Thursday, April 5, 2012
Interview with Shannon Ketting
I am happy to have Shannon Ketting, contributor to Empirical's fiction anthology, A Torn Page, here with me on the blog today. She talks about her writing process, future releases, and what it is like to be an indie writer. Let's hear what she has to say.
Me: Tell us about your current release in the anthology.
Shannon: The Day I Met Jesus Christ is a piece I wrote one day while reminiscing on my high school years and the events that brought me to where I am today. This short story is based on events in my life and my own experiences. I like to see it as a reflection of the contemplations on life and religion that adolescents are faced with in the daily trials of modern day teenage life. The character in my story is faced with a situation too peculiar to be coincidence, and comes up with the only explanations she can for the phenomena in her life.
Me: Tell us about your future releases.
Shannon: I've currently been working on a couple of short stories, and also trying to get more in touch with my poetic side. I am also in the progress of my first novel, which should be finished by the time I graduate from college. I’d give more details but I hate to spoil surprises.
Me: What are you reading now?
Shannon: The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri.
Me: What music inspires you to write?
Shannon: Honestly I like any music that has some kind of good poetry to it. I’ve really been into MGMT, the Grateful Dead, Sublime, the Beatles. I’ll listen to anything, really, as long as it has some soul to it.
Me: Favorite authors?
Shannon: Kurt Vonnegut, Chuck Palahniuk, Sylvia Plath.
Me: Favorite books?
Shannon: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess. Always going to be one of my favorites. It was truly unique. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I first read that book in my senior year in high school and introduced me to some pretty out-there ideas. I have read it several times since then, and it never ceases to amaze me.
Me: Favorite TV shows?
Shannon: Portlandia, How I Met Your Mother, Weeds, Adventure Time. I only like television shows that make me laugh.
Me: Favorite movies?
Shannon: Annie Hall, Amelie, The Graduate, Smiley Face. I could watch those movies every day for the rest of my life and I’d never get over how wonderful they are.
Me: At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Shannon: I was really young, actually. I remember trying to write even before I learned how to read. I would scribble nonsense, but my intention was words. In grade school I would write whenever I got the chance. Just a bunch of stories and journaling and what not. I’ve always had a journal. For a while I lost my way and didn't know what I wanted to do as a career. I started out at university studying psychology, but after a year I figured myself out and realized I wanted to study English and become a writer.
Me: Tell us about your writing process.
Shannon: Most of what I write is memories. Sometimes I change the endings of these memories into how I wanted them to turn out, and sometimes I transform them into entirely different stories. Other times I’ll get randomly inspired when I’m out and about, or washing dishes or something like that. I try to always keep some kind of paper and a pen in my purse, or backpack, just in case I randomly feel the urge to write out an idea so I don’t forget it. Normally the really good ideas are hard to forget, though. Some pockets of my backpack are stuffed with old receipts and scraps of paper coated with scribbles of details for stories I want to write, or descriptions of scenes. And then whenever I get the time I sort through them and type them out into stories and what not. Some of it is total rubbish but I actually enjoy the majority of it. I feel like the best of my writing is done spontaneously.
Me: Are the names of the characters in your novels important? How and why?
Shannon: Not in any of my past works. I've always had trouble choosing names for my characters; I can be so indecisive. I always end up choosing the first name that pops into my head, or naming the character after someone in a song I like. I might try playing around with that idea of having significant character names, though. That sounds like it could be interesting.
Me: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Shannon: Never stop expressing yourself. It will bring you happiness, freedom, success, and everything else in life that you desire. Expressing yourself creates art, and art is what the world needs right now.
More About the Author:
Bio: Shannon Ketting was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and is currently living in Honolulu, Hawaii. She is studying to get a degree in English, and spends her free time journaling and writing fiction.
Find out more about Shannon at:
Check out some other writers from A Torn Page: