Young Adult Lit Review is excited to welcome 2010 Debut author Shannon Delany for a guest post. Her book THIRTEEN TO LIFE comes out on June 22nd.
I have a confession to make. I write werewolves. And I love it! I’m Shannon Delany, the author of the upcoming 13 to Life series.
You have to understand, when I was growing up I read a lot of stuff. Every birthday and each Christmas I could expect a big box of books thanks to my aunt, a librarian. There would be science fiction and high fantasy and myths and legends—but no werewolves. And certainly no vampires. I’m not exactly sure why. Perhaps there simply weren’t many of those books to read when I was a kid. Or perhaps my well-educated family thought they weren’t worth reading about.
I never attended the horror flicks where vampires, werewolves and creepy clowns ruled. As a matter of fact, the only werewolf/shapeshifter book I read until very recently was “A Walk in Wolf Wood” by Mary Stewart.
But I’ve always loved wolves. I was an outsider in middle school and still on the social fringe in high school. I could relate to the beta wolf—always watching the rest of the pack and wondering what it was like to be an alpha. When I got the chance to be the educational director at a privately owned zoo there were few animals I admired as much as the wolves with mysterious eyes, watching visitors from a distance.
Writing, I always imagined creating a story that would change perceptions and lives. I never imagined writing a werewolf novel.
But I wrote 13 to Life on a whim for a cell phone novel contest. I had no idea it would go anywhere; I just gave it a shot. And it took off. The characters grew. The action and emotion intensified. What started as a simple werewolf novel became layered with subtext and symbolism.
And, after I won the contest (and an agent) my brother called me. “So you’re a werewolf writer?”
I cracked up.
Some people still think that if you write about werewolves (or anything paranormal) you aren’t writing anything worthwhile. We have an unfortunate bias in society about literature. But I think a smart reader can find value in almost any book. Every author raises questions—you just have to find them and think about your answers to them as a reader.
So, yes. I write werewolves. And I love doing it.
Write what you want to and read even more than that.
For more information on Shannon Delany: