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Stefanie Gaither: FALLS THE SHADOW

We have a lot of fantastic authors here on OneFour Kidlit, and we’re excited to introduce them to you! Today we’re talking to Stefanie Gaither, author of FALLS THE SHADOW, coming from Simon and Schuster Books For Young Readers in 2014. One author, four questions. Here we go!

Hey, you’re getting published! How’d that happen?

The short version: I wrote a book. It was terrible. Agents rejected it. I wrote another book. Same thing happened. I wrote another book. Agents started saying really nice things to me, but ultimately still said no. So I wrote lucky book number four. And then lots of agents started saying really nice things to me, and several of them even used the words “I’d like to offer you representation.” One of the users of those words was Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary. There was acceptance, and much rejoicing, and some revising, and then off on submission we went, and then one day a magical email with the magical word OFFER floated into my inbox, and then I drank lots of celebratory margaritas. The end.

The shorter version: A crap ton of hard work, an unhealthy level of stubbornness, and the developing of a skin so thick that you could bounce knives and ninja stars off of it.

What’s your debut book about? Can you share any cool details with us?

FALLS THE SHADOW is about a girl, Cate, in a near-future world where cloning backup copies of “just-in-case” children is a common–though hotly protested– trend among the parents wealthy enough to afford it. Her whole life, Cate has had to deal with anti-cloning crazies and orginizations harassing her, and with lies about her family being splashed across every tabloid website in the nation. Things go from bad to worse when her sister, Violet, dies and is actually replaced by her “just-in-case” clone.

And then things go from worse to completely catastrophic when the new, cloned Violet ends up the prime suspect in a gruesome murder.

Now, while dodging protestors, police questioning, paparazzi cameras and more, Cate has to try and discover the truth about what really happened. Easier said than done, though, in a world filled with copies and lies, where nothing and no one is completely what they seem.

Oh, and of course there are also a couple swoon-worthy boys (bromance included!), fast cars, and cool weapons. And a bodycount. Because really, where’s the fun without all that? 😉

The title, though it could very well change, comes from one of my favorite poems– “The Hollow Men” by T.S. Eliot, which shares a lot of similar themes with my book (at least as I interpret it).

What are you most excited about in the debut process?
All of it. No, seriously. This is all so surreal, still, that I feel like I will love every little moment that makes it feel that much more real. The first look at potential covers, the first time holding a completed book in my hands, the first positive review, the first negative review, the first time seeing my book on a bookstore shelf, the first gushing email from a reader, the first email from a reader who thinks I am a complete and total hack, the first time seeing someone reading my book (my book!) out in public, etc…

Really, I’m just an excitable person in general.

What cool facts might readers not know about you?

  • I live in an apartment behind (what used to be) a coffeeshop that my husband and I ran for a few years. It’s now been transformed into a different restaurant with a different manager, but I scored a commercial espresso machine in the process. It is gigantic, and it now takes up half my kitchen counter, and I love it.
  • I legit cannot snap my fingers. Many, many people have tried to teach me, all have failed. I’m a kick-butt whistler, though.
  • I have a dog named Shakespeare. He controls our home, and everyone in it.
  • I changed my major no less than six times in college before settling on English/Creative Writing. At one point I even majored in Spanish.
  • I don’t speak a word of Spanish.
  • I can, however, recite the entirety of the LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring movie, and most of the other two LOTR movies, more or less from memory. I’ve put this useful skill on a resume before (and yes, I did get the job).
  • I have a strong affinity for giraffes. Strong as in, my house is decorated with giraffe pillows, giraffe statues, giraffe pictures…etc… I mean, have you ever looked at a giraffe? They’re just so fantastically awkward.
Stefanie Gaither (blog)Stefanie Gaither writes YA novels about killer clones and spaceships, with the occasional romp with dragons and magic-users thrown in for good measure. Said writing is generally fueled by an obscene amount of coffee and chocolate, as well as the occasional tennis and/or soccer break. Her debut novel, FALLS THE SHADOW, is forthcoming from Simon and Schuster Books For Young Readers in 2014.
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