Today it’s my pleasure to welcome Shannon A Thompson. Last week I reviewed her book, Minutes Before Sunset. I really enjoyed the novel and I was ecstatic when she agreed to chat. Please welcome the incredibly talented author, Shannon.
Not to get too personal, how old are you? I ask since I’m not sure many readers know you published your first book at the age of sixteen. How have you accomplished so much at such a young age?
I’m twenty-two now, so it’s been six years since I published my first novel, November Snow. As many writers have said, I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, mainly because my mother and I bonded over it. When she suddenly died in 2003, I knew I wanted to spend my life writing, so I set out to publish at the age of eleven. I’ve been seriously dedicated ever since.
What was it like, publishing your first novel in 2007? Can you tell us a little about it?
It was really breathtaking. I remember the day I received my first copy—the delivery arrived in a semi-truck in the middle of the early morning hours—and I couldn’t wait to tear open one of the boxes. I have to admit that November Snow wasn’t very professionally done. Because I was very young, I wasn’t entirely aware of everything that had to go into marketing a novel. But I’m still proud of the accomplishment, and I hold it very close to my writer’s heart as a fantastic learning experience. I plan on rewriting it one day, but, until then, signed paperbacks will be available on Amazon.
Recently I reviewed Minutes Before Sunset. The sequel, Seconds Before Sunrise, is coming out soon. Can you give us a sneak peak?
Seconds Before Sunrise begins at the end of summer, and there’s only five months until Eric’s destined battle. Without Jessica by his side, he has to face it alone. But Jessica is having dreams, and she’s remembering more than she should. Maybe Eric won’t be alone after all. Maybe he should be.
I noticed on your blog that you have a black cat named Bogart. Would you say you prefer black and white films?
I do prefer older movies. I find older films to be more focused on the writing and the acting rather than the digital effects and big names. I also love how they leave certain things to the imagination. For instance, there’s a scene in Casablanca where Humphrey Bogart—as his character, Rick—has to get into his safe, but, instead of showing the safe, the director shows a shadow on the wall of him getting inside. It leaves the safe as the secret that it should be.
Who influenced you the most to pursue your dream of being a published author?
My mother’s death truly affected my decision to take it seriously at a young age, but I’d also say that my father has been my biggest supporter at following my dreams. He’s always told me I can do whatever I want to do, and he’s never discouraged the idea of chasing a dream. There are many people who’ve encouraged me, but my parents have influenced me the most.
What authors influenced you the most?
T.L. McCown is one of my biggest mentors, especially since she helped me understand publishing. When it comes to reading, I love Meg Cabot, Cassandra Clare, David Sedaris, Edgar Allan Poe, Billy Collins, and Lauren Oliver. I could mention more, but I’d never stop.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to write?
Write. Why not write if that’s what you want to do? When it comes to making a career from writing, my mantra is “write with passion; succeed with self-discipline.”
What are your hobbies?
Reading, writing, journaling, traveling, trying new foods and coffees, and photography.
You are pursuing an English degree at the University of Kansas. How do you handle all the school and writing stress?
I actually work better under pressure, so having numerous things going on at once helps me focus. (But it also helps that I love writing and I’m in my last semester of college.)
What question do you hope interviewers will ask, but never do? Why?
That’s a great question! I always hope that an interviewer has already read my novel and might ask me about my use of symbols, foreshadowing, motifs, and things of that nature in a particular novel, because I think fellow writers and readers could learn more by seeing how the little things bring a novel together. Alas, this has not happened yet, but I hope it does in the future!
About the Author:
I’m a 22-year-old author, avid reader, and a habitual chatterbox. In 2007, I was 16 when I published my first YA sci-fi novel, November Snow. In 2012, I was featured in a poetry collection, and my latest young-adult novel, Minutes Before Sunset, released May 1st with AEC Stellar Publishing! In September, I became my publisher’s Social Marketing Manager or a Social Marketing Wizard. (That’s right. I’m a wizard, too.) And my first short story, Sean’s Bullet, will be released in an anthology this October. Writing is what I do, and I love it more and more everyday.
Currently, I am finishing up my senior year at the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English (with a creative writing focus.) This little fact also means I live in Lawrence, Kansas—home of the Jayhawks. I have a fantastic family and one black cat named Bogart (after my favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart.)
Shannon’s Blog: ShannonAThompson.com