Title: Minutes Before Sunset
Series: The Timely Death Trilogy #1
Author: Shannon A. Thompson
Published: July 28th, 2015
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Content Warning: Violence, Adult Language
Age Recommendation: 13+
Two destinies. One death.
“Her kiss could kill us, and my consent signed our death certificates.”
Eric Welborn isn’t completely human, but he isn’t the only shade in the small Midwest town of Hayworth. With one year left before his eighteenth birthday, Eric is destined to win a long-raging war for his kind. But then she happens. In the middle of the night, Eric meets a nameless shade, and she’s powerful—too powerful—and his beliefs are altered. The Dark has lied to him, and he’s determined to figure out exactly what lies were told, even if the secrets protect his survival.
Jessica Taylor moves to Hayworth, and her only goal is to find more information on her deceased biological family. Her adoptive parents agree to help on one condition: perfect grades. And Jessica is distraught when she’s assigned as Eric’s class partner. He won’t help, let alone talk to her, but she’s determined to change him—even if it means revealing everything he’s strived to hide.
Shannon A. Thompson is a twenty-three-year-old author, avid reader, and habitual chatterbox. She was merely sixteen when she was first published, and a lot has happened since then. Thompson’s work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies, and her first installment of The Timely Death Trilogy became Goodreads’ Book of the Month. As a novelist, poet, and blogger, Thompson spends her free time writing and sharing ideas with her black cat named after her favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart. Between writing and befriending cats, she graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English, and she travels whenever the road calls her.
We are pleased to have Shannon with us today!
1) Describe your relationship with a good book. A good relationship lasts forever. That novel stays with you. It becomes a part of you, and it helps you grow.
2) When did you first start writing and what was the first thing that you wrote that you were proud of? I first started writing at a very young age as a coping mechanism. I suffered from night terrors, which caused some hallucinations, as a child, and my mother—who was an avid writer and reader—told me to turn them into stories to make sense of them. I started doing that, and I never stopped writing. My first story I remember bring proud of, though, wasn’t one of those stories. It was actually short story about Thanksgiving in 5th grade. At that age, I started all my stores out with “Hi. My name is ____. And this is my story about _____.” My teacher pulled me aside and told me to start in the middle of action and write her a story over break. I started my Thanksgiving story with a turkey running away from a butcher in a grocery store. Looking back on it, it didn’t make a lot of sense, but my teacher’s smile made me proud.
3) Please describe your work ethic as an author. My mantra is “write with passion; succeed with self-discipline.” I encourage every writer to come up with his or her own mantra. It will help them get through the tough days while also energizing the good ones. Mine not only reminds me of why I write, but also what I have to do to succeed.
4) How do you balance your work as an author with the other aspects of your life? I find time. I think everyone can. It’s just a matter of making the sacrifices you have to make. For instance, instead of going out on the weekends with friends as a teenager or college student, I stayed in and wrote. As a full-time editor now, I write and read in my free time, and that’s about all I do in my free time. That and traveling. I love traveling.
5) Why did you write this book? Well, as I talked about earlier, I turned night terrors into stories as a kid, and in fact, that’s what happened with The Timely Death Trilogy too. The trilogy is based off a series of dreams I had, and the second novel, Seconds Before Sunrise, shows a lot of those dreams. I actually wrote the second book first, and then Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, happened to open up the second one. I more or less created the trilogy to make sense of the dreams.
6) What experiences from your past do you find yourself drawing upon repeatedly for inspiration in your work? My mother’s death definitely affects my work. I rarely have traditionally “complete” families, because I grew up with ever-changing family dynamics. I had my mother, father, and brother, and then it was largely my brother and I and nannies (my father was a traveling businessman when my mother died), and then I had a stepfamily with three stepsiblings for a little while. Even when I moved away to college, my roommate passed away, so my life was very chaotic. I moved around a lot, already over a dozen times in my 24 years, so I had a lot of loss—in regards to home, in regards to family and friends—so loss is often found in my stories as a central piece. I like working with characters striving to find themselves and the meaning of identity to them. I also work with a lot of memory loss. That being said, I love humor, and I love finding humor in dark situations, so I think cynical characters and situations that call for sarcasm is also common.
7) What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years, both as an author and in your outside life? As an author, I definitely want to keep sharing new and exciting novels. I can promise that I will always create my own creatures. For instance, The Timely Death Trilogy deals with shades and lights, and November Snow deals with bad bloods. All future novels have unique creatures in them too. I also want to travel more so I can meet readers face-to-face, but I want to travel as just me too.
8) Since you are a storyteller, please tell one good lie about yourself.
I hate to lie. ;]
“You look mad,” he said, quieter this time.
I wouldn’t look at him. “I am.”
“Because I don’t get you,” I admitted. “I have no idea why you’re acting this way, and it makes me feel like I don’t know you.”
“I didn’t realize you wanted to know me,” he said, and I turned around, momentarily meeting his eyes. They were dark, shadowed by an expression I hadn’t seen before.
“Why wouldn’t I?” I asked, feeling heat crawl over my neck. “We’ve already spent a lot of time together.”
“For a project that’s completed, Jessica,” he said, and he shook his head, driving silently through my neighborhood. I waited for him to speak, but he didn’t. Soon, we were at the end of my driveway. Eric shoved the gears into park, and I reached for the door, but he locked it.
“Why are you so interested in my life?” he asked, and my heart pounded. I didn’t say anything. His eyes met mine, filled with an intensity that made me shudder. “It’s not that great.”
“I know,” I managed. My voice was shaking.
His face reddened. “But you ask questions.”
“And you answer them.”
His mouth opened, but then it snapped shut. He sighed, turned away, and grabbed the steering wheel as if he were driving again. We remained parked. “I’m Eric James Welborn,” he stated, his voice wavering into an awkwardness I’d never heard with his normally confident and cocky attitude.
James? His middle name felt personal—like he had opened up a side of himself he’d forgotten about. But I didn’t feel intrusive. I felt comforted, like I already knew the answer before he’d spoken it. But I hadn’t.
“Your name doesn’t tell me who you are,” I said, surprised by my fluidity.
He barely smiled. “Maybe I like it that way.”