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Interview with Shana Norris

Hey guys!

Here's another interview! :D This one is with Shana Norris. Her author bio is at the bottom of the page in case you don't know who she is. Anyways.. Enjoy!

Q: When did you first start writing?
A: I started making up stories when I was really young, before I could even write them down. I started writing my stories down when I was around eight years old.

Q: How did you know you wanted to become a writer?
A: I realized at age 11 that people actually got paid to write the books I loved to read and that they were just normal people. Before that, I had always thought of writers as really magical or special people that I could never be like. But once I realized they were regular people who loved to tell stories, I decided that was what I wanted to be!

Q: Where do you find your inspiration?
A: I find a lot of inspiration in real life. News stories or things that have happened to myself or to people I know. My first book Something to Blog About was inspired by something that happened to me in college, and Troy High was inspired by my own experiences with high school rivalries. Surfacing and the Swans Landing series was inspired by a visit to North Carolina's Outer Banks in mid-March, when there were very few other tourists around. It made me wonder what secrets the year-round residents knew about the islands that the tourists didn't get to see.

Q: How did you come up with your characters?
A: I always struggle with coming up with names and such while writing or drawing so how do you decide on those details? A lot of my characters are inspired by people I know. They aren't exactly these people, but I take bits of personalities or habits from people I know and exaggerate them a bit to turn them into characters. Names have always been one of my favorite parts of writing. Sometimes names will immediately come to me, but other times it takes a while before I find the perfect one. In some cases, I'll try a few different names before the right one sticks. In Surfacing, every name was chosen carefully because they help reflect something about the characters.

Q: Do you have an author that you look up to? If so, who?
A: I really look up to Meg Cabot because she doesn't stick to just one thing. She writes whatever she feels like writing and she seems to really have a lot of fun with her writing.

Q: Do you listen to music while writing?
A: No, not usually. I do have playlists that I make for each book, but I usually don't listen to them while I'm writing. I listen to them at other times when I'm brainstorming while doing other things.

Q: What's one thing that nobody knows about you?
A: Hmm...I have no idea! I don't think that I really have a whole lot of secrets. Though most people are surprised to find out that I'm a big fantasy geek. I love dragons and wizards, and I originally wrote fantasy books when I first tried to get published.

Q: If you weren't a writer what would you be?
A: I would be archaeologist. I've always loved history and I'd love to dig up a buried civilization.

Q: What's your secret indulgence?
A: Lindor Truffles. Mmm. They are so good.

Q: What is your life like outside of your writing career?
A: Um, it's not too exciting, lol! I live in a very rural area, with my husband and our 2 dogs, 5 cats, and 5 chickens. We like to go kayaking and camping. I try to live a pretty simple life, and I do things like can my own food and knit and sew. I probably should have been born a hundred years ago! But then I do like other things like going to the beach with my friends and I have a weakness for shopping for purses and boots.

Q: Do you have any advice for our readers who hope to become a writer?
A: Write a lot! And then when you're not writing, read a lot. Reading is the best way to learn how to plot and develop characters because you can study the way other authors have done it and learn from them. And then most importantly, believe in yourself. Believe that you have a story that needs to be told and don't let rejections or bad reviews get you down. It's a tough business, but you have to have faith and you have to love it.

Author Bio:
I write young adult books from a tiny town in eastern North Carolina, where I live with my husband and our zoo of animals. I am the author of SOMETHING TO BLOG ABOUT and TROY HIGH, both available from Abrams/Amulet Books, and THE BOYFRIEND THIEF and SURFACING, both available in ebook format for all ereaders.




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