Each day of The Crossroads Tour, a new question will be revealed on The Crossroad Blog Tour main page and each day the answer to that question will be found within one of the 16 different blog posts by Crossroads Tour authors. Your job is to get the question, read the blog posts, and collect all 16 answers by the end of the tour, on Halloween. Go HERE to get today's question and links.
Today's guest for the Crossroads Tour is author Shannon Delany. Her debut novel, Thirteen to Life, was released in June. Her story has drawn me in and there are some hot wolves that I have developed a pretty big fangirl crush on. To read my review of 13 to Life, click here. Secrets & Shadows (13 to Life Book #2) will be out in February 2011. I have enjoyed getting to know Shannon. If you like werewolves you should check out her book, and even if you tend towards vampires, Shannon's wolves may change your minds.
What was your favorite paranormal/horror/fantasy story as a child/teen? And why did you like it so much?
I loved Mary Stewart’s A Walk through Wolf Woods (5th grade, I think) and then I was enthralled with Mercedes Lackey’s work, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Anne McCaffrey. They all created amazing worlds with intriguing characters. Asa teen I took a hard turn into science fiction.
Where did you get the idea for your story? Did you use a real life situation and put a twist on it?
Although my characters are very much based on aspects of different people I’ve known, the story grew out of some odd paranormal and Cold War-related research and my own issues with grief. I like to think I write real-world werewolves because their issues are much bigger than having extreme amounts of hair and a willingness to bite. ;-) Underneath the fur, they’re tragically human, too.
Especially in Y.A., there seems to be a big emphasis on paranormal romance? Do you consider the romance part when you are writing your story or do you consider writing your story and see where the romance fits in?
The characters decide where and when the romance comes in. My job’s to have a clue about where things are going overall and generally follow where the characters lead as they change and grow.
What helps you to create characters that people will feel passionate about either in liking them or disliking them?
I think authors need to be empathic and just generally aware. We know what ticks most people off and what pushes buttons and excites folks. The characters help bridge the gap and connect the things we know deep down with their personal stories. But not everyone will relate to every character (and certainly not in the same way). Where some see a fine example of self-sacrifice, others read it as martyrdom. No matter how you plan your characters, people bring their own interpretations and baggage into the reading.
What characteristics were critical to you in creating your characters?
Connectivity. I wanted characters that people would connect with on some level. Whether you get misty-eyed over Jess’s loss or shout at her about her choices or worry about Pietr or laugh at Max’s flirting...Hopefully there’s enough to each character for readers to connect at some level but not so much to distance readers.
What kind of research did you do for your story and did you run into anything weird while you were doing research?
I did a bunch of research—some werewolf and wolf-related (pulling at lesser known myths and traits like the saber tattoo and red highlights in the Rusakovas’ hair). I also did paranormal research and found the most beautiful question mark in the world—on a paper that listed Cold War paranormal locations and research done in Russia. Every site except one listed precisely the research they did. But one just had a question mark. Lovely. That’s where werewolves get made, boys and girls. ;-)
If you could be a shape-shifter, what animal would you want to shift
Wolf works for me! They’re quick, bright, cozy in winter and family-oriented.
Thanks Shannon for stopping by and answering some questions.
To find her on Twitter: @shannon_delany