We have a great interview with author Shannon A Thompson to share with you. We just reviewed Minutes Before Sunset and her new novel Seconds Before Sunrise will be out on March 27th. We are really excited to find out what happens. Read our review to find out why. It’s a great book. Our first questions are silly ones but she gave us great answers to all of our questions. She has an amazing website with tons of information. It doesn’t matter if you’re an aspiring writer or an avid reader who wants to know how authors do what they do, her website has great information. If you have fun questions that you would like to see us add to our list of icebreakers send them to us. We would love to see them. Now, our interview with Shannon A. Thompson.
1. Do you kill bugs or set them free?
“Depends on the bug? Lady bugs must be set free. Wasps must be vacuumed with the hose from a distance.”
2. If you weren’t human what would you be?
“Oh! Now that is a question. I think a magical, forest creature of some sort – as long as I was also nocturnal.”
“A deep red, like Merlot. I actually painted my bedroom in college this color, and I matched it with black and gold furniture with black and white posters from my favorite 50’s movies.”
4. If you were a fairy tale character who would you be?
“I grew up with the Grimms’ Fairy Tales, so I’m not sure I would want to be one of those characters. They always end up dismembered. But if I could choose from Disney, I think Mulan is my favorite (although the legend of Hua Mulan is very different from the Disney version.) I’m starting to think that I’m over-thinking this.”
5. If you were that fairy tale character fighting a dragon and the dragon gave you a choice between saving your love and saving a nearby village from its wrath which would you choose?
“I would save my love, because I would’ve already saved the village people – making the village empty and only houses would be destroyed. (See? Happy endings.)”
1. Why did you choose to write about Shades?
“Well, for one, I like writing about creatures beyond the norm, and the shades were based off of what I saw in the dreams I based the novel off of. I wasn’t sure what to call them, but I ultimately decided on shades when writing the second novel. I actually explained my decision on my website” here: http://shannonathompson.com/2013/09/16/writing-tips-creating-the-paranormal/ where I discuss the method of combining old tales with new ideas in order to create a refreshing twist on overused creatures.
2. In your book the Shades have a human form. Were you worried that would be confusing to the reader?
“I think most authors are worried about everything being confusing to the reader, but I trust the reader. Of course, juggling two identities with every character wasn’t easy when writing, so I knew it wouldn’t be easy when reading it, but sometimes that is the point – the challenge yourself and the reader to focus on the separation of identities in order to grasp what the trilogy is stating about identity in general.”
3. What do you hope your readers take away from this series?
“Other than being entertained, I hope readers can relate to the characters and appreciate the challenge of stereotypes and archetypes. For instance, light is normally good, and dark is bad, but I flipped them. I wanted readers to ask, “Why do we continue to use these same symbols in our literature over and over, and do we have to continue using them?” In terms of stereotypes, I wanted to create characters that teens could relate to in order to find comfort in their own identity. For instance, Crystal dresses in a style most would consider “punk,” but she is ambitious and girly in her own way. I wanted readers to see themselves – or their classmates – in that. A punk doesn’t have to be this “negative punk.” A punk can be a hardworking student that goes to prom.”
4. How is writing a series different than writing a stand alone novel?
“I wrote about this on my website, too. I do a lot of writing, editing, and publishing tips. But, anyway, here’s the link: http://shannonathompson.com/2013/09/05/writing-tips-sequel-trilogy-series-etc/ I think both require a lot of attention and planning, but a series is much longer, and they must tie together, which can add complications. I enjoy writing both, but I recommend new writers to begin with a stand-alone novel before moving onto series.”
“Seconds Before Sunrise releases on March 27, 2014. While the first book was focused on being in the Dark, this novel will revolve around what it is like to be human in a paranormal world. But don’t worry! There’s plenty of action, romance, and twists ready to be revealed and explored. I will give you one hint: the novel takes place from the middle of August to the middle of December.”
6. Who is your favorite author?
“That is an impossible question, but I will try to narrow it down to a few. Billy Collins is my favorite poet, and Cassandra Clare is my current obsession within the YA genre (but I also LOVE Lauren Oliver and Meg Cabot and…okay, I could go on forever.)”
7. What books have influenced you and your work?
“I wouldn’t say that any specific books have influenced my work, but I would say that an abundance of reading all different kinds of novels inspired me to write in a variety of genres. That being said, I always admired Meg Cabot’s young-adult fiction. She isn’t afraid of breaking boundaries with her protagonists, allowing them to be both tough and girly, intellectual and human, as well as many other things.”
8. What has writing taught you about yourself?
“Writing has allowed me to realize what is most important in this world: helping and inspiring others. I always thought my dream was to be a published author, but that happened, and I knew that wasn’t the main goal I was working toward. Ultimately, I dream of being able to open an affordable art school. It may not be accredited, but I think it would be better if it was simply a place where new artists could meet acclaimed artists in their field – like networking – and grow with their art in order to make it into a career at an earlier age.”
9. What has it taught you about life?
“Life is short. I know. I know. How cliche. But there’s a reason it’s cliche – it’s true.
My love for writing was only taken seriously after my mother died, and I knew I had to spend my life spreading the love for achieving dreams, because – quite frankly – I won’t be here forever, but art will be. It may not be my art – but if I can influence another artist to try, I think my life will be worth it. Art is immortal, and it teaches the soul to those of the future.”
“My mantra is “Write with passion; succeed with self-discipline.” It helps me get through the bad and the good days. It’s okay if you have to remind yourself how much you love what you do; you just have to keep doing it. It may take years, even decades, but following your dreams is worth more than wondering what it would be like to try.”
11. Is there anything that you would like to share with our readers?
“My website – http://shannonathompson.com – includes writing, publishing, and editing tips, but I’m here to help anyone! I’m also giving away free copies of Minutes Before Sunset in exchange for an honest review. Feel free to email me at any time with questions or comments (or even just to chat.) I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!”
We would like to thank Shannon A. Thompson for taking the time to answer our questions. Don’t forget to pick up Minutes Before Sunset.
Wine Glass Image: Red Red Wine by Theswedish from freeimages.com
All images of Shannon A Thompson can be found on the authors web site.