Today we have for you a special Author Interview! Shannon graciously answered all my interesting questions and I hope you all enjoy! Don't forget to comment for extra entries in the giveaway!
In three words, describe The Summer I Learned to Dive.
In three words... gosh, that is so hard to do.
Girl discovers self.
Did anything surprise you while you wrote your debut?
Yes! I actually added the part about Finn learning to dive after a majority of the story had been written. I heard The Swimming Song by the band Vetiver and was instantly inspired. I remember driving in my car on my long trek to work thinking, “This is Finn. This is her song.” And then the rest fell into place. I knew Jesse had to teach her to dive and I really liked the idea of that being a metaphor for Finn's life. It just fell into place and fit perfectly in the book. It was a pleasant surprise.
My friend Annie Koelle is an artist. I was at one of her shows and it was like she had read my mind. Her paintings were visual representations of what I had imagined for certain things in The Summer I Learned to Dive. One painting in particular stuck out. It was a stunning landscape scene. When I saw it, I remember thinking, “This is the view from Charlie and Lilly's house!” So I went back and revised some of chapter 3 when Finn is describing their house. Her art was true visual inspiration for me.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Never give up! Stick with it and finish that story. Even if you're tempted to stop, keep on writing it. I was tempted several times to completely give up and my support group persuaded me to keep on trucking. Thankfully, I did.
What was your inspiration for The Summer I Learned to Dive?
My niece started as the basic inspiration. Like Finn, she is super smart and so mature for her age. Young women I've encountered throughout my life offered inspiration, as well. I came up with the basic story idea while I was on a very long walk during the early part of summer. I wanted to write about a perfectionist who has always lived her life according to a plan and suddenly discovers a secret that causes her to do something completely rash. I liked the idea of showing how even though we may have a plan in life, sometimes life has other plans for us.
What can we expect to see from you next? Any works in progress?
Yes. I'm currently working on the sequel to The Summer I Learned to Dive. I have the entire story mapped out in my head. My husband knows what will happen to Finn and Jesse, but he's been sworn to secrecy and won't take bribes!
I'm so excited to hear that their story is continuing! I can't wait to read it!!! Are you sure hubby won't take bribes?
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Spend time with my husband; take long walks; hike on the beautiful trails in South Carolina and North Carolina; go camping; read; watch movies; visit art exhibits; listen to music; and take scenic drives in the mountains.
If you were stranded on an island and could only have 1 book, what would it be?
Can I be stuck on a mountain somewhere instead? I really hate the texture of sand. If I'm stuck and have no way of getting off the island, then I'd want Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. It's a timeless love story that I've read a million times but it never seems to get old.
Sure! Let's make it a mountain because I HATE sand too! ugh it's so gross! I'm liking your taste in books :) Pride and Prejudice is definitely my all time favorite!
What is your favorite food?
I have a favorite meal. Fuddruckers chicken sandwich (yes, I know they are known for hamburgers, but their chicken sandwich is the best ever) and a Dairy Queen strawberry ice cream sundae.
Thank you Shannon for stopping by and answering all my questions, no matter how crazy or weird they might have been :) Folks don't forget to enter the giveaway using the rafflecopter below!
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