Today we have Shaunta Grimes, author of Viral Nation and it’s sequel Rebel Nation, answering a couple of our questions.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
When I was in the sixth grade, Tomie Depaola came to my school for an author visit. He talked about writing his stories on a yellow legal pad with a Sharpie marker. I carried a yellow legal pad and a Sharpie with me through high school. That author visit was the first time I made the connection between the books that I loved and the fact that there were people whose job it was to write those stories.
It was much more stressful! Rebel Nation was the first book that I’d ever written with a contract, a deadline, and readers waiting on it. I had far less time to write it than it took me to write Viral Nation. I’d also never written a sequel before, so I had to figure out how to make it stand on it’s own, while still moving the entire series arc forward. I’m a serious pantser—I usually start with page one and end on the last page, without a lot of prior knowledge about where my book is going as I work my way through it. I had to learn how to plot, at least the bare bones, of a story to write Rebel Nation.
What is one of your writing necessities?
Caffeine. I’m embarrassed to tell you how much Diet Pepsi I drink! I’m actually trying to move away from it, so I’ve been drinking iced tea with lemon (okay, and a little sugar, but not sweet tea level!) So good.
If you were stranded on a desert island, what one book would you bring with you?
Probably Stephen King’s The Stand. It’s my favorite book of all time, it’s nice and thick, and it inspires me every time I read it. My dad gave me my copy for my thirteenth birthday, and it’s completely dog-earred and worn now, so I’d probably hope I had time to get a fresh one!
What’s next for you writing-wise?
There’s one more book in the Viral Nation series, plus a prequel novella that I’m very excited about. I’m also working on a stand alone book that I can’t really give too much away about yet!
Thank you Shaunta for answering all of my questions! Cannot wait to find out more about your stand alone book.
Shaunta Grimes has worked as a substitute teacher, a newspaper reporter, a drug court counselor, and a vintage clothing seller. No matter which direction she strays, however, she always comes back to storytelling. She lives in Reno with her family, where she writes, teaches, and perpetually studies at the University of Nevada. Viral Nation is her debut traditionally-published novel.
How to Connect with Shaunta:
5 finished copies of Rebel Nation will be given away Internationally!
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