This is my very first author interview and I am so honored to have Shannon Dittemore here to chat with me! YAY! I admit, reluctantly, that I’ve only just discovered Shannon’s amazing talent in the last year. Now I cannot get enough of her writing!! I wait, less than patiently, for each new release. (No pressure Shannon!… wait, yes, lot’s of pressure!) 😉
I hope that you’ll come back on Saturday for my review of Shannon’s new book Broken Wings! I am only including part of Shannon’s interview here because I want to tease you into coming back to see the rest on Saturday. I may have asked Shannon for some hints about her next book Dark Halo… are you hooked now? I’m excited!
Thanks so much Shannon for doing this! I’m so grateful for your willingness to take time out of your busy launch schedule to talk with me! 🙂 Let’s get right into it!
What do you like most about writing fiction?
The let my imagination run wild part. Creating worlds, fleshing out characters, letting them run straight into a dilemma, making it worse for them, and then swooping in with the answer. I love writing fiction best when it feels like reading. That means my own words need to surprise me and my characters have to be real enough to make choices I’d have never made for them.
When you are writing, do your characters stay on your mind even when you are not writing? Particularly when writing emotional or stressful sections?
Yeah. Sometimes I wish I could shut them out, but they often give me great material when they’re haunting me. There’s a scene in Broken Wings—a flashback of sorts—and Brielle is about three years old. When I first drafted that scene, my daughter was also three. That was intensely personal few days.
What is the most exciting thing about publishing your books?
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a reader telling me how much my stories mean to them. To me, that’s the best part. Genuinely connecting with other people. Letting story do the hard part of breaking the ice and then sharing something as simplistic as a tale. It’s funny, isn’t it? I think what terrifies me the most, is also what excites me the most. I bet God’s laughing at me right now.
I admit that I may have laughed a tiny bit. Tell us, who are some of your favourite authors?
So many! There is an author I will shove everything aside for and that’s Tasha Alexander. She writes the Lady Emily mysteries and I’m obsessed. I’m also a big Hunger Games fan, so I’ll throw Suzanne Collins in there as well. I love Ted Dekker and Stephen Lawhead. I love Cornelia Funke and Jenny B. Jones. I’ve fallen in love with Jill Williamson’s stuff and my pal Jenny Lundquist is amazing as well. So many of the up and coming YA writers out there are fast earning their way onto this list.
Awesome choices! How about favourite book? (yes, you can say your own!) My blog, I allow it! Favourite movie? Favourite TV show?
Book: Too hard! I’m going to go with the Count of Monte Cristo. It’s a classic and keeps me from having to decide between all the amazing books that have hit shelves more recently.
Movie: So many great movies out there! Of late, I’ve loved Les Miserables. I’ve always been fascinated with that story and they did such a fabulous job translating it to film. If we’re talking old school, I’ll say A Few Good Men. YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH! Or, or, or Sense and Sensibility. Love that flick.
TV Show: This changes almost daily. I really like the dialogue in White Collar, so let’s say that one for now.
That was a tough question! How about an easy one: are you someone who reads the same book more than once?
Of course! And YA books are great for that.
How did you come to know the Lord?
As the oldest daughter of a preacher, I’ve grown up in church. I think I was five years old when I asked my dad to pray with me. Mom had run into a Chinese restaurant to pick up take-out after church on a Sunday and we were waiting outside in our old silver Citation. I can only assume something my teacher said in Sunday school prompted the conversation, but there you have it.
Do you have a favourite Bible verse?
Several. I love the gospels and the book of Daniel especially. On the bulletin board next to my desk I have this verse:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.—Proverbs 3:5
If memory serves, part of that verse made its way into Angel Eyes.
That is one of my favourite verses too! Such wonderful assurance. Who in your life has influenced you most, besides God?
My parents, certainly. But I’ll also say my husband, Matt. All three of them have very deep, very profound relationships with God and I learn so much by watching them. My husband has been such an instrumental part of the writing process for me. He listens while I talk through my ideas, he answers questions about Scripture, and he lets me complain when I need to. He really is the best.
Name 5 things you can’t live without! (Faith and Family are a given)
I’ve been floundering a little bit cause I had to go off caffeine. If not, I’d have said Pepsi and Coffee were #1 and #2. Hmmm. Let’s see.
~Panera’s Mac and Cheese
~Matt’s oversized fleece jacket. I wear it every morning when I take the kids to school.
~My local Barnes and Noble
You’ll have to tell me how you managed to get off Pepsi! (a craving of mine!) When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was really young I wanted to be an astronaut! But I suck at math so that got thrown out the window. I spent a lot of years wanting to be an actress and pursuing that. I still love the stage. So many great memories.
I am terrible at math too! Last one, if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Well, I’d say the Holy Land, but things are a bit volatile these days. I’ve done Hawaii a few times and I could definitely do that right now. Winter is wearing on me (and I shouldn’t whine, I’m in California). Maybe Jamaica? My husband is a coffee roaster and he’d like to go on an origins trip there. I’d like to sit on the beach with a good book, so that would work for both of us!
Thanks again Shannon for answering all my questions! You rock! I so thoroughly enjoyed Angel Eyes and Broken Wings that I can’t wait for Dark Halo!