, I like you said Cameron, I can write five hundred words. Right? That doesn’t take much.
Joelle: And usually if I can get five hundred words then I can write a thousand words.
Joelle: But you’re writing ten thousand. What’s your minimum for yourself?
Shayne: Minimum is ten thousand. So if I sit down to write I’m going to write ten thousand. And then like I’ll be listening to some kind of; like if I’m having a rough day like that, and I can’t get started, then I’ll turn on an episode of something that’s encouraging. Like maybe a quick scene from Infinity War or just something, whatever kind of scene I’m coming into. I’ll find some way to feed the muse. Right? Whether it’s music, a quick video clip of some movie that I love or whatever it is. Talk to someone who is also up doing something. You know, I’ll call Michael Anderle or Cameron and I’ll say hey, talk to me for a minute. Like, get me pumped. If I can’t do it myself. But what I’ll do is, if I, once I hit or break that threshold of ten thousand and then if I get to encouraged I’ll do thirty or so. But …
Joelle: Yeah, that’s inhuman.
Shayne: <Chuckle> That’s happened a couple of times.
Joelle: That’s inhuman. I wanna bring Lane in.
Joelle: So, Lane come on. Lane’s in a chair farther away. Yeah, so, I’m asking Shayne to give him his microphone. So, Lane when you came on board. Now you are coming on board to sort of take care of the business side. The business side of this; I called you guys the triumvirate the other day, the business side of this triumvirate.
Lane Hamilton: <Laughing> Holly trinity
Joelle: Yeah, holly trinity. There is obviously a lot to do and you told me you were sort of learning the business. Where you aware that what Shayne does, like when you first started where you aware that what Shayne does is different. Like that is not usual.
Lane: Yes, in multiple ways. I mean besides just how many words he can put out. I mean he’s a very creative-minded individual, obviously, but also has the business acumen that a lot of people can’t have both of those sides of their mind working at the same time. So yeah, I mean, he’s different than all of us. <Laugh>
Joelle: Yeah, he is a unique individual. We’ll just pretend you’re not here and we’re gonna talk about you for a moment, Shayne.
Joelle: Put on your nananana.
Shayne: Laa Laa Laa
Joelle: So tell us a little bit about your role. So what is the business side? What does that mean?
Lane: Yeah, so, keep in mind that I’ve been with Shayne for just a little while. But what I’ll basically be doing is making sure that Shayne is writing. That Cameron is writing. That they don’t have to worry about doing all the marketing side. Making sure that Cameron actually gets paid. You know when it’s time <laugh> to pay Cameron. And do things like that. Just looking at all the finances. The data that we’ve been collecting. Coming up with new ideas. Whether, we’ve been talking about merchandise and just doing different sides and different revenue streams. It’s all going to fall on to my plate. So that these guys can go ahead and keep writing cause that’s what drives this whole machine.
Joelle: So you’re going to be looking at everything from book sales to merchandising deals to, all of that.
Joelle: Everything, …
Joelle: … like this book is selling and this book is not selling as well as this book needs a little help, whatever.
Lane: Yeah, why is it not selling? Page reads went down. Book sales went down. What did we do differently three months ago when it was up verses what are we doing now.
Joelle: So will you be handling advertising as well?
Joelle: So, like Facebook, Amazon, all of that stuff. You’ll be handling all of that.
Lane: Yes. Yeah.
Joelle: Ok, so yeah, that is an enormous part to be able to take off of the writers shoulders.
Lane: Oh, yeah.
Shayne: We’ll be working together. It’s not like I am completely handing all of that off. But he’s going to run it. And then we will discuss options. Like he just said. If there is any change we want to make. Or increase or decrease or whatever it is we will talk together and we will look at the numbers and I’ve got a lot of experience in that. So, he’s going to piggyback and learn that and understand that for himself so he can take care of more authors if we want to sign on more authors as well.
Joelle: Lane, this is your first DragonCon.
Lane: Yes, it is. Yeah.
