Today, I’m delighted to introduce you to a new-to-me author who could become a fun friend. Shannon Dittemore‘s debut novel releases May 29…just in time for summer reading. And the publisher has agreed to giveaway a copy of this book, so be sure to leave a comment here or on the teen blog with a way to contact you. My daughter received this book when we were on vacation and loved it! That was enough for me to know I needed to get to know Shannon. So let’s learn more…
1) Angel Eyes has a supernatural setting — it always fascinates me when authors can think that way. How did you get the idea for Angel Eyes?
I’ve always been fascinated with spiritual beings. When I was a teen, our church had a performing arts team and I always seemed to land the role of Satan. Whether Satan was biting the dust or getting knocked out in the Champion (thank you, Carman!) I apparently had the whole demonic thing down. I’m the daughter of a preacher and the wife of another one, so the supernatural is something I’ve grown up knowing about, learning about, believing in from a young age. To turn my imagination loose on those ideas was very natural.
2) Is there any part of Brielle that might be borrowed from you?
The fear, certainly. I dealt with fear for a time. It’s been a journey and I’m so grateful for God’s help through it, but I understand what it is to be frozen by anxiety and terror. I’ve learned that being fearless isn’t the absence of fear, but the refusal to let it govern your actions. I don’t have it all down, but God’s gracious and He’s teaching me.
Brielle also references Neverland from time to time. I’m rather fascinated with Peter Pan myself.
3) What was the hardest thing about writing Angel Eyes?
Time. I’m certainly not alone in this, but finding the time with two young children at home is difficult. It’s another thing God’s helping me with.
4) Can you give people a teaser?
Sure! Angel Eyes is about a girl who returns to her small hometown after tragedy has struck. She has all the potential in the world, but grief and fear have taken over and she feels frozen, unable to move forward. Enter the boy next door. Jake’s got a few secrets of his own, and there’s something about his hands–his blazing hands–that has Brielle paying attention. Jake gives Brielle a gift that opens her eyes in more than one way and that’s when all hell breaks loose. Literally.
5) Will we get to see Brielle and her friends in another book?
I’m happy to report that Angel Eyes is the first in a trilogy of books. The second book is called Broken Wings and will be out next February. The third book is still untitled and I’m not entirely sure when it’ll be released.
6) Why write for this audience? What draws you to teenagers?
This one’s hard to answer. I’m not entirely sure why I write for teenagers. Maybe because I am still a teen at heart. Everything’s still very raw, very real, and very important at that age. I like that. I think I live like that. Sometimes, like in the lives of teenagers, that makes things much more complicated than they need to be, but it’s the way I’m wired. God helps me here too. Feeling is very important for teens and as a first class emoter, I understand entirely.
7) What do you hope readers will take away from Angel Eyes?
That they are not alone. That even when life throws craziness at you and when you stumble into dark places, you haven’t been abandoned. If readers come away with something close to that, I’ve done my job.
Okay, where can readers connect with you?
I’m everywhere, I think! I even have an Angel Eyes board on Pinterest.