Monday, July 20, 2015

Merit Press Author Interview: Shana Silver + Giveaway

I am back today with another Merit Press post. This is one I am VERY excited about because we get to learn a little bit more about one of the authors and their book, as well as a GIVEAWAY for the book! Yay, everyone loves a giveaway!

I would love to introduce you to Shana Silver, author of Alice in Wonderland High, one of Merit Press' recent releases. 

I asked Shana some interview questions, and here are her responses (continue reading for the giveaway at the end of the post.)

1. How did you first think up the idea for Alice in Wonderland High? Is it something that just came to you, or did you take motivation from somewhere? 
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has always been one of my favorite books. As part of a reading challenge, I decided to re-read it. At the same time, I was mulling a book idea involving extreme environmental activism but hadn't gotten very far plotting it. While I was re-reading the original book, I started to realize how many of the scenes and themes of the original aligned with my environmentalism idea. For example, in the original, Alice's main goal is to get inside a beautiful but forbidden garden. A few key scenes became obvious to me too, like how to re-imagine the baby turning into a pig after Alice rescues it. Maybe instead she has to dress a pig as a baby to rescue it. Stuff like that. Once I started plotting, it all fell into place! 

2. Did you base any of the characters in the book (personality, looks, etc.) off of yourself, family, or friends?

I wish I had a fun answer about this, but since this is a retelling, I mostly used the original characters personality traits as a basis for guiding these. I did sort of model Chess's appearance after Finn from the TV show GLEE, but very loosely. Really, the only Easter egg from my real life that made it into the book is the orange and navy sweater the college tour guide wears. That was the same shirt worn by tour guides at my alma matter. That said, in the book, Alice is extremely short, and while I'm not as short as her, I am only 5 feet, so I was able to draw from experience to describe her struggles with being vertically challenged. 

3. What was your favorite scene to write from the book?

My favorite scene to write from the book was actually the last scene I wrote in one of the later revisions. It's the scene where Alice calls Kingston for help in breaking and entering. I love the dynamic between the two of them in that scene, how they hate each other but also really need each other. I can't believe this scene didn't exist the entire time in the book! It was conceived as part of a revision request during querying to add more beats to the mystery plotline. 

4. What do you hope readers will get/achieve from reading your book? Is there an overall theme you hope that they take away from it? 

Honestly, I just hope they have fun while reading it and enjoy it! I guess if they want to take away something, maybe they should consider not doing ecotage? 

5. Do you have any favorite quotes from the book?

The first line of the book is a particular favorite of mine. It was originally buried in the middle of the first chapter until a critique partner pointed out it was the perfect starting place. I also love a few of the lines between Alice and Chess, particularly when one slips in something and the other withholds something the other wants to hear (trying to be vague here!).

6. Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers? 
Don't give up! I had a very long journey from first deciding I wanted to pursue publication to actually becoming published and it would not have happened if I had given up. To that end, my best advice is to continue writing. You can't publish a blank page.


Merit Press is giving away TWO (2) copies of Alice in Wonderland High!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

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