This week I am featuring Shawn P. Keenan's new book The Buried Covenant.
I asked him if he would be willing to do a small interview for me and he graciously said he would. Below are the questions that I asked him and his answers.
How long have you been writing for?
Shawn:" I've written privately since high school, submitting short stories to online competitions and experimenting with poetry. The Buried Covenant is my first novel and it was an amazing experience writing it. I know I have a lot to learn still, but I'll always remember how much the process of writing this book taught me. I started it a year and a half ago, finishing a rough (in retrospect, extremely rough) draft in about seven months. The rest of the time was spent on editing and rewriting. During the process I learned you can't be afraid to put something down to paper (or computer screen) even when you know it isn't perfect. That's what the rewriting is for. You can slow down and polish and tweak once something's on the page, and you can always delete. In my case, there were about thirty thousand words that got deleted off the first draft."
I love the concept for this book, it is so unique compared to what is out there right now, where did you first get the idea to make this book?
Shawn:" Well, I was thinking about writing a YA novel and knew what made that genre of story interesting to me - figuring out who you are and even more importantly who you're going to be. Along the way, I decided it would be even better if you had to find out who you were as well. But I needed an underlying plot line and I wanted the journey to be a slow build and an unveiling of sorts. I was sitting in church when I came across the verse (actually in a couple of places) that is the basis for Jayke's covenant. My first thought was, 'wait a minute, that's a glaring problem, isn't it?' Then I thought, 'actually, if that's read literally, that could be an interesting back story for why vampires are immortal.' My next thought was, 'As much as I loved Twilight, I really don't think I can improve on that.' So I started building the story around themes I loved in the currently popular vampire stories - immortality, invincibility, putting others around you in danger, having obstacles to being with the one you love. "
Who was your favorite character while writing this book and are they anything like you at all?
Shawn: "Jayke starts to find out who he is at age 17, like so many of us did and do. I can relate to Jayke in that he has to make concrete decisions that will shape his character. And of course, when I had a personal experience that suited the story line well, I dropped in a few details here and there. I will say I loved writing Tina and Ben. Tina, because she's so sure of who she is and doesn't suffer fools. I was rooting for Tina throughout the story. And of course, Ben was fun to write, being the irrepressible soul that he is. Whenever I needed an irrational decision to be made, Ben was my go-to guy."
And lastly, I am dying to know, will there be a sequel to The Buried Covenant?
Shawn: "The story is imagined as a three part series. The first book is an origin story and an introduction to the characters and keeps close to Jayke's history and journey to the decision he makes at the end of the book. The next book will expand Jayke's world and flesh out the bigger conflicts Jayke has only just discovered in the first book - basically the consequence of his choice in the first book. And, of course, in a third book, everything will come to a head, one way or another."
Thank you so much Shawn for agreeing to this interview and answering my questions. It was so much fun getting to know you a little better.
I am so excited that there will not only be a sequel to The Buried Covenant but that you plan on making it a trilogy!!
I know I will be first in line to grab a copy when it comes out!
Keep up the great writing!!
For those of you who haven't read this book yet, please do. It is a wonderful story and right now on Goodreads you can read it for free. Yes, you read that right, free! So run, go now, don't wait any longer.