Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Blog Tour: Two and Twenty Dark Tales Interview with Shannon Delany & Giveaway

Hello all my lovelies!! Today I am taking part in the Two and Twenty Dark Tales Tour. My apologies for being so late getting it up. Blogger has still been giving me a lot of issues to the point where it was almost impossible to actually make a post. It seems to be better for now. So I will get on with this. Month9Books has put together this awesome tour for Two and Twenty Dark Tales which is an anthology of Mother Goose Rhymes. I had the honor of reviewing Shannon Delany for my stop. For the full tour schedule you can click on the banner above. I will give you the book info first and then onto the interview. Stop back next week for my review of Two and Twenty Dark Tales.

Add to Goodreads

  • Publisher: Month9Books, LLC
  • Publication date: 10/16/2012
  • Pages: 340
Purchase: Amazon | B&N


In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young.

Interview with Shannon Delany

Hi Shannon. Thanks for taking the time to do an interview.

My pleasure! Thank you for participating!

Two & Twenty Dark tales is a compilation of dark re-tellings of some already pretty dark and disturbing nursery rhymes. What made you want to take part in this?

I actually like dark stories, poems and music and when I saw that Georgia McBride was involved in this anthology I knew I wanted to write for it.

What were some of your favorite fairy tales growing up?
I liked most of the traditional ones: Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Bluebeard, and Rapunzel. But I grew up slowly so in high school I discovered Andrew Lang’s work and in college I started exploring Eastern European fairy tales, Northern European myths and legends and those of the Far East. I also dug deeper into Western fairy tales and am waiting for the right time to retell one of those in particular.

How different is it writing a short story from a nursery rhyme and writing a full length novel?

Writing with this project’s co-writer, musician and songwriter Max Scialdone, we wound up with so many ideas and so much that surrounded “Pieces of Eight”that we basically had a novel (or potentially three from all our brainstorming) that we needed to pare down. So the brainstorming was the same (plus Max). The writing for a short story was more intense because we had so much we wanted to fit in and yet had so few pages by comparison. I’m naturally verbose so we had to trim, cut and edit our ideas whereas with my novels, I have space to allow for a larger more flowery world.

What gave you the idea to take Sleep Baby Sleep in the direction you went with it for the anthology? It was really great.

Thank you! Max and I both had the feeling that Sleep Baby Sleep was a lullaby being sung by a mother trying to shield her child from an awful reality. We both wanted to try something dark and we knew we wanted to bring music into it somehow and use some myth and legend from this region, too. I’ve always thought music is magical—it soothes people, it unites people in causes, it can change your mood and your perception. For Max, music is second-nature—it’s what he does and how he survives: by making music. He even has a debut solo album releasing in November! I tried to keep all of that in mind: music is second-nature for some, life-sustaining for some, and absolutely magical. Then we designed our characters and let them lead us on an adventure that protagonist Marnum didn’t want to be part of.

When you first wrote the first book in your 13 to Life series, did you plan on it being a series?

No—not at all! I thought I had one book but my agent at the time asked if I thought I could get a series out of it. I thought about the characters and plot and realized I could probably do four or five books in a series but I said I would feel safest doing three. So we got a trilogy deal that quickly enlarged into five books because 13 to Life did so well.

Speaking of your 13 to Life series, you won a textnovel award for the first book. Can you tell us a little about that?

Yes, in 2008 in a fit of rebellion, I did exactly what my critique partner told me would ruin me: I entered a contest. I started writing 13 to Life November 24th and had to be finished by December 31st. I wrote and posted two sections a day and built a following there that supported me and helped me win (popular vote was important). I won some money, an agent and after putting out a press release, a publisher contacted us. It was bizarre, but fabulous, and it’s one reason I suggest aspiring authors seek out different ways to get their stories out there because you just never know.

Your new series is steampunk. What made you want to go into that genre?

The Weather Witch series is steampunk—sorta... Readers will understand when it comes out. It’s set in the normal steampunk era but my technology is different—steam’s development has been delayed. Why’d I want to jump into steampunk? I’ve always loved history and I understand we regularly revise it from the perspective of the winner or survivor of any given era. It’s a skewed view of history we have. So I have no qualms with revising it in my own special way. Weather Witch allows me to integrate my love of history and certain key cities (sorry, Baltimore!) with a special set of dark and dangerous characters.

What made you want to write? Who were your inspirations?

My parents and elementary school teachers were my most direct influences. They encouraged me to follow my imagination and create my own voice (which was especially important to me in middle school where I was bullied). Authors who inspired me were Edgar Allan Poe, Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey and Orson Scott Card. They were/are amazing and have vastly different voices.


Coffee or Tea?

Heels or Sneakers? Sneakers.

Oceans or Mountains? Sorry—I can’t choose between them. I love them both.

Sweet or Salty? I’m not quite like my brother (who salts cookies and icecream) but I love one more than the other only depending on my mood. It’s a toss up.

Truth or Dare? Truth.

Thanks so much to Shannon for doing the interview!! It was a pleasure having you! 


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I also have a fantastic giveaway thanks to Month9Books for one ecopy of Shannon's book 13 to Life. Just enter using the rafflecopter below. 

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  1. Great interview, Amy! I've been seeing this book around, but haven't stopped to pay attention. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ooh, I didn't know Shannon had a new series up her sleeve. And steampunk, no less! Exciting.
    Two and Twenty Dark Tales sounds like a fabulous anthology. Thanks for the interview! :)
    - Lauren

  3. Great set of interview questions! Like Andrea, I've also seen this book around but have repeatedly overlooked it. I'm super eager to checkout this "The Weather Witch" series though. It sounds awesome!

  4. LOL My hubs and I were just talking about the meaning behind Ring Around The Rosey and how awful it is. I bet this is an interesting read. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I need to grab this one off my virtual shelf and read it--you've made me even more excited about it! I love the author's description of the mother singing a lullaby to shield her child from reality.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  6. Great interview! This book has such a unique idea. I haven't gotten to read it yet, but I can't wait to read Shannon's story now!

  7. One of my favorite parts of interviews with authors is finding out what works for them when it comes to writing their books. Each author has his or her own unique way of working--it really interests me, especially since I'm trying to find my own way in my writing and what works for me.

    What I loved best about this interview is when the author entered the contest against the advice of her critique partner and ended up winning back in 2008. I love it success stories like that. :D

  8. Great interview! Loved 13 to Life.



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