There will also be a contest that will close at the end of the tour. Winners get a bunch of stuff. (More details below the interview.)
The Book Pixie: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Shannon Delany: I'm one of those people who've always tried to find new and different ways to express myself, so art and writing are very important to me. I'm married, have one energetic little boy and a small farm in Upstate New York. I grew up in a very Pennsylvania Dutch part of Pennsylvania, attended college in PA, worked all sorts of odd (and I do mean "odd") jobs, got married and moved to Florida to teach. Then we came back north, lived in PA again where my son was born, moved to New Jersey then to New York.
TBP: Give us a brief description of your book.
SD: 13 to Life is the first book in a series (and my debut novel). The series follows the Rusakova family and several high school students in Junction (pretty typical small town America except for the weirdness that crops up and builds throughout the series). The Rusakovas come into town sporting a shadowy past. Jessie Gillmansen (our narrator) is pushed into a situation where she has to guide Pietr (pronounced Peter) around school. The other girls all throw themselves at him, but Jessie interprets his attitude (thanks to her own personal baggage) as big-city arrogance. A fan of paranormal novels, Jessie quickly finds herself pulled into a situation far beyond the norm as she learns more about the strange Rusakova family and the other dangerous characters drifting into Junction.
TBP: What three words would you use to describe 13 to Life?
SD: love, loss, werewolves
TBP: Do you believe in werewolves or other supernatural beings?
SD: I believe there are certainly some things we simply can't explain. I've had enough weird stuff happen in my life that I can say with some certainty there's something beyond the here and now. And I know of some people who believe(d) they are/were werewolves and vampires and other such things. Belief's a strange animal itself. If you believe you're a werewolf, who am I to say you aren't? ;-)
TBP: What was your first reaction when you saw your book's cover?
SD: "Hey! That's not what I imagined at all!"
TBP: How long did it take you to write 13 to Life?
SD: The original, serialized version took me five weeks, but it really was just a story skeleton. I probably took another month and a half to put flesh on the bones and add the subplots and little things that people will see weaving together throughout the series.
TBP: If you could co-write a book with any other author, past or present, who would it be and why?
SD: Wow. Good question. I'm a bit of a control freak so I don't know if I'm really the co-writing type. The people I think it'd be lots of fun to write something with would be any of the following: Ann Aguirre, Jeri Smith-Ready, Judith Graves, Robin Wright (an up and coming author) or my brother (who has a masterful imagination). One I'd just love to sort of learn from would be Mercedes Lackey (her Arrows of The Queen were hugely important when I was growing up). If I was co-writing a comic with my choice, I'd say Richard and Wendy Pini of Elfquest for YA and Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules) for MG.
TBP: What are you currently working on?
SD: A few things... One incorporates Native American and Norse mythology and brings a strange endtimes scenario to Florida (sorry guys!). It was my NaNoWriMo for '09. Another is, well, a totally different genre with an emphasis on technology, transportation, social struggles and love.
TBP: What is your favorite comfort food?
SD: Currently? Gooey brownies. But I'm fickle. ;-)
TBP: Where is your favorite place to write?
SD: To actually productively write, I'd say at my captain's desk. To write loose rough drafts or do copy edits? A local coffee shop that serves some awesome caffeine and sandwiches. To write the notes that build into a solid rough draft? In my car (stopped, of course) or in a tent stacked with hay near our Highland cattle (the sheep are too chatty for me to concentrate ;-).
I hope you all enjoyed the interview and now onto the really good stuff.
Throughout the tour Shannon is allowing us to post sneak peeks into her book 13 to Life.
13 to Life: Chapter 3, part R (used with the author’s permission)
"Maybe I shouldn't be the one guiding you around Junction. There are a dozen girls who'd jump at the chance.” I dropped the fork onto my tray so it clattered obnoxiously and I brought his schedule into view. I slapped it down in front of him. “Just hand one of them your schedule, okay?"
"No," he slid the schedule back without giving it a glance. "You were assigned a job-"
"A penance, probably," I muttered.
"Whatever." He swept the last bits of food onto his fork and chewed thoughtfully. "I'm your problem."
"You got that right." I stood, leaving to empty my tray.
Shannon Delany's debut novel (and the first in her YA paranormal series), 13 to Life, hits bookstores Tuesday, June 22! Learn more about Shannon at http://ShannonDelany.com/ and http://13toLife.us/blog. Explore Junction at http://13tolifeseries.com/.