Shannon: I love that you used the word storyteller. That’s exactly what I’d say I’ve always been. For years, I thought I’d be on the stage. I wanted to act. But after getting married and starting a family, I found I didn’t want to give up more evenings with my husband and children than I had to, so after a frustrating season I found myself asking God, “How can I tell stories from home?”
Yeah, I know. And that’s when it hit me. I really could tell stories from home. That night, I paced the house with a fussy three month old, singing and praying, and by the time morning had rolled around, I’d come up with the bare bones of Angel Eyes.
Tell us a little
about your Angel Eyes trilogy. How did the idea for these three books come to
Shannon: To begin with, I simply wanted to write the kind of book I liked reading. I’d been working with teenagers a ton and reading what they were reading, so the YA aspect was natural. Writing about angels and demons was very organic for me as well. As a teenager, I traveled with our church’s performing arts team. Nearly every number featured Satan or the angels locked in combat. The invisible world has always been on the backdrop of my storytelling experience, and that had a gloriously unexpected result. So much of this trilogy is intimately me. My fears, my doubts, my insecurities. My victories even. I wanted to write about teenagers who ball their fists up and punch fear in the face. I hope that’s what I’ve done.
Now I’d love to
hear about the newest novel, Dark Halo. How long did you work on this story? Was it harder or easier to write
than the first two books in the series?
Shannon: Those months looked a little like this: I was editing Broken Wings, promoting Angel Eyes, and writing Dark Halo. It’s a bit of a blur, but I believe I wrote Dark Halo over the course of six months. By the time I reached this last book, so many of the pieces were in place. I just needed to tie them all together. The concept of the dark halo was really the key to it—to the trilogy as a whole, I think—and the minute I had that solidified in my mind, the writing flowed. But six months is fast. Very fast and I did feel the pressure to finish strong.
Can you pick a
favorite character from this story?
Shannon: I’m going to default to my leading lady, Brielle, on this one. She was with me from the very beginning and I was most invested in her growth throughout the trilogy. That said, in Dark Halo, her sidekick, Kaylee, steals the show in so many ways. She’s quirky and spastic, loyal and endearing. Writing her was absolutely the most fun.
What inspires your work? Where do you turn when you need a renewal of inspiration?
Shannon: Worship. There are a zillion things I could say here, of course, but it boils down to my time with God. When I’m stuck, when I’m upside down with characters who refuse to obey, it is always my time with the Lord that brings new life to my writing.
What are your
favorite and least favorite parts of the writing process?
Shannon: Well! If we’re talking the technical side of things, my absolute favorite part is line edits. People think I’m crazy, but THIS IS WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS. In this very last round, when I’m tightening and refining. And truth be told, I have the very best line editor out there, LB Norton. She makes this part fun. My least favorite part is probably wrapping up a first draft. At this point, I’m ready to move on to edits, so this part makes me antsy.
everyone hates this question, but . . . if you had to pick, who would be your
Shannon: I DO hate this question. It’s an impossible one to answer. So, I’ll cheat. I’ll give you a few. One of the authors who made a huge difference in how I perceived Christian fiction was Ted Dekker. So, he gets a nod. Another author, an entirely different kind of author, but one I’ll drop everything for, is Tasha Alexander. She writes the Lady Emily mysteries and I’m an addict of the worst kind. There are several YA authors I am in awe of as well. Maggie Stiefvater’s prose is inspiring and Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Game trilogy came along at a very important time for me, so I’d throw those two in there as well.
So what is next
on your writerly horizons? Can we look forward to more supernatural/angel
stories? Or perhaps something completely new?
Shannon: Something new, I think. Right now, I’m working on a detective story with a speculative twist. It’s something I’m really loving. Stretching my own wings a bit and getting outside my comfort zone has been both healthy and intoxicating.
What are you
actively writing right now?
have two works in process right now. One is the detective story I mentioned and
the other involves a mysterious staircase, a screwed up teenager, and trip back
in time to the day of Christ’s crucifixion.
Would you share a
short snippet from Dark
Shannon: Absolutely. Here, Brielle faces the Prince of Darkness himself for the very first time. Happy reading!
he says, stepping toward me. “Come. Sit with me.”
platform is three or four feet from mine. He crouches and then throws his feet
over the edge, where they dangle a foot or two off the desert floor. He waits
there, looking up at me, a twisted Romeo and Juliet kind of moment. I force
myself to step back. It’s a small victory, considering how tired I am, how much
I could use the simplicity of rest. But every inch I give him is a battle lost,
I think. I know I can’t barter with the devil.
sit.” His voice never rises, his face never reddens, but I am shoved, violently
shoved to the ground. I land hard on my backside, my back cracking and my left
leg going numb. “Isn’t that better? Sitting. Relaxing. I’d just like to talk
for a minute, Elle.”
call me that,” I say, repulsed—truly repulsed for the first time.
friends call you that, don’t they?” he says with a shrug. “In fact, everyone
calls you that.”
at my leg. “You’re not everyone. You’re certainly not my friend.”
leans forward, both of his hands curling around the lip of the salt platform.
“Then what am I?”
at the mirrors in his eyes. I need to see myself say the words. “You’re my
enemy. The enemy of my soul.”
smile turns patronizing. “Do you even know what that means?”
means you want death for my soul, and I want life. That makes you my enemy.”
soul is eternal, gifted one. There’s nothing you or I can do about that.”
minute his words baffle me. “Don’t play games with me. I’ve told you what I
want: I want to go home. Now it’s your turn. What do you want?”
Wow! Thank you, Shannon, for an exciting excerpt and a wonderful interview!
So, what do you think, scavenger hunters? Are you eager to pick up Shannon's thrilling trilogy and dive into a supernatural adventure? Well, just keep on gathering your clues, and you might find yourself a lucky winner!
Speaking of clues . . .
Here is your clue for this stop. Are you ready for it? Your clue is:
To continue your hunt, jump on over to Shannon Dittemore's blog and find out who she is hosting today. Just click this link!
But before you go . . .
I am also offering a little giveaway of my own.
Submissive to her father's will, Lady Leta of Aiven travels far to meet a
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But within the walls of Gaheris Castle, all is not
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And far away in a hidden
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Happy scavenger hunting, all of you!