I’m delighted to be welcoming Shannon Thompson to Jera’s Jamboree today.
I’m Shannon A. Thompson. I’m very passionate about writing, reading, and drinking too much coffee. Since my debut novel in 2007, I’ve had poetry published, and I’ve signed with AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. My latest novel, Minutes Before Sunset, is award-winning, and Seconds Before Sunrise releases this March. I recently graduated from the University of Kansas, and I’m working hard to continue this writing journey!
What inspired you to write?
When I was very young, I suffered from night terrors and nightmares. I struggled to differ reality from my dreams. My mother – who was an avid reader and writer – taught me how to turn my confusions into stories. Unfortunately, she died when I was eleven, and I immediately began chasing my writing career seriously. It’s been a little over a decade since then, and I am not planning on stopping.
Please summarize your latest book in 20 words or less.
Minutes Before Sunset challenges archetypes and stereotypes by creating fantastical worlds right outside your window.
Does your book tackle a social barrier? ie bullying, sexuality, internet stalking. How have you incorporated it into the story?
The Timely Death Trilogy challenges archetypes. The Light is evil, and the Dark is good. I did this because I really want readers to question the stereotypes of society, including traditions in art. In terms of characters, identity is a huge theme. Each character has two identities – and they are as different physically as they are mentally in each role. I did this because a lot of young-adult literature is about coming-of-age, and I wanted to represent the complexity of identity fairly. I incorporated many of the differences in specificities of the characters. For instance, Crystal – a best friend of the protagonist – is seen as punk simply because of how she dresses. But she inspires to be a journalist, and she loves girly things. I did this to challenge the idea of labeling in schools.
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
Like my childhood, I continue to have dreams that are hard to differentiate from my reality. During a dark time in my high school days, I had a series of dreams where a young man simply visited me to talk about what I would do about it. Those dreams became Minutes Before Sunset, but the visions will be seen in book 2, Seconds Before Sunrise, which releases this March. You can read more about the dreams here: http://shannonathompson.com/2013/11/15/my-dream-goodreads-extras/
Who is your targeted audience? Children? YA? etc have you written for other genres or plan to in the future?
My recently published novel is young-adult, fantasy, and my novel before that was young-adult, sci-fi. I prefer writing for teens, but I have also had poetry published and a short story published. The short story, Sean’s Bullet, is definitely for adults as it deals with serious violence and psychological issues related to the military. I have also written in other genres, but I have not tried to publish them yet, although I would like to in the future. I think striving to write in other genres is an important aspect of a writer’s career.
If your book is part of a series, what is in the future?
Minutes Before Sunset is book 1 in The Timely Death Trilogy. Seconds Before Sunrise, book 2, releases March 22, 2014.
In terms of the novels, book 1 is about the Dark, book 2 revolves around being a human, and book 3 concludes the trilogy with the Light’s perspective.
Do you have a most creative time of day?
I am a night owl, so sunset to sunrise is my most creative time. If it isn’t dark, I put a blanket over my window and pretend it is. Sometimes, I turn on a thunderstorm noisemaker, too – because who doesn’t like writing during a midnight thunderstorm?
Have you done any creative writing/writing courses that you would recommend to others?
I have taken numerous writing courses, especially during my years at the University of Kansas. I studied literature, poetry writing, screenwriting, and fiction writing. My only advice would be to study types of writing that are normally outside of your comfort zone. You might be surprised what you can learn from other genres that can be used in your usual genre.
Finally, what you think about movie adaptations. Do you have a favourite?
I like to look at movie adaptations as sister pieces. That way, I don’t judge the movie as a literal translation of the novel but rather a kind of art inspired by the novel. This also allows me to enjoy them much more. “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” is one of my favorites. “Never Let Me Go” and “One Day” also fall into my favorites.
Thank you for being in my hot seat Shannon.
Goodreads Book of the Month
Two destinies. One death.
“Her kiss could kill us, and my consent signed our death certificates…”
Eric has less than a year left before his fated battle when he meets her. She’s a shade like him, but separated from the Dark – and with more power than she should have. And he can’t stay away.
Jessica is new to town and desperate to figure out who, or what, her birth parents were. But she can’t find them without overcoming Eric, and she won’t let him stop her.
‘Minutes Before Sunset’ happens through the minds of two young adults as they struggle to survive their paranormal realities and find balance in their human lives.