Friday, September 14, 2012

Shannon McKenna One Wrong Move Blog Tour with a Q/A









Shannon’s Bio

Shannon McKenna is the NYT bestselling author of over ten action packed, turbocharged romantic thrillers, among which are the stories of the wildly popular McCloud series. She loves tough and heroic alpha males, heroines with the brains and guts to match them, villains who challenge them to their utmost, adventure, scorching sensuality, and most of all, the redemptive power of true love. Since she was small she has loved abandoning herself to the magic of a good book, and her fond childhood fantasy was that writing would be just like that, but with the added benefit of being able to take credit for the story at the end. Alas, the alchemy of writing turned out to be messier than she'd ever dreamed. But what the hell, she loves it anyway, and hopes that readers enjoy the results of her alchemical experiments.

Links:

Shannon’s website
Shannon on Facebook
Shannon on Twitter
Kensington
Amazon




I am so excited to have Shannon McKenna answering a Q/A with a Giveaway at Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews.

Shannon McKenna  is currently touring to promote her new release One Wrong Move.

For more information about the book, please visit http://www.shannonmckenna.com

Thank you Shannon and Beth Barany Publishing and Marketing Consultant for letting me join your blog tour with a Giveaway and Q/A.

Please take it away, Shannon!

1.  Who are some of your favorite authors?

Oh, wow. So many books — so little time! I enjoyed the hell out of The Hunger Games trilogy. That was a wonderfully crafted series of book, and I wish I had written it! Jane Eyre, everything by Austen, all the Anne of Green Gables books by Lucy Maude Montgomery, and the Tolkien Trilogy — those are the classics that I cut my teeth on and read again and again. Diana Gabaldon is a goddess, and there is nothing more compelling in my life when I have a chance to read one of her books. I’ve been loving Kate Atkinson lately. She gives me everything I like in a thriller/mystery plus the lush writing of a literary novel.

It’s so hard to pick. I don’t have a reliable database of favorites in my head. It depends on my mood, what floats to the top on any given day. I’m a Harry Potter freak. I love Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series, everything by Guy Gavriel Kay and Neil Gaiman, for fantasy. I’ve always loved Stephen King, and continue to enjoy everything he writes. I go for Lee Childs, Stephen Hunter, Harlan Coban, Nicci French and Thomas Perry for thrillers, and I know there are more to add to the list, they just aren’t floating up today. Just read some great mysteries by Tana French, and some great thrillers by Chelsea Cain. I’m a little out of the loop, since I live far from bookstores with English language books, plus I have small kids, so my reading time is limited. Though bit by bit, it seems to be coming back. I enjoyed “The Elegance of the Hedgehog” some months ago. Oh, and a new and very exciting development in my life—my kids are now old enough to entertain themselves for great big chunks of time on long plane trips, prime reading time! How exciting is that. I read an entire book of a debut author (on my new Kindle!) by S. L. Redling, called FLOWERTOWN, a gritty, kind of sci-fi flavoured thriller that I thought was absolutely riveting. Highly recommended!

2.  What's a typical day like for you?

I wish I had the kind of personality that could just lie like a dog, and tell you my about ideal, perfect day, rather than my real day . . . that I get up at 4:30 and run eight miles while the sun is rising, and then, glowing pleasantly from my efforts, freshly showered, I sit down sipping green tea and pound out four thousand words before the kids wake up, at which point I, in my Perfect Mommy persona, whip them up a fabulously delicious but also perfectly nutritionally balanced breakfast and get them off to school on time, singing in the car, tra la la . . .

Not.

No, my real day is a bit more chaotic. I have had some luck getting up early, but it is still sporadic, and I have a hell of a time getting to bed early enough! When I manage it, I still mourn the quiet adult evening time one sometimes gets after the kids get off to sleep, to watch the occasional movie or hot TV series (like Game of Thrones! Oh my god, I’m a GOT junkie!) The morning is a desperate blur, trying to get the kids to school. I am trying to get in shape, but the recent trip to America to see grandparents completely nixed all my progress in that, and now I’m back to zero again! I’m afraid to count how many pushups I can do now! Wah! While the kids are at school, I just try, over and over again, each day, to create little compartments of time and space in which I can get writing done, and it’s hard. Sometimes I feel like I’ve figured out the answer, then the next day it all falls apart. I know that living abroad as an expat in Italy sounds exotic, but the truth is, the day is made up of encounters with gas stations, supermarkets, the mother-in-law, the babysitter, the parent-teacher conferences, plumbing problems, counting the grams of sugar in my food, arguing with my husband about whose turn it is to force the kids to brush their teeth. Then there’s all the social media stuff I am supposed to do these days, facebooking and tweeting and all that, which I have just barely begun to face. I try to meditate a little every night, because I think that being in the moment is the key to everything that could make my life better, deeper, more connected. But I would not say that I’m very good at it. I aspire to stop complaining, to be grateful, to just shut up and do my work, instead of fussing about it. Day after day. That’s where I am. My normal day. Trying not to fuss.

