Saturday, September 20, 2014

0 Stefanie Gaither, author of FALLS THE SHADOW, explains the importance of playlists and falling in love.

What is your favorite thing about FALLS THE SHADOW?

Besides the fact that it's an actual, real life book that I can now hold in my hands, lol? :) Hmm, I'd have to say it's the relationship between my protagonist, Cate, and her sister's clone, Violet. These two were so explosive anytime they ended up on the page together, and I loved bringing their complicated history and unconventional bond to life.

What was your inspiration for writing this book?

I've always loved science-fiction, and I've always loved stories that center around family, so I wanted to write something that combined the two in what I hope is an intriguing way. 

How long did you work on the book? 

The initial draft took about two and a half months, then after that snagged me an awesome agent, we did a round of revisions that took about a month, and then once we sold it to Simon and Schuster, it went through a few more rounds of edits that took a combined total of about three months. So, six, seven months, all together? Though it felt like a lot longer! And there was plenty of brainstorming in-between edit rounds not included in that, too.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

FALLS was my fourth completed book, and it will be my first published. It took me about four years between my first declaration of "I'm going to write a complete novel!" (and actually following through with that!) before I got an agent and then went on to sell FALLS. So, medium length and difficulty? :) I know people who have taken way more time and people who have taken way less time. I like to think it was enough time and rejection for me to build up a thick skin, but not so much time and so many rejections that I ended up going insane (well, not completely at least...) 

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc? 

I usually have to have music, and each of my projects has its own playlist. True story: I can usually tell how serious I am about a book by how many songs I'm adding to its Spotify playlist. When like every song I hear is starting to remind me of a book I'm writing, and I have to add it to said book's playlist, then I know stuff's getting real. 

As for where I write, I have an office space at home, but I'm most productive in coffee shops, far away from my cozy bed and all those seasons of Doctor Who waiting to be re-watched on Netflix. 

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers? 

"Fall in love with as many things as possible." I totally stole that from a pin I saw on Pinterest, but yeah, I sort of love it. Live widely and experience widely, because you never know what random lovely new thing might inspire your writing. And also? Stop comparing your writing journey to others'. Every writer I know does this during weak moments (myself included), but seriously, it's just poison to a writing career. And most of the time you're only seeing the good stuff that's happening to these other authors, so of course their successes look shinier than whatever you're currently slogging through.


Falls the Shadow
by Stefanie Gaither
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Released 9/16/2014

When Cate Benson was a kid, her sister, Violet, died. Two hours after the funeral, Cate’s family picked up Violet’s replacement. Like nothing had happened. Because Cate’s parents are among those who decided to give their children a sort of immortality—by cloning them at birth—which means this new Violet has the same smile. The same perfect face. Thanks to advancements in mind-uploading technology, she even has all of the same memories as the girl she replaced.

She also might have murdered the most popular girl in school.

At least, that’s what the paparazzi and the anti-cloning protestors want everyone to think: that clones are violent, unpredictable monsters. Cate is used to hearing all that. She’s used to defending her sister, too. But Violet has vanished, and when Cate sets out to find her, she ends up in the line of fire instead. Because Cate is getting dangerously close to secrets that will rock the foundation of everything she thought was true.

In a thrilling debut, Stefanie Gaither takes readers on a nail-biting ride through a future that looks frighteningly similar to our own time and asks: how far are you willing to go to keep your family together?

Purchase Falls the Shadow at Amazon
Purchase Falls the Shadow at IndieBound
View Falls the Shadow on Goodreads


After co-managing a coffee shop for several years while simultaneously earning her B.A. in English, Stefanie Gaither left the small business world behind to focus on her author career instead. Now, in addition to penning YA novels, she also work part-time as a copywriter for an advertising agency. She lives near Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and her incredibly spoiled Shih Tzu.

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