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.
How to Connect with Shaunta:
I could eat Mexican food for every meal. You probably meant narrower than that, right? Fish tacos, I think. This is hard!
Once Upon a Time or Revenge?
Revenge. I love a dark story.
Tom Cruise or Tom Felton?
Tom Felton. Who doesn’t love Malfoy?
What is the best movie you’ve seen recently?
I just watched the film adaptation of Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume, and I thought it was beautifully done. Tiger Eyes was one of my favorite books when I was a girl.
What’s your favorite kind of pie?
I have eight brothers and sisters, and we each always had a job on Thanksgiving. Mine was making pumpkin pie. It’s always been my fave.
Can you tell us about your newest book, Viral Nation?
Sure! Viral Nation is a near-future dystopian story about a group of kids who stumble onto the deep cracks in their post-apocolyptic, utopian society and end up accidentally sparking a second American Revolution.
How long did it take to complete Viral Nation?
I write fast when I’m working on a draft—so the first draft of Viral Nation only took me about six weeks to write. I spent considerably longer in revision, though.
What was your favorite scene to write?
I wrote the prologue as a short story for a writing workshop class. I really loved writing it. I also loved writing the scene where West and Clover first meet Jude and the others in the Dinosaur. The relationship between Clover and Jude is one of my favorite parts of the book, so all of their scenes were favorites.
What was the most difficult thing you encountered in writing Viral Nation?
Oh, my gosh. Time travel. It was so much harder than I thought it would be to write. Every time I changed something, I had to go back through the whole manuscript to make sure it didn’t affect any of the other time lines. My critique partner’s son was super helpful when I was trying to figure out how the time lines would work.
Is Viral Nation going to be a standalone, or can readers expect to see a series?
Readers can definitely expect a series. I’m working on the second book now! It will come out next summer.
What is the best book that you’ve read recently?
I just finished George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones. I know, I’m probably the very last person on Earth to read it. I absolutely loved it. (you aren’t! I promise! I haven’t read it, yet!)
What is currently on your To-Be-Read pile?
I want to read Stephen King’s Under the Dome. It’s the only book of his I haven’t read. I also want to read the rest of the A Song of Fire and Ice series. My TBR pile is so huge. I just got back from BEA!
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.
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Release Date: July 2, 2013
First in a series.
Two chapter excerpt available on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15985355-viral-nation
5 finished copies of Viral Nation US/Canada only
a Rafflecopter giveaway