Thursday, February 28, 2013

Author Interview: Shannon Dittemore

Shannon was one of the first published authors to befriend me when I first came onto the writing scene. I was excited to find out that we live in the same area, so it made it easier for us to become instant friends. We spoke a few times through emails and Twitter, of course, and we met in person at a writing conference in our town. Since then we've spoken on many occasions and I can definitely tell you that her friendship is a blessing. So when Life of Writers came up with this feature, I knew immediately who would be my first pick. I'm even more thrilled that it happened around the time that she just released her second book in the Angels Eyes Trilogy. Now that I've told you how wonderful she is, I think it's time you found out yourselves.

I know how excited I am about BROKEN WINGS coming out this month, but how are YOU feeling? Does it get easier as each book is released into the wild? 

You know that moment in Armageddon where AJ asks Oscar how he's doing? Here, this moment: Oscar about nails it. I'm 98% excited, 2% scared. Or maybe it's the other way around. Who knows? If this release week is anything like the last one, it'll be a very topsy turvy emotional ride for me. And that's okay. It's probably good. Makes me feel victorious when it's over. The best part of this next week will be Saturday (2/23) when I get to celebrate the launch at Barnes and Noble with other readers. I'm very much looking forward to that. I don't know if it gets any easier as time goes by. I will certainly let you know!

In ANGEL EYES (Book 1 of the trilogy) we are shown a fantastical world mixed with real life situations. Can we expect the same from BROKEN WINGS?

Yes. Absolutely. I wanted Broken Wings to be the next logical step for Brielle and her friends. Brielle's father is the source of a lot of drama in this one. And then, of course, there are some returning demons and angels with wings of blade. The goal has always been to show everyday life existing alongside the supernatural. I hope it makes for an exciting ride.

I've seen the pin board filled with colorful flash cards in your office, and as a pantser, I must know: How do you keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed by all the outlining? 

Well, I should probably confess here. I'm a half-pantser. Most of my flash cards go up on the board after a chapter is written, not before. Occasionally, I'll pin a card with a couple details scribbled on it to remind me what comes next, but mostly I use the boards to remind me where I've been. I don't do a formal outline. I usually write a bit and then outline the next few chapters, and then write a bit more and adjust from there. Obviously, OBVIOUSLY, I'm still learning, but I'd rather the characters tell me what happens next. That only happens when I let them run around and talk to each other.

What's your process like when you're on a deadline? How do you keep yourself on track? 

I'm going to have to confess everything to you, aren't I? That's okay. You're awesome and I don't mind. The truth is, I'm usually always behind. But the reason I know that is because I set a weekly word count goal. Say 10,000 words a week. Now, I miss my goal lots, but the idea is that if I've hit it by Friday, (WAHOO!) I get the weekend off. If not, Saturday and Sunday are catch-up days for me. Sometimes I let myself cheat and skip catch-up days. Makes me feel like a rebel, but I always know just how far behind I am and how many words it will take to catch up.   

As I understand, you just turned in your edits for DARK HALO (Book 3). How does it feel to be nearing the end of your first trilogy? 

Weird! It's very weird. It's fulfilling to know I've told this entire story, wrapping it up exactly the way I wanted to. That's an amazing feeling. But it doesn't feel like the end of these characters. I don't know if I'll write them again, but I think they'll always be alive in my head, wandering around, doing what they do. That's the part that's weird. That these characters will do things in my imagination that no one will ever know about. It'll take some getting used to, I think.

For your last question, I have to ask: What super "secret" thing can you tell us about yourself and your writing? 

I don't know how super secret it is; my neighbors are all highly aware. But when I'm stuck or need to think through an idea, I walk around and around my court. I wave at the kids, rile up the dogs, smell the roses, so to speak. Usually I'm wearing sweats and only my socks--I've destroyed oodles of them, btw--but it helps me to GET OUT. I love my writing cave, but there's only so much inspiration to be derived from my bookshelves and bulletin boards. So there you have it: I walk in circles! Now you know all my secrets.

Just to prove how awesome she is, Shannon has offered to giveaway a copy of BROKEN WINGS which is now available in stores! To enter, please see the Rafflecopter below. You have until March 7th to enter! 

Thank you so much to Shannon Dittemore for this fabulous giveaway! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shannon Dittemore 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. The daughter of one preacher and the wife of another, she spends her days imagining things unseen and chasing her two children around their home in Northern California. 

5 secret replies:

  1. This really makes me want to read this series! I did a purchase request at my library for it! Hoping they get it!

  2. Can't wait to read it! Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. This series is one of my favorites! It's beautiful, it has romance, it's fantasy, and best of all, it's centered around the truth of Scripture! So many authors are afraid to "preach" in their books and so they hide the fact that they are Christians and just put in "good morals". These books proudly shout the truth of Scripture to the readers and that makes them some of the best in my mind!
    ~ J:-)mi, aka CTF Devourer