Today, we have Shannon A. Thompson with us. We hope you like the interview that follows. Thumbs up if you do! 🙂
Let’s start this, shall we?
When did you first consider yourself a writer? What was that particular incident?
My child-self considered myself a writer before I knew what a writer truly was. I loved writing, but I obsessed over it before I realized I could make it my career. That being said, I decided to chase that career very seriously at eleven years old, almost immediately after my mother’s sudden death.
What books and authors have influenced your life the most?
Meg Cabot is always the first writer that comes to my mind, but I know I adored Dear America and The Magic Tree House series long before I ever fixated on the 1-800-Where-R-You series. Lynne Ewing was also a favorite of mine. Still is.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
It is impossible to choose one! Currently, I really look up to Elizabeth C. Bunce. I’ve had the unbelievable opportunity to speak with her, and her encouragement has been a great help in an ever-changing, often quite terrifying world of publishing. But T.L. McCown was the first author ever to give my writing a second glance, and that second glance was a priceless glance – infinite and bright.
At what point in your life did you realize this is what you wanted to do with your life?
Honestly, my answer has a lot to do with math. My mother died when she was 44 years old. I was 11. When I did the math, I realized I could’ve been one-fourth of the way through with my life, and then, I realized the real truth: I could die tomorrow. So I picked up my pen that day, knowing I didn’t want to set it down ever again.
Did you ever think that this is what you wanted to do with your life when you were younger?
Of course! I actually have a bookshelf in my “office” – a.k.a. my bedroom – that includes all my publications and moments that remind me of my dream. One of those publications is a small, short story I wrote when I was seven, and the printer included an author bio in the back that I also wrote. I said “My favorite color is purple and my favorite book author is Valerie Tripp. I was born in Pennsylvania. I want to be an author when I grow up.”
What book are you reading at the moment? Tell us something about it.
I recently turned 23, and a good friend gifted me “Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake” – a memoir by Anna Quindlen. I’m not that far into it, but I think it has many great messages in it that can help many people, especially women at various times in their life.
Do you have to do anything to get into the zone when you write?
Right now, I do most of my writing at a local hookah house, so I suppose the routine of going there helps me fixate on words more.
If you could have any superpower, what would you have and why?
Invisibility. I would find a way to make it useful. I think mindreading would be too heartbreaking and overwhelming, and flying might look like fun until you’re dealing with air currents. But invisibility is something that sounds like fun to me. Lots of opportunities for pranks!
Do you have any childhood memories that affect your writing?
Not specifically, no. I don’t purposely base my novels off of real memories, but I do look back and see things that correlate when I didn’t mean to. For instance, in my latest novel – Take Me Tomorrow – the protagonist feels most at home in a forest behind her house. I have always been that way. While everyone around me always talks about the ocean (perhaps because we live nowhere near the ocean) I always want to live among the trees. Granted, Sophia’s forest is much different from the forest I used to have behind my house. But we both traveled through there, even after we had the way the forest changed memorized.
What is your favorite memory from your recent travels?
Oh! I just got back from Branson, Missouri. I think my favorite memory has to come from when I first arrived. I had never been there before, so I wasn’t expecting anything at all, and it was very late, so I was getting a little uncomfortable driving through the mountains (in my head, in the middle of nowhere) when I finally came to the top of a hill, and a giant King Kong loomed over me. It was the Hollywood Wax Museum, and I felt like a stumbled upon a party city in the mountains. I had a lot of fun. My favorite tourist attraction was the Titanic Museum. It’s built like the ship, it has an interactive tour, and the horn went off every morning.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?
I really want to travel to Japan, but I also think New Zealand and Scotland would be interesting. There are so many places it’s difficult to explain why. Traveling – for me – is never a “why” until after I return. I like to go places without knowing too much, and I like to stay in the middle of it all. One time, I went to Puerto Rico, and everyone told me to stay at the resorts, but I stayed directly over a salsa bar in the middle of Old San Juan. The salsa bar made it impossible to sleep, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What is your beauty secret?
No beauty secrets here, although thank you for making me blush. I try to sleep and eat well, but I have my moments just like everyone else. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, but I don’t see anything wrong with someone who enjoys makeup, and hairspray is my best friend. I used to try to straighten my hair because I didn’t like my curly hair, but I eventually embraced the crazy frizz I call a hairstyle.
Do you think you’re a good manipulator?
Oh, now that’s a difficult question. In a way, storytellers are manipulators of words, but I like to believe my characters take over, so – in a way – I’m not a manipulator. It depends on how you look at it.
What is your philosophy of life?
Follow your dreams. I know. I know. Cheesy. Cliché. But true. Everyone should follow their dreams.
Your philosophy of love?
Love is vital to life, I believe. Perhaps this is why I always have a romance element in my books. Love – to me – is the center of many human emotions, whether that be the lack of love or the desire for love or something else entirely. But it isn’t simple until you make it simple. It takes a lot of work, vulnerability, and communication from both ends.
You philosophy of humans?
I could go in so many directions with this! Ah! But I’ll say that humans generally have some sort of desire that drives them, and unfortunately, many damages that push them in opposite ways. I think it’s important for us to help one another stay on the paths we’re supposed to be on with encouragement because we’re only damaging society in the long run by not doing what we should be doing.
Your philosophy of this world?
I’m so glad I have a coffee with me right now or I would not know how to answer such complicated questions in a few sentences. This world is as big and wonderful as you want it to be. But it can also be as dark and depressing. Yes, we aren’t in control of many things – many great and also horrible things – but we can try to live our lives on this world to the best of our ability.
Suggest us a good author to interview for our next interview.
Natasha Hanova, author of The Edge of Truth
And the last question I have is, do you have any advice for inspiring writers?
My personal mantra is write with passion; succeed with self-discipline, but I would suggest creating your own mantra that helps remind you why you write and what you want to do with your writing. It will guide you through the light and dark days.
Thank you so much for your time.
Hope you liked this. Thumbs up if you did, and please share. Till then… Take care!
Check out her website: Shannon A. Thompson