Tag Archives: Author Interview

Q&A with Chemistry Author Weike Wang

29 Aug

If you’ve been following, you’ve read about my great amazement to find a friend from high school swimming had written a book. Weike Wang’s first novel, Chemistry, is garnering more and more press since its release in May. I came across it while exploring Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle and I’m so glad I did. After reconnecting with Weike, she agreed to do a Q&A with me here on the blog. Thank you again to Weike for her time!

Questions I Wrote Before Reading

SAM: Can you tell me about the process of getting this book to a publisher? How long did it take and how much rejection did you have to face?
WEIKE: It was an idealistic situation.  I faced no rejection because this novel was my MFA thesis and my advisor did me a great deed by introducing me to his editor.  Then the fairy tale unfolded from there.  I am quite aware that this is not the normal pace of things.  But my advice to young writers is to always, always respect your teachers and listen to what they have to say.

SAM: What attracted you to the novel format?
WEIKE: It’s a commitment.  But you also have to be restrained.  A novel is not just a place to expand in every direction.  Also, practically, novels sell and short stories do not.

SAM: How much of this book is autobiographical?
WEIKE: I would say a bit but not much.  With the first novel, you are writing about all the experiences you have ever heard of.  Sometimes they are your own experiences, sometimes not.

SAM: Do you see another novel in your future?
WEIKE: Of course! I love the form.  Especially the form of a short novel. Currently something is in the works.  Fingers crossed!

SAM: Reading your author bio, you seem to have changed career paths. What prompted you to do that?
WEIKE: Mostly I was trying to figure out what I want to do.  I don’t mean to sound like a jerk here, but I was competent at a lot of things.  Some of those things were stable careers and careers that I think anyone could have been happy with.  Medicine.  Research. Etc.  I really wanted to DO something that would forward a field.  That required looking at different avenues of my own interests.

SAM: Can you comment on appearances, interviews, etc. you’ve done since this book was released?
WEIKE: They were all fun.  I have enjoyed getting to meet readers and rekindling with old friends (like you!).

Questions I Wrote After Reading

SAM: You end with a very hopeful tone. Should we be hopeful for the narrator?
WEIKE: Sure, I think that’s fair.  A good ending, I have always believed, is an ending where the story continues in the reader’s mind.  There is a little bit of hope but also some qualification of that hope.  It’s life, no?

SAM: You leave all characters in the book unnamed except Eric. Is he focal to the narrator’s transformation?
WEIKE: I named Eric because I think his relationship to her is the most ambiguous.  He is her boyfriend sure, but they’re also in the middle of a long break up. Everyone else in the novel has an explicit relationship to her that doesn’t change.

SAM: Your format jumps from the plot to memories and back again. Why did you choose to write this way? Do you see yourself writing future novels in this format? (Assuming there will be some, of course!)
WEIKE: When I read novels, I find that I skim over a lot of the ‘fat’.  Descriptions, dialogues, scenes that drag.  I was trained in the short story field and I have always felt that a novelist could benefit from being lean.  That is giving the reader just enough but not SO much that the reader doesn’t have to work for it, doesn’t have to think.  The jumping back and forth is just a style I like.  It’s called collage.  It’s one of the most forgiving styles of writing for a writer.

Thanks yet again to Weike for responding to a Facebook message from an old swimming friend. I’m hoping for more books of hers in the future.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Cover Reveal and Author Interview: Shannon A. Thompson

1 Dec

I’m very excited to be participating in my first cover reveal! Shannon A. Thompson is the author of Seconds Before Sunrise, the second installment in The Timely Death Trilogy. I wanted to do more than just a cover reveal for you, readers, so I also asked Shannon to let me do a brief interview with her so I could share some opinions and thoughts from a published author. Happy reading!

SAM: I see on your site that Seconds before Sunrise is the second book in a trilogy. How have you managed to give each book an ending while maintaining the story line of a series?
SHANNON: Depends on what you considering an ending. The books definitely don’t stand on their own. The first, for instance, has an ending that relies on the second book to begin. I look at The Timely Death Trilogy as one story divided into three books rather than the alternative for a trilogy: three books with the same characters in different stories.

SAM: You published your first book at 16. To what do you accredit your ability to write well at such a young age?
SHANNON: Writing well is debatable. I’ve grown a lot since then. But, in terms of writing and getting published at such a young, I have to credit my mother first. She taught me to love writing as well as how to grow with and from it. Her death is the reason I became so passionate about writing at a young age. When I was 16, I also met author, T.L. McCown, who helped me with my first published novel. She is an inspiration.

SAM: Do you think writing can be learned, or is it something we are ‘born with?’
SHANNON: I think it’s always both. Personally, I think I was born with the love for writing, but I had to learn how to write. We aren’t born knowing what language is, let alone writing, but I think we can be born with the urge inside of us. I think we can also learn to love it if we weren’t born with it. Everything comes down to the individual.

SAM: How involved were you in designing the cover for Seconds before Sunrise? Do you take any credit for the idea?
SHANNON: Viola Estrella was the cover designer, and she was great, because I had a very specific idea that I wanted displayed–mainly having to do with looking like a trilogy. Some might wonder why the first cover has a blue woman and the second cover has a green background but a normal colored male. This was done on purpose. The first novel is about being in the Dark, and the second book is focused on the human aftermath of their supernatural identities.

Thank you again to Shannon for agreeing to an interview. Another interesting fact Shannon shared with me is that Eric’s pendant is based on a necklace the author had and lost on a trip. And now, without further ado, here it is, the cover for Shannon A. Thompson’s new book, Seconds Before Sunrise!

Shannon's cover for SECONDS BEFORE SUNRISE
Shannon’s cover for SECONDS BEFORE SUNRISE

Two nightmares. One memory.

“Chaos within destiny. It was the definition of our love.”

Eric has weeks before his final battle when he’s in an accident. Forced to face his human side, he knows he can’t survive if he fights alone. But he doesn’t want to surrender, even if he becomes the sacrifice for war.

Jessica’s memory isn’t the only thing she’s lost. Her desire to find her parents is gone and so is her confidence. But when fate leaves nightmares behind, she decides to find the boy she sees in them, even if it risks her sanity.

At sixteen years old, Shannon A. Thompson became the published author of “November Snow.” At twenty-one, she was featured in “Poems: a collection of works by twelve young Kansas poets.” On May 1st, her paranormal romance, “Minutes Before Sunset” was released by AEC Stellar Publishing. In July, it was awarded Goodreads Book of the Month. It’s the first novel in A Timely Death series. Her first short story, “Sean’s Bullet,” released in an anthology in October, 2013, and her upcoming novel, “Seconds Before Sunrise,” is expected to release March 22nd 2014.

She’s lived in five states and moved over fifteen times, which she uses as inspiration for writing. Shannon dedicates all of her published works to lost loved ones, and she encourages everyone to find their passion.
Currently, Shannon is finishing her bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Kansas and working as a Social Media Marketing Manager for AEC Stellar Publishing.
Visit her at ShannonAThompson.com.