A couple of days ago the lovely Shannon send me a message on Twitter asking if I would want to somehow feature the UK release of the her debut novel on my blog. Shannon probably knows by this point how much I ADORE The Girl Who Fell and I obviously wanted to take a chance to feature it on my blog.
I reviewed The Girl Who Fell over at WinterHaven Books a while ago and you can find my full review for it from here. I decided that instead of sharing the full review here, I would just include a couple of excepts from it. So here you go:
I also asked Shannon a couple of questions about her novel and I think the answers are really interesting. And yes, of course I had to ask a hockey related question as well since the book includes hockey players.
1. What was the most difficult aspect of writing The Girl Who Fell?
The most difficult challenge for me while writing this book was creating Alec as a character that the reader would fall for right alongside Zephyr. Alec had to be charming and tender and loving. Because Zephyr is smart and the reader needed to believe that she could be swept up in the magic of his attentions.
2. What inspired you to write about hockey players?
I have loved hockey since I was three and began playing hockey on the pond in our back yard. I was raised in New England where hockey is revered and the sport had a big impact on my teen years. Plus, hockey dudes are hot so there's that.
(Milka: YES, HOCKEY DUDES ARE THE HOTTEST!)
3. Was the process leading up to the publication what you expected it to be?
Literally nothing in my path to publication was what I expected it to be. Every post-publication, I continue to expect the unexpected. Each day is equal parts exciting and scary. Mostly scary.
4. Any advice for those with dreams of publication?
Be kind to yourself
Be hard on your characters.
Maybe someday I'll even take this advice ;)
5. And because my blog readers are probably no strangers to my hockey obsession & since your book has hockey players in it, I have to ask if you are a hockey fan (and if you are, who are some of your favorite players) ?
I'm a huge hockey fan, but I hope it doesn't disappoint your to know that I don't have a favorite professional hockey team. My love for hockey is for the town games, the little kids pouring over the outdoor rinks with their sticks and wide smiles. And my favorite? When I see a little girl tuck her ponytail into her helmet before sliding confidently across the silky ice.
(Milka: It is actually good to her that not everyone is as deep in this as I am... semifinals for my team start today and I feel like climbing the walls because I am so stressed out. And yeah, I know, like I really need more things to stress about!)
6. I know we are celebrating the UK release of The Girl Who Fell today, but can you tell us about any future projects?
I can stay that I have a new YA Contemporary coming in August, 2017. It features a female lobster boat captain and a Maine island that guards dark secrets. I'll be announcing more soon and I hope readings will love!
I am also contributing to Welcome Home, a YA anthology about adoption. I've been a domestic adoption advocate (and adoptive mom) for a long time now so this project is the project of my heart.
Thank you so much for replying to my questions Shannon!
Finally, I will be sharing with you an excerpt from the very beginning of The Girl Who Fell, and if this does not make you want to read Shannon's book I don't know what will...
The Girl Who Fell (excerpt reprinted with permission from Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division)
I pick up the landline, dial Mom’s cell. It takes too long to connect. There is only the static silence of a dead line, and that’s when I know I’m not alone.
I drop the phone onto its cradle and eye the door, my car keys on the floor in my path. In
seconds I calculate how my body will need to scoop the keys as I run from the house. I move just as a metallic snap echoes from under the house.
In the basement.
Someone has thrown the main switch, pitching me and this house and my escape into
Fear roils in my blood. Becomes me. I kick around for my keys but with each sweep, I am
I reach for the island, my eyes adjusting, carving light into the shadows. The smell of
spearmint bleeds through the air, through my memory, as my senses conjure the last time panic
joined me in this space. And how my fingertips reached for the knife set even then. But the block of knives is gone now. The counter cleared. I open a drawer, rifle for utensils, scissors. My fingers meet with the smooth wood of inner drawer and nothing else. I fumble around the sink, but even Mom’s pruning shears are missing.
The phone rings and I freeze from the impossibility of its sound. A second ring sears through silence. I wade across the black, remove the handset, place it at my ear. I pray that it’s anyone besides him.
Terror climbs the ladder of my spine. My voice, reluctant. “Hello?”
Then the dial tone cries beep beep beep and I hang up, quickly dial 911. But he’s quicker.
The line falls dead again.
He’s in the basement, where the phone line enters the house.
But then, no.
He could be outside. At the junction box.
All at once the woods outside feel too hungry, haunted.
My body tells me I need to flee, protect. My brain tells me to fight, engage. I tuck into the
forgotten corner of the laundry room, quiet as my fear, and wrap my hands around the butt of my
field hockey stick. I hold it tight against my chest, a weapon.
I try to reverse my breathing. Make it soundless. Make it so I cannot be found. The darkness is a comfort, a cloak. I blend into it. For anonymity. For safety. There was a time when I feared darkness. As a child. Alone.
Darkness doesn’t have fingers that twist into my flesh. Darkness can’t stalk me. It can’t drive me into the shadows because darkness is fleeting. Not like the threat before me.
The Girl Who Fell is now (April 1st) available in UK. Here are few helpful links for ordering:
Book Depository - Amazon UK