Friday, June 1, 2012

Feature Friday: Shannon Dittemore

This morning we've got the wonderfully kind debut author, Shannon Dittemore! 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.

Angel Eyes is her first novel.






Interview:
A.L.:
What piece of advice would you give to a budding author?

Shannon:
I wish I had some original advice, something no one’s thought to say, but I don’t. Just read. Read, read, read. Read a lot. Read the kind of stuff you write. Read the kind of stuff you could never write. Read what your audience loves. And then write you. Write your story. Learn to take the feedback that helps and to ignore the stuff that doesn’t. It’s hu-ard! I know, but you need it, and guess what, the feedback never, ever ends.

A.L.:
What’s your favorite book and why?

Shannon:
Well! Omitting cheater answers like the Bible and such, I’ll go with the Count of Monte Cristo. I reserve the right to change this answer at any time because I’m human and that’s allowed, but I have so many amazing memories reading this book. I bought a battered copy at Powell’s in Portland with a couple friends of mine. We took turn reading chapters out loud. We read in random coffee houses, the famous Portland Rose Gardens, and even at Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood. Awesome story, awesome friends. Some of the best memories ever.

A.L.:
So, I’m a sucker for angels and demons, I want to know all about the Angel Eyes mythos. :) Did you model your world entirely off of biblical mythology or did you take some liberties?

Shannon:
I absolutely took liberties. Absolutely. But, I will say that my imagination was informed by Biblical accounts. I’ve always had a thing for angels. For the way they’re described in scripture. For the things that aren’t said about them. Developing the Celestial was one of the most enjoyable parts of writing Angel Eyes.

A.L.:
Have you always wanted to write?

Shannon:
I’ve always written. Is that the same thing? Poetry or skits or short stories. I’ve always liked capturing my thoughts on paper, but for the longest time I thought I’d be on stage somewhere. Storytelling in all its forms fascinates me. I don’t feel like I’ve arrived at my final destination. I feel like I’ve gotten a chance to tell stories in novel form and that’s such an incredible opportunity. In a way it feels like home. Like it’s what I should be doing. For now.

A.L.:
You’re very transparent about your religion and the role of religion in your life. How much would you say it impacts your writing?

Shannon:
In every way. My beliefs, just like your beliefs, fashion the way we see the world. I don’t know that I’ll always write “Christian” stories, but it’s the filter I see the world through. That bleeds onto the page whether I like it or not.

A.L.:
Which of the characters in Angel Eyes is your favorite and why?

Shannon:
Brielle, of course, gets most of my attention and I’m more invested in her than in any of my other characters. She’s got all the potential in the world and I can’t wait to see what she does with it. Her friends are also very near to my heart.

A.L.:
Did you hit any snags writing Angel Eyes? If so, what where they and how did you overcome them?

Shannon:
All the time. Writing is full of course correction. I’ve done an edit where I completely changed the tense of the novel from past to present. I’ve deleted a bad guy and his entire family. I’ve deleted and added POVs. It makes the story richer, though, to take it through crazy edits. You end up with twists and turns that even surprise you as the writer.

A.L.:
What are you currently working on?

Shannon:
Right now, I’m drafting book three and getting ready to start line edits for Broken Wings, the second book in the Angel Eyes trilogy.

A.L.:
What’s your favorite food?

Shannon:
Decisions! I don’t know. I’m a fan of both coffee and chocolate. It’s a toss-up.

A.L.:
If you had one last day to live, what would you do?

Shannon:
I’d be so boring! I’d snuggle with my husband and kids. Maybe we’d all crawl into bed and watch Harry Potter movies until I’m whisked away.

The Giveaway:
Shannon is going to send one lucky winner a signed copy of ANGEL EYES and some bookmarks to give to your friends!

Angel Eyes Once you’ve seen, you can’t unsee. Everything changes when you’ve looked at the world through . . .

ANGEL EYES

Brielle’s a ballerina who went to the city to chase her dreams and found tragedy instead. She’s come home to shabby little Stratus, Oregon, to live with her grief and her guilt . . . and the incredible, numbing cold she can’t seem to shake.

Jake’s the new guy at school. The boy next door with burning hands and an unbelievable gift that targets him for corruption.

Something more than fate has brought them together. An evil bigger than both of them lurks in the shadows nearby, hiding in plain sight. Two angels stand guard, unsure what’s going to happen. And a beauty brighter than Jake or Brielle has ever seen is calling them to join the battle in a realm where all human choices start.

A realm that only angels and demons—and Brielle—can perceive.

Read Goodreads reviews.
Buy it on Barnes and Noble.
Buy it on Amazon.

How to Enter:
Enter the giveaway using Rafflecopter.  Hit the green "Do It" buttons, follow the prompts, and hit the green enter buttons when you're done. (You may have to log in using Facebook to do this). There will be one winner (selected by Rafflecopter). I will contact the winner via email. This contest is open to national entrants only.

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