Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Shannon Price Interview - A Thousand Fires

Photo Content from Shannon Price

SHANNON PRICE is a proud Filipina-American and Bay Area native. She once led an a cappella group for three years despite not knowing how to read music, and she carries that same level of confidence in every area of her life. When not writing, she can be found watching baking shows, exploring old bookstores, and going to the beach as often as she can. 

Her debut novel A Thousand Fires is a YA reimagining of the Iliad set in modern day San Francisco. She is represented by Elana Roth Parker of Laura Dail Literary Agency and thanks her lucky stars that she is.


Hardcover: 304 pages
Publisher: Tor Teen (November 5, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250301998
ISBN-13: 978-1250301994304 Pages , Ages 13-18


"A Thousand Fires pulls you in close and shows you the essence of what it means to keep fighting. Shannon Price is one to watch." ―Gwenda Bond, New York Times bestselling author of Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds

"Brutal and beautiful, A THOUSAND FIRES broke my heart. A fast-paced tragedy of love, betrayal, and vengeance." ―Heidi Heilig, author of FOR A MUSE OF FIRE

"Modern, unflinching and filled with haunting, lingering imagery, A Thousand Fires gives the story of the Iliad the bare-knuckled update it deserves." ―Colleen Oakes, author of The Black Coats

"Fast-paced... Vivid descriptions and intricate details bring San Francisco to life ... A promising debut." ―Kirkus

"A heart-wrenching tale... action-packed and intense... A fantastic read." ―School Library Journal

What inspired you to pen your first novel?
A Thousand Fires was my third completed and queried manuscript. The first two were tremendous learning experiences, but from the start I knew ATF felt different. After reading the Iliad in college, the story just stuck with me. I re-read the text multiple times for fun, and from there started devising a modern version of it. There was a moment when I was drafting where I thought to myself “no one else could tell this story the way I want it to be told.” That was a huge motivation to get it done.

Tell us your latest news.

My second book—which is totally unrelated to the first, it’s fantasy this time!—got a new title a few weeks ago and I’m so in love with it. It really fits the book and the genre. I can’t wait to announce what it is.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
Claudia Gray’s Firebird series was a turning point for me. Her character dynamics were fresh and realistic, while her pacing and the tension of the plot matched what I was trying to accomplish in my own writing. I still keep A Thousand Pieces of You close at hand to reference—whenever I get stuck, it helps to look at an example of writing I find to be successful. It helps me to steer my own writing and edit out anything that’s bogging down the scene.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Having readers tell me my book made them feel seen.

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I’d love for them to think that they can’t put it down. A Thousand Fires is totally readable for one sitting, and it’s such a compliment when people say that they didn’t want to do anything else besides finish!

What part of Valerie did you enjoy writing the most?
I enjoyed making her as realistic of a teenager as I could. I don’ t know about my readers, but I was very dramatic as a teen (hah). Small things felt like the end of the world, so naturally a big thing like the death of a sibling would feel insurmountable—so it makes sense why Valerie would fixate on it. I wanted Valerie to be someone people could relate to whether or not they’ve gone through the same experience.

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why?
I’d introduce Jax to Serefin from Emily Duncan’s Wicked Saints. They’d have a good ol’ drunken time.

You have the chance to give one piece of advice to your readers. What would it be?

If you’re a reader and want to be a writer but are “just waiting for the right time” or “waiting for the right story”…stop waiting! Start with one page, one paragraph, one sentence. Books are built a sentence at a time (and you got this!).

  • 1. The manuscript took me about 8 months to write and polish.
  • 2. I first got the idea from a dream.
  • 3. A THOUSAND FIRES was my third MS that I completed and queried.
  • 4. The original title was The Red Bridge Wars.
  • 5. We went through about 50 titles before deciding on A Thousand Fires.
  • 6. “A thousand fires” is a reference to a famous line in the Iliad when Menelaus looks out onto the battlefield to see the fires the Trojans have set to keep watch over the Greeks.
  • 7. All three of the gangs’ animal symbols—boars, herons, and stags—are mentioned in the Iliad.
  • 8. The only scene I regret cutting (and it had to go) was a scene at San Francisco’s Ferry Building. There just wasn’t a way to make the scene work once we revised the story. I adore that building and am determined to add it into a future book.
  • 9. Not every character is a direct parallel of an Iliad figure—but eagle-eyed readers should be able to spot traits of gods and mortals in characters’ words and actions.
  • 10. My favorite line(s) is the last paragraph of p. 53.
What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
Travel solo.

What are 4 things you never leave home without?

Other than wallet/keys/essentials: hand lotion, water bottle, and a book that’s too big for my purse

What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
We have a type of skin cell called “stratified squamous” cells.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
Losing my friend Nick Gomez-Hall in the Oakland Ghost Ship fire in 2016. To this day, nothing in my adult life has affected me as strongly. Though it took a lot of healing, I’m grateful now for the time I did know him and am better about pushing myself to not wait. If there’s something I want to do, I go out and do it. Life is so short.

What was the best memory you ever had as a writer?
It’s not one memory, but there are times where I re-read my writing after a long time away from the project and I kind of forget that I’m the one who wrote it—I just enjoy the story. It’s an extraordinary feeling!

Shannon Price's A Thousand Fires is a breakout contemporary debut―think The Outsiders meets The Iliad―that's perfect for fans of Courtney Summers and Veronica Roth.

10 Years. 3 Gangs. 1 Girl’s Epic Quest…

Valerie Simons knows the city's gang wars are dangerous—her own brother was killed by the Boars two years ago. But nothing will sway her from joining the elite and beautiful Herons to avenge his death—a death she feels responsible for.

But when Valerie is recruited by the mysterious Stags, their charismatic and volatile leader Jax promises to help her get revenge. Torn between old love and new loyalty, Valerie fights to stay alive as she races across the streets of San Francisco to finish the mission that got her into the gangs.

You can purchase A Thousand Fires at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you SHANNON PRICE for making this giveaway possible.
6 Winners will receive a Copy of A THOUSAND FIRES by Shannon Price.
NOVEMBER 8th FRIDAY bookishaestha REVIEW
NOVEMBER 9th SATURDAY Two Points of Interest REVIEW

NOVEMBER 11th MONDAY Insane About Books REVIEW
NOVEMBER 14th THURSDAY Movies, Shows, & Books REVIEW


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