And then I came up with some questions that are a little on the unconventional side, and she didn't even blink! She is that awesome.
1. So your book is like Alice in Wonderland, but not. Explainage.
It's a retelling Alice in Wonderland with every scene reimagined in the real world high school. For example, instead of crying a pool of tears, Alice accidentally floods her school. The Cheshire Cat is a mysterious boy named Chess Katz with a killer smile and a penchant for disappearing. Instead of wanting to get inside the beautiful, forbidden garden the original Alice spies through the tiny key hole, my Alice joins a group of teenage environmental vigilantes who do good things but on the wrong side of the law. It's quirky and humorous with a Veronica Mars-style mystery at its heart. Also, there's kissing, lots of it. (SOLD! Especially with the kissing parts. Seriously, this sounds amazing. Can't wait to read it!)
2. Quick! You've been chosen to go on the best reality TV show EVER, Survivor. What do you take as your luxury item?
As a writer, I probably should say a book, but that would be a lie. I'd take a giant bottle of moisturizing lotion (Jergen's) because I hate dry skin so much and all that sand scares me. Though I probably wouldn't need a giant bottle because let's be real here. I'd be the first one voted off. Lack of arm muscles would ensure that. Also, I have an irrational fear of fish which would make eating or participating in water challenges difficult. However, it would probably make for awesome TV watching me freak out! (LOL! I have an irrational fear of fish too! And ducks and geese...)
3. If you had to eat one food, and only one food, for 24 hours, what would it be? Different preparations are fine, but only one food.
My husband makes the most amazing meatballs and spaghetti. I specifically married him for his cooking skills (also for his last name) so it would be stupid not to utilize them if I was forced to eat the same meal over and over again.
4. Longest day ever? Spill.
December 21st, without fail, every year. (I inherited my cheesy joke sense from my dad. Thanks, Dad!)
But really, probably the day I wrote a 5-page love letter to my crush in high school and waited for his answer. Which turned out to be no. I didn't let it get me down though, I tried again with the next crush. Same result. You'd think I had learned my lesson but no, because the real problem was an efficient school system. I blame this on My So-Called Life. Angela had written Jordan a love letter and it worked for her, but only because Jordan hadn't been able to read it. If only my crushes couldn't read, it would have totally worked! (Oh my heck. This is the best story ever.)
5. If you went to a superhero costume designer, would go with a cape or no cape? Give reasons to support your answer.
I think we all know why the cape is really there, right? It's not a fashion statement or because it looks cool flapping in the wind. It's there because spandex doesn't do a very good job at keeping a Superhero warm. So the cape's there to act like a jacket but not as bulky and it doesn't obstruct the logo on their chests. They wrap it around their arms to prevent goosebumps. They shield themselves from the rain like a hood. So of course I'd design a cape into my outfit, I'm practically cold-blooded. (Brilliant. And I've been properly persuaded to include a cape on all my superhero costumes now, notwithstanding the whole no-cape rule on The Incredibles.)
6. When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? What's the first step you took toward publication?
I've been writing my whole life. I wrote and illustrated my first book when I was in elementary school. It was about a girl who could walk through lava, which let me tell you, was VERY useful in volcano-less NJ where the story was set. At 17, I wrote my first manuscript. It was 75k of existential musings. There were only two characters, neither of them had names, and they only shared maybe 4 scenes together. Needless to say, that one's sitting in a drawer. My mom loves it, so that should tell you how good it really is. At the very least, it taught me that I *could* write a novel.
Then I went to college where I took actual creative writing classes taught by some very famous authors (like Pulitzer Prize winning authors), though at the time I had no idea who they were. I honed my skills and wrote a bunch of short stories for my classes. So I guess this is my first step toward publication because I started sending them out to lit magazines and I sold every single one I wrote for class.
But as far as novels go, I've queried 3 novels. One was college-set and though I had a high request rate, I kept getting rejections that said, "I really love this but it's too edgy for YA, too juvenile for adult." And since it was about the dark side of a sorority, it was impossible to re-set in high school. So I wrote another book that was completely YA about sibling rivalry that goes too far when one girl causes her sister to lose her prestigious college dance scholarship and then has to fix it before their parents find out. I had a 100% request rate on the query and got an agent within 10 days. I had some VERY close calls while on submission. Eventually that book didn't sell and my former agent left the industry, leaving me agentless. It was okay though, I saw this as a good thing and in hindsight, I'm really happy this happened. I wrote a new book (ALICE), using all the feedback I'd received from editors so I didn't make the same mistake again (i.e. this one had to be HIGH CONCEPT). I actually had to start it 3 times from scratch until I found the perfect retelling angle. I sent out queries, this time I had a 95% request rate. 2 R&Rs and 2 offers later, I found the absolute perfect agent for me. I adore her so much, she's the perfect champion for my books and she gives amazing editorial suggestions. Also, she loves Buffy as much as me.
7. Give us the basics: blog, website, twitter, facebook, agent, eye color, shoe size, dream vacation locale.
- Blog/Website: http://www.shana-silver.com
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/shanasilver
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/rshana
- Agent: Sarah LaPolla at Curtis Brown, Ltd.
- Eye color: Brown, though I like to pretend there's a recessive blue-eyed gene in there somewhere that I will hopefully give to my kids (when I have some)
- Shoe size: 5.5! I usually have to buy a 6 though because my feet are freakishly tiny.
- Dream vacation locale: Hubs and I have been talking about doing a wine tour in France for a long time.
(Okay, go stalk away people. You know you want to.)
8. Bacon or chocolate? (I couldn't help myself.)
Chocolate for sure! This is going to be weird, I know. I've never actually eaten bacon. I'm a very picky eater. I also don't like cheese. Cue the gasps! (*gasp!* I love cheese. And the correct answer here is BACON.)
9. Anything else we simply must know?
I think I have a pretty cool day job. I do computer animation for television. If you've ever watched football or basketball on CBS, I designed most of the in-game graphics (like the scoreboard). I was the lead designer on March Madness, so whenever you see the brackets on TV, I created those. I also designed graphics for the USA Network (like when it tells you what show is coming on next) and the truTV network. If you've recently seen commercials for WORST COOKS IN AMERICA (on the Food Network), I did that entire campaign. I also did a lot of work on some CG Barbie movies. (This is the COOLEST THING EVER. I love Worst Cooks in America and my husband watches more sports than anyone in the world, trust me. This is SO COOL!)
Thanks for stopping by, Shana. And isn't she cool?