Welcome back, everyone! We are continuing on our journey with Shawn Keenan, who wrote The Intern's Tale.
About Shawn: Shawn Keenan lives in Florida with his beautiful wife and two fantastic kids, and two lordly dogs that rule the roost. He has one other novel, The Buried Covenant.
See Shawn's Blog: Errant Author
Part II of Author Interview
1. What authors have inspired you and affected how you write?
I love the classics and all the greats from hundreds of years ago affect me in my bones somewhere that I’m not completely aware. For this book, I’ll toss a little credit out to Suzanne Collins and her first Hunger Games book. After reading that story, I was inspired to alter the overall approach to Intern, going from an alternate history to a dystopian future. I really liked the way she used that, and of course everything about that book was great.
2. What words of advice do you have for a newbie writer trying to get through that first book? Ignore what’s not working for the moment and enjoy the moments of discovery in creating your own little world on paper (or, more realistically, on computer screen). Rewriting is a hard time in my opinion, and you’ll spend plenty of time on the problems during that process. Actually finishing that first draft will give you a second wind that will prepare you for the rewrites. Just find the joy in getting through a first draft. It’s the most creative part of a project. And you’re always discovering something about your characters in every new scene.
3. Tell us a little more about The Buried Covenant, your other novel.
Where Intern is an adventure that carries along a character who is making a decision about who he is, Covenant is really about a character who is deciding who he is and an adventure kind of builds up around him. Covenant feels very personal and tight where Intern is more sweeping and involves more characters. I like that they’re so different but both still something I’d love to read.
4. What do you have on the horizon?
I’ve started my third book. It’s a modern day Rumpelstiltskin, but the strange little dwarf is a manipulative guy whose influence the main character has trouble getting out from under. Some of the main themes are going to reflect on self-image, mistakes, and how you take back control of your own life when you’ve handed it over to others. It has similar DNA to Covenant and I’m really enjoying the process of writing it so far.
5. If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
I want all of Spider-man’s powers. How’s that for greedy? I’ve already done all the heavy lifting of imagining I was Spider-man as a kid. Just give me the powers, I’ll figure out the web-shooters and the costume on my own. I’m ready!