Seven Questions with Shannon Delany

Beautifully Broken
June 21, 2010
Book Clubs and Readers
June 23, 2010

It’s 13 to Life release day! After waiting forever, Shannon Delany’s debut novel releases today. I know that’s come out early in a few places and I was very fortunate to read it early for review, which you should read too.

In the meanwhile, I have a special treat for you. I wanted to know more about Shannon, 13 to Life, Pietr and Jess, so I asked Shannon seven questions and she graciously offered up some great answers. You’ll also find a snippet of 13 to Life available at the end of the interview. Have a question or a comment? Be sure to leave it for Shannon and I’ll enter you to win a copy of 13 to Life.

Seven Questions with Shannon Delany

Previously a teacher and now a farmer raising heritage livestock, Shannon lives and writes in Upstate New York and enjoys traveling to talk to people about most anything.

What drives your books? The characters or the conflict?

My characters inevitably wind up in conflict (why can’t they all just get along? ;-), so I’ll say characters.

If one of your characters came to visit, what would you do?

Depends on the character. Pietr I’d invite right in (and Jess). Max or Cat or Amy I’d say, “Lemme get my purse” (because I’d love to go out with them). But I’ve also created characters that would cause me to lock all the doors and windows and grab something to defend myself with.

When it comes to romantic moments in literature or film, what moment touched you the most?

Let’s focus on film: The romance and humor in The Princess Bride and Ever After was wonderful–my husband and I each have decent sense of humor, so I relate. The passion in Dangerous Liasons (Malkovich and Close) when Close’s character realizes what she’s lost. Awesome. Oddly, perhaps, the moment that still brings me up short is one brief part in the animated movie The Last Unicorn when Molly recognizes the unicorn and demands, “How dare you come to me now–When I am this?!” She’s gone from the hopeful dreamer to the bandits’ wench and only then is confronted by what her girlish dreams held. LOVE IT.

Tell us a little bit about 13 to Life. What idea caught your imagination on fire with this tale?

I think it’s been a long time coming for me–at least the Russian influence in the story. I love the Russian culture. And although the phrase which became my title sort of randomly bumped into werewolves and loss in my head, I can’t imagine my werewolves being half as amazing as they are without the Russian aspect. So the concept of Russian werewolves really perked my interest.

If you could become a paranormal being, what would it be and why?

Werewolf without a doubt. Think about it: You get to be strong and wild but you can generally hide that part of your nature and act all “normal” most of the time. You have a great excuse for spending time under the moonlight and being out all night. Rare steak’s definitely on the diet, no one expects you to be a morning person and the one thing most people consider a downside–the occasional wild bouts of body hair? I’m of Germanic descent. Need I say more?

With Little Women and Werewolves, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies — what classic would you twist to add a bit of paranormal funk to?

How about we go with redoing a classic play? Romeo and Juliet Meet the Jabberwock. Pietr would appreciate the probable outcome of that one.

What’s next for you?

I’m still working on the 13 to Life series (Secrets and Shadows–the second novel–comes out February 2011). But I’m also working on some other things tha keep crawling around my brain and demanding attention. Mainly YA, mainly with a solid dose of fantasy and a historical influence.

13 to Life: Chapter 4, part A (used with the author’s permission)

I zipped into the classroom, nearly sliding into my seat. Mr. Miles gave me a curious look. I chuckled. I had covered a vast and winding route to get to the proper Social Studies class. I pulled out my notebook and fumbled for a pencil. Hadn’t I organized them in math? Yeah, and dropped one at lunch… I promised myself next time I’d actually zip up the compartment I put them in as I continued rooting around. Anyhow, I was victorious! Pietr surely would learn a lesson in humility by getting lost, and now I just needed a pencil…

Author Shannon Delany can be found online at her website and blog you can explore Junction (and watch as it grows over the next months).

Don’t forget to leave any questions or comments to be automatically entered in a drawing for Shannon’s debut novel 13 to Life. The winner will be drawn on July 1st.


  1. Katie says:

    I have been waiting for 13 to Life to come out for a while so I can add it to my TBR list!

    Thanks for the insight into the book!

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I want to know what made her write 13 to Life?

  3. Hi Katie! I'm so glad you can now hunt it down in person! 😀

    Hi Elizabeth! My main inspiration came very randomly and organically–phrases basically bumped into each other and characters grew as a result. 🙂 I've always written, so it's nearly a compulsion in the first place. 😉

    Thanks for celebrating 13 to Life's book birthday with me, Heather!

  4. Jen says:

    I think going out with Max, Cat, or Amy would be a great night out! Happy book bday!

  5. Katie says:

    Haha. The Last Unicorn, Shannon seems so nice!

  6. Cade Crowley says:

    What made you choose to write 13 to Life on? Why not the traditional way (type it up and submit it to an editor)?

  7. Margay says:

    I like the idea that she's taken a familiar tale and added the unfamiliar – the Russian influence. Every culture seems to have its own beliefs surrounding paranormal beings, so it will be cool to read more about that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *