It’s a treat for me today to welcome Shawn Smucker to the blog to chat about his new book Light From Distant Stars which releases TOMORROW!
Shawn Smucker is the author of the young adult novels The Day the Angels Fell and The Edge of Over There, as well as the memoir Once We Were Strangers. He lives with his wife and six children in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. You can find him online at www.shawnsmucker.com.
Light From Distant Stars
GENRE: Literary Fiction/Magical Realism
RELEASE DATE: July 16, 2019
When Cohen Marah steps over his father’s body in the basement embalming room of the family’s funeral home, he has no idea that he is stepping into a labyrinth of memory. As the last one to see his father, Cohen is the primary suspect.
Over the next week, Cohen’s childhood memories come back in living color. The dramatic events that led to his father being asked to leave his pastoral position. The game of baseball that somehow kept them together. And the two children in the forest who became his friends–and enlisted him in a dark and dangerous undertaking. As the lines blur between what was real and what was imaginary, Cohen is faced with the question he’s been avoiding: Did he kill his father?
In Light from Distant Stars, master story weaver Shawn Smucker relays a tale both eerie and enchanting, one that will have you questioning reality and reaching out for what is true, good, and genuine.
Hi Shawn! Welcome to the blog!
Shawn: I have so many wonderful memories of summer when I was a child, most of which involve playing in the creek close to the farm where I grew up, baseball, sweet corn, and cousins.
Carrie: Yummm sweet corn!
Shawn: We lived in England for four years, and during that time I fell in love with a good cup of tea.
Carrie: I think that’s a prerequisite to living in England, isn’t it? lol
Shawn: The mountains have always felt like peace to me. I love being alone in the trees. I love the smell of a wood-burning stove.
Carrie: Yes! Me too!
Shawn: While ebooks are super-convenient, I can’t pass up the heft of a book in my hands, the smell of the paper, the physical sense of nearing the end. Print books still feel like magic to me.
Carrie: Print books will always be magic!
Q: Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Shawn: My superpower would be my ability to fall asleep anywhere and sleep through anything. I am asleep on the plane before it takes off. I fall asleep in the car (when my wife is driving). Maybe it’s the result of having six kids, two of whom are still very young, but I feel like I can sleep just about anywhere
Carrie: I am jealous of that superpower – it takes me forever to fall asleep…
Q: If you knew you were only going to be allowed FIVE books for the rest of your life, besides the Bible, which five would make the cut?
Shawn: This one is actually kind of easy: A Prayer For Owen Meany, The Brothers K (by David James Duncan), All the Light We Cannot See, Gilead, and East of Eden.
Carrie: All of those are excellent choices!
Q: Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Shawn: My favorite space to write is in one of our local coffee shops: Prince Street Café or Copper Cup. I love all the natural light streaming through the floor to ceiling windows, the hum of people coming and going, the feel of our small city.
Carrie: I love environments like that but I would get much too distracted people-watching to do anything productive lol
Q: What surprised you about Light From Distant Stars or your characters as you wrote their story?
Shawn: As I wrote the relationship between Cohen and his father in Light from Distant Stars, I was surprised to realize that it was very symbolic of the relationship I have with God. There was a lot of good history between them, but also confusion, some distrust, and a fair amount of uncertainty. The way Cohen’s view of his father changed from beginning to end was an interesting evolution for me to watch.
Carrie: I love it when a story I read surprises me by what it reveals about me and/or my relationship with God. How much more poignant when you’re writing the story!
Q: Were there any songs that inspired you as you wrote Light From Distant Stars?
Shawn: I set up a playlist on Spotify for my writing times for this book. It’s called In the Beginning, in case you want to check it out.
Carrie: awesome – thanks!
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from Light From Distant Stars?
Shawn: I’d like them to enjoy the story, but also to ask some questions about the faith of their childhood and how it has changed through the years, where it has led them, and if there are parts of it they need to let go of.
Carrie: Oh that’s thought-provoking… I’m intrigued even more now.
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂
Revell is offering a print copy of Light From Distant Stars to one of my readers! (US only) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What interests you most about Shawn Smucker and/or Light From Distant Stars?