Please welcome, Shonell Bacon as we learn a little more about her and her novel, Into The Web.
1. Tell us a little about yourself.
Everywhere, I often write: Author.Blogger.Editor.Educator.Everywoman. This describes me pretty well, I think. I’m a published author of essays, academic works, short stories, and novels. I blog about the writing craft, faith, my personal life, and other women writers. I edit fiction and non-fiction and have done so for 12 years. I’ve taught in the university level for 11 years, teaching freshman and sophomore level English classes, mass communication courses, and fiction writing courses. And I do SO many more things that I have to add on “everywoman” just to save space!
2. What genre do you write?
Genre is a hard word for me. I’ve always considered myself a LIFE WRITER. I write about life. My earlier novels were probably clumped into African American romance or contemporary fiction or contemporary urban fiction. Other writings of mine fit into commercial women’s fiction. Death at the Double Inkwell and my latest novel, Into the Web, fit into mystery. In the end, I write about the broken woman and if (and how) she’s able to overcome the circumstances that befall her.
3. Please tell us about your latest release (insert title) and how you came up with the idea.
The minute twins and mystery novelists Jovan and Cheyenne Parham find their lives settling into a nice rhythm, all hell breaks loose – in their personal lives and in the latest crime they find themselves mixed up in. Jo is trying to build a relationship with Mark Brockman, but the deaths of her husband and Mark’s wife, and the sordid nature of their coming together keeps her from jumping into the relationship with both feet. Cheyenne is head over heels in love with former detective-now P.I. Ian Davenport, but unexpected news and Ian’s involvement in a new case causes Chey to second guess the deepness of their love. Trying to figure out their love lives becomes all the more complicated when Jo and Chey are thrust into a series of kidnappings and murders involving young girls who seem to make the wrong friends online. When a mayoral candidate’s daughter is kidnapped, Ian finds himself on the case, much to the chagrin of Chey considering he spends an awful lot of time holding and caring for the candidate’s wife. Bringing the girl home safely and finding the killer pushes the twins to the limits of their personal and professional lives. Going into a web of infidelity, lies, deception, and murder often leaves all involved in disarray. Will Jovan and Cheyenne find themselves, once again, trying to pick up the remaining fragments of their lives once this is all over?
4. Is it part of a series?
Yes, Into the Web follows the debut book in the Double Inkwell series, Death at the Double Inkwell. Although ITW is a standalone book, it is DEFINITELY a smart thing to pick up DDIW to see how the main characters, Jovan and Cheyenne, came to be.
5. A must have snack while you write.
Boring as all get out, but I love me some pretzels, particularly the honey wheat braided pretzels. I always keep a bag near the desk.
6. A fact that someone might not know about you.
I played Max in a first grade production of Where the Wild Things Are. I always joke of how I was the first African-American female to do so. LOL
7. If you had to choose a favorite book that you’ve written, which would it be?
It might sound corny, but my fave book is the newest release, INTO THE WEB. Before ITW, Death at the Double Inkwell was my favorite because it was the first story I wrote that went beyond the typical stories I wrote. It’s not easy to write a mystery, and I felt I had accomplished a lot in writing DDIW. With Into the Web, I went a step beyond, developing a strong mystery layered with really nice subplots and interesting minor characters.
8. Advice to writers who have yet to be published.
a- Write something you care about. If you don’t care, it will show in the reading of the story.
b- Be a lifelong learner of the craft. Loving to write isn’t enough. You need to study the craft, read, and work to be better with each new story.
c- Not only study the craft – study the industry and study effective marketing and promotional endeavors.
9. Is there a genre you haven’t written yet that you want to?
Hmmm. I don’t know. LOL. Mystery writing, and the desire to write it, came out of an opportunity in a novel writing class. It wasn’t something I was thinking about doing in my writing career. I don’t necessarily write to genres. I write to the initial feelings I have about a character that came to me and won’t leave me. A genre usually comes later in the writing process.
10. Any quirky habits?
Not really. Aside from my “push it the limit” writing jags where I sit, set my timer for thirty minutes or an hour, and then write like someone’s waiting to slay me if I don’t write a certain amount of words.
11. Have you written a character that most resembles you?
All my characters, for the most part, resemble me in some way. It’s funny. When I pursued my MFA degree several years ago, I had a theory that every MFA thesis was really an autobiography of the student. Beyond the thesis, and for many stories afterward, we still wrote of the “self,” but there would come a time when we would exorcise the personal demons enough that we’d write stories that were not ABOUT us but were stories that mattered to us—there is a slight difference between the two. Now, eight years since graduating, I find that I’m blending the two. Some characters still resemble me, trying to exorcise demons, but more often than not, they reflect ideas, thoughts that are important to me.
12. What type of hero do you enjoy writing about?
The broken hero. I like broken people. They are the most vulnerable and the most real. Especially the broken person (usually a woman) that still manages to do everything well on the surface, but inside she is falling apart. I like to see if ... and how she will overcome her circumstances.
13. What are you currently reading?
Right now, my reading is academic as I’m working on my dissertation. However, I do plan to start reading some classics geared toward young girls, such as Pippi Longstocking, Harriet the Spy, The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew), and Ramona Quimby, Age 8.
14. What are you currently working on?
Aside from dissertation? Well, a short work titled Between the Pages that will be released this summer about a successful erotica novelist that decides to break her anonymity in order to show her true self to the man she’s loved for nearly ten years. I’m in the process of organizing my writing schedule to decide what works I will continue writing for 2012. I know I will start the third novel in the Double Inkwell series, title unknown at the moment, during NaNoWriMo in November.
About The Author
Shonell Bacon is an author, doctoral candidate, editor, educator–everywoman. She
has published both creatively and academically–novels, short stories, essays, and textbooks.
She has had an essay of hers developed as part of a live theatre documentary production. In addition to her love of writing and what the future holds in her literary life, she is also an editor who loves helping writers hone their literary craft. Since 2001, she has edited for hundreds of writers who have gone on to pursue self-publishing careers and have been published within the traditional publishing arena. Her love for helping writers also moved her to begin writing articles and commentaries regarding the writing life and craft, and she publishes these articles on various
websites. She is an educator, having taught English and mass communication courses in addition to fiction writing and other courses related to creative writing. And while taking part in all of those things, Shonell also finds the time to pursue her Ph.D. in Technical Communication and Rhetoric at Texas Tech University. Now a doctoral candidate, she is conducting research and writing her dissertation.
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