Shannon Rieger is a fiction writer for the Young Adult genre and has completed The Pria Chronicles series and has started a new trilogy titled Paranormal Painless. Her latest work is Cats Rule: Henry’s Purr-spective.
I met Ms. Shannon through Instagram when I saw a post telling that she is giving away review copies of her latest book. One of my author friends is reading the book and she seems to be really enjoying it so I thought I’ll ask Ms. Shannon for a review copy. I don’t want to miss the chance to read the book!
If you’re a fan of her books, or is interested in reading it, then you should read this interview. 🙂
Nica: Can you tell us something about yourself?
Shannon: I am an English (including Writer’s Craft) teacher at the secondary level. I’ve taught for sixteen years. I married my high school sweetheart and have two children named after the characters in Pride and Prejudice, Elisabeth and Darcy.
Nica: How old were you when you started writing stories?
Shannon: I wrote as a child, completing a story in grade school called Long Time No See, and then another in high school which contained five short stories. In University, I wrote an outline for a novel called See No Evil. I still have all of these books. They could become story ideas in the future.
Nica: How long did it take you to finish your first book, Echoes?
Shannon: I had a dream twelve years ago and I wrote it down. A few years later, I began the story about a man who finds a box in the rain outside his front door. Inside the box is a cat who has uninvited guests connected to him. Dean Koontz came out with Odd Thomas about a man helping ghosts find peace and that’s what my book was going to be about. I was distraught and put that book away. Seven years later, I needed lung surgery, so during my recovery, I picked Echoes up again and ‘completed’ it in 2011, changing the premise of the story.
I wrote six books before ever publishing Echoes. It gave me the opportunity to rewrite Echoes and add to it. Did you know that I wrote the first four books, and because of a dream, I decided it needed creatures. I went back and weaved a subplot of creatures into the four books. Now the books are plotted with creatures as the main conflict and yet the books had no creatures in them until book four was finished.
To answer your question? It took ten to twelve years to write book one because with the each book, Echoes changed. It is nothing like it once was. It has been replotted and changed hundreds of times.
Nica: What’s the most interesting thing about The Pria Chronicles?
Shannon: Besides what I answered above, The Pria Chronicles has a secondary dimension filled with creatures that I created. In the end, the infiltration of this world with Michael Hilton (who is the only one who can see them), features two dozen species that I developed with many who became main characters. Book five is written by one of the creatures instead of Michael.
Another interesting thing is that my reader’s favourite thing about the Pria Chronicles is Henry, the egocentric, hilarious feline with cattitude.
The funny thing is, I wrote the first six books before ever deciding they should be published. I put the first five books on amazon the same day. Book six a month later. Book seven six months after that.
Nica: What inspired you to write Paranormal Painless?
Shannon: The dream I had twelve years ago about the man who finds a cat in a wet box which in turn invites ghosts to haunt his home was what Echoes was supposed to be. I felt it was already done by Dean Koontz, and so I changed The Pria Chronicles. When I wanted to write a ghost story again, I decided to go with the dream, but do something that no one else has done.
Nica: Cats Rule is such a funny book and is different from the previous books you’ve written; what made you want to write such a book?
Shannon: The cat in Cats Rule: Henry’s Purr-spective is the cat who is a well-loved character in The Pria Chronicles. The ending of book seven is hilarious because Henry decides that it’s his turn to write a book. Of course, the characters think he’s quite silly, but he feels he’s the better writer. (Did I mention that Michael and he converse through telepathy?) I meant it as a joke. A funny ending for my series. But then the customers who read the entire series began asking me when I was going to release Henry’s Purr-spective. I thought, “What?” So I wrote it. LOL!
Nica: What’s the best compliment about your book have you received?
Shannon: That the books should be movies. Nothing better than that. Oh! And that Paranormal Painless is written as well as the masters in the field, described as being as good as Dean Koontz and Hitchcock. And that many good books lie in the shadows of Paranormal Painless. 🙂
Nica: What’s the best thing about being an author?
Shannon: The escape. The smiles and thrills from the fans as they tell you how much they loved the books. When people want to own your print copies for their shelves. The time I spent reading my books to my young son. (who can tell you everything about every aspect and creature in the book!)
Nica: What was the hardest thing did you experience in writing your books?
Shannon: Finding the time. Being a teacher, mother and wife, it makes it hard to fit it all in. I am very good at finding ten minutes here and there to write.
Nica: What are you currently writing? Can you give us a peek about it?
Shannon: Paranormal Fearless, the sequel to Paranormal Painless, features Christian Moore again, helping a student who is being stalked by a ghost. 🙂 This book has been fully plotted and ready to be written. It’s outlined on Scrivener.
I am also writing another sci-fi novel (I have already bought the cover for it!). It is about other dimensions existing with doppelgangers.
Nica: What tips can you give to writers who want to self-publish their books?
Shannon: Read non-fiction books about writing good fiction. The editing process can be fun if you use books that help you come up with new ideas. Writers Helping Writers website and paperback books are amazing for ideas.
I would also suggest getting a website, social media started before you decide to write your book to increase your fan base. Connect with other authors.
Nica: Anything you want to say to your readers?
Shannon: Every indie author out there appreciates you. You give us a chance to be heard. Our voices soar. We love to hear from you. It’s a great connection that you are able to have with an author you love. We have social media and the time to talk. You are what makes us be able to follow our dreams. Here’s something you can do for the writers you love. Take the time to tell us by reviewing every book you read. It takes seconds, but makes a world of difference for us. Feedback is key. And reviews help us rank on amazon and be seen more by other customers. A big thank you for those who do.
If you want to read my review of Cats Rule: Henry’s Purr-spective, click HERE.
In the short time of knowing Ms. Shannon, I could tell you that she’s one of the kindest and sweetest person.
Interested in reading her books? Head on over to Amazon now.
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