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How Shiver Cove came to be

Hi Everyone,

I’ve done some pretty good interviews lately and I’m thinking maybe my readers want to know how Shiver Cove and it’s inhabitants came to be.

I’m a voracious reader, always have been. One of the things writers hear a lot is “write what you would want to read”. My favourite genre (since I read Cujo, by Stephen King at age 10 and got in BIG trouble at school for handing in the book review) is horror/paranormal.

I guess I have my stepdad, Bernie, to thank for bringing horror books into my home. Before Mom and Bernie got together (when I was 8) I was reading nice stories about kids who could fly or funny babysitting stories or whatever other gentle story caught my eye.
When Bernie moved in, with his two daughters and his books, my love of reading changed. I discovered Stephen King and fell in love with the thrills of exploring humanities darkest aspects of fear.

Much to my mother’s chagrin I shared horror novels with my stepdad and oldest sister (Charleen, 3 years older than me). Back when I was 12, I remember when my Uncle put Bernie onto this “new guy” Dean Koontz. The first book of Koontz’s I read was Watchers and I’ve read just about every one of his books since.

I can remember anxiously awaiting the next young adult novel by Christopher Pike or the next in the Fear Street series by RL Stine.
While most of my friends thought I was crazy (because they were more into stuff like the Sweet Valley High series), my best-friend at the time liked horror as much as I did.

I remember at 13 seeing a copy of Silence of the Lambs on my aunt’s coffee table. I listened to the adults talk about how terrifying the movie was and at the first chance I had I swiped the book and hid in my aunt’s basement all afternoon until I’d finished it. Man, was my mom pissed!
What does all this have to do with Shiver Cove? Nothing and at the same time everything.

I’ve always been both a reader and a writer. I didn’t take my writing seriously until I attempted my first novel (an adult horror novel called Where it Snows in May, that currently unreleased) starting back in the summer of 2006. I wrote another adult horror novel “Dust of Change” within a year of finishing the 1st one. (Again… not published… yet.)

When I finished Dust I originally planned to write another adult horror book. I really liked the name “Through Feline Eyes” and will likely still write that book one day.

Along with my love for horror, I also have a thing for teenage type stories, shows and movies. I am a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan and I can’t get enough of those cheerleading or dance movies. I used to be a Girl Guide leader and really connect with preteens and teenagers. I like to learn about the world through young people’s eyes. According to my husband, most girls never leave high school. I’m not sure I believe that, but I certainly still love many of the same type of things as I did back then.

Back in 2008 the Hunger Games series drew me back to my love of YA books. Although, I may have secretly been reading the Harry Potter series a few years before that.

At some point I decided I wanted to write a YA series. Something fun with magical people set in the real world. I really liked the idea that their magical abilities couldn’t get them out of their real world problems.

I vaguely remember my husband and I batting around the name Shiver-something. I didn’t care for Shiver Bay or Shiver Lake and I know there were a few others we threw around until Jason said “Shiver Cove”. The two clicked instantly for me, and a series was soon incubating.

I chose to ‘go back to high school’ with Tamyra because she and I are somewhat opposite. Where I am very outspoken, she has a hard time even talking sometimes. Where I may not have always been the nicest teenager, Tamyra is sweet and always thinking of others. I wanted to explore bullying through the eyes of someone who wouldn’t fight back and put an immediate stop to it. Some of Tamyra’s experiences are based on things that I went through, but the way she handles herself is much different than the way I did. There are a couple of really shy people in my life. Tamyra is different from my people, but they definitely inspired my writing.

Val’s character was the easiest one to write. His character is based on my husband’s personality. I really enjoyed putting him through his paces with the whole Jen-thing. Although, I keep asking myself if Jason discovered a supernatural killer would he pursue it so relentlessly? I somehow don’t think so.

Without spoiling anything I can say this much about the rest of my characters:

Sandi has become my favourite Shiver Cove character. She’s the girl next door and a genuinely good friend. She also the character, I feel, that she is the glue for the group of friends.

Sal/ Surferboy without giving away too much… has the hardest journey with the supernatural stuff. He starts off not really believing any of it. With his mind constantly zipping around like a plastic bag in a tornado and his mouth following close behind, I really fell in love with his Sal rambles.

Yvonne. What can I say about Yvonne? She’s a tell-it-like-it-is kind of girl who doesn’t take crap from anyone. She’s about as fearless and loyal as they come, even if she can’t keep a secret to save her life. Do I tell you who she is based on? Or simply say she can keep secrets very well now. Heehee.

Cam was my biggest challenge and the hardest character to get a handle on. I actually put off starting his book because I wasn’t sure of his voice. Then one night I actually dreamed about him and everything fell into place.

I had a few real-life Bianca’s and remember how much pain they caused. I’ve found it in my heart to forgive my Bianca’s, even though I have no urge to look them up and tell them that. Some grow up and grow out of it, others don’t and in the end, you just end up feeling sorry them.

With Love and Gratitude until next time,
TJ Shortt