Hi folks! We are switching gears today and I have the great honor of interviewing Lily, the heroine, from Speak of the Devil by Shawna Romkey. Shawna’s new book is releasing in 11 days and counting. This will be Shawna’s debut novel and I am so excited for her. Her talent doesn’t stop there, as she also writes plays and manages Trindie Books – News, Reviews and Free e-Books for your Kobo . Before we introduce Lily from Speak of the Devil, let me tell you a little more about Shawna…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fall into fantasy: fall in love, fall to pieces, fall from grace
Shawna grew up in around farms in the heart of Missouri but went to the University of Kansas, was raised in the US but now lives on the ocean in Nova Scotia with her husband, two sons, two rescue dogs and one overgrown puppy from hell. She’s a non-conformist who follows her heart.
She has her BA in creative writing from the University of Kansas where one of her plays was chosen by her creative writing professor to be produced locally, and two of her short stories were published in a university creative arts handbook. She earned her MA in English from Central Missouri State University where she wrote a novel as her thesis.
She’s taught English at the university and secondary levels for close to twenty years and can’t quite fathom how all of her students have grown up, yet she’s managed to stay the same. She’s a huge geek and fan of Xena, Buffy and all kick ass women, and loves to write stories that have strong female characters.
Hi, Shawna. Welcome to Wicked Romance and a spotlight we call Author Open MIC. I understand you have brought Lily with you and she has agreed to answer some questions for our readers.
Thank you for having me here today, Jean.
I want to welcome Lily to the Wicked Romance. First off, let me tell you I love your name. Tell us a little about yourself and the town you live in.
Well I was living in a small town with my mom before the accident. There wasn’t much there but the school, the church and a corner store. It was in rural Missouri. After the accident I moved away to live with my dad in Kansas City. The school itself was bigger than the population of the town I came from, and there was a lot more to do, but I haven’t been feeling very social lately.
How would you describe your best friends in five words or less?
Dead unfortunately, but before that…. Fun, happy, nerdy cool.
What is the biggest challenge being a teenager in high school?
For a regular teenager, there’s school stress and peer pressure and drinking at parties. If that were all I had to worry about. For me I’ve had to deal with tragedy, and then there’s this thing with falling angels that somehow I’m wrapped up in.
You are only one year from graduation/senior year. What are your favorite things about school? What do you hate most about it?
I like the routine of school. Getting out of the house and getting my mind off things I don’t want to obsess over. I hate math class, but my teacher is cool. Sometimes I hate having to deal with people.
What do/did you want to be when you grow up?
I hadn’t thought about it a whole lot, but I like writing for the newspaper and investigating things. I think I’d be a good reporter.
Where do you go when things get tough? Do you run and hide? Fight? Or just shrug and move on?
I hate to say it but I guess I run. When the accident happened, I ran away to my dad’s to escape. I often go for walks in the fields by my dad’s house when I need to be alone and think.
What was your biggest worry before the accident?
Whether Mike and I would finally get together or if I’d pass a math test.
Do you have a boyfriend? What is he like?
Before the car accident, I had a crush on Mike. Now there’s Mo who seems really into me, and Luc who is crazy amazing, but I’m not sure if either will work out. They’re best friends, so…it’s complicated.
What do you want to tell us about Shawna? Where can readers find her?
Shawna can do an awesome Xena battle cry. I think that’s about it. Oh, she loves dogs and helps with animal rescues in our area. She hangs out here most days….
Open MIC fav five for Shawna:
- Favorite hero or heroine -Xena Warrior Princess :p
- Favorite author– George RR Martin
- Favorite music to write by– depends on the story and mood, usually silence
- Favorite inspiration- images… I like finding pics of characters and creating a story around them
- Most memorable writing moment– getting the email when Steph offered me the contract for SotD
RELEASES MARCH 15, 2013
Speak of the Devil (young adult paranormal romance novel), in production with Crescent Moon Press.
After dying in a car accident with her two best friends, Lily miraculously awakens to grief and guilt. She escapes to her dad’s to come to terms with the event and meets some people at her new school who seem all too eager to help her heal. Sliding deeper into sorrow and trying to fight her feelings for two of them, she finds out who…what they really are and that they are falling too.
