Falls the Shadow received a starred review from VOYA which described it as "a very engaging read and hard to put down until the last page". I'm very happy to have the author here on my blog. Let us all welcome, Stefanie Gaither.
While you were in the process of writing this book, have you ever doubted yourself or second guess the reason why you are writing this story? If yes, how did you overcome those obstacles?
The majority of my time writing any book is spent ricocheting wildly between extreme confidence and passion for the story and thinking "this book is complete crap and even my mom isn't going to want to read it". So, yes? :) But the trick, for me at least, is to face the page every single day, no matter which state of mind I'm in. Even if I don't add any new words to a manuscript, I still sit down and stare at the manuscript, so it doesn't have a chance to leave my mind and become something I sweep under the bed and give up on. Besides, a lot of these stare-down sessions tend to turn into productive writing sessions, even if it takes the muse awhile to realize I'm serious and we're going to write whether we believe in this story at this particular moment or not.
About Getting Published:
As an aspiring author, hearing about how authors got published is always fascinating and inspiring for me. So can you tell us your journey to publication? And what was the first thing you did or said after you got the news about the book deal?
I first started thinking seriously about trying to make it onto bookstore shelves when I was a sophomore in college, I think; that's the year I completed my first novel. It involved werewolves, and it was pretty sucktastic. BUT it was an important step--because I finished it, and I queried it, and I got my first taste of acceptance from agents...followed by crushing rejection, haha. I survived it, though, and became determined to get more acceptance than rejection on the next one, and then the next one... and then finally I wrote FALLS THE SHADOW, which led to quite a few full requests, several agent offers, and the rest is history. Overall, it took about four years from the moment I said "I'm going to do this" to reach "I did this". And there was lots of rejoicing, weeping, and a really unhealthy level of stubbornness involved.
About Being an Author:
Tell us what it's like to be a published author? What was your most favorite moment in this whole experience, aside from seeing and holding a physical copy of your book?
Mostly it's weird--but in a really good way, of course. It's just strange when you've had a dream for a really long time, and then it comes true, and you walk into a bookstore and see your book on the shelf like you've envisioned so many times before. It's like, okay, that was a lot of work, now what? And of course then you remember the work's just getting started, and there are other books to write and contracts to hopefully land, and lovely interviews like this one to complete...the list goes on. And it's awesome because I tell people this is my job now when they ask what I do for a living--because it IS a lot of hard work-- but really I'm just living a strangely surreal dream. While hanging out in sweatpants. And drinking lots of coffee (yes, lots of those stereotypes are true for me).
As for my favorite moment? I loved getting to show my mom and my husband the dedication page for the first time and watching them tear up. I had their dedications written long before the book was done, and I was so thrilled to finally be able to show them to them.
About the Book:
Just like superheroes, I think it's safe to say that books also has an origin story before they became what they are right now. It might started out as a thought, an experience, a dialogue you heard, a conversation with a friend, or an idea that has been plaguing your brain for quite sometime. So tell us, what's your book's origin story? And what made you decide to write it?
I think the actual "spark" of an idea came from a quote I remember seeing on the internet-- something like "instead of creating new people, why doesn't God just keep the ones he has now?" And I've always been a sci-fi fan, so that quote made me think "clones". But I've also always loved stories about families, too, and, after losing family of my own at a young age, I felt like I understood the sentiment behind this quote. So all of those things sort of combined into this story that I wanted to tell: one that was full of cool sci-fi stuff, but decidedly human at heart and ultimately about people and relationships and how things like loss and grief complicate them.
About the Author:After co-managing a coffee shop for several years while simultaneously earning her B.A. in English, Stefanie left the small-business world behind to focus on her author career instead. Now, in addition to writing YA novels, she also works part time as a copywriter for an advertising agency. She lives near Charlotte, NC with her artist husband, a ridiculously spoiled shih-tzu named Shakespeare, and a baby-to-be who will be making her debut in early December. You can find out more about Stefanie and her books at www.stefaniegaither.com.
Title: Falls the Shadow
Genre/s: YA, Science Fiction,
Publisher: Simon and Schuster BFYR
Publication Date: September 16, 2014
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When Cate Benson was a kid, her sister, Violet, died. Two hours after the funeral, Cate’s family picked up Violet’s replacement. Like nothing had happened. Because Cate’s parents are among those who decided to give their children a sort of immortality—by cloning them at birth—which means this new Violet has the same smile. The same perfect face. Thanks to advancements in mind-uploading technology, she even has all of the same memories as the girl she replaced.She also might have murdered the most popular girl in school.At least, that’s what the paparazzi and the anti-cloning protestors want everyone to think: that clones are violent, unpredictable monsters. Cate is used to hearing all that. She’s used to defending her sister, too. But Violet has vanished, and when Cate sets out to find her, she ends up in the line of fire instead. Because Cate is getting dangerously close to secrets that will rock the foundation of everything she thought was true.In a thrilling debut, Stefanie Gaither takes readers on a nail-biting ride through a future that looks frighteningly similar to our own time and asks: how far are you willing to go to keep your family together?