Today I'm happy to host fabulous author and fellow pub sister Shannon Duffy. Shannon's here to chat about her middle grade adventure novel, GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA, as well as give us some insight into her writing.
Welcome to We Do Write, Shannon. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Thanks for having me. Well, I live in Ontario with my husband, son, and three dogs. I have two German Shepherds and a tiny Yorkshire terrier. I love writing as you know, reading, traveling, and shopping. What girl doesn't like shopping? And not the grocery kind. =)
I'm totally with you there. And I used to have a German Shepherd and a Yorkie too! Just not at the same time. ;) How long have you been writing?
Seriously writing? About 5 years.
Tell us about GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA. What’s the story about?
This story is about three best friends who find a magical crystal, get sucked into a dying parallel world, and who are given magic powers and sent on a dangerous quest to save this world--Valta. Add in a pain in the butt nemesis, talking creatures, some viral produced evil ones, a dark duke, evil shadows, ghosts, and Death Mongers and you get a fantasy story that I'm hoping kids will like.
Sounds amazing! How did the idea of the story come to you?
It's kind of weird when I think of it because at the time the idea was just there. As in, I didn't really think about it. It was the story that was in my mind that I wanted to tell. I wanted to write a story for my son, Gabe and it was like, BAM! And well, I changed some things after I was done, and the words edit, edit, edit, comes to mind, but overall it was just the story that had been laid in my overactive brain.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Mostly a pantser. I kind of think of the story in my mind and run it through like a movie, think about the characters, then go with it. Along the way, I take notes re what questions I may need to answer, or ideas for a point further ahead in the book etc. I'd love to plot out a book sometime and I know this works amazingly for many people, I'm just not sure I could do it with the way my thoughts bounce around.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Well, I have to admit I have an internal editor living in my brain, and it's hard for me to write more than a paragraph without wanting to go back and edit. A little obsessive I know. Some people can fast draft books and plow through them, but that would make me crazy thinking about how many errors there would be. haha. So shutting that off is hard. I try to not edit until I'm done a chapter though.
What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
Hmm well I remember googling the distance from an airport in Russia to the one in Venice for my book Spectral. Not overly weird, but it felt kind of strange at the time.
Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: divinity, decimal, and dingy.
Gabriel wished Piper would help inflate the dingy so he could snatch the floating Divinity, but instead she rambled on about stupid decimals.
Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
With my family, or reading.
Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.
Georgia McBride first for loving this story from the beginning. She's an amazing person and pioneer for other writers. To Kelly Simmon for setting up the blog tour and pimping me--thanks! Of course my critique partners, who for this story were, Rachel Harris, Trisha Wolfe, and Brenda Drake-- and the rocking editors at Month9Books who edited, too! Thank you! And my husband for finding the first few pages that I'd abandoned of this story and encouraging me to finish it, and my son, Gabriel who is the hero of this story and the reason I wrote it in the first place.
And finally, where can people find you and your book online?
Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and Chapters/Indigo.
Shannon, thanks so much for chatting with us. I can't wait to get my hands on this book. First I'm going to read it, then I'm going to give it to my son. :)