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Sunday, 5 July 2015

ℚ Method 15/33 - Shannon Kirk

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about her début novel, Method 15/33  (, Oceanview Publishing, 258 pages), a psychological thriller where "a kidnap victim['s]... willpower and ingenuity prove more than a match for the callous brutality of those who wish her ill as this exciting tale builds to a surprising climax." Publishers Weekly (Starred review)

"Method 15/33 is crowded with fascinating characters—even the spear carriers pop off the page—but the standout is the kidnapped pregnant teenager. Her captors want her baby. Little do they know they've brought an insanely brilliant, angry, vengeful, borderline sociopath under their roof. Somebody's in big trouble... and it isn't the teenager." F. Paul Wilson, New York Times Bestselling Author of multiple books.

Author Q&A | Trailer | Synopsis | About the Author | Tour Stops


Hello Shannon and thank you for joining us on BooksChatter to talk a book that has been on my reading list since I first spotted it as a galley... Method 15/33

What was the inspiration for Method 15/33?
"I happened upon a book The Sociopath Next Door (non-fiction) and was completely absorbed.  I thought I wanted to do a novel with a sociopath as the central character, but I wanted the character to be different.  First, a female.  Second, I wanted her to be unlike other sociopaths in movies/books (such as American Psycho and Dexter): I wanted her to be vulnerable.  The most vulnerable I could come up with was a pregnant teen, or rather, a child within a child.  I then thought of the first sentence: I lay there on my fourth day plotting his death. And just went from there."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Not much.  As compared to the main character, I'm pretty much the opposite: I feel too many emotions.  But as for the main character's mother, a steel-cold trial attorney, I do think there is some of her in me, in the professional me.  Meaning, I can sometimes get too focused on the legal part of my life, turning into a robot, seeking efficiency, efficiency, efficiency, and have a difficult time transitioning to mom mode.  This is all just working mom guilt, something that will never subside."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"Oceanview, my publisher, like most publishers, hired the artist and worked with him to design the cover.  The design did come, in part, I believe, from the book trailer I made.  In it, the main character is being walked like a dog through a lime-green fern patch, her hands tied behind her back.  The trailer is on my website: www.shannonkirkbooks.com  [and also in our spotlight feature].  The jacket was designed by Foster Covers."
Why should we read Method 15/33 and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes it unique?
"Method 15/33 is non-stop action, a page-turner.  I rejected the option of building the story to one final conclusion, instead choosing to design the story with two twists, and a major plot resolution mid-way through.  It is only then that the reader realizes there's a larger issue that must be resolved.

Also, Method 15/33, while a harrowing subject, is meant to be a book of empowerment.  Of course, most everyone wouldn't go through the extremes of our main character, but if each of us could lasso even a fraction of her ability to fight fear in crisis, that would be a good thing."
Can you tell us something quirky about this book, its story and characters?
"I really love this question.  Haven't gotten this one before.  There are many many many quirky things in this book.  For one, the title.  I am still surprised I haven't been questioned yet on the symbolism of 15/33.  There are religious, philosophical, and political meanings behind these numbers, even though they, in this book, are assigned to certain "assets."

Also, the main character's last name, which I won't reveal here, but there's a twisty freakishness in it as related to genetics.  Once you see it, you'll know what I mean. Again, I haven't been questioned on this yet.  And while our main character is a stone-cold, emotionless sociopath, there are themes of religion and art with her, and thus, she is a quirky contradiction. In many ways, I wish I could be the main character."
I was wondering about the meaning of those numbers, but, not having read the book yet, I was being patient as I hope to be able to find the answer in there.  I had guessed it may have something to do with the Bible... maybe Corinthians?

Who would you recommend Method 15/33 to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?

"I would recommend Method 15/33 to anyone 15/16 or up, as all who have liked the book fit within that wide age range.  Teen, twenties, thirties, beyond thirties.  My town's high school put it on the reading list for summer reading.  But I will warn, there is very strong language in parts and a couple of rather graphic violence scenes.  It has been compared to a cross between The Lovely Bones and Silence of the Lambs.  It is very squarely rated R in my opinion."
If you could / wished to turn your book/series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Since I have signed a movie option deal for Method 15/33 [by Next Wednesday Productions, source Kimberly Cameron & Associates], I'll refrain from answering this, but I note, I'm pretty excited to have the opportunity to dream about this really being on the big screen someday."
What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I actually mainly read non-fiction and literary fiction, magical realism being my favorite.  My all-time favorite author is Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  I love quirky, off-center authors as well, such as Jonathan Safran Foer and Karen Russell.

I like to write in literary fiction, and indeed have such a novel coming out in 2016 called Heavens.  But I also like to write psychological thrillers, such as Method 15/33."
What is your writing process?
"My process is entirely organic.  I start with an idea and the first sentence, as I mentioned above with Method 15/33.  From there, I just write whatever I feel like writing in the spare moments I scrape from the day to write.  I might write the ending scene, the first, a middle, jump around, a paragraph here, then there.  I even skip between manuscripts.  I have zero order in this process, which for me, helps with creativity.  I am so often surprised.  One day, when working on Method 15/33, I was about 2/3rd's done when I thought of a crazy scene with a whole new character and this scene and character just absolutely had to be a part of the story.  So, I added them.  And that required rewriting the entire book.  But it was a surprise and fun and made me enjoy the process, and if you don't enjoy the process, then it's really not worth it, I think."
What is in store next?
"So next is my literary fiction novel, Heavens, scheduled to be released in 2016.  I won't be publishing under a pseudonym, as I trust readers get the distinction.

Right now, I'm working on a psychological thriller with the working title, The Goatman Cometh, but I've been kicking around calling it just Goat.  I wonder what your readers think of either title?  Goat or The Goatman Cometh is about a woman with a tragic childhood who has formed a bizarre addiction: she's addicted to stalking.  What she must resolve in this story is how to curb this obsession and also how to fight off a demon she has created herself: a real-life Goatman.  I'm pretty jazzed about this manuscript.  It's a little darker than Method 15/33, but I hope has the same level of interspersed comic relief."
Thank you again Shannon for sharing so much with us.  I am really itching to read Method 15/33... I think it's going to jump the queue and become my sneaky read in the next day or so!

Method 15/33 - available NOW!

UK: purchase from Amazon.co.uk purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK purchase from Google Books find on Goodreads
US: purchase from Amazon.com purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo purchase from iTunes US

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for introducing us to this author and her new book. What an intriguing premise for a thriller!

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  2. I too am sharing this book come Thursday. What an amazing premise for a novel and I hope you will stop in and check out what I will be sharing.

    sherry @ fundinmental

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