Can she find the strength to move on from the past, reconcile her feelings for Luc, find a way to stop a divine war with fallen angels, and still pass the eleventh grade?
Rain fell, not uncommon for late spring in Missouri. “If you don’t like the weather here,” my grandfather would say, “wait five minutes.” Of course, I’d visited distant relatives in Maine once before, and they said the same thing.
Julie fumbled with the wipers while I pulled the sun visor down to check my face in its little rectangular mirror, even though I’d only left my vanity like five minutes ago. The lights on either side lit up the interior of the car. I reached into my tiny party purse to find my lip gloss, which was easy to locate since I’d only packed the essentials in my bag: phone, some cash, and make-up. As I glanced at myself, I saw Mike in the reflection, smiling at me from the back seat. I stuck my tongue out at him, making him laugh, and put on the lip-gloss, fully aware of how flirty I acted.
The windshield wipers couldn’t keep up with the sudden downpour. The pitter-patter turned to thumping. Hail came down in gumball-sized pellets. “Damn.” Julie jerked the steering wheel to keep The Whale off the curb.
“Slow down, Jules.” Mike gripped Julie’s headrest. “We can pull over until it passes.”
“Yeah.” She squinted to see the road before her.
I pressed my lips together to smooth out the gloss. “Damn is right. I didn’t bring a jacket.”
The Whale swerved to the right crunching along the gravel on the side of the road. I braced myself in my seat. Julie leaned up to the steering wheel and peered over it as my grandmother sometimes did when she drove. I squinted because of the stupid light up visor mirror. I slammed it shut, but Julie panicked and over corrected, pulling The Whale to the left and careening over the yellow dotted line in the middle of the street.
“Julie!” Mike shouted.
Time slowed and ticked out in heartbeats.
Julie cringed, her hands moving up to shield her face. Her head turned away from the highway.
Mike reached protectively from the back seat.
The headlights illuminated the rail of the overpass.
The car hit the rail on the opposite side of the road with a hard thud.
Crap. We’re going over the bridge.
The Whale’s nose pointed down toward the water.
A jolt forward and my forehead slammed into the dashboard.
The Whale flipped in the air. I’m upside down.
Did my mom say good-bye when I left?
Cold water rushed into the car.
Is this it?
I can’t breathe. Oh my God, I can’t breathe. I can’t see or breathe!
My heart quickened. It pounded. The Whale leaned on its side under the surface of the water which rushed in fast, and I couldn’t see a damn thing.
Calm, stay calm. Don’t panic. They say when you’re drowning not to panic because you use up your air faster.
Dammit, am I drowning?
I tried to get myself upright and jerked out of my seatbelt. Luckily, it gave way. I fought the latch to open the door facing up, but the pressure of the water from Black Water River held it closed, trapping me inside.
Jesus. I know this river. It’s more of a creek. It can’t be more than fifteen feet across and ten feet deep.
I pushed at the door. Opening my mouth to scream, I swallowed water.
I couldn’t see or hear Julie or Mike. My watch ticked. Or was it my heart beating?
Ba bum. Ba bum. Ba bum.
The dreams came. Like a good sleep you don’t want to wake up from. I felt heavy and floaty. I wore this long white gauzy gown and the wind blew my dress and my hair like in some feminine hygiene commercial. I could breathe slowly and deeply. Completely relaxed and at peace, but I was alone.
I floated along in a white space for a while. Drifting. Breathing. Relaxing. Had I gone to a spa? After an immeasurable amount of time, others appeared. They wore white clothing, too, and they floated like me, reaching out. They opened their arms as if to welcome me to them.
I stopped and frowned. I heard no sound, and I didn’t know who these white floaty people were or why they welcomed me. They smiled, genuinely happy, and held their arms out to me. I panicked.
Where’s my mom? My family? Wait, Mike and Julie were just with me, where are they? Are those wings?
I noticed the others floating with me had white feathery wings.
“Lily,” one of them called out.
Holy hell. I’m dead.
Available at Amazon on MARCH 15, 2013. PREORDER AVAILABLE NOW!!