Interview & Giveaway with THE GIRL WHO FELL author Shannon Parker!

I'm so happy to have guest Buccaneer, Shannon Parker here today -- fellow 2016 debut author of the amazing YA contemporary, THE GIRL WHO FELL!


First, a little about Shannon:

I’ve written some short stories and they’ve earned some awards but I’m happiest when writing novels. I hang out with the ladies at Sixteen to Read and do stuff for the The Sweet Sixteens, which means I’m surrounded by a lot of talent.
I also have a few degrees. From Saint Michael’s College, University of Massachusetts at Boston and University of Southern Maine. When I’m not possessed by my characters, I help at-risk families gain literacy and citizenship skills.

Learn more about Shannon on her website!

And now a little about THE GIRL WHO FELL, straight from Goodreads:

High school senior Zephyr Doyle is swept off her feet—and into an intense and volatile relationship—by the new boy in school. 

His obsession.
Her fall.

Zephyr is focused. Focused on leading her team to the field hockey state championship and leaving her small town for her dream school, Boston College.

But love has a way of changing things.

Enter the new boy in school: the hockey team’s starting goaltender, Alec. He’s cute, charming, and most important, Alec doesn’t judge Zephyr. He understands her fears and insecurities—he even shares them. Soon, their relationship becomes something bigger than Zephyr, something she can’t control, something she doesn’t want to control.

Zephyr swears it must be love. Because love is powerful, and overwhelming, and … terrifying?

But love shouldn’t make you abandon your dreams, or push your friends away. And love shouldn’t make you feel guilty—or worse, ashamed.

So when Zephyr finally begins to see Alec for who he really is, she knows it’s time to take back control of her life.

If she waits any longer, it may be too late.

THE GIRL WHO FELL was also chosen by Amazon as one of the Top 20 YA Books of 2016 so far!!! 

Now let's meet Shannon! 

Erin L. Schneider (Captain E. Hook): I know your day job connects you with individuals in similar situations as Zephyr, but how did you come up with the premise for THE GIRL WHO FELL and what made you choose to cover the important topic of abusive relationships?

Shannon Parker: There are so many books that explore the magic of first love. How it is tempting and luscious and beautiful. But it is also so scary. A girl asks herself: Can I trust this person with my heart? My body? My dreams? And there are plenty of books that scream YES to these questions. They are the books of Happily Ever After.

I wanted to write a story that explored the dangers of first love. What happens when you can’t trust the person you love? What happens when love turns toxic? And how does a strong and determined girl fall for a charming boy who is—at his core—awful and damaged (and damaging)?

I wanted to write this story because I know it is a reality for countless teens and I don’t think it is talked about enough. I wanted to write a book that showed teen victims of dating manipulation or abuse that it is never their fault and that they always, ALWAYS have the right to regain their voice. 

ELS/CEH: What was a favorite scene or moment in THE GIRL WHO FELL for you to write? And what brought the biggest challenge?

SP: My favorite scenes were the scenes with Zephyr and Gregg or Zephyr and Lizzie. I loved everything about Zephyr’s friends, their quick wit, their unyielding support.

The hardest thing to write was the character of Alec. I needed to have the reader fall for Alec the way Zephyr does. He needed to be charming and say all the right things. Even if the reader can see that his motivations are suspect, Zephyr can’t. This is true of real relationships, where friends and family can see the way a person is being manipulated, but the victim only sees the good, until it is often too late. 

ELS/CEH: What advice would you give to anyone out there, that's in a similar situation as Zephyr?

SP: I am not an expert in this field by any means, but I always encourage teens to talk to their families and friends when that is an option. I try to help them see that they are not alone. And if they need confidential counseling or someone to listen, organizations like Break the Cycle and Love is Respect exist for that very purpose.

ELS/CEH: Now that you've officially debuted, if you could go back and tell yourself something about your publishing journey, what would it be?

SP: People are going to love your book. People are going to hate your book. It is not a reflection of you and you are going to be okay.

ELS/CEH: From April - June of this year, we hosted our annual Spring Writing Bootcamp for writers in all phases of their journey -- what advice would you give those that want to publish their first YA novel?

SP: Take long walks. Breathe.

ELS/CEH: Any chance you can share what you're working on next? We'd love to hear what you have in store for us!

SP: I have a YA set to release in the fall of 2017. It hasn’t been officially announced yet (soon!) but the story follows a kickass lobster boat captain, Rilla Brae, who sees a ghost haunting a mysterious and abandoned island just off Maine’s coast.

ELS/CEH: Oh my, that couldn't be more perfect for us Buccaneers!!! You'll just have to come back when that one is ready to come out and do another interview with us!

And now on to the flash round:

Hard cover or ebook? Hardcover.
Grease or The Princess Bride: I’m hopelessly devoted to Grease.
Favorite writing snack? Chocolate covered chocolate.
John Green or Neil Gaiman: Neil Gaimen
Favorite travel destination? Australia’s east coast. Um, koala and coral reefs? Yes, please. 

Thanks so much to Shannon for stopping by -- you can purchase your copy of THE GIRL WHO FELL from:

Barnes & Noble:

Or you can enter to win your very own copy here (US residents only)! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below and hang on tight -- we'll announce the winner next week!