Saturday, November 30, 2013

#32 Author Scavenger Hunt Stop #18 – Shannon Dittemore Interview

Welcome, scavenger hunters! If you've been following since Stop #1, you are more than halfway through the hunt now. Congratulations. But there are bunches of wonderful authors to meet still, and I am here to introduce you to a particularly exciting one.

But first, a little bit of a recap for all of you, especially those of you who might be just jumping on board. To participate in the #31 Author Scavenger Hunt and get your name entered for a chance to win an iPad mini, you need to collect all of the clues. Each blogger/author will have posted this clue--which is a word or phrase, clearly marked--on his or her blog. You need to collect all of the clues from all 30-plus stops, put them together in order to form the complete phrase. Then go to the final location, where you will be given a place to enter the phrase (and your contact info).

So be certain to keep following the clues, dear readers!

But first, I want to introduce you to

Shannon Dittemore

Shannon is the author of the Angel Eyes Trilogy. She has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. Her lifelong journey to combine the two is responsible for a stint at Portland Bible College, performances with local theater companies, and a focus on youth and young adult ministry. When she isn’t writing, she spends her days with her husband, Matt, imagining things unseen and chasing their two children around their home in Northern California.
ANGEL EYES was Shannon’s debut novel and the launch of a young adult supernatural trilogy. It was published in the summer of 2012 by Thomas Nelson. The sequel BROKEN WINGS hit shelves in February, 2013 and the final novel in the trilogy, DARK HALO just released in August!
You can find out more about Shannon on her website: or follow her facebook page!
Shannon is here today for an interview, and I hope you will all enjoy getting to know her and her writing a little better. Enjoy!


Welcome to the Tales of Goldstone Wood blog, Shannon! First off, would you mind telling us a little about yourself? Hobbies, personality . . . tea or coffee? 

Shannon: Thank you so much for having me, Anne Elisabeth! It’s such an honor. A little about me, huh? The first two words that come to mind are wife and mother. Most days, those two roles fill my hours. I have a five year old and a nine year old and a husband who’s fabulous with both of them. As a family, we’re very involved in church overseeing the youth and young adult ministries. My husband is also a coffee roaster, so to that question, I’d absolutely have to say coffee, but I’d never turn down a lovely cuppa. Oh, and I’m a die-hard 49ers fan. Forgive me, I just felt that needed to be said.

 What led you into the writing life? Were you always a storyteller?

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 you?
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.
All right, everyone hates this question, but . . . if you had to pick, who would be your favorite author?
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?
Shannon: I 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 Halo?
Shannon: Absolutely. Here, Brielle faces the Prince of Darkness himself for the very first time. Happy reading!

Excerpt from

Dark Halo

“Gabrielle,” he says, stepping toward me. “Come. Sit with me.”
His 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.
“I said 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.”
“Don’t call me that,” I say, repulsed—truly repulsed for the first time.
“Your friends call you that, don’t they?” he says with a shrug. “In fact, everyone calls you that.”
I rub at my leg. “You’re not everyone. You’re certainly not my friend.”
He leans forward, both of his hands curling around the lip of the salt platform. “Then what am I?”
I stare at the mirrors in his eyes. I need to see myself say the words. “You’re my enemy. The enemy of my soul.”
His smile turns patronizing. “Do you even know what that means?”
“It means you want death for my soul, and I want life. That makes you my enemy.”
“Your soul is eternal, gifted one. There’s nothing you or I can do about that.”
For a 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 prospective husband she neither knows nor loves--Lord Alistair, future king of the North Country.

But within the walls of Gaheris Castle, all is not right. Vicious night terrors plague Lord Alistair to the brink of insanity. Whispers rise from the family crypt. The reclusive castle Chronicler, Leta's tutor and friend, possesses a secret so dangerous it could cost his life and topple the North Country into civil war.

And far away in a hidden kingdom, a fire burns atop the Temple of the Sacred Flame. Acolytes and priestesses serve their goddess to the limits of their lives and deaths. No one is safe while the Dragonwitch searches for the sword that slew her twice...and for the one person who can wield it.
 If you'd like a chance to win an autographed copy of  Dragonwitch, be certain to enter your name in this giveaway.
Happy scavenger hunting, all of you!" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway



shelly said...

I haven't read any yet but they sound very interesting!

Meredith said...

Congratulations on your trilogy, Mrs. Shannon. Loved the excerpt from your book. You really captured Satan's seductiveness and gave me chills. Your protagonist sounds very engaging and much braver than me! I'd be petrified to engage in conversation with the devil himself.

What inspired the detective story you are writing? God bless.

Anna said...

This is all so awesome! Congratulations, Mrs. Shannon!!

Abbi Hart said...

I read Angel Eyes when it came out!

Unknown said...

I've not read any of her books, but I've absolutely loved Heather Burch's Halflings series and (does this count?) Tosca Lee's book Demon. :)

Jaime said...

I haven't read any of her book yet, but they are in my TBR list. Haven't read any other angel books either.

C Marie said...

I know I've read angel books. I just can't think of any at the moment. Shannon's look really cool, def doing to investigate them! :)

Anonymous said...

I haven't read any books yet, but it looks exciting! Love the excerpt!


Anonymous said...

I have not read any of Shannon Dittemoore books, or angel books.


LoneWolfGirl said...

Have never read any of her books but looking forward to the chance to. :)

Jan H said...

I don't believe I have read any Shannon Dittemoore books or Angel books

Jennifer F. said...

I haven't read any of Shannon Dittemoore's books ... I can't think of any Angel books I've read off the top of my head, but I did enjoy the "Angel Wars" animated series that came out a couple of years ago! Thanks for the chance to win Dragonwitch!

Jenelle Leanne said...

I haven't read any of Shannon's books yet, but they sound quite interesting. I'm loving that, in addition to participating in the hunt, I'm also getting a bunch of ideas for new authors to read when my to-read list clears up a bit!

Anonymous said...

These look really interesting! I'll check them out. :)

Julie said...

I have not read any of Shannon's books yet, but I will.

Anonymous said...

I really want to read your books. I haven't yet, but it will happen soon.:)

I'm All Booked said...

I haven't read any of your books yet, but they seem like ones I would enjoy! :)

Batch of Books said...

I haven't read these books yet, but I've read several other angel books. It's one of my favorite genres!

Anonymous said...

I read these book. They were really good! I'm not sure if the first or the third were my favorite, but all three were quite enjoyable.

J Smith said...

I haven't read any of Stengl's books yet, but I really enjoyed Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness, which uses lots of angels.

Unknown said...

no, I have never read any of your books, but I will be adding it to my 'to read' list

Shannon Dittemore said...

Thank you, guys, so much for stopping and reading the interview and excerpt! Good luck on the hunt!

Unknown said...

Wow I really would like to read some of your books!!!!!!!! I am loving this Scavneger hunt and learning all about new authors!

Debbie Wilder said...

Shannon Dittemore is a new author to me. Her books sound great. Thank you for introducing her work to me through this scavenger hunt.

Sparks of Ember said...

I haven't read them. And I think the only other books I've read that specifically involve angels were Peretti's books and Cassandra Clare's stuff (which is interpreting angel pretty loosely, I'd say...)