Shannon Delany has not only stopped by for an interview but she was gracious enough to include Heather's Odyssey in her Start Your Day With Serial Blog Tour in which she's leaving behind snippets of her debut novel 13 To Life! So keep reading to learn more about Shannon, her novel 13 To Life, and to catch an excerpt!
You may remember my Twitter Tuesday post featuring Shannon back on May 4th. If not you can check it out here and hear all about how 13 To Life started as a textnovel! I'm so excited because I have been looking forward to Shannon's debut for several months now. Did I mention its about werewolves?!
When junior Jess Gillmansen gets called out of class by Guidance, she can only presume it’s for one of two reasons. Either they’ve finally figured out who wrote the scathing anti-jock editorial in the school newspaper or they’re hosting yet another intervention for her about her mom. Although far from expecting it, she’s relieved to discover Guidance just wants her to show a new student around—but he comes with issues of his own including a police escort.
The newest member of Junction High, Pietr Rusakova has secrets to hide--secrets that will bring big trouble to the small town of Junction—secrets including dramatic changes he’s undergoing that will surely end his life early.
Welcome to Heather's Odyssey, Shannon! I'm thrilled that you could stop by and share the excitement of your debut book 13 To Life with us.
Thanks, Heather--I'm very glad to be here!
Was it hard expanding this from a textnovel into a full length novel?
I'm one of those folks who has no problem expanding a story (I blame my father's delightfully verbose ways for making me such). Most of the concepts were already in the textnovel version and getting the chance to expand my word count allowed me to deepen and strengthen my characters and insert some subtext, symbolism and spend some much needed time to set up additional subplots.
Would you use the abbreviated textnovel process again or do you think you'll write your next book fully fleshed out~no pun intended?
I like the textnovel method for starting because (if you're truly aiming for a cell phone novel format) you have to be very economical with your language and word use. It sort of forces you to think about the heart of the story again and again. There are definite advantages to writing a strong first draft with Textnovel.com.
What drew you to write 13 To Life as a young adult novel?
It was all the voice. I sort of hear (and see) the characters as they begin to emerge from the shadows of my mind (that dark region where I keep mathematical formulas I was forced to memorize along with the differences between ser and estar ;-). There was no doubt Jessie and Pietr would be teens.
What was your favorite part of the writing process?
My favorite part of the writing process occurs after I've gotten to know a bit about the characters and they sort of take over and ruin most of my plans with their personal agendas (selfish kids! ;-). I generally "watch" the story unfold and take on the role of journalist or biographer.
Your book is being called a tale of teenage love, loss and--oh yeah, werewolves! You had me at werewolves. Can you tell us a bit about it that we may not know from the synopsis on your website?
Sure! Here's what it's NOT. It's not love at first sight. It's not awash with horror and blood and hairy guys who sprout fangs and tails. It's not BFFs and magical teen love that'll always be butterflies and rainbows and somehow last forever.
It IS friendship and anguish and struggle and pain, sacrifice and snarky humor and twisted views of life and love and death. It's fear and tragedy and Shakespeare and transformation (in so many ways). The series is designed to be read at multiple levels (and 13 to Life's just the first in the series). Can you devour it quickly and enjoy it as an exciting romp in a paranormal realm? Yes. But you can also read it and consider the clues I drop, the red herrings who might or might not be "big bads" and you can try and answer the questions Jess most often raises for herself. It's really up to the individual reader.
Are there plans for another novel in the works? A sequel or stand alone perhaps?
At this point I'm finishing up my copyedits for the second novel in the 13 to Life series and getting ready to pretty much wrap things up with the third. I have other (vastly different) stories in the works and the 13 to Life series allows me wiggle room (and expansion possibilities) if we decide to go that direction at some future point. 13 to Life gives readers the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this series. Book 2 in the series rips open a wider view of a much weirder world than Jessie ever imagined.
Is there anything in the publishing process that surprised you?
Everything about the process surprised me. I heard the following things before Textnovel.com: 1.) it's impossible to get published in this economy, 2.) it's a nightmare trying to find a tolerable agent, 3.) big publishing houses just want to exploit authors. And yet (although I've heard many stories about authors who have had problems, I've been tremendously fortunate. My agent and editor are both very supportive and my publisher (and publicity and marketing contacts) are tremendous.
Any closing thoughts you'd like to leave us with?
Just that writers should take heart from my path of publication story. I'm a "Cyber Cinderella" and got published in part because I looked at non-traditional avenues to get traditionally published. So find voice, then find your own path. It can happen!
Thanks for hosting me, Heather! It's been a pleasure!
Thanks again for taking time out of your crazy debut schedule to join us its been a lot of fun and I've really enjoyed your visit. Now I'm off to order 13 To Life!
You can buy it here (among other places): http://search.barnesandnoble.com/13-to-Life/Shannon-Delany/e/9780312609146
Check out Shannon's site here: http://shannondelany.com/
To learn more about Shannon stop by her blog: http://13toLife.us/blog
And you can follow Shannon on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Shannon_Delany
You didn't think I'd forget the snippet of 13 To Life Shannon left for you did I? Not a chance. First, be sure to check out the other snippets she's left behind on her tour. Here it is (used with permission from the author):
"And how do you think you'd do that? I know this school way better than you."
He glanced at my hair just long enough I had to fidget with it. "I'd find you." He was so self-assured it angered me more.
"Fine," I snapped, grabbing my pencil and glancing at the clock on the wall. "Let's just see how easy that'd be. I'll be at your next class," I added, folding his schedule and slipping it into my back pocket. "Meet me there."