Author Spotlight / Interview with Shannon Thompson: Take Me Tomorrow

Hi All – and Happy Friday.  As you saw earlier this week, I recently received a copy of Take Me Tomorrow – the intro to a new Dystopian series, and I’ve had the chance to chat with the author and wanted to share this with you:

 

Please Tell us something about yourself and how you became a writer.
My name is Shannon A. Thompson, and I’m a young adult author, poet, and blogger. Aside from that, I’m also an avid reader, coffee addict, and self-proclaimed cat lady. (But I love dogs, too!) I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but I began taking it seriously after my mother died very suddenly. She had always encouraged me to write, and her death made me pursue my dreams immediately.

 
How did you get started in writing in this genre – what inspired you?  Are there any authors in the genre that you gravitate towards or are inspired by?
I began writing for young adults because I was a young adult when I first pursued publication, and then, I simply fell in love with the genre, but I also have poetry, military fiction, and contemporary fiction published, so I definitely don’t lock myself into one genre. Just like life, there are too many aspects to reading to stay in only one part of it. That being said, Meg Cabot had a huge influence on my paranormal writing, and I love Billy Collins, Edgar Allan Poe, Cassandra Clare, Lynne Ewing, and more. 
How did you come up with the inspiration for Tomo and the back story for this series?  
Take Me Tomorrow is a young adult, dystopian novel that revolves around the existence of a clairvoyant drug. In other words, you take a pill, you see the future. This novel was inspired by a single conversation my father and I had about drug use and what drugs might be like in the future. That being said, I am very passionate about understanding drugs within society because my mother was a drug addict, and her addiction ultimately killed her. Take Me Tomorrow may be fiction, but many of the aspects found in the novel are real reflections on drug use in society. You can actually read more about this on my website: http://shannonathompson.com/2014/07/18/why-i-write-about-immigration-drugs-and-addiction/
 
What do you consider to be your biggest challenge and success in writing / publishing?
My biggest challenge is always myself, and I believe this to be true for most writers. Sure, we could say that bad reviews are hard, but – in reality – it comes down to whether or not we can brush off all of those difficult moments in order to continue to believe in ourselves and our words fully. My biggest success is coming back from a period of time that I quit publishing. Five years passed between publishing my first novel and my second novel, and I could’ve easily never published again, but I didn’t, and returning from that – with the help of others – feels like the biggest accomplishment I could ever do. 
What advice would you give to budding authors?
My personal mantra is “write with passion; succeed with self-discipline.” This may not work for many, but for me, it reminds me of why I write in the first place: because I am passionate about writing and it is a part of my writing soul.  But there’s also a lot of work that goes into this that goes beyond writing, like marketing, and there are difficult days we have to get through with a smile on our face. 
What’s next on the list for you to write – what are the next works that you have coming out and where can my readers find them?
AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. is planning to release Death Before Daylight, book 3 of The Timely Death Trilogy, in late 2014 or early 2015. I’m also hoping to re-release my first novel, November Snow, by November of 2015, and I have many more novels to come! 
Lastly, anything more that you’d like to share?
 
I’m always available on my website: http://shannonathompson.com
If you’re a writer or a reader, wanting to speak with me, feel free to email me at shannonathompson@aol.com 
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As a wrap on this – i want to thank Shannon again for letting me pick her brain a bit, and I look forward to what’s next.  If you haven’t gotten a chance to pick up TMT – then click the image below and please take a chance on it.
TMT

 

Review: Take Me Tomorrow (Take Me Tomorrow #1) by Shannon A Thompson

TMT

Title: Take Me Tomorrow
Author: Shannon A Thompson
Publisher/Year: AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. 7/12/14
Length: 242 Pages
Series: Take Me Tomorrow #1

Overview

Two years after the massacre, the State enforces stricter rules and harsher punishments on anyone rumored to support tomo – the clairvoyant drug that caused a regional uprising.
But sixteen-year-old Sophia Gray has other problems.
Between her father’s illegal forgery and her friend’s troubling history, the last thing Sophia needs is an unexpected encounter with a boy.
He’s wild, determined, and one step ahead of her. But when his involvement with tomo threatens her friends and family, Sophia has to make a decision: fight for a future she cannot see or sacrifice her loved ones to the world of tomorrow.

My Thoughts

I have to consider myself to be pretty lucky since some of my favorite stories come to me through the help of authors who are looking to get buzz for their books.  9 times out of 10 they are great stories that i’m more than happy to talk about, and this one falls right there with those 9.  I really enjoyed this story and i’ll tell you why.

We meet our leading characters in a time when society is trying to rebuild itself, yet it’s on the brink of war because of a drug that gives people a ‘freedom’ that the  government doesn’t want.  While it’s not necessarily a new premise, the way that this story is written gives it a new spin.

Sophia is our leading lady – a teenager who’s been forced to grow up a bit faster since her father has a job working for the government somehow, and his job takes him away from home a lot.  The way that the nation is now, it’s divided into regions, and there’s not too much information known about other regions, probably because the government doesn’t want people to know if it’s better elsewhere – gives people a sense of fear that they have to do what is expected of them to survive where they are.

The drug that’s at the forefront of this story is called Tomo – and what it does is make people see the future – and although it wasn’t designed for that purpose – it was supposed to help anxiety or depression or something like that – it morphed, and it scares the government since it gives people hope.

The supporting characters here are what make the story even better, and they evolve into leads.  Broden is Sohpia’s best friend and she tries to save him since he’s gone down a troubled path.  Miles and Lilly are some of Sohpia’s closest friends, twins who know more than they let on, but that’s all the excitement of the story.

Noah on the other hand – he’s new to Sohpia, but the core to the story since it’s his family who developed Tomo and we’re not yet sure what his ultimate goal is.

What i love about this story is that while we expect certain people to be involved in some secret stuff, the extent of what they do and what they know is never revealed.  For example, we learn a bit on how Sophia and her father came to Topeka region, but not the full story.  We know that just about everyone is involved in a covert plan, but not what the objective is.  It’s intriguing and where we’re left off at the end makes you really want to read the next installment just to find out what’s going to happen.

In addition to a good post apocolyptic story, we also get the beginnings of a teen romance here, and what i may like to think about as a love triangle of sorts.  Of course since Noah is new for Sophia, there’s a draw there, and we only see things start to happen when Noah has to leave town again.  The triangle of sorts that i can see coming along though is with Broden.  Personally, it seems like he gets a bit jealous about how Sophia acts towards Noah, and i cant wait to see if that manifests itself out.

Anyhow, try to get your hands on this story if you can -and Enjoy!