Shannon A. Thompson: I grew up in a household that encouraged reading, so loving stories happened naturally. As my love for words grew so did my love for writing, but I began taking writing seriously when my mother suddenly died. I was eleven, and we both enjoyed writing, so her death affected me in a way that words will never be able to explain - no matter how many words I find - and I write both because I love writing and also to celebrate her life.
LBBB: How long did it take for you to write your first book?
S.T: My first book was published when I was sixteen, but I started writing that almost immediately after my mother's death, so it took me five years to write it and get a publisher. That being said, my first one was the hardest one. My average is about six months, but that's just the writing part. I've let novels roll around in my mind for years before writing a word down. I think it's more important to concentrate on being true to the story than meeting a time limit.
LBBB: How do you come up with ideas for your stories?
S.T.: Most of my stories come from my dreams and nightmares. As a kid, I suffered from night terrors, and my mother actually started encouraging my writing as a coping mechanism for those. I would turn my nightmares into stories in order to make sense of them, and I guess that process stuck with me.
LBBB: What is your writing routine like? Do you have a set schedule or are you flexible?
S.T.: I don't have a set schedule, but I generally write in a local coffee shop. There's nothing like having too much coffee and supporting a local business at the same time.
LBBB: What inspires you to write?
S.T.: Everything. People, animals, the world in general - everything is such an inspiration to me. I try to look at each day like I have never seen a day before or like I will never see it again.
LBBB: Are any of your stories written from personal experience, or any character traits that mirror yours?
S.T.: The closest one to my life is Take Me Tomorrow. Although the drug is futuristic (as well as the society), the novel was inspired by my life as I coped with my mother's death, which was a result of a drug overdose. Many have commented on Sophia carrying knives and running through a forest as inspiration from The Hunger Games, but my teenage life consisted of that on a regular basis. I had a knife collection, and we lived on 126 acres I often checked with my husky. Sophia's dog's name was Argos. Mine was Shadow.
LBBB: When in a slump, what do you do? If you read or listen to music, what are your go-to books or music?
S.T.: My go-to movie is Casablanca. I couldn't even guess how many times I've seen it, but I've seen it A LOT. My go-to music is Elvis, but I am more likely to visit 8tracks.com to find something that suits my mood. I tend to save Elvis for my road trips.
LBBB: How do you respond to negative feedback/comments with your work?
S.T.: I don't respond. That's their opinion, and it is not my place to step in and say anything. That being said, I am very grateful someone even took the time to read my work.
LBBB: What is your writing space like? Do you work anywhere or do you have a special place just for your writing? Messy or clean?
S.T.: I am very messy in real life, but there is one exception: my writing space is spotless. I'm disorganized everywhere in my life aside from my writing. While I spend most of my writing time in a coffee shop, I do have moments where I write at home. I have folding desk, so it folds into the wall when I'm done. But since I work at home, I try to separate my work life from my writing life by avoiding writing at the same desk I work on.
LBBB: Do you have a favorite author? Series?
S.T.: I couldn't possibly pick a favorite author or book, but I love Meg Cabot (1-800-Where-R-You series and The Mediator in particular), Cassandra Clare (The Mortal Instruments), and Billy Collins (who is a poet).
LBBB: Any fur-babies?
S.T.: I have three cats, my youngest being the most famous on my website. His name is Bogart, and he's named after my favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart (coincidentally, the lead actor in Casablanca, the same movie I mentioned earlier). The other two don't enjoy showing up on my website, but their names are Boo-Boo and Kiki.
As a novelist, poet, and blogger, I spend my free time writing and sharing ideas with my black cat, Bogart, named after my favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart. Between writing and befriending cats, I graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, and I travel whenever the road calls.
I am also an editor and social media marketer, and you can read more about my services on my website. You can also reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be drinking a coffee when I read your message.
Talk to you soon!