Joelle: So DragonCon, it’s an event, it’s an adventure all of its own. What have been your impressions?
Lane: Oh. I don’t think I knew what I was walking into.
Joelle: Fair. That’s fair.
Lane: The first night that we got here, so, that was Thursday night, and it was relatively calm. And people kept saying to me what do you think about DragonCon and I kept telling them I’m pretty sure I have no idea what’s about ready to hit me. We kind of ran into that last night. What hotel was it? Was it the Marriott? The Marquis. And there had to have been thirty thousand people all packed into this hotel lobby. All in cosplay.
Lane: And I mean…
Joelle: Cosplay here is rather unbelievable
Lane: Oh, it was awesome.
Lane: It was absolutely awesome. It got to the point it was almost visual overload. Everything you see just started to blur. But it was just so amazing.
Joelle: Yeah, it is pretty crazy. Ok, so we will end this with a little quick round. Your favorite cosplay that you saw?
Lane: Oh. <pause> I did see a Thanos which was pretty cool. That was a good one.
Joelle: A good Thanos?
Lane: Yeah, a good Thanos. But all of them were good.
Shayne: I saw like a “robo dead mouse.” Which was pretty cool.
Joelle: You mean like a smash up?
Shayne: No, no, no. Like a Deadmau5. Like the musician.
Joelle: Oh, Okay.
Shayne: DJ. But it was like a robo like iron man type Deadmau5. It was pretty cool.
Joelle: Yeah, that’s pretty specific too. You have to know that one.
Cameron: Yeah, I think Shayne told mine. If we are thinking about the same thing. But no, I think my favorite, I don’t know. I saw, so I’m a little bit more; I wouldn’t say more nerdy than they are. I’m just nerdy in a different direction. So, I like anime quite a bit, and I saw like the entire cast, I’m pretty sure, of My Hero Academia…
Joelle: They were all dressed as the same thing.
Cameron: It was like a cast of 26 people.
Joelle: Yeah, huge organization.
Cameron: And they all require; like they are all super heroes in crazy costumes, anime costumes with anime hair and like face makeup and all kinds of stuff. And they had the whole cast. Of course it was like past midnight, so …
Shayne: Oh yeah.
Cameron: … they were tired. So, it looked like they had all been murdered basically. <Laughing> It was like, they were all laying down on each other. Like people that are like traditionally enemies and stuff. And they were passed out on each other’s lap. That for me was like the highlight. And of course; I’m geeking out over it, like oh my god you guys. And they are walking past me like, these are just passed out people. <Laughing> I don’t why it’s a big deal to you.
Cameron: Yep. Yep, pretty much.
Joelle: Yeah, Shayne just said, “half naked passed out people.” That’s a lot of DragonCon at like around 1:00 AM or so.
Joelle: Yeah, so Lane just said, “we’ll see the Temple cast next year.” Which would be super, super fun to do. So, I’ll just tell you, I shared this with you guys last night. I saw a dad with his little girl. She was dressed as Belle in the full, like, yellow dress and she posed in a very pretty way. Like with her hand just so. And dad, exhausted, hot dad, was just being the best parent ever and wearing this heavy hot Beast mask and posing for every picture that anybody wanted. Which was just like, aww, parenting done right. I have to say it was really great. But I did feel sort of sorry for him at the same time.
Shayne: I was just going to add the best part. She (Joelle) took a picture of it and the best part about it was the little princess’s hand. She had the like, I don’t even know what to call it…
Joelle: She just had this little …
Shayne: …like her fingers out. Right by her hip. Like a little curtsy type thing. And it was just awesome. She’s got an ear to ear smile. The dad is just …
Shayne: … you know, heat stroke.
Shayne: He’s right there.
Joelle: So, it was great. So, thank you guys. This was a little unusual to have so many people in an interview and passing around the microphone. Hopefully, for everybody listening, the quality of the sound is good. I’ll be checking that later. But thank you guys for doing this.
Shayne: Oh, this was a blast. Thanks for having us.
Joelle: Yeah, a lot of fun.