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This book was difficult to read at times as the dialogue left so much to be desired. While the book was interesting, the writing was below average. I’ll give Picoult credit since she kept me interested and provided enough twists throughout to make it worth reading. Still, the characters, particularly the daughter, were hard to believe. I rounded up to three stars, but I wish she wrote more compelling dialogue and didn’t make so many of their thoughts so obvious.
Enjoy getting to know, Donise Sheppard:
Thank you for joining me today. Tell us in three words how you would best describe your writing.
Articulate, clean, and pithy.
Your book, The Altered: Subsist, was released April 22, 2016. Share a passage that you’d like for us to enjoy.
Then several things happen at once. Daren’s face turns from playful to horror and he yells my name as I feel strong arms grab me across the waist. I see Mr. Forest look up and aim his bow as Daren begins to climb the ladder. I’m pulled back, hard, and yanked to a door that probably leads to the store below us. I try kicking and hitting and biting to get away, but it’s too late. I’m being taken. I’m going to become an altered. Or worse.
You’ve been presented with the opportunity to be a best-selling author, but can never write again, or write forever, but never have a bestseller. Which scenario sounds more tempting?
Even though being a best-seller is on my bucket list, I would give it up if it meant never getting to write again. I’m not me when I’m not writing. I will continue to write for the rest of my life, even if I never sell more than a few copies.
If you could live on a college campus and never leave, or live in a small town but be able to travel, which one would you choose?
Considering I already live in a small town, I’d have to be really unhappy to choose a college campus. Living in a small town isn’t so bad. We can go wherever and do whatever everyone else does, it just takes a little longer to get to the city.
Okay, how about in an amusement park or in an airport?
I would probably choose an airport because they have a bar area where I can sit and write and enjoy the occasional drink.
And how about Ireland or Germany?
I would move to Ireland in an instant. From the country to the cities to the culture and the accent, everything in Ireland sounds completely amazing.
Who is your favorite 90’s band (I’m thinking Counting Crows, Blink 182, Hootie & the Blowfish)?
I honestly don’t have a favorite 90’s band. I was born in ’91 and didn’t really get interested in music until I was around twelve, and then it was more solo artists than bands. Hootie and the Blowfish were pretty good, though.
Are there any good bands out there today that we’ll talk about in 50 years?
I don’t know about everyone else, but I have several bands I’ll still love in fifty years: Rascal Flatts, The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum, Sugarland, Skillet. Probably a ton more.
And what about your favorite comedy on TV (My favorite is still The Office)?
I have to pick just one? Friends is my all-time favorite, followed by Roseanne, then Will and Grace (which is back, btw). If I’m picking from current shows it would be Will and Grace, The Good Place, The Ranch, and Grace and Frankie. Yep. I can’t pick just one.
Is there anything you’re currently working on?
I have a very long work in progress list. I have a young adult, science fiction novel I’m working on, I’m editing three short stories, I have to edit two young chapter book, I’m writing a young chapter book, there is another short story about mermaids I’m working on, and a ton more story plots that I have written down.
Who is your favorite author and if you could ask him/her one question, what would it be?
I have two favorite authors: Jodi Picoult and J.M. Ames. I would ask Jodi why, with so many credentials, did she choose writing as a career. I would ask J.M. why he waiting so long to become a writer, instead of starting as a teen like most of us.
Ocean or mountains? Mountains
Yogurt or ice cream? Ice Cream
Chocolate or Sour Candy? Chocolate
Jimmy Fallon or Stephen Colbert? Jimmy Fallon
Happy or sad ending to a novel? Sad
Beer or wine? Beer
Flying or driving? Driving
Hemingway or Twain? Hemingway
You’re stranded on a desert island, and you can take two things with you, as well as two people. What and who are you bringing?
I would bring a tarp to catch water so we don’t dehydrate, and matches to start fires to cook food. I would also bring my husband so he can hunt and tell me which plants were edible, and my dad so he could build us a boat to get off the island.
You’re able to sit down with any leader in world history. Who would you choose, what would you talk about, and would you rather have him/her over to your house, or meet at their place of royalty?
I would meet up with John F. Kennedy, who could have been America’s best president if given the chance. I would love to shake his hand and personally ask him what plans he had to make our country better. I would definitely meet at their place because I think my house may be too small for his security team.
You can wish for one thing and one thing only (not world peace and no more wishes). What’s it gonna be?
I would wish for the unlimited opportunity to travel where I want, when I want, for the rest of my, all expenses paid.
Donise Sheppard is a fiction writer born in Ohio, but residing in Southern West Virginia with her husband and four children. She has five self-published novels on Amazon including The Altered series, a short story published in A Haunting of Words titled “Coal Run Road”, a short story published in Tuck Magazine titled “Walk Tall”, and a short story titled “Broken” in the anthology Relationship Add Vice. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading, baking, or chasing her rambunctious children.