Monday, March 12, 2012

Put Your Hands Together for....

Shannon McDermott!

Tell the readers a little bit about yourself.

Well, I'm thirdborn in a family of thirteen children and was homeschooled through high school, so my life has been somewhat outside the cultural norm. My first novel was published when I was twenty (about two and a half years ago). Since then, I have been working to establish myself as a writer, while helping in my family and working for my parents' magazine as a writer/editor/researcher.

What is your earliest memory of homeschooling?
Watching my older brother learn how to read. Our father was teaching him, and I remember asking when I would learn to read. The answer was three years. My earliest memory of my own homeschooling is learning how to read. As I recall, it was a frustrating experience.

What inspired you to start writing?
My mother used to give my siblings and I creative writing assignments. This is how she discovered what grammar and spelling errors we were prone to, and marked out a better way for us with red ink. It started me writing, and I have never stopped.

What was the inspiration for "The Last Heir"?
I don't know. I was looking for something to write and, as they say, it seemed like a good idea at the time.
Once I began work on it, a guiding idea did emerge – that of slow corruption. In so much fiction, the turn to evil is very sudden, the fall of a character very abrupt. A fairly decent person experiences some sort of horrible tragedy, flips, and becomes criminally psychopathic. I never thought this was a very interesting or accurate idea of corruption. I wanted a path to evil that was more complex, more gradual – a path that began with good, as evil always does. I wanted it to recall the truth that we are more likely to be led into evil by our desires than by our suffering. I attempted to portray this slow descent in one of my characters.

People talk about character arcs, usually meaning the journey of the man who became a hero. I wrote a downward arc, the journey of the man who became the villain.

Where can people buy "The Last Heir"?
At my site, or at

Are you planning on writing any more books?
I have another manuscript completed – The Valley of Decision, a fantasy novel with Trow and Fay and hobgoblins (oh, my). I hope to see it published this year. In the meantime, I'm working on a novel based on the idea of time dimensions. The basic concept is that time has dimensions, just as space does, and so its own geography. This works out to time-travel, with the discrepancy that time is not here a straight line.

As the theory goes, the dimensions of time are these: Time (the first dimension, on which we live); Eternity; and Hyparxis (Totality or Ableness-to-be or the “summit of summits” – and no, I don't really know what, exactly, that's supposed to mean).

What has been the most rewarding moment in your writing career?
Hard to say, though the moment I first held a published copy of The Last Heir would be a good pick.
Do you have any final thoughts?When I first looked at this site I was surprised by how many authors and books were already listed. It's encouraging and I hope to see the numbers grow steadily. Congratulations, Sarah—you've got a good thing going.

1 comment:

  1. The Last Heir sounds like a fascinating read. :) Best wishes on your writing journey, Shannon.