Friday, September 11, 2015

Interview: Shalanda Stanley + Drowning Is Inevitable


Today I'm pleased to have author Shalanda Stanley stopping by to chat a little bit about her debut novel, Drowning Is Inevitable. She was nice enough to answer a few questions for me about her characters, New Orleans and who she'd call if she found herself in a tough spot, so I hope you all enjoy the interview. Welcome to Supernatural Snark Shalanda!

As a quick introduction to this story, how would the newspaper headline (or the first line of the TV news broadcast) read the morning after the tragic events between Olivia, Jamie and his father?

First line of the TV news broadcast:
Four teenagers, wanted in connection with the death of a forty-six-year-old St. Francisville man, are missing.

If each of the four main characters could magically wish themselves into the world of any piece of fiction in order to get away from the dark new reality of their lives, what book would each of them choose as an escape?

Olivia would choose the book Peter Pan. Olivia has no idea what the future holds and at the beginning of the book, she cannot imagine life after eighteen. She doesn’t tolerate the question, “What do you want to be when you grown up?” Olivia would want to escape to Neverland, where she and her friends would always be together and always stay the same.

I think Jamie would like to be on a perpetual road trip, one where he wasn’t running from anything. I believe he would escape to Kerouac’s On the Road. That way, the four of them would be free to travel coast to coast and have adventures, the kind that you know are important when you’re living them, but don’t realize how much so until you’re older.

Max wants an adventure story where he plays the lead and gets the girl at the end. He’d definitely choose The Princess Bride.

Maggie doesn’t read anything published after 1976, because she believes “Nothing current is original,” so her book-world escape would be to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The images in Alice’s Wonderland are so visceral that you can almost see the paint dripping off the page. This would appeal to the artist in Maggie. She’d love the idea that she could paint her world the way she wants it to be.

Jamie, Olivia, Max, and Maggie head to New Orleans when they’re forced on the run. What are a few places the city has to offer that would make ideal spots to hide in plain sight and blend in?

There are so many places in New Orleans to hide in plain sight: the Riverwalk, the French Quarter, Audubon Park, any place downtown. The sidewalks are alive with people and musicians. There’s so much noise in New Orleans. It’s an ideal spot to be lost.

If you ever found yourself with a seemingly unfixable problem, what fictional character would you call on for help?

Can I call on an author instead? Judy Blume answered so many of my life questions when I was growing up. Anytime I hit a bump or felt a growing pain, my mom would hand me the Judy Blume book that went with it, and Judy always made things better. In my mind, she’s this sage who’d definitely be able to help me find a solution to my problem.

Though Olivia’s journey in this story is difficult, what is one thing she would say the events of Drowning Is Inevitable has taught her about herself?

She learns how strong she is and that she’s her own person, not just an extension of her parents, her mother especially. She is the fate decider, and even though there is a worn path already laid out for her, she learns that she doesn’t have to go down it.

Thanks so much for answering my questions Shalanda!

• • • • • • • • • • • • 

DROWNING IS INEVITABLE


Olivia has spent her whole life struggling to escape her dead mother’s shadow. But when her father can’t even look at her because Olivia reminds him of her mother, and her grandmother mistakenly calls her “Lillian,”  shaking a reputation she didn’t ask for is next to impossible. Olivia is used to leaning on her best friend, Jamie; her handsome but hot-tempered boyfriend, Max; and their wild-child friend, Maggie, for the reality check that her small Louisiana town can’t provide. But when a terrible fight between Jamie and his father turns deadly, all Olivia can think to do is grab her friends and run.

In a flash, Olivia, Jamie, Max, and Maggie become fugitives on the back roads of Louisiana. They’re headed to New Orleans, where they hope to find a solution to an unfixable problem. But with their faces displayed on all the news stations, their journey becomes a harrowing game of hide-and-seek from the police—and so-called allies, who just might be the real enemy.

Shalanda Stanley’s breathtaking debut novel explores the deep ties between legacy, loyalty, and love, even as it asks the question: How far would you go to save a friend?

Buy Drowning Is Inevitable:


Find Shalanda:

22 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing all the good places to hide. That might come in handy someday ... :)

    I already added this book to my wishlist, because it sounds gooood. Great interview, ladies.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I loved this book, I thought it was so powerful and different! You ask such creative interview questions, Jenny! I like the one about the characters wishing themselves into a world of fiction to escape :) Thanks for sharing this interview!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Jen! Glad to know you loved this one:)

      Delete
  3. Hiding in a crowd, yes that works

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well, this sounds like a super interesting contemporary debut! Thank you for putting it in my radar Jenny!
    And as usual, great interview!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Pili! Glad I could bring this one to your attention:)

      Delete
  5. Wonderful interview questions, Jenny! I love the sound of the mystery and New Orleans setting in this. This is new to me, so I'm very curious about these four teens.

    Happy Friday - have a wonderful weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I need to meet these characters and read this book, Jenny! I've been hearing fantastic things. And wouldn't we all love to call an author when we're facing an issue?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know I would! Or if they could just magic their swoon-worthy heroes into reality and let me borrow them...that would work too in lieu of advice ;-)

      Delete
  7. I'm so excited to see this interview Jenny because I adored this read. It was so emotional and heart breaking and warming and just...fabulous. It really surprised me how much I liked it. so Yay!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad to hear that Ali! I'm excited to give this a try:)

      Delete
  8. You had me with the New Orleans setting..love her answers to the interview!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. What an interesting and plot and set in New Orleans! Need to add this to my list

    ReplyDelete
  10. Your brain works in mysterious ways, Jenny! I could think for months on end and never come up with such amazing questions. You always have the most entertaining interviews, and I learned just enough about the book to know that I want to read it as soon as possible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heh. Thanks Maja! I always have fun coming up with questions:)

      Delete
  11. What great answers. I especially liked the Blume answer. She does help one grow up, doesn't she? :)

    Jenny, questions are amazing as usual!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great answers! Added this to my TBR. Love the cover!

    ReplyDelete