Delighted to be hosting Shawn Smucker on the blog today to chat about his new book These Nameless Things!
Shawn Smucker is the author of the award-winning novel, Light from Distant Stars, the young adult novels The Day the Angels Fell and The Edge of Over There, and 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.
THESE NAMELESS THINGS
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary/Magical Realism Fiction
RELEASE DATE: June 30, 2020
Once held captive and tortured on a mysterious mountain, Dan was lucky to have made it out alive. But freedom comes at a cost. Left with little memory of the horrific ordeal, Dan can recall one thing–his escape meant leaving his brother behind.
With each day that passes, Dan waits with the other survivors in hope of his brother’s escape. But just as long-forgotten memories start rising to the surface, the sudden appearance of a wounded woman throws everything into question. As Dan struggles to know who to trust, he is caught once again in a paralyzing moral dilemma:
How far will he go to save the people he loves?
Hi Shawn! Welcome back to the blog!
Shawn: Oranges, because of vitamin C.
Carrie: I prefer to eat an apple and take a vitamin 😀
Shawn: Netflix! So many options!
Carrie: I need to check out Netflix again!
Shawn: Over, because I’m not insane.
Shawn: Coke, because of the old “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” commercials.
Carrie: and because it tastes better 🙂
Q: Other than the Bible, what are five of your most cherished books?
Shawn: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, East of Eden by John Steinbeck, The Brothers K by David James Duncan, A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Carrie: some excellent choices!
Q: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever Googled while researching a book?
Shawn: While I was writing These Nameless Things, I would often Google things like, “What’s the worst part about the third circle of hell in Dante’s Inferno?”
Carrie: I bet that brought up some interesting info
Q: Did you have the whole plot outlined before you started writing, or did you let the characters dictate what came next?
Shawn: Usually when I write novels, early in the process I start to get a feeling for where things are going, and then at about 30,000 words, once I know the characters better, I’ll sketch out a rough outline for what I think is going to happen. This is how it worked in These Nameless Things.
Carrie: That’s a good balance between pantsing and plotting
Q: Some authors like to hide little things in their stories. Is there anything you have hidden in These Nameless Things?
Shawn: Because the setting is loosely based on Dante’s Inferno, there are little Easter eggs all throughout the book, things that point back to Dante and his work. It was fun putting these little clues in for the reader.
Carrie: oh i love that!
Q: What do you most want readers to take away from These Nameless Things?
Shawn: I recently read a quote by Elder Sophrony that says, “You may be certain that as long as someone is in hell, Christ will remain there with him.” This book is an exploration of how far we might go to recover the ones who we love.
Carrie: that’s a very intriguing concept! I’m even more interested in reading the book now…
Thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Shawn: Well, I’m working on another novel. My wife and I also offer online writing classes for kids, so we’re busy developing new content there, and I’m continuing my work as a co-writer and a ghostwriter. Thanks for having me!
Revell is offering a print copy of These Nameless Things to one of my readers! (US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) 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 These Nameless Things and/or my Q&A with Shawn Smucker?