The next stop on the blog tour is right here and today we have a fabulous interview with author Shannon Duffy. But first, lets find out about her book release from Month9Books!
Gabriel Stone and the Divinity of Valta is a magical, fast-paced story that takes readers on a journey they won’t soon forget. It has enough mystery, intrigue and wonder to keep readers up, lamp lit, and reading into the night.
Gabriel Stone is a twelve-year-old boy still reeling from the unsolved disappearance of his mother. With a dad who’s hard to relate to, and mounting pressures at school, Gabriel lets off steam by hiking in the place where his mother was last seen. There, Gabe and friends find a crystal that proves not only beautiful, but magical beyond their wildest dreams. Only, magic and beauty come with a price: in order to return home, they must save the dying world of Valta.
And now a few questions for Shannon . . .
Where did you get the idea for GABRIEL STONE AND THE DIVINITY OF VALTA? Was it a light bulb moment or did it slowly creep into your subconscious?
How this happened is kinda strange. I honestly didn't really think about it at first. It was like the story was just there. I didn't think about if I wanted to write MG or YA, or what genre, etc. I just thought I'd like to write a story for my son Gabriel and this was the story that fell onto the page. I thought about more of the plotting as I went along of course, but the initial concept was just there.
Are any details or experiences in the book based on your own life?
Yes! The falls portrayed in the book play a significant role. When I was about 13/14, my cousin Brenda and I discovered those very falls hidden in the woods. We used to go to her cabin in the country and would go hiking. After we found those falls, we'd often go back. And just this past summer, my husband, my cousin, and I took my son Gabriel back there and searched the woods to find them. Best part? After trekking through the woods and finding Beachy Cove Falls, my son found a triangular rock like the Divinity! Unfortunately, it didn't glow and wasn't magical in itself, but hey, it was a pretty magical experience.
What was the road to publication like for this book?
Honestly, long and hard. Gabriel Stone and the Divinity of Valta was the very first novel I wrote. That being said, there was A LOT of editing involved. I hired freelance editors to help--which is awesome because it was like hiring personal coaches. Then finding an agent and onward to the long journey to find a publisher who would love my story as much as I do. Month9Books did, and I love them for it!
Can you describe how it felt to see the final cover for the first time?
This is so hard to describe--but it made me cry the happiest tears ever. Seriously. When I wrote the story, I didn't know if it would ever reach publication. So seeing your story come to life with a cover is surreal, incredible, and as magical as anything I wrote in my story. It especially means so much to me because like I said, I wrote this book for my son Gabriel. Now he can always have this book.
Any special plans for your book release day? Cartwheels? Cupcakes? Constantly refreshing the Amazon & Barnes & Noble pages displaying your book?
No special plans. (by the way, I'm writing this post on release day). But I have a giant grin on my face and a heart full of gratitude. I hope the readers enjoy it! But now you have me thinking. *Plots to send hubby for celebratory cupcakes.*
What is one piece of advice you'd give to aspiring writers?
Don't give up! If you love writing, keep doing it. Read. And if you're able, hire a good freelance editor. They can really help guide you. You can learn so much. Find a couple of good critique partners and remember to be patient. This last one is tough. The publishing industry is super slow, but hang in there!
Find out more about Month9Books here.
Visit the other blog tour spots-
February 17-Starting the Next Chapter
February 18-Bookshelf Banter
February 19-Mad Musings of Mastermind
February 20-Moosubi Reviews
February 21-Writer’s Alley
February 22-Jeanz Book Read N Review