Over the past few months, I have gotten to know author Shannon A. Thompson and I have excitedly awaited the opportunity to present the interview that I did with her. A fun side note before you enjoy the review, I mentioned in a previous review that most of the reviews and interviews that I post are a result of getting to know authors through Facebook chats, Tweets, and emails over time. I love to have the opportunity to be able to present reviews and interviews for my friends. The last review that I posted, EDGE OF TRUTH, was by my friend and author Natasha Hanova. When I found out that my two friends Shannon A. Thompson and Natasha Hanova lived fairly close to each other, I introduced them and they are now friends with each other as well 🙂 I know that several fans of my page expressed an interest in Natasha’s book, EDGE OF TRUTH, and I hope that you will also add Shannon A. Thompson’s book, MINUTES BEFORE SUNSET, to your To Be Read list. It sounds fascinating. At the end of her interview, I will post a blurb of her book and links to access it. There will also be a GIVEAWAY link, at the bottom of this page, for a chance to win your own eBook copy of MINUTES BEFORE SUNSET!!
My interview with author SHANNON A. THOMPSON
1. Shannon, MINUTES BEFORE SUNSET, sounds awesome and the reviews are fantastic. I love paranormal YA stories. In fact I just added it to my own Goodreads, TBR list! For those out there who haven’t had the opportunity to hear about your book, sum it up in 3 sentences or less.
The Light is evil, the Dark is good, and prophecies aren’t guaranteed. Minutes Before Sunset is an exploration of identity, fate, and choice, but it’s also a paranormal romance. 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
2. It sounds like you’ve been writing from a young age. Have you always wanted to be a writer? At what point did you decide that you had a story in your head that needed to get out to be shared with the world?
I have been writing as long as I can remember, and I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I even posted a picture of a short story I wrote in the first grade where we were asked on the back page what we wanted to be, and I said a “book author.” I was six, but I didn’t take the dream seriously until 2003. I was eleven when my mother suddenly died, and we shared a love for words. Because of that, I knew I wanted to spend my life chasing my dream, and I had to start immediately. My first novel, November Snow, was published four years later. Since then I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to have more publications: a poetry collection, the Timely Death trilogy, and a short story coming in an anthology this October. I will continue, but my ultimate hope is to be in the position to help others follow their dreams.
3. I love imagining my book one day being turned into a movie and like to picture the actors who would star in it. If MINUTES BEFORE SUNSET was turned into a movie, who do you imagine would play the roles of your two main characters, Eric and Jessica?
What a question. I like to imagine my books as movies as I write as well, but if the opportunity ever came up, I hope I’d have the chance to hold open-casting calls. I want the perfect Eric and Jessica, but I also want to give new actors and actresses a chance at their dream.
4. I read on Goodreads that MINUTES BEFORE SUNSET is the first novel in a series. What are your plans for upcoming books? Any new releases coming up soon?It’s the first in A Timely Death trilogy. Seconds Before Sunrise is scheduled to release this fall. Yes, THIS fall, and I’m really excited to share the next part of the story. The conclusion, Death Before a New Day, is scheduled to release in the spring of 2014. Readers can expect even more twists from the next two books.
5. Besides writing, are there any other hobbies or interests that you are passionate about?I really love older movies, especially if they have Humphrey Bogart in them. I actually named my cat, Bogart, after him, because my love for his movies is borderline obsessive. Other than watching Casablanca, Sabrina, and Key Largo on a regular basis, I love traveling, reading, photography, and attempting cooking (or making small kitchen fires in my case.)
6. I read that your cat’s name is Humphrey Bogart. So cute! I’m guessing that you enjoy Humphrey Bogart movies? Do you have a favorite movie? Humphrey Bogart or otherwise?
As said above, I absolutely love Humphrey Bogart. My favorite is Casablanca, which I first came across in 2007. I can practically recite the entire movie I’ve watched it so many times. But I also love other people from that era of entertainment. Elvis Presley is my favorite singer, and he’s currently in my car stereo right now. I probably would’ve named my cat Presley if it wasn’t for the fact that I’m waiting until I get a large, shaggy, preferably black dog to be given that name.
7. I was just checking out your blog. It’s very impressive! I’m going to include a link to your blog so that readers can follow it. Who are authors or bloggers that you like to follow?
Nathan Bransford is one of the main ones I follow, but he’s well-known, and I’d rather take this opportunity to share some bloggers from the WordPress community I really appreciate: Ky Grabowski, Read to Write Stories, Nada Faris, Tuan Ho, Dan Pantagram, Tim Flanagan, and Michael Fedison. They are all amazing, and there are so many more I wish I could share, but it’d end up being an entire document! WordPress is an amazing family I am so grateful I joined last September.
8. What are your top three favorite books that you’ve read so far this year?
I read a lot of different genres, so I want to give my favorite in them:YA Fiction: Requiem by Lauren Oliver, a brilliant end to an even more brilliant trilogy. I loved how she challenged how societies are morphed by culture by using texts we have and altering them to her world. This happens mainly in the first book, but the entire trilogy kept me on my toes. Nonfiction: My War Gone By, I Miss It So by Anthony Loyd. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s about the cruelty of war, but if you can handle the controversial scenes, this book will challenge and move you. Poetry: Unmemntioable by Eric Moure (yes, that is the spelling.) I was in love the entire way through this collection. I have already reread it five times. It’s also about war, but it’s also about finding out who you are and where you come from as well as your perception of language and how it shapes you.
9. When I write, I like to make sure I have my favorite beverage and snack on hand, and depending on who is in the house at the time, I prefer to write in a big, oversized chair in my bedroom. What about you? What are your favorite “must-haves” that set up your ideal writing-comfort-zone? 🙂
Surprisingly, I write best in chaos, meaning I love writing in public places. I need a lot of people and noise around me. I can’t really listen to one song, because I get distracted by lyrics, but I still listen to it every now and then. Currently, my number one place for writing is at Ice Fire Hookah Lounge in Shawnee Mission, Kansas.
10. There are so many fantastic YA books out on the market. How is MINUTES BEFORE SUNSET different from other YA paranormal books?
I like to challenge archetypes, so the Light and the Dark is flipped as well as seasons and other commonly used symbols in literature. The main example in Minutes Before Sunset is the Light and the Dark. The Light is evil, while the Dark is good, but I will say the line blurs. Another one readers seem to consistently like is the prophecy. It isn’t set in stone like the traditional prophecy. It changes big time, and it continues to change throughout the trilogy. I also try to focus on having a productive heroine and healthy relationship example for teens to see and relate to. Beyond that, I like stretching the stereotypes of teens. For instance, Crystal, Jessica’s best friend, is seen as a “punk,” but it really comes down to how she dresses. She still has a dream of being a journalist and she loves social events. I did this to show that how you look doesn’t define who you are, and I hope young readers can relate to the characters because of that. To add to this, (I know, more?) it’s told from two different perspectives, one male and one female, in the hopes of reaching out to both genders. In terms of the paranormal, I created the creatures—shades and lights—in the hopes of stretching outside the usual supernatural beings used in the genre.
Minutes Before Sunset blurb:
She was undoubtedly a shade, but I didn’t know her.
Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.
He had gotten so close to me—and I couldn’t move—I couldn’t get away.
Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.
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