This Is Me Blog Tour: Guest Post with Shannon Schuren (The Virtue Of Sin)!
Today we're excited to be a part of the This Is Me Blog Tour!
We are spotlighting The Virtue Of Sin by Shannon Schuren.
Read on for more about Shannon and her book, plus a guest post!
Meet Shannon Schuren!
Shannon Schuren (shannon.schuren.org) works as a children's librarian at a public library and writes from a cozy she-shed in her backyard. Her short stories have appeared in various journals such as Toasted Cheese Literary Journal, Big Pulp, and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. Shannon lives in Sheboygan Falls, WI, with her husband and three children. Follow her on Twitter @shannonschuren.
A novel about speaking out, standing up, and breaking free.
Miriam lives in New Jerusalem, a haven in the desert far away from the sins and depravity of the outside world. Within the gates of New Jerusalem, and under the eye of its founder and leader, Daniel, Miriam knows she is safe. Cared for. Even if she’s forced, as a girl, to quiet her tongue when she has thoughts she wants to share, Miriam knows that New Jerusalem is a far better life than any alternative. So when God calls for a Matrimony, she’s thrilled; she knows that Caleb, the boy she loves, will choose her to be his wife and they can finally start their life together.
But when the ceremony goes wrong and Miriam winds up with someone else, she can no longer keep quiet. For the first time, Miriam begins to question not only the rules that Daniel has set in place, but also what it is she believes in, and where she truly belongs.
Alongside unexpected allies, Miriam fights to learn–and challenge–the truth behind the only way of life she’s ever known, even if it means straying from the path of Righteousness.
Ten Random Facts about THE VIRTUE OF SIN (or yourself)
- The butterflies on the cover were a totally unexpected gift from the cover designer, Dana Li. I love the way they represent both captivity and freedom. So much so that I added one small butterfly reference to the book in the final edits as a nod to that symbolism. Can you find it?
- During a read of the manuscript, my critique partner sent me a text that read ‘you just made me google whether or not rattlesnakes can swim!’ They can! How they manage it in the middle of the desert is something you’ll need to read the book to find out. 😉
- At one point in the story, Miriam makes a reference to a doll she once owned. Mimi is based on a cloth doll my grandmother sewed for me shortly after I was born.
- Most of the poetry that Aaron quotes, including the quote that inspired the title, are by Khalil Gibran, who ironically wrote a book called The Prophet. My dad loved Gibran, and one of the poems from The Prophet was read at his funeral.
- Zzyzx, the setting for New Jerusalem, is real, though I took some liberties with the history of the place. But there really was once a health spa out in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Now it’s the site of the Desert Studies Center—a field research station of California State University—rather than a cult.
- Lava tubes are openings in the rock formed by molten lava flow that then cooled, leaving a cave or tunnel behind. There are actual lava tubes in the Mojave National Preserve, accessible by the public, but as far as I know, there is not an extensive tunnel system.
- All of the characters in the book have biblical names. I chose Miriam because it is believed to mean both bitterness and rebellion, which I think fits my Miriam pretty well. Interestingly, the biblical Miriam was the sister of Aaron and wife of Caleb. Make of that what you will!
- THE VIRTUE OF SIN was originally going to be told in four viewpoints. Early on, it became apparent that not all of those characters were equipped to tell this story. One of them was Aaron, who better serves the story by being aloof and mysterious. The other was Caleb’s wife, and if you’ve read the book, you’ll easily see why she lost her voice.
- I am the proud owner of my very own writing ‘she-shed.’ I bought it in celebration of the publication of THE VIRTUE OF SIN, and it’s where all of the revisions for the book were written. Coincidentally, it’s also the place where a lot of tea drinking and hair pulling take place.
- I know how to read tarot cards. I also own a deck of dream interpretation cards. Not only did they come in handy while researching the dream journals for the book, they also make for a fun trick at parties!
The Virtue Of Sin
Author: Shannon Schuren
Publisher: Philomel Books
Release Date: June 25th, 2019
Week One: The Virtue of Sin
June 24 – Cozybooknook – Review + Creative Instagram Picture
June 25 – The Book Shire – Playlist
June 26 – JeanBookNerd – Author Guest Post: What fiction most influenced your childhood, and what effect did those stories have on THE VIRTUE OF SIN?
June 27 – The Quirky Booknerd – Listicle: The Top 10 Virtues of The Virtues of Sin
June 28 – YA Books Central – Author Guest Post: Ten Random Facts about The Virtue of Sins (or yourself)
Week Two: The Downstairs Girl
July 1 – Nerdy By Nature – Review
July 2 – YA Wednesdays – Creative Instagram Picture
July 3 – Awkwordly Emma – Author Guest Post: Her Research Process
July 4 – It Starts at Midnight – Moodboard
July 5 – The Reading Corner for All – Book Aesthetic