I’m delighted to be hosting today’s stop on the blog tour for The Brotherhood by Shannon Condon, the follow-up to the exciting Finding Magdalena. I’m thrilled that Shannon has agreed to answer some questions about The Brotherhood and her approach to writing.
Check out the full tour schedule here
About the Book
Starting where Finding Magdalena left off, nineteen-year-old Maggie marries her fiancé, Mateo, and moves to Milan for his new job and her scholarship at the famous Milan Conservatory. She has barely settled into her new home when Maggie uncovers The Brotherhood – a secret organization – and finds herself unwittingly involved in its sinister plans. Along with Shep and the rest of his team, she leads the covert mission to bring The Brotherhood to its knees. Once again, Maggie embarks on a dangerous journey that tests her mental and physical limits. Can she escape The Brotherhood’s long reach and survive?
|Publication:||28th Apr 2017||Genre:||Fiction|
Find The Brotherhood on Goodreads
Interview: Shannon Condon, author of The Brotherhood
The Brotherhood carries on the story of Maggie whom we were first introduced to in Finding Magdalena. What are the challenges of writing a sequel compared to a standalone novel?
I didn’t find it challenging; I found it exciting. When I finished Finding Magdalena I felt there was still so much of Maggie’s story to be told. The Brotherhood flowed out of my imagination so quickly I had a challenging time keeping up with the typing and had to write little shorthand notes for myself so I wouldn’t forget to add certain details.
Why did you decide to make Maggie the subject of a second book?
Maggie is such an interesting, multilayered character. As mentioned above, there were so many places Maggie’s life could take her. I couldn’t leave her character after just one book. This sentiment was echoed by quite a few readers who wanted another Maggie book. I found this to be both a compliment and encouraging. I am currently working on the third instalment of Maggie’s story.
In The Brotherhood, Maggie has left the US behind and moved to Milan. What made you choose Milan as a location for the book?
Maggie was living in Malaga, Spain when she married Mateo. Since Mateo was an architect it made sense for them to move to the most metropolitan city in Italy, known for its architecture and the arts. Maggie, a music major, would be able to finish her music degree at the Milan Conservatory.
Maggie has experienced tragedy in her life. How do you think this has influenced her character?
It influenced her personality and the way she deals with situations. The first tragedy was the loss of her parents when she was fifteen. Maggie was already in a new environment at a US boarding school. Previously, she moved with her parents all over Europe and was homeschooled. When her parents died, she initially withdrew, experiencing anxiety and night terrors. Her best friend Graham was the only one who could reach her. Eventually, she learned to deal with her pain by throwing herself into her studies, running daily and her music. Basically, she kept herself busy all the time.
She had the ability to compartmentalize and push things down so she didn’t have to deal with it. Unfortunately, this kept her anxiety steady and she kept her Xanax handy. It was not the healthiest solution but her ability to focus and tune everything else out would serve her well in the months and years ahead.
The plot revolves around a secret organization, The Brotherhood. Why do you think secrets are so enticing to us as readers?
It invokes a level of excitement and intrigue. You can’t help but to guess who is involved and what is the purpose of the organization. Usually, when you are privy to a secret you feel special, maybe even entitled. In The Brotherhood, however, the secrets are difficult for Maggie to accept.
Do you have a special place to write or any writing rituals?
I don’t physically start writing until I have the story and characters worked out. I guess you could say I spend a lot of time writing in my head before I begin typing. I write from the first page to the last. I never skip around or write chapters out of order. The characters are so well developed in my mind it almost seems as if they lead the story!
What is your favourite and least favourite part of the writing process?
My favourite part is the actual writing. Sometimes I find myself changing the story and taking it in a different direction than what I had originally imagined. I love having the ability to do that. My least favourite part is the editing process. While very necessary, it takes a long time to go back and forth between writer and publisher before the book is ready for print. Once I finish a book, I am anxious for people to read it and see what they think of it.
Which other writers do you admire and why?
I admire the late Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum and William Golding. I love reading Clancy and Ludlum because they write such tight action/thriller stories with characters that resonate and live on from book to book. William Golding’s Lord of the Flies is the first book I read that completely swept me up and left me peeling back the layers through a second and third reading of it.
What are you working on next? Will there be more adventures for Maggie?
I am currently working on the third instalment of the Magdalena series. I am not sure if I will end the series as a trilogy or continue. I will likely see how Maggie’s fans feel after the third book!
Thank you, Shannon, for those fascinating answers and the good news that Magdalena’s story hasn’t finished quite yet…
About the Author
Shannon writes: Born in upstate New York, I was raised in South Florida where I was exposed to a multicultural background. From the time I was in elementary school, I was writing prolifically in journals and poetry. I attended the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications and graduated with honours. Life happens and it was necessary for me to put my writing aspirations on hold for a while. I still wrote poetry as time allowed, but as a single mother of three boys, there wasn’t much time. But time passes quickly and the opportunity presented itself for me to begin writing again. I developed the first story in the Magdalena series, Finding Magdalena, in my head before I put anything down on paper. I had the storyline, well-developed characters and ending before I began writing. I also took the opportunity to travel to Spain and Italy to do location research. It was a labour of love. The second book in the series, The Brotherhood, came pouring forth like a waterfall. The characters, now old friends to me, seemed to take over and write the book themselves. I am currently working on the third instalment of the Magdalena series and another book which is a different genre, one that deals with the relationship between three generations of women over three time periods. For me, writing has always been a release, never work. I hope that continues. When it becomes work, I will probably stop. Right now, just the idea that people read my work and find enjoyment in it is a thrill for me.
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