Dropping in today is Stephanie Lawton to celebrate the release of her latest book, Shrapnel!
Considering the number of wars in history, what made you decide to go with the Civil War for Shrapnel, rather than another one?
My husband and I were watching an episode of Brad Meltzer's Decoded that focused on the Knights of the Golden Circle, a real group charged with protecting the Confederate gold. Since moving to Mobile from Ohio, we've had to rethink everything we'd been taught (from a Yankee perspective) about the Civil War. Combined with Mobile's Civil War history and my husband's life-long interest in that war, we put our heads together and came up with the basic premise of Shrapnel.
If you were on of the ghosts Dylanie encountered in this book, what would you do?
There are really only three, and they're all extremely different. I can't give too much away, but I'd probably interact with her as much as Jackson, Ethan and Agnes. I imagine it would get pretty frustrating hanging out in limbo with no way to communicate. Finding someone with Dylan's abilities would be totally exciting, and I can see how easy it would be to freak someone out, lol.
Which character was the most challenging for you to write?
Ashley, hands down. She's the most "normal," in that she's a goody two-shoes, easily scared and a bit whiny. Her story and ability is very crucial to Shrapnel, plus she provides a great contrast, but I love writing snarky, sarcastic characters. She got a little easier to write by the end, when she comes into her own.
If you could pair Dylanie, Jake and Ashley with any character from any book, who would you pick for each?
Oh, my. Jake would love Silla from Tessa Gratton's Blood Magic; Ashley would need someone with a strong, level-headed personality, so maybe Michael from Myra McEntire's Hourglass series; and Dylan ... wow. I'm not sure if she needs someone stronger than her or someone she can push around. *checks bookshelf* Dylan and Sabastian from Kelly Keaton's Darkness Becomes Her series are kindred spirits. He'd get a kick out of her dark sense of humor.
What kind of cookie would you describe yourself as?
White chocolate chunk macadamia nut :) I'm so pale I'm almost transparent, I'm a little, uh, "thick," and I'm definitely nutty!
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It’s been six years since Dylanie and her family visited a Civil War site and the place came alive with cannon fire. Problem was, no one could hear it but her.
Now she’s sixteen, her dad’s moved out, her mom’s come out of the closet and Dylan’s got a spot on Paranormal Teen, a reality TV show filming at historic Oakleigh Mansion. She’ll spend a weekend with two other psychic teens—Jake and Ashley—learning how to control her abilities.
None of them realized how much their emotional baggage would put them at the mercy of Oakleigh’s resident spirits, or that they’d find themselves pawns in the 150-year-old battle for the South’s legendary Confederate gold. Each must conquer their personal ghosts to face down Jackson, a seductive spirit who will do anything to protect the gold’s current location and avenge a heinous attack that destroyed his family.
After collecting a couple English degrees in the Midwest, Stephanie Lawton suddenly awoke in the deepest reaches of the Deep South. Culture shock inspired her to write about Mobile, Alabama, her adopted city, and all the ways Southern culture, history and attitudes seduce the unsuspecting.
A lover of all things gothic, she can often be spotted photographing old cemeteries, historic buildings and, ironically, the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast. She also has a tendency to psychoanalyze people, which comes in handy when creating character profiles.