Saturday, May 21, 2011

Author Interview: Shawn Maravel

Today, I'm talking with Shawn Maravel, who has recently released Severance, a sequel to her young adult paranormal romance, Volition.

1) Tell us a little bit about your latest novel.

I don't want to give too much away for Volition by telling you about Severance so here's a look at Volition:

Charlotte Rush would be the first to admit that her life is no rollercoaster ride. Her days are laced with ordinary and at times boring monotony. But with a heart that finds itself frequently broken she's happy to say that she's content.

When her friends convince her to spend the night out at a club to let loose and maybe even find a guy, she finally admits that her life might be missing something.

No sooner does she let go of her inhibitions does she find herself waking up in a dark hotel room in the presence of Joel, a man who carries mystery in his eyes and familiarity in his smile. Against reason Charlotte decides to trust him based solely on one thing. Somehow, she is sure that she knows him.

In a race against time to find answers and to solve the crime committed against her Charlotte finds herself falling for him. However, with nothing but mystery surrounding him she can't even be sure that he's the hero at all. While knowing all of the right things to say he still manages to tell her nothing. As a battle is waged over the innocence of her cryptic stranger, Charlotte discovers that much greater danger awaits her. And the mysteries behind who and what Joel is will lead Charlotte to discover that heaven and earth are not so far apart.

2) What inspired your novels?

Volition started off as a question that I posed to myself, "Who knows you inside and out, has seen you in your darkest hour, and loves you anyway?" On top of that I thought to myself...wouldn't it be interesting if it was someone you didn't even know? That you couldn't possibly grasp the concept of your love, but somehow...when you met them, something inside of you just knew that you loved them too? From there I decided on the answers to the questions of who exactly was he (Joel), what was he, how they will they meet, and what obstacles come with that type of relationship?

For Severance, it was very similar. At first, there was just going to be one book, but then I saw a movie called "Elsewhere" and the ending really freaked me out. It was kind of a physiological thriller, going to bed that night I though to myself, what if Volition took a turn like that? The stories are totally different from each other of course, but the idea that Volition could go somewhere I hadn't planned excited me. I had a rough idea about where it would go, but I wasn't positive until a friend that had read Volition and loved it posed another question. It made me realize that even bigger possibilities awaited this two book series. And without my friend's question it wouldn't be the same series by a long shot.

3) Did you find it easier to write the sequel or were their challenges you did not encounter when you wrote your first book?

It took less time for me to write Severance, the sequel to Volition, I started writing it as I was editing Volition, and I was really excited about it because Volition is the build up, and Severance really takes the reader into this crazy awesome adventure of love and how powerful it can really be. In that sense, Severance was actually easier. At the same time, I hit a lull while writing around the same spot in both books. Around page one hundred. From there it's like pulling teeth to finish. All in all though, I think it happened less with Severance because I had a lot more figured out. I took a lot less out then I ended up taking out of Volition, and I knew exactly how it would end. 

I had also been going to school online full-time when I started Volition,and by the time I'd moved onto Severance I'd stopped going to school to focus on writing. It provided me with a lot more time to writing. 

4) Tell us a little bit about your writing process.

My writing process is kind of strange, for the most part, after getting a main idea, theme, and character names down, I just start writing. I pick a spot that I think will be a good lead into the story, and I just start writing. The characters kind of take it from there, as strange as it sounds. I build up these characters, and through writing I kind of determine their personalities. As I throw them into situations, I can picture how they would react to them. As far as when I write and for how long, it all depends. Usually I'd write during the day between taking care of the house and pets. It's like having a job with a flexible schedule. I make sure that I write every day, or at least most days. But sometimes I get writer's block, though I wouldn't exactly call it that. I just need to step away from the story for a bit. Even when editing I need to take breaks, otherwise I'm not actually paying attention when I sit down to work. Sometimes ideas will come at strange times though and I'll be up at three in the morning huddled in the bathroom or at the kitchen table trying to let my husband sleep while I get down whatever ideas that I can onto paper. I know that once I fall asleep the flow will be gone when I wake up the next morning. 

5) Your work is self-published, but in stark contrast to the current crop of self-publishing authors, you haven't e-published. Given the current furor over e-publishing, why did you choose to go this route?

The site I went through,, does paper back books mainly, though I do think that they have the option to do e-books as well. I do intend to publish e-books at some point also, with my husband's technical help, but publishing my books for me was all about being able to hold my book in my hands. I think that e-books are a great tool, and I look forward to expanding in that direction, but I don't have an e-book reading device so the main goal was for me to be able to have access to my own work without having to buy something in order to read it first. I also happen to be a personal fan of hard copies as apposed to digital when it comes to books. I like keeping a physical library, to see my books lined up on a shelf, those I've read and those I've written. 

6) If you had one piece of advice for an aspiring author, what would it be?

The writing world is a competitive one with a lot of great story ideas to compete with, so keep your head up and stay positive. It's the people who truly believe in their work that will become successful. 

No comments: