Thursday, August 1, 2013

Author Interview; Shannen Crane Camp

Do you ever want to go back and edit an older story? 

All the time! Especially with my first book “The Breakup Artist”  because it was my debut novel, my first publisher didn’t really have ‘time’ to edit it properly, and it’s got some editing issues. It gets ripped apart a lot on Goodreads because of that so I’ve learned to stop reading reviews for that book all together

It’s still my first baby so I love it to pieces, but if I could, I’d go back and edit the heck out of that thing.

How do you decide on character names?

I have a problem with having too many character names to use them all. Seriously, sometimes I’ll introduce a character just so I can use that name! The only problem is, my character names are also my baby names, so all of my future children will have the same names as my characters. I think that’s cool but they might not forgive me for it.

What's the worst thing that ever happened to you that you've incorporated into a story?

I’m, unfortunately, a really bad sleeper because I have a lot of nightmares. Luckily, that means I have a lot of good material for my books. My latest work in progress “Under Zenith” has a scene in it that’s straight out of a nightmare I had where I was stuck in this underwater chimney and had to try to swim through it with no room to move my arms. Doesn’t sound that scary now but I was seriously terrified! It made for a great scene though

How much of your life and the people you know end up in your work?

I’m awful about putting my friends in my books. I do it all the time! Granted I always ask them first and they usually change a bit in my books so they aren’t exactly like my friends, but I love using personality traits and even names of friends for my characters. It’s like a fun little shout out to them. And as much as I try to avoid it, I unintentionally put a lot of myself and my life experiences into my books. I guess you write what you know, right?

What projects are you currently working on? Are you willing to share a small excerpt from a work in progress?
My current work in progress is a New Adult speculative fiction book called “Under Zenith”. I’m slightly in love with it because of the relationship between my main characters. My main boy Hayden is this rude British guy who’s always so mean to Isla (my female lead). But it doesn’t matter because she’s this southern girl with a lot of grit and she give him a run for his money.

Here’s an excerpt!

“What was that?” I asked, angrily getting to my feet and ignoring the pins-and-needles sensation that was now travelling through my entire body.

“I thought we decided to call it a zombie,” Hayden retorted, throwing a few sticks of wood into the dusty fireplace and pulling a lighter out of his pants pocket.

“Not that,” I spat, probably not making any sense at all. “Why did you leave me out there to die you--,” I stopped myself, trying to keep from using a few choice swear words that had gotten my mouth washed out with soap as a kid.

Just because I was dead didn’t mean I’d ignore all the good life lessons my mama had taught me.

“You almost did a good job out there,” he answered, finally managing to get a fire going. “Almost.”

“Oh, well I’m sorry I didn’t live up to your high standards of zombie dodging.”

“Maybe the next task will go a bit smoother,” he said with a shrug.

I really didn’t like this guy.

“What kind of place is this? What kind of afterlife makes you run away from zombies under the guise of completing an agility test?” I asked, sitting on an old wooden rocking chair and disturbing a few spiders that had been resting in the woodwork.

“Guise? Fancy word for someone so…,” he let his words trail off.

“What?” I asked threateningly, daring him to finish his sentence.


“I graduated from a well-respected university yesterday, thank you very much,” I informed him.

“With a degree in vocal performance,” he pointed out. “Then you got yourself killed.”

“Oh yeah? Well what did you major in? How to piss people off?”

“Yeah, that was my major,” he deadpanned. “You know what your problem is?”

“I’m sure you’re going to tell me.”

“You worry about the wrong things. All of your anxiety is completely misplaced,” he said, his British accent getting thicker now that he was upset.

I wished I didn’t find the accent so alluring. Though I’d never admit that to Hayden. He didn’t need a reason for his ego to be inflated any more than it already was.

“How is it misplaced?” I asked, trying to keep my cool as he took a seat on the moldy bed across from me.

“You’re dead, Isla,” he said simply, as if that should explain his cryptic opinions. “You died last night and you haven’t said one word about being sad or upset. All you’ve done is worried about your family’s finances, or questioned my chivalry, or figure out some new and interesting way to make me want to throw you off a cliff.”

He shook his head in disbelief and threw me an eye roll.

“Aren’t you the least bit upset that your entire life was stolen away from you at such a young age?”

I didn’t say anything to him, not wanting to get into something so personal with someone so unfeeling. Of course I was upset, but as long as I didn’t explore those feelings, it would almost be like they weren’t real.

I may not have been scared of wolves or men, but I was definitely terrified of my own weaknesses, and emotion was one of those weaknesses.

“What about the fact that you won’t ever see your parents again? Does that bug you?”

“Are you trying to get a rise out of me or something? Because I don’t really get what’s going on here. Why do you care if I’m okay with being dead? Is that really part of your job description as my afterlife liaison?”

He shrugged his broad shoulders at me and laid down on the bed, placing his hands behind his head and closing his eyes.

“I don’t care. I just think it’s weird,” he said.

Is there a character or story that's stuck in your head and won't leave, from either your work or someone else's?

I swear any time I hear any passage from an F. Scott Fitzgerald book it makes me want to be a better writer. The way he words things is simply beautiful! I’ve created entire stories in my head just with the excuse that I could use the same kind of language as him.

Talk to us about your domestic life; a favorite recipe, craft, your pets, children, house, or favorite set of socks.

The Husband and I don’t have any kids but I have the most unruly and adorable Miniature Schnauzer named Hemingway! She tries to stop me from writing on a regular basis. In fact I can’t hear her right now so she’s probably knocking over the trash can or something. She’s a pill but I love her!

The Breakup Artist:
Barnes and Noble

Finding June
Barnes and Noble

Chasing June

Barnes and Noble

Sugar Coated

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