Author Interview: Em Shotwell

Blackbird SummerToday I’m super excited to have Em Shotwell, the author of Blackbird Summer here with me! As I’m sure you know from yesterday’s review, it has the distinction of being the best book I’ve read in a long time (and there’s some stuff competition!) so I’m thrilled she took the time to answer some of my questions.

Where did you get your inspiration for Blackbird Summer?

I don’t even know, lol! The story has changed so much since my first idea, which was about a couple of sisters who lived on the wrong side of the tracks in a hateful little town. The original story didn’t have magic-but somehow it kept working its way into the story. Along  the way, the Caibre family kept getting stranger, the town kept getting meaner, and the magic kept growing until the basis for Blackbird Summer took hold.

Who is your favorite character in the book and why?

I love to hate Myrtle Delacroix. She’s such a trashy busy-body, and we all know someone like her in real life. But my favorite character is probably Tallulah. I know that’s cheating since she’s the main character- but she grows so much throughout the book. In the beginning she doesn’t know who she is or even who she wants to be, but by the end she is kicking ass.

Is Brooklyn inspired by a real town?

Not really. I’ve moved quite a bit, starting when I was a kid on into adulthood, and I think some of the best and worst or the towns I’ve lived in have give to the fictional town of Brooklyn, Mississippi. There is actually a post on my blog about this if you want to check it out- www.EmShotwell.com

Is The Chans a real thing or something from your amazing imagination?

First- thanks for such an awesome compliment!

The word is a real word, but as far as what it means in the Blackbird Summer universe, I made it up. 🙂 Logan had to be a special guy to fall for Tallulah and all her crazy baggage. In order to so readily believe in magic, he needed a little inexplicable magic of his own, so that’s where the Chans came in.

What are you working on right now?

I am working on a women’s fiction novel that I adore! It has a tiny touch of magic- but nothing like Blackbird Summer. I’m almost complete and then I’ll get to work drafting the Blackbird Summer sequel. It should be out the beginning of next year.

What other books have you written?

Blackbird Summer is my debut novel. I’m always writing short stories, and have a couple of truly awful plays I wrote in high school that will never see the light of day. I have a weird west short story that I’m editing and hope to find a home for soon. It’s called Vigilante Skin and you can read the synopsis on my website.

What is your favorite genre to read and who are some of your favorite authors?

I read everything. I’m mostly drawn to magical realism, light fantasy, and anything kind of weird. I also adore women’s fiction with grit. I’m a sucker for a flawed hero.

I will read anything by Sarah Addison Allen, Joshilyn Jackson, or Patricia Briggs. I also absolutely adore Octavia Butler. Her book, Lilith’s Brood is the weirdest thing I’ve ever read- but also one of the best things I’ve ever read.

Where can readers find you?

Being creepy at the corner table of the library! Lol TOTALLY JOKING! Find me online at www.EmShotwell.com. On Twitter at @MamaCrazySocks

Facebook- www.facebook.com/emshotwellauthor

Instagram- @blackbird_summer

Thank you so much for joining me today, Em! I can’t wait to read the rest of your work. I’ll be keeping an eye on that corner table to make sure you’re getting your words in!

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