3.  What kind of music do you like to listen to?

In terms of music, I’m lost in the nineties, since that is when I left America, and I haven’t really had the time to discover new music since then. I rely on my teenage nephew in Australia to turn me on to new things. But I love old blues, and old soul, and rock-and-roll, and I like early music. I’m a singer, and one of the things I love to do is sing in this local choir that specializes in renaissance music. Palestrina, that kind of thing. Wonderful stuff. I adore Irish music, and used to sing in a Celtic band when I lived in NYC. My husband is a classical guitarist, so I love listening to him play Villa Lobos and Bach. He also composes his own stuff, which is gorgeous and indefinable, a sort of ethnic/electronic mix. I love singing jazz standards with a trio, of my husband on guitar and a great string bass player that we know. I love all the old jazz greats, particularly the singers. Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holliday.

4.  What are some of your favorite bands/artists?

Lately, I have been listening to Nina Simone, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Nick Drake, Sting, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Seger, Annie Lennox, Florence and The Machine, Snow Patrol, The Neville Brothers, The Bothy Band. I like Loreena McKennit, and Alanis Morissette, and Bonnie Raitt, and Kate Bush. I’ve been listening to a fabulous harpsichord player who just recorded a wonderful version of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. That’s just what floated to the top right now.

5.  What hobbies do you enjoy?

I love to sing. I love to cook, bake, make goodies. That’s dangerous, though. Singing is lower calorie. I love hiking, but don’t have much opportunity to do it, and that’s something about my life that I want to change. I camped with my kids on our America trip for the first time, at a beautiful mountain lake in Oregon, and we all totally loved the experience.

6.  Have you ever experienced a dangerous situation like in your books?

Thank God, no. I range pretty far out there with my twisted imagination, but it’s all make believe, I’m very happy to say. I have never been abducted by organ pirates, or strapped into an evil mind conrol device, or brainwashed into being a zombie slave (unless my years of temping in all those bank offices in NYC count . . . now that I think about it, maybe they do!) Nor have I done any time as a cutthroat mercenary or a kick-ass commando or a Rambo type who can eat ants and grubs to survive, nor can I perform an emergency tracheotomy with a ball point pen, or sew up my own bullet wounds with dental floss. I like to just think about such people. From a safe distance. While sipping a nice cup of Darjeeling with honey and milk, in my comfy squishy writing chair, with my toast, cream cheese and marmalade, my fleecy bathrobe and my bunny slippers. I’m so tame. Don’t tell anyone.

7.  Are your characters based on people you know?

Certain qualities of them are, but never a whole character. I take a little bit of this, a little bit of that. There was this kid I knew when I was growing up, the older brother of a friend of mine. He was nothing much to look at, with tangled teeth and greasy hair, a real screw-up who sold drugs and flunked out of school, but one day, when my friend and I were hiking way up in the hills behind where we lived, we ran into him. It was dusk, and there was a lot of long, dry grass. We heard a rattlesnake start to buzz right near us, but could not figure out where it was because the grass was too long. This sixteen year old guy took out his knife, and threw it, whish, swick, and cut that snake’s head off, blind, practically in the dark. I was very impressed with this, at the tender age of eleven. Not surprisingly, my hero in RETURN TO ME could do this very thing--though he was taller, more muscular, with better teeth, and considerably more accomplished than my friend’s brother. Pick and choose, that’s the name of the game!

8.  How much research do you compile for your books?

Probably not as much as I should! I did a whole lot of hard research for my first book, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, but these days, I usually just wrestle with the story first and try and pin down the details later, after I have figured out the plot. I would love to write fantasy, and make it all up as I go along, but hey, the grass is always greener. Maybe I would find, in the end, that world-building is actually harder than research!

9.  Where do you come up with your ideas for your books?

I guess I just sit down and force myself to have an idea. Sometimes things will come together for me while I’m reading books or watching movies . . . a character will really ring my bells and I try to figure out why that particular fantasy worked for me, and from that process, I can come up with a new idea to develop. It really helps to write a series, so that you are already bonded with and know a lot of backstory for at least one of your characters when the book begins. Having some things in place really helps me. But what it all comes down to in the end is being willing to just blunder along in the dark, and hope for the best.

Thanks so much to Paranormal Romantic Reviews, for having me on your blog! It’s been fun! Happy reading to all!

Please come back later for a chance to win a copy and read my review, thanks!

4 comments:

Cathy M said...

Hi Shannon,
Thanks for sharing yourself with us, I now your writing time is precious.

Loving your heroes is a given, but your heroines are also fierce in their love, and are a perfect match for your warrior men.


caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Shannon McKenna said...

And thank you so much, Cathy, for your lovely appreciation for my heroines! I am glad they work for you! Thanks, too, to Paranormal Romance Reviews for having me!
Good luck on the contest!
Shannon

Na said...

I recently discovered your books and am enjoying them, Shannon! I like your imagination and it's a good thing you never had to experience them in real life. I'm happy to read about them though.

Karen C said...

I have really enjoyed your books - have them all sitting on my bookshelf. I am looking forward reading One Wrong Move!

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