Shannon Leigh Rivera is a YA/NA fantasy author. When she isn’t teaching writing classes or home schooling her four children, she is writing serialized short stories for her fantasy blog. In addition, she is working on her first full-length novel, Of Rebels and Ruin, due out in 2017. Shannon is a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University’s Creative Writing program. She graduated Summa Cumme Laude early this year, 2016, and plans on returning to finish her MFA in Creative Writing in the near future. For now, she is working on her own publications. Her work can be found in YA Seven Deadly Sins Anthology– Envy and Gluttony editions available on Amazon.com– and at shannonleighrivera.com.
OMG! I am running so behind I don’t have a whole lot of time to be witty today!!!!!!! Have fun reading our interview and if you have any questions you would like to ask Shannon drop them in the comments!
Del: What are some of the day jobs you have held? Have any of these influenced your writing?
Shannon: I have worked the typical teen jobs- at a restaurant and grocery store. My favorite job in high school was at a place called Flowerama. I got to make floral arrangements and deal with plants all day long (when I wasn’t in school at least.) After I graduated I went into the military. I was a crypto-linguist in the U.S. Navy for almost ten years. WHen I got out I went back to school and started homeschooling my children (I have four of them, so, yes, I am crazy.) All of these ‘jobs’ have influenced my writing, especially my military service. I tend to write more militant characters and worlds, darker and grittier than most YA. I think it has a lot to do with my own experiences.
Del: Are there types of scenes you find more difficult to write? How do you handle that?
Shannon: Anything with romance. I like romance, at least in real life. However, I don’t really like to write it. The darker stuff is easier to put down on paper. So, when I have to have something fluffy and pretty, I will write and rewrite and then have my sister read over it for me. She is pretty good at helping me through those problem sections.
Del: Did you have any ideas about being a writer that becoming a writer changed?
Shannon: See question one. No, but seriously. I always imagined I would have all the time I needed to be a writer. My kids would be at school and I would churn out novel after novel. It’s been a long three years that I have been working on my first novel series. Of course, I have been homeschooling and I was in college until June of this year (2016), so that might have also contributed to my lack of progress. I tend to burn the midnight oil in order to accomplish my writing goals, which is something I had never really thought I would have to do.
Del: If you could only read one book for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Shannon: Well, I am religious at heart. I think I could easily answer the Bible. That and Ursula Le Guin’s A Wizard of Earthsea or The Hobbit. Honestly, I think I would cry if I had to pick just one. Good thing this is just an interview question!!
Del: Do you have a favorite scene or line you’ve written?
Shannon: I am not one to gloat over my wording, but here are two lines from two very different stories that I had a great time work-shopping in college.
“Warm sun melted across my body, covering me in sheer happiness.” From The Lake, a story about a girl who struggles to learn what love means.
“Smells spark memories. Have you ever noticed that? Jasmine and green tea remind me of my times in Shur’lai, with its tall, snow-covered mountain peaks and effervescent hot springs. Nestled among the twisting spirals of frozen stone the smell of pine is heavy in the air. It floats down like snow and wraps around you like a cool breeze. You never forget the heavy scent of metal either, especially since the smith’s bellows are always running. If you travel on the roads, like I do, then the perfume of wet fur brings back memories of hard trails through the Sheer Falls Gorge, the busiest entrance into the Southern Mountain towns. The falls make the tracks difficult to manage, but not for tiger mounts.”- From The Scent of War, a short story about an deaf and mute elven warrior.
Thank you for your time Shannon!!! If you would like to follow Shannon or Contact her, then she is available at the following links!