There will also be a contest that will close at the end of the tour. Winners get a bunch of stuff. (Keep on reading!)
Simply: Teenage love, loss and--oh, yeah--werewolves. ;-) It's definitely a humorous (in many ways) YA paranormal, but it deals with some heavy issues of personal loss and sacrifice and raises questions for readers about the real meaning of friendship and loyalty (ad Romeo and Juliet). But yes, there are werewolves. ;-) For folks following the Serial Tour, they're catching (at least) a good glimpse of the book's voice and beginning. They'll get through part of Chapter 4 by month's end if they continue along. <--Do. It. ;-)
The publication of 13 to Life came about in a very unique way; could you tell my readers about how it all started?
What type of research did you have to do while writing 13 to Life?
I researched Cold War experiments (and rumors of research), as well as wolf behavior, often overlooked werewolf lore and the way Russians percieve themselves (as well as the way others tend to percieve them). Most of the research becomes fodder for building the world of Junction and Farthington and is only glimpsed from the corners of readers' eyes.
The werewolves in your novel are Russian and that in itself is very distinctive! Why did you decide to add this detail?
It says in your bio that you went from being a teacher to becoming a farmer: have any experiences from either profession made their way into your book?
What was the most challenging/easiest aspect when it came to writing your novel?
Most challenging: Finishing the book and letting go. There's a point where you can't do anything else to it without risking overwriting the voice of the book and ruining the integrity of your characters. but the control freak in me hates turning anything over and losing complete control over a project.
Easiest: Writing the basic story. The characters started to emerge pretty early on and showed their true colors. All I needed to do was write what they showed Jessie.
13 to Life is the first in a series: how many books will there be altogether?
That's a question we never really know the answer to when we start a series. At this point I'm contract for three, but I have material for several more. It'll depend on the public's response and what project I feel I need to pursue, career-wise, next. There's always a fear of being pigeonholed as an author of only one type of book.
Is it too soon to ask if your novel will be translated into any other languages? Or if it’s being made into a movie? ;)
I know you went to BEA for the first time this year (I didn’t see you but I saw some people with some 13 to Life buttons!). How was it? :3
Sorry I missed you at BEA! (Yay to everyone wearing 13 to Life swag! <3) BEA. Was. Awesome. It was like running a marathon (and I went home with the blisters to prove it). We (the Class of 2k10) did video and podcast interviews, signings, giveaways, went out for meals (many of us had never met before), I hit the city with my brother (a 6' 3' guy who my editor referred to as my body guard ;-). Did a ghost tour (AWESOME) and met my editor, marketing gal and saw inside the Flatiron building (my publisher's headquarters). I took home 2 finished copies of the book (which my editor surprised me with), met my cover designer and the head of the art department. AWE-SOME. I didn't even make it into the BEA exhibit hall until Thursday.
What would be the ideal environment for you when it comes to writing?
I can (and do) write almost anywhere. Ideally? There's this smallish motel (The Mount Vernon Motel--24 rooms) in Cape May, NJ, not far from the beach where we used to go when my mother was still alive. It's nothing fancy or flashy (I don't need that sort of stuff) but something about it's just perfect, especially during the off-season. I could totally write there (and have often imagined doing so).
Would you ever consider writing adult novels in the future? Or working together with another author perhaps?
Yes. I have ideas for adult novels, straight fiction novels and children's books. And yes, I'd consider working with another author on a project, but our personalities would have to really click.
Are you working on any other projects currently?
Yes. I'm always working on something. ;-)
If you could live in any fictional book world, which would it be and why?
I'm cheating! I'd live in 13 to Life because I know what makes everyone and everything tick and yet, living there--in Junction--it would all be so amazing anyhow.
I hope everyone's enjoyed the interview with Shannon. She works so hard and is overall amazing :) There's one more thing left and it's a treat, I promise!
Shannon's hosting several contests during the Start Your Day with Serial Tour. The big contest will award one lucky winner with a royal amber pendant, pietersite jeweled bookmark, stuffed wolf, 13 to Life mousepad, pen, tote, signed poster, personalized copy of 13 to Life and both of the 13 to Life pins. All you need to do is comment at 13 of the blogs hosting Shannon during her 30 day tour. Everyone who does so will be entered into a random drawing. Winner may be international.
As part of her tour, Shannon's also giving out sneak peeks throughout the month from her book:
For information on the previous section, visit Just Your Typical Book Blog!
13 to Life: Chapter 3, part K (used with the author’s permission)
He hadn't paused in his eating, but had nearly finished his meatloaf and was preparing to move on to a double helping of Salisbury steak. He glanced over my head. "Jess." He fixed his glinting eyes on me. "You are a thinker. You probably get good grades and may even be on the debate team and school newspaper staff, but you aren't that guy's type. He's a jock.” He chewed and swallowed. He glanced over my head again. “A popular jock from what I can tell. And they don't date your type without a reason." He looked at me, his eyes gleaming boldly. “So what do you think a guy like that wants?”