Author enjoys continued success with third book
Local author Theresa Shaver is thrilled with her continuing success.
The mom of two, who has lived in Airdrie for seven-and-a-half years, has released two novels Land and Sea, a novella, City, and is preparing to release a third novel, Home, in April. All the books are part of her first series, Stranded.
“I’m totally blown away at how invested some of the people are in the series,” said Shaver. “It is so surreal … they want to read more, they just want to know more about the characters and it is crazy.”
Shaver, who worked in sales and marketing before having her two children, ages seven and five, said she was inspired to begin writing when she learned about the possibility of self publishing.
Stranded is a post-apocalyptic series for young adults ages 16 and older that focuses on a group of teens stranded in California during a school trip to Disneyland after a electromagnetic pulse (EMP) destroys the electrical grid.
Land, which was published on amazon.com in April, follows five teenaged farm kids from a fictional town in central Alberta who set out on foot to their home thousands of kilometres away.
The teens are faced with misadventure as civilization begins to crumble.
As the days go by with no food deliveries and no water flowing from taps, it is survival of the fittest for the teens, who travel across five states and half a province, through lawless territory with nothing but their skills and intelligence, to make their way home.
Sea, which is about 70,000 words long, follows another five teens as they attempt to sail home. Because the teens are isolated on the ocean from the continent-wide panic, the group doesn’t face as much violence as those in Land. However, unrest erupts from within the group.
Shaver said she had a much harder time writing her second novel because of the characters.
“I had to fight for every sentence in the first half of the book,” she said.
“I just didn’t like (the characters).”
As the characters developed, however, Shaver found herself enjoying the writing process and completed the last half of the book in about a month.
City, which is available on amazon.ca, tells the story of the classmates who chose to stay and wait for rescue in Anaheim.
It was a story Shaver said she never intended to write, but was motivated to do so after multiple requests from readers.
An avid reader with a particular interest in post-apocalyptic stories, Shaver said she was motivated to pen her series after reading One Second After, a novel by American writer William R. Forstchen written in 2009, which is based on an EMP.
She said she chose to focus on teenagers because of their ability to adapt.
“There is something about teenagers,” said Shaver.
“They are so resilient and I think they aren’t as trapped in a mindset as adults can be. A teenager would be more capable of doing things an adult might not be able to.”
The books also explores the theme of cooperation and community for survival, something Shaver is optimistic would happen if there ever was a disaster.
“I really miss that, coming from the farming community where people helped each other,” she said.
Shaver said sales of her books have been good, with people from all over the world purchasing them in paperback or e-book format, mostly from Amazon.
In fact, Land went to number four on the site’s teen listing, going up against books from the Hunger Games and Divergent series.
“That was so thrilling,” she said. “It held there for five days. It was just so incredible to see them against those big names.”
Shaver said her books are also being used in classrooms in Ontario and Saskatchewan, another big honour for the fledgling author.
“It is incredible that people are taking such an interest,” she said, adding the main theme of the feedback she has received is that people enjoy her common-sense method of writing.
Shaver said she is now planning to pen another series to round out her self-published series. Winter will tell the story of the teens’ survival through a central Albertan winter.
“I really like the idea of writing in a winter setting,” said Shaver, adding she has another story in mind for a similar setting. “Most people with a little bit of common survival wood skills could live through a summer, but now do it without heat in the middle of a -25 °C winter.”
Land, Sea and City are available online at www.amazon.com