June 10, 2014

I Become Shadow Blog Tour: Guest Post


Welcome to my stop on the I Become Shadow blog tour being presented by Soho Teen! Today I have a guest post by the author to share with you!

I Become Shadow

Author: Joe Shine
Genre: YA Science Fiction
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Publisher: Soho Teen


Ren Sharpe was abducted at fourteen and chosen by the mysterious F.A.T.E. Center to become a Shadow: the fearless and unstoppable guardian of a future leader. Everything she held dear—her family, her home, her former life—is gone forever.

Ren survives four years of training, torture, and misery, in large part thanks to Junie, a fellow F.A.T.E. abductee who started out as lost and confused as she did. She wouldn’t admit it was possible to find love in a prison beyond imagining, but what she feels for Junie may just be the closest thing to it.

At eighteen they part ways when Ren receives her assignment: find and protect college science student Gareth Young, or die trying. Life following a college nerd is uneventful, until an attack on Gareth forces Ren to track down the only person she can trust. When she and Junie discover that the F.A.T.E. itself might be behind the attacks, even certain knowledge of the future may not be enough to save their kidnappers from the killing machines they created.

I’d always considered myself a man’s man. A beer guzzling, sports watching, willing to get into bar fights defending a woman’s honor kind of man. This was how I saw myself. I’d never written a [insert whatever hip term the kids are using these days for ‘book’ here] before, so when I decided to write I BECOME SHADOW I figured I’d use my own voice for the main character. I wanted him to be a rough and tumble kinda guy anyway, and I figured it’d be the easiest way to keep the character consistent since it would basically be me.

After barreling through the first eighty or so pages I sent the draft to my friend for his thoughts. He’s read nearly everything that’s ever been printed, a true devourer of the written word, so his thoughts mattered to me. I needed him to tell me if the story was worth continuing or if it was pure drivel obviously written by someone who had no idea what they’re doing. Naturally, he said it was obvious I had no idea what I was doing, but aside from that, he loved it. Really loved it and wanted more. I was on cloud nine. He went on about how he thought the main character had the potential to be one of the great, badass females of literature.
Slam on the brakes.  Female?   
“Yeah, it’s a girl, right?” he’d said.  “She’s awesome.  Who’s she based on?”
Now, I’d always had suspicions I wasn’t quite the Billy Badass I thought I was, but my inner monologue was that of a girl? A teenage girl? I felt the sudden urge to go do very manly things like pee standing up and throw rocks. Now, being able to channel a badass girl, from a creative standpoint, was great, but wasn’t it kinda creepy too? My friend assured me it was fine, but I had my doubts. It felt creepy.
I had a group of my female friends read it hoping that my buddy was too smart and just unable to recognize the character for the stud he was. Unfortunately, all agreed it was a girl. Was it strange, this voice coming from inside me? Yes, but they assured me it wasn’t creepy. When I asked them what I would need to change to convince them it was a boy they unanimously said, “everything.”
And thus, the original Ren Sharpe and Junie Miller characters switched names, and a man's man learned to accept the sarcastic girl speaking from within him. 

I BECOME SHADOW is my debut novel, it's my debut anything over thirty pages if we're being honest.

I live in Austin, TX where I currently spend my days working a normal human job. My spare time is pretty well spoken for and split between writing and yard work. (Taken from Goodreads)

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