Author Interview with Shannon Thompson

Hello everybody! I am finally back from my trip to China so I’m ready to start blogging again.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Shannon A. Thompson, the author of Minutes Before Sunset. The next book in the series, Seconds Before Sunrise, will be coming out this March as well!

Shannon A. Thompson

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, released in an anthology this October. AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. is expecting to release Seconds Before Sunrise on March 22, 2014. Writing is what I do, and I love it more and more everyday.”

Check out her website: http://shannonathompson.com/

Questions:

What is the most encouraging thing anyone has told you about your writing?
I’ve had many reviewers really touch my writer’s soul when they emailed me to let me know how much my book meant to them. One of those moments that really stayed with me was when a young reader told me that my novel, Minutes Before Sunset, helped her understand her own growth within herself and her relationships through the characters’ identity struggles. She later added that my personal story encouraged her to follow her dreams. Those are the best words and artist can hear.

What inspired you to create characters like those in your books?
I really strive to break archetypes and stereotypes for young adults to relate to and learn from. For instance, in Minutes Before Sunset, a side character – Crystal – would be seen as a punk simply because of her clothes, but she wants to be a journalist, and she’s actually very girly. She loves pink and sparkly things. I also work hard at showing the guy’s perspective of the love story, because I think boys get neglected (or simply defined as mysterious) in YA literature. I inspired to do that, because I think young adults can relate to being stereotyped, but I also think young adults need to see the other side of relationships.

For Minutes Before Sunset, which actor & actress would you see playing Eric and Jessica?
If Minutes Before Sunset had a movie adaptation, I would really hope that it could be an open-casting call. I want to give new artists a chance at achieving their dreams.

Do you write your books following an outline or plan, or do you just see where the story takes you?
I have a plan from the moment I start writing, but I like to think of my plans as road trips – I know where I start, I plan on where I’m ending, and I have a couple places in-between that I’m sure I want to stop at, but the rest is an adventure waiting to happen.

What is the hardest thing about writing?
I, personally, don’t find anything hard about writing. The hard part is everything that happens after writing – editing, publishing, marketing, etc. The most difficult aspect of writing I struggle with is when I’m done writing a story. It’s painful to let my characters go when I’ve spent so much time with them. The feeling reminds me of the emotion avid readers feel when they finally finish a great novel – it’s amazing but bittersweet. No one wants it to end once it has already ended.

For personal reading, do you like reading eBooks or paper/hardback copies of books?
I’m definitely a hardback person, although paperbacks work for me, too. I love having a library in my house, and although hardbacks are more expensive, they last longer. I also like how they don’t bend. It makes it easier to write in them. (Yes, I write in the books I read.) I love underlining my favorite passages or taking notes on my thoughts. The motions make me feel more connected with my piece.

Are you an avid book buyer or do you rely on library books too?
I’m an avid book buyer, but I have cut down since I’ve been in college. I graduate on December 19th though! So I hope I’ll have more time to read here and there.

Is there any place you like to go to think of ideas and/or write your books?
I have places I like to go to write, but I mainly come up with my ideas after I wake up from a good dream. That being sad, I tend to find myself sitting in dark places when brainstorming the outline. My past roommates have found me in my closet before.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
I have so many! But, honestly, one of those that touched me the most is the one I use at the top of my website, “You need the world, and the world needs good people.” This was actually said by my college professor. I will never forget the moment he said it. His words have never left me, and words of eternity are the best kind of inspiration.

And lastly, do you have any advice for aspiring writers that want their work to be better known?
When asked this, I like to share my mantra that helped me strive forward – “Write with passion; succeed with self-discipline.”
Publishing is a rough road, a very discouraging road, but as long as you continue to love what you do and believe in yourself, you can do it. The hardest part is learning not to listen to anyone but your heart. Once you achieve that, you will never stop chasing your dream.

And that is all for the interview! I do hope that readers and aspiring writers may take some things to heart from this interview and that you all liked reading Shannon’s answers.

Make sure to check out Shannon A. Thompson’s book, Minutes Before Sunset (The Timely Death Trilogy, #1), on Goodreads (x). Here is the book summary of the book:

Two destinies. One death.

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.

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