I am honored to be part of the blog tour for Shandy Lawson's thrilling debut Young Adult novel, THE LOOP, brought to you by Authors On the Web and Hyperion. As part of the tour stop, I have a quick five-question interview with Shandy Lawson himself and a generous giveaway copy of THE LOOP for one lucky reader. If THE LOOP has escaped your bookish radar until now, check out the synopsis below. Doesn't it sound amazing?!
Ben and Maggie have met, fallen in love, and died together countless times. Over the course of two pivotal days - both the best and worst of their lives - they struggle again and again to resist the pull of fate and the force of time itself. With each failure, they return to the beginning of their end, a wild road trip that brings them to the scene of their own murders and into the hands of the man destined to kill them.
As time circles back on itself, events become more deeply ingrained, more inescapable for the two kids trapped inside the loop. The closer they come to breaking out, the tighter fate's clutches seem to grip them. They devise a desperate plan to break free and survive the days ahgead, but what if Ben and Maggie's only shot at not dying is surviving apart?
1. How has your long list of passions/trades (wine recommendations, machinist, tutor, stone mason, and performing song writer) contributed to your success and growth as a writer?
Shandy Lawson: Well, the wider the range of experiences a writer has at his fingertips, the more material there is to pull from. I certainly can't say I've done it all, but I know what it feels like to be trapped in a cubicle for forty hours a week, and I know exactly how a factory smells. That kind of stuff can actually be pretty useful-- I collect as wide an array of memories as I can and draw from them to add some realism to my descriptive passages.
2. Why (write) Young Adult?
Shandy Lawson: You know, I'm honestly not sure. It wasn't a conscious decision; it was just what came out when I started writing. But I like writing for teens because they make up such a tough audience, very discerning. That challenge makes me think a little bit longer, take a little more time to put my story and characters together, which makes for a better book. I hope.
3. Why do you think there are so few (relatively speaking) male authors that write for Young Adults?
Shandy Lawson: I haven't seen any statistics, but from observation it seems pretty clear that the majority of YA readers are women, so it would follow that female writers would appeal to that group as well. I have a pretty good imagination, but I can't pretend to know what it's like to be a teenage girl-- so my book will likely appeal more to the guys than the girls. That's my guess, anyway. I mean, I know what it feels like to be a sixteen year-old boy, so that's the role I write best. Hopefully guys will eventually get their noses into books as often as the girls do, and you'll see a lot more male authors writing YA.
4. What is your writing process? Do you go with the flow or do you already know how the series ? or your story ? will end?
Shandy Lawson: I find that if I go with the flow, I just end up with a mess. It's a fun way to write, and I know many authors who compose that way, but I need to have a fairly detailed outline to write from. There are still plenty of spontaneous changes and happy accidents where I end up wandering off the trail, following an unexpected storyline, but in general I pretty much know where the story is headed from the start.
5. Who are your favorite authors and what are some of your favorite books?
Shandy Lawson: It's funny, but there aren't very many YA titles on that list. Okay, I'd probably put The Fault in Our Stars in there, that was definitely a favorite. Otherwise, some of my favorites are:
The Sea Wolf, Jack London
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
The Stand, Stephen King
House of Leaves, Mark Danielewski
The Lilies of the Field, William Barrett
I'd also add a couple poets to the list as well: Definitely Carl Sandburg and Seamus Heaney. And William Carlos Williams. And Sandburg again. He should go on there twice.
One lucky reader will win a finished copy of THE LOOP by Shandy Lawson.
Entering the giveaway is simple - just fill out the Rafflecopter form below!