Viral Nation is your latest release, can you tells us a little about it? Viral Nation is a young adult science-fiction book about a group of kids, living in a very different America 16 years post apocalypse. They realize that the Utopia they were raised to believe in is broken, and in the process accidentally spark a second American revolution. The story is told through the eyes of Clover Donovan, who was an infant when the apocalypse happened, and her older brother West.
What is your writing day like?
I wake up and get my kids off to whatever they're doing for the day, eat breakfast, read my email and do some other things online, and then I start writing. I have a goal of 2000 words a day. I try to get them done before 3 in the afternoon. After three, my brain slowly melts into mush.
What inspired you most while writing Viral Nation?
Definitely my older kids. Clover has autism, and a major theme of the story is the relationship between siblings when one has special needs. My son also has autism, and while his sister has never been in a position of having to take care of him the way West cares for Clover, their relationship was hugely inspirational to me as I was writing Viral Nation.
What are 3 things that are "must haves" for you when you sit down to write a book?
A computer, a pen, and paper. I write very linearly, from page one to the end. I never edit while I'm writing. I write on a computer, and make notes to myself about things I'll have to go back and change later. I also doodle. A lot. Like, a lot-lot.
When your not writing what kind of books do you like to read?
I like speculative fiction the best. Especially if it's rooted in the real world. Some of my favorite authors are Octavia Butler, Neil Gaiman, Nancy Farmer, Stephen King, and James Dashner.
If you could give your lead characters one piece of advice, what would it be?
Stick together. You're going to need each other.
If you could cast your lead characters, which actors would you pick?
Ack. I'm not a very visual person at all. Not even a little bit. I literally do not have my characters cast in my mind.
Since becoming published, what has been your favorite part of the process?
There have been so many awesome moments. A favorite was getting the cover of Viral Nation. Like I said, I'm not very visual. I had a hard time even imagining what the cover would look like. When I saw it, it was so beautiful to me that I had a little cry.
If you can, tell us what is next for you.
A sequel to Viral Nation!
About the Author:
Shaunta Grimes has worked as a substitute teacher, a newspaper reporter, a drug court counselor, and a vintage clothing seller. No matter which direction she strays, however, she always comes back to storytelling. She lives in Reno with her family, where she writes, teaches, and perpetually studies at the University of Nevada. Viral Nation is her debut traditionally-published novel.
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By Shaunta Grimes
By Shaunta Grimes
After a virus claimed nearly the entire global population, the world changed. The United States splintered into fifty walled cities where the surviving citizens clustered to start over. The Company, which ended the plague by bringing a life-saving vaccine back from the future, controls everything. They ration the scant food and supplies through a lottery system, mandate daily doses of virus suppressant, and even monitor future timelines to stop crimes before they can be committed.
Brilliant but autistic, sixteen-year-old Clover Donovan has always dreamed of studying at the Waverly-Stead Academy. Her brother and caretaker, West, has done everything in his power to make her dream a reality. But Clover’s refusal to part with her beloved service dog denies her entry into the school. Instead, she is drafted into the Time Mariners, a team of Company operatives who travel through time to gather news about the future.
When one of Clover’s missions reveals that West’s life is in danger, the Donovans are shattered. To change West’s fate, they’ll have to take on the mysterious Company. But as its secrets are revealed, they realize that the Company’s rule may not be as benevolent as it seems. In saving her brother, Clover will face a more powerful force than she ever imagined… and will team up with a band of fellow misfits and outsiders to incite a revolution that will change their destinies forever.
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You can read an excerpt of Viral Nation at GoodReads
and you can find my review here.