#ShoutoutSaturday: Shannen Wright

Please join us in welcoming Shannen Wright to our #ShoutoutSaturday blog series!

Tell us about yourself!

Hello, hello! I'm S.C. Wright and, well. How should I begin? I live in Scotland, so there's that. I'm twenty-three, and I've just finished my first book that's this one, “Bad Reception” which is now available on Amazon and Smashwords as an E-book. I'm excited about it and I hope that it'll bring a lot of enjoyment to the people that read it.

When did you begin writing?

Oh, that is going back. I've always written. Even as a kid in nursery – that's kindergarten I think to the Americans here :) - I would make up stories and, my mum taught me how to read when I was four so it was pretty much the second I could form coherent words or sentences I was off. *laughs* I think the first story I can remember was about this cat that lived on the railway or something. It was trying to find it's owner from a previous life. I don't think it was as good as I remember it to be given I could only have been about five or six at the time.

What is the title of your most recent book? What's it about in a paragraph?

Okay, so Bad Reception. It's about a girl who doesn't really fit in with her life, her family, and the people around her. She ends up in hospital on her birthday – to see to a broken leg – and ends up at this hotel of monsters or misfits. These monsters are all different and she gets to see what it's like for these creatures who are also pretty different to the rest of the world.

Why did you write your book?

I think every one of us, to some degree, wants to escape from the things that bother us, whether it is by accident or not, to somewhere where we can be ourselves and don't have to worry about being anything but who you are. This is mostly a book for young adults and I think, in any time period, young adults have a lot of trouble fitting in and trying to find their place in the world, trying to find people who like them for who they are. So, you could say I wrote this book because I wanted these young adults to find sanctuary – an escape – at least for a little while. Gabriella's hotel is for anyone - even humans like Kana – with nowhere else to go! When I wrote this, I was somewhat going through a bad time myself. See a friend of mine, a really good friend, had died earlier that year, and it never really hit me until a few months later. She and I were like sisters and in a way, this is both my way of coping and remembering her. It had always promised her I would write a book, and I think she expected it of me. Well, now I can finally say, I did it.

What specific challenges did you face when writing and publishing your book?

The biggest challenges I feel were getting the right words on the paper. I did worry for a long time that this was the right thing to do, whether it was worth it, or whether anyone would be interested. It took a long time to sit down and just type it up but when I did, I knew it was the right thing. There were a few plot holes that I struggled with, and for a long time I didn't know if I wanted to give it a happy ending or not. But that's all decided now – and on with the next book!

What has been the most rewarding part of writing and publishing your book?

The most rewarding part has to be seeing the comments of people who have read it and fallen in love with my characters. When you create a character – and yes, to a non writer it sounds so silly – it feels like creating life itself. These characters are my babies and what they go through, I go through writing them and, I would hope, the readers go through the experiences too and come out stronger. I love the idea that my readers will enjoy what I've made and hope that this book might might give them strength or support when they need it.

What tip or piece of advice would you give to unpublished writers?