Thursday, December 18, 2014

Benchmark by Georgie Hanlin & Shannon Swann w/an Amazon #giveaway

It’s All About the Author…

1)  Please tell us 5 interesting facts about yourself that readers might not know about you …
-I’m an avid runner.  I just finished my first half marathon in Vancouver and my next one is in NYC
-I love musical theatre
-I love to cook (my friends will attest to that as I feed them quite often)
-I am a huge animal advocate.
*I love cats!
*I studied abroad in Paris for a year and lived with a French family
*I am addicted to Starbuck's chai tea
*I really like to hike in the woods or in the mountains
*I love holding newborn babies

2)  What do you like to do in your spare time?
-Spending time with my two dogs is a huge comfort and joy for me.  They help me to relax
-Going for a runs along Lake Michigan
-I’m a huge fan of crafts!  From knitting to ceramics, I love spending time creating things.
-Spending time with friends and family whether that be a quiet dinner party to a night out.

Georgie: I don't have too much spare time between being a mom, working and writing...but I cherish time with my family and friends and I love peaceful walks alongside the San Francisco Bay.

3)  Is there one book that you love to read over and over again?  If so, what is it and what is it that keeps you coming back to it?
I’m a big fan of the classics.  I’ve read Pride and Prejudice a ton of times.  But my taste in genre is very vast.  I love the new trend of dystopian novels.

Georgie: It's a tie between All Quiet on the Western Front and Great Expectations. Both stories have friendships, love and loss...all things that are a real part of life.

4)  How did you get started writing and have you always wanted to be an author?
I’ve always loved to write.  Creative Writing courses in college were among my favorites.

Georgie: I love moving stories. I never forget them. One day I just starting telling my own.

5)  If you for some reason couldn’t be an author, what would your other choice be?
My dream job would be working to help animals in any way that I can.

Georgie: I'm a teacher in addition to a writer. I wouldn't change it...I love working with children.

6)Did you like school?  Were you a good student?

SHANNON:  I did like school.  I’d like to think that I was a good student…I did make the honor roll!

Georgie: I did like school. Some years were harder than others. But I had some wonderful teachers along the way who really believed in me when I didn't always believe in myself. I was a hard worker no matter if the subject was easy or difficult. I definitely didn't breeze through school, but I worked hard and it paid off.

6)    When you write, is there a specific way you have to write, ie:  certain room, noise or quiet, computer or paper etc…

SHANNON:  I prefer not to be on a specific schedule.  I think creativity comes to you in the moment and that’s when you grab your laptop and start typing.

Georgie: I definitely need it to be quiet when I write. I'm a planner: I like to outline, but not in great detail. I thrive on organization but welcome spontaneous thoughts. I like to finish all goals I set for myself.

7)  Do titles stump you or do they come easy?  When do you pick a title, before the story is written or when it’s done? 
SHANNON: I love to pick titles!  I think they tend to come easy to me if I have the main story plot worked out.   I like to choose titles that do not necessarily describe the book.  I want to make readers think about the meaning.
Georgie: I have a hard time with titles...Shannon chose BENCHMARK and I love it!  :)

8)  Doyou keep a notebook near you for when new ideas pop into your head?
When ideas come to me, I put them into my notes app in my iphone!  That way I know I can never lose them.

Georgie: I do have a trusty notepad I use to jot down ideas.

9)  How does your family feel about your writing?
SHANNON: They are very supportive.  They know that I’ve always loved to write!

Georgie: My family is incredibly supportive, as well. I'm very lucky to have such wonderful family and friends who truly value my writing.

Thanks for sharing “you as an author” with us !  We hope you’ll come back and visit again soon!


Georgie Hanlin & Shannon Swann
Released:  December 12, 2014 from Evernight Teen
55k/ contemporary/romance/minor fantasy element
Editor's Pick !

Harper Kingsley has the perfect life until her brother, Braydon, commits suicide.  After his death, Harper returns to North Star, a sailing camp on Whidbey Island where she and Braydon spent eight summers together.  Joining her are her three best friends who are ready to rule Senior Hill.  Harper just wants to escape to the only place she feels is truly magical.

At North Star, Harper tries to forget her reality, but it's impossible because she comes face-to-face with her brother at a hidden bench in the garden.  Is it really him or just her imagination?  She k nows Braydon is dead.  Why is he appearing in front of her?  Scared at first, Harper rejects his presence, but once he explains that she is the one who brought him back, she wants to hear him out.

Harper chooses to keep these encounters to herself.  Who would believe her anyway?  It's Jeremy Miller, the camp's ultimate heartthrob and Piper's ex, to whom she will eventually reveal her secret.  And he has a secret of his own.  Their camp romance turns Harper's friends against her, giving her one more thing to juggle this summer at North Star.

Buy Links:    Evernight Teen    Amazon    Print

“Seriously, Harp,” she began, “if you and Jeremy like each other, you should just be honest about it.” It was obvious to me that the three of them had been talking about this behind my back.

“That’s not even the point, Anna,” I barked defensively.  “We don’t, I mean, I… he… look, Jeremy’s a nice guy and he was friends with my brother.” I felt short of breath trying to explain myself.  “But that’s all irrelevant. The point is: everything in this world can’t always be about Piper.  At school, at camp, wherever we are, it’s always about Piper and her boyfriends or her exes or her soccer or her clothes or her life or whatever. I am so tired of her.” Those were my honest feelings right at that moment, but deep, deep down, I knew I was just jealous of her uninterrupted life. 

“Look, I know you’ve gone through a lot, this year Harp,” she whispered sympathetically, undoubtedly trying to calm me down before we started to draw a bigger crowd. 

There was the pity. I hated being pitied.  I could feel my eyes start to well up so I began to blink frantically to stop tears from falling down my face. I was so sick of crying. 

“Thanks anyway, Anna, but you actually have no idea.” Anna had been nothing but a friend to me, and I knew my words had hurt her. “One year ago, my life was normal. It was happy and calm and predictable.  I was up here having fun with my brother and you guys, loving it all, probably just like you are this summer.  But, for me, it’s different now. Everything’s different. And it won’t ever be the same again.” I was barely able to finish my sentence, but I could see through my teary eyes that Anna looked uncomfortable, like she didn’t know what to do with me.  We had inched our way from the center to the edge of the art shed, far enough from other people’s earshot, but close enough for anyone paying attention to clue in on all the drama.  I had to get out of there. People were starting to stare.

About the Authors:
Georgie Hanlin
Georgie Hanlin grew up in San Francisco. She has a Bachelor’s degree from Scripps College in French and History and spent her Junior Year abroad studying in Paris. Georgie has Master of Arts degree in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.  Her writing has been featured in The New York Times/International Herald TribuneThe Washington PostThe Christian Science Monitor, The San Francisco Chronicle and NPR.  Georgie is a teacher in Mill Valley and lives in San Francisco.

Shannon Swann
Shannon Swann was born in Honolulu, but moved to New Jersey as a child. She has a Bachelor’s degree from California State University, San Francisco in Liberal Studies with an emphasis on Speech Communication. For close to a decade, she worked in the fashion industry for some of most well-known retail giants (GAP, Coach, Reebok) in San Francisco, New York and Boston doing Product Development. She currently owns her own small business, MooseCouture, and resides in Chicago where she is an avid animal rights supporter (PAWS Chicago).


$20 Amazon Gift Card


a Rafflecopter giveaway