Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Author Interview & Giveaway: Trevor Shane

Today's author has been part of all three years of my Blogoversary and I am very happy that I discovered his first book Children of Paranoia and his second book Children of the Underground is just as good as the first. Please welcome to Blood Rose Books today:

Trevor Shane

You now have three books, your Children of the Underground trilogy, under your belt. How has your writing process changed from book one to book three?
My writing process really hasn’t changed other than that I’ve gotten more efficient and, hopefully, better.  My process is, and always has been, to start with a complete chapter outline and then to start writing at page 1 and see where the writing takes the story. By the time I’m finished with a book, the only parts of the story that usually stay true to the original outline are the beginning and the end. That’s part of the fun of writing books--you rarely know exactly where they are going to take you.

What have you learned about yourself from book one to book three? 
That my imagination can go in some very dark directions. 

As a reader I became very attached to your characters, I cannot think of how attached you would have become to all your characters. Was it hard to end your series?
Ending the series was both incredibly gratifying and, as you’ve noted, incredibly hard. All told, I’ve spent over six years with these characters. Writing a series like this probably makes it a little bit easier since major characters come and go throughout the series. This year, I loved watching the video reactions of people watching the Game of Thrones Red Wedding episode where they unexpectedly killed off a bunch of major characters (I don’t even watch the show but I loved watching the reaction shots). As a writer, you often get as attached to characters as the reader, you’re only emotional advantage is that you usually know each character’s destiny. Still, I’ve read interview with J.K. Rowling where she talks about crying as she kills off characters. After finishing the series, however, I almost feel like it is emotionally easier to kill off characters then to leave them. It almost feels like I’m simply abandoning the survivors. I don’t want to ruin anything but I will say that there was one character that I had the hardest time leaving.At the same time, it’s been seven years and I’m really excited to see people’s reaction to the completed series (and excited to start writing something new).
What do you think are the main components of writing a successful trilogy?
Surprise people. Keep them on their toes. Make each entry in the trilogy a complete story with a something unique to say but always give your readers a reason to pick up the next entry.

There are quite a few well known authors out there that have long running series and characters, was it hard for you to have the children of the underground only be a trilogy and not a long running series? Why do you think that some authors do not want their series or characters do come to an end?
Money? But seriously, I simply think it’s a different style of storytelling--one that I could see embracing in the future. I think writers probably like writing series for the same reason that certain readers--or readers in certain moods--like reading series. It’s comforting to come back to the same characters and it can be very interesting to see how these characters that you feel you know very well react to different scenarios. But I think that, somewhat counter-intuitively, books in an ongoing series (one without a definitive end) are more about plot than character because you already know the main character and what you’re focused on is not character development but jumping quickly into the plot, which can be great. The character needs to be likeable but they primarily serve as conduits for the plot. That’s why a lot of the great detective books or spy novels are written in a series. Standalone books or set trilogies are, on the other hand, usually primarily about character arc. So it depends on what you as a reader or a writer want to focus on. That and money--if you have a successful series, it’s always easier to sell the next installment than a new idea. 

What is next for you? Do you have another novel or series in development?
Well, CBS Films recently optioned the movie rights to the Children of Paranoia series so I’m very excited about that. On the writing side, I’m about a third of the way into the first draft of a new novel.  It’s a stand alone novel (though it includes a character that I may want to serialize). It’s kind of a mystery novel but one where the clues to the mystery have all been implanted in the main character’s head when he inherited his father’s memories (oh, I should probably mention that in the world in which the book takes place, people can transfer their memories to other people when they die). It’s very different than Children of Paranoia, which is fun, but is still largely ground in themes about family.

Have there been any books that you have read in the last year that are must reads?
I’m currently reading The Count of Monte Cristo for the first time and it’s awesome to see how much fun some of the classics can be. The book that I’ve recommended the most in the past year is a non-fiction book: Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon. It’s a fascinating look into the relationships of parents and their children who have vastly different identities than them, such is hearing parents with deaf children. He covers so much ground--dwarfism, autism, children conceived in rape, down syndrome--and the characters (they’re really people but they are so fleshed out that I’m comfortable calling them characters) are so sympathetic. It’s a must read for anyone who wants to write about family and a should read for anyone simply interested in the topic. 

I just want to thank Trevor once again for sticking with me for three years of Blogoversary and I highly recommend his Children of Paranoia series to everyone out there. I cannot wait to get my hands on the newest book Children of the Uprising which just came out today. Make sure to enter the giveaway (INT) below where you get to choose which book in the series you would like :)


  a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Another great giveaway that I would love to win. This site has some pretty amazing books to giveaway and would love to add to my collection.

  2. Great blog and giveaway good luck all x