Nov 23, 2012

Cover Reveal: Shawn Kirsten Maravel - Know Thy Neighbor

Shawn Kirsten Maravel - Know Thy Neighbor

Expected Pub Date: January 2013

Evangeline has already lost everything once. She’s no stranger to reassembling the shambles of her life and trying to make peace with the outcome of the greatest tragedy that she’s ever had to face. But when a life of selling antiques in the Lower East Side proves to be less than enough to maintain her meager lifestyle, she turns to the pages of her thriller novels for distraction.

When a mysterious new tenant moves into the apartment above hers, she indulges her desire for danger and adventure by trying to figure out exactly who the stranger in 6C is. In time, the intrigue about a neighbor she has yet to actually see, isn’t enough to keep her distracted from the threat of having to close down her shop and start from scratch for the second time. Just as she tries to refocus her attention to breathing life back into her business, she meets the handsome stranger for the first time and she loses sight of everything else.

Soon her life takes on the exciting appeal of her novels and she can’t seem to get enough. But as she draws closer to the mystery tenant, she discovers that the danger is real and her life is left in the hands of a dangerous killer.

Top Ten Inspirations While Writing a Novel
by Shawn Kirsten Maravel

1. Cute Boys- I always have a visual reference for my characters and quite often cute celebs actually end up sparking some inspiration all their own. My current celeb crush right now is Dez Duron from this season of The Voice. He's just fabulous in every way...wonder what I could write about a guy like him...

2. Music- This one is almost a given...nearly any author you'll talk to uses music as an aid in their writing process. I often create "sound tracks" or "playlists" for my novels. One of the songs on my Know Thy Neighbor playlist is Wonderland by Natalia Kills.

3. Personal Interests- "Write about what you know" this would be my very brief advice for aspiring authors. I connect most with my audience when I incorporate something that I know at least a little about. In Know Thy Neighbor, for example, Evangeline shares my interest for antiques.

4. Day Dreaming- Sure, I could sit down and say to myself, "I want to write a book...what should it be about?" then I'd sit down and jot down a few ideas, plots, and themes and come up with the next best seller. But in all honesty, that just isn't how my writing mind works. Novels come to me when I least expect it. Very often I'm going on a walk or thinking about non-book related stuff. for Know Thy Neighbor I was inspired while walking up the stairwell back to my apartment after taking my dog Nahla out to use the bathroom. You just never know when genius will strike next!

5. Life Dialogue- First let me just say, my life should be a sitcom...some of the crap my husband and I say to one another, at least to my ears, is just pure comedy. Very often I incorporate conversations we've had into my writing, including part of his marriage proposal (though I won't tell you which novel I used it in, you'll have to read them all to find out!).

Here's a quick excerpt from my novel The Wanderer taken word-for-word from a conversation my husband and I had at The Macaroni Grill only a few hours after he'd had eye surgery. He ended up putting his foot in his mouth due to the pain opening his eyes caused him...I just HAD to text the convo. to myself and incorporate it in my writing.

“You okay?” Max asked, watching as Landon struggled to meet her eyes.
“I’m trying not to look at you,” he replied.
“I’m sorry, what?”
“I mean I’m trying not to hurt my eyes.”
Max crossed her arms over her chest and raised a wicked brow.
Landon shielded the sun with his hand and finally made eye contact with her. “That came out wrong,” he said apologetically.
“It sure did,” she said with a chuckle.”

6. Cover Photos- When it comes to selecting the right cover, I always want to make sure it connects to the novel, even if it may not be obvious to the reader per se. In my Volition series, for example, the first edition covers are scenic and I incorporated each scene into the novels. The second edition covers have objects incorporated in the novel. On the cover of Severance, for example, is a bracelet that Joel wears in the book.

7. Things I Wish I Didn't Suck At- In literature you can live out your shortcomings. Your characters can be knowledgeable about stuff you can't quite grasp yourself, skilled in things you just can't seem to get the hang of. For those little character details or even big details, it's always interesting to incorporate stuff you're NOT an expert in. Running for example. I am terrible at it...I'm a pretty good sprinter but long distance always kicks my butt. Evangeline runs a bit in Know Thy Neighbor as does Max in The Wanderer. Good for them...I can't do it to save my life.

8. Life Experience- You may be seeing a trend here...I draw a lot from my own life. The novel that fits this bill most is The Wanderer. I incorporated a lot of myself into this particular novel because of the military connection. Being an Army wife myself, I wanted to write a novel about this very important part of my life, the military community. Not many people are familiar with it. I'm only twenty-four-years-old, so writing a memoir would just be silly, but I wanted to tell a story about a soldier. I wanted to give a little insight into my world. I plan on doing more military related novels somewhere down the line once I've had more experience. I think it's a really fascinating lifestyle in comparison to "the civilian world" and it can be terribly romantic as well if you're a sap like myself.

9. People Who Inspire Me- I love writing stories about brave and strong characters. Heroes of the real world. Paranormal heroes and bad-ass bad-guy slayers are awesome, but I've always tended to be most inspired by the everyday heroes. You'll find these in both my Rider series novels as well as in Know Thy Neighbor.

10. Friend and Family's Suggestions and Input- I have had A LOT of help from family and friends when it comes to writing my novels. In each and every one of my books I have incorporated suggestions from both. My husband even wrote the first draft of a combat scene in The Wanderer as well as helped me with the action scenes in Know Thy Neighbor.

I was never that kid that enjoyed reading. In fact, I hated it. I wanted to like reading but it just didn't come that easily to me so I avoided it for a long time, though I always enjoyed story telling. Once I finally got into reading, much later in life compared to most writers (around eighteen), I really started to explore my interest in writing my own stories. It took a while to polish my ability to do so, given the fact that I was still only getting used to the art of reading and writing novels, but in time it all finally clicked.

When my husband deployed to Iraq in 2008 I started writing my first published novel, Volition. From that moment on I knew that I'd found my calling. Not only do I hope to share my stories with the world but I hope to inspire others who struggled to pick up reading to never give up.

Apart from being an author, I'm an Army wife and soon-to-be mother. I'm a lover of most music, a big movie fanatic, and a lover of all things outdoors.

Find Shawn:
goodreads | facebook | blog | twitter

1 comment:

  1. I like it when an author puts thought into the cover and tries to make it fit with the story. So many covers have nothing to do with the story at all. Great post :)


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