Saturday, May 22, 2010

Interview with Shannon Delaney

Spellbound by Books would like to introduce Shannon Delaney, Author of the upcoming Debut novel 13 to Life.  13 to Life will be out on June 22!

A big thank you to Shannon Delaney for taking the time to answer these questions.  So here we go:

1. How would you describe 13 to Life? 

I'd describe it as something that can be read at different levels by different people.  Yes, theres action, romance and danger, but there's also some deeper underlying themes and subtleties some people will catch and others will skim across.  There are hidden bits that line things up in the next two books very specifically.  And to me, getting different things from a book?  Well, that's the way it should be.  We're all different readers, we all bring different things to our reading experience and should take away different ones, too.
2. What was the easiest/hardest part of writing 13 to Life?
Putting it in front of my editor was hardest. As a writer I think we all move (in the space of a single breath) from feeling we're the worst writer in the world to feeling we're the best. And back again. An editor's the one person who really gets to tell you how you rank in your profession as an author. The easiest part was writing the rough draft. The characters do most of it for me, frankly--I just sort of view and record the action through the lenses which are Jessie's eyes.
3. What routines/habits do you have for where you write, when you write and how you write?

The main one is I read aloud everything I write--at least twice. Other than that, I write when I can, as much as I can and as fast as I can (ignoring the internal editor until we're past the rough draft stage). Oh. Coffee helps, as does smoked salmon (lox and bagel = yum).
4. What keeps you writing? 

Writing's like an addiction.  I need to get the stories and characters down on paper.  It's like they all rent space in my head until they're ready to find their own home--in the right book, living the right adventures. 

5. What do you hope people take away with them after reading your work?

Overall, I want my books to raise questions about things in my readers' lives.  Yes, this debut series is about paranormal happenings, but as weird as the story gets it's still about people and the way we treat each other and ourselves.  If I can get you to wonder...about the characters' futures, about their choices or your own, I feel I've accomplished something.  I firmly believe we can learn something from reading anything--we don't only learn when reading straight fiction or non-fiction if we're open-minded.  
6. Is there a question you've always wanted to be asked but haven't?  What would your answer be?

I think I've been asked most of the questions I'd care to answer (sometimes multiple times). I always look forward to unique questions, though (but I'm low on caffeine today so I have few floating around in my head). 
7. Any future projects you would like to share with us?

I have a bunch of things planned (and a number "in the works').  Right now all I can really say is that the second book in this series has been accepted by my publisher and I expect book three will be accepted soon, too.  After that I'll be working on vastly different books.  But mainly YA.

8. Are there any tips and advice you would like to pass on to aspiring writers? 

 Read alot, and write even more.  Set achievable goals and be persistent.

9. Three things you can't live without?

A way to write. Love. Yeah, it sounds corny, but that's how I roll. I'm fond of being loved (who isn't?) and I'm lucky to have a bunch of great people who really do love me. Without them I'd be so miserable (but still stubborn enough to live). Third? Common sense. Quite literally (and with me, it comes and goes). ;-)

10. What book's have influenced your life most?

Ugh. Technically the Bible, Shakespeare's works, and, oddly enough, the Valdemar series by Mercedes Lackey. They all have very unique merits.

11.  And last, your stuck on deserted island which character from your books would you take with you and why?

Hmm. A few months ago I would have said Pietr (Jess drives me crazy--we have some annoying similarities). But at this point, having finished book 2, I think I'd take Max along. Once you read book 2 you'll probably figure out there are a few decent reasons to keep him around (and not really for the reasons you'd guess from 13 to Life). I have the advantage of seeing my characters grow up before readers do.

Find out more about Shannon Delaney:
You can purchase 13 To Life here:
St. Martin's Press has special stuff planned for 13 to Life in their upcoming newsletter, so if you want to read the first two chapters, or an exclusive short story just for the newsletter, please sign up.



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