Shannon A. Thompson is a young adult author, avid reader, and a habitual chatterbox.
As a novelist, poet, and blogger, Thompson spends her free time writing and sharing ideas with her black cat, Bogart, named after her favorite actor, Humphrey Bogart. Her other two cats bring her coffee. Between writing and befriending cats, Thompson graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing, and her work has appeared in numerous poetry collections and anthologies. Represented by Clean Teen Publishing, Thompson is the best-selling author of The Timely Death Trilogy and the Bad Bloods duology. When she is not writing, she is climbing rooftops, baking cookies, or watching murder shows in the middle of the night, often done with her cats by her side.
Visit her blog for writers and readers at ShannonAThompson.com.
Seventeen-year-old Serena isn’t human. She is a bad blood, and in the city of Vendona, bad bloods are executed. In the last moments before she faces imminent death, a prison guard aids her escape and sparks a revolt. Back on the streets determined to destroy her kind, Serena is spared by a fellow bad blood named Daniel. His past tragedies are as equally mysterious as her connection to them. Unbeknownst to the two, this connection is the key to winning an election for bad bloods’ rights to be seen as human again. But Serena is the only one who can secure Vendona’s vote.
When the two unite, their accidental relationship becomes the catalyst for a twelve-year war to continue. Exposing the twisted past of a corrupt city, Daniel, Serena, and every bad blood they know will come together to fight and win, but very few of them will survive to see the day. Bad blood or human, a city will burn, and all will be united by catastrophic secrets and irrevocable tragedy.
1. Tell me a bit about your character. Who are they, how old are they? What do they look like?
17-year-old Serena is the only bad blood to escape execution. Now symbolized for an election, she must prove her people are human despite hindering abilities before everyone is killed and a city is destroyed. But she is one of the lucky ones. From looking at her, you can’t tell she isn’t completely human. She’s tall, blonde, and a bit too thin after a stint in an executioner’s jail. Some say her gray eyes show she’s soulless. Other say her abilities let her steals souls. No one really knows. Not even her.
4. Where do they live? What’s it like there?
Serena lives in Southern Vendona, which is the countryside of a walled-in coastal town wrecked by a war that happened fifty years ago between bad bloods and the government. She’s living in the aftermath, and as a bad blood up for execution, she’s fighting to live every day. But she loves her flock—a group of 12 bad bloods who hide in a house together—and she strives to help her leader keep everything under control as an election for bad bloods’ rights approaches. Her best friend is Catelyn, and together, they share a nameless cat.
5. What is their role in the story? Are they the protagonist/antagonist, a supporting character?
Serena is one of two protagonists, but while Daniel and Serena tell the story, I’ve always felt that Bad Bloods: November Rain and Bad Bloods: November Snow is more about Serena in the end. Not only does she come face to face with her potential death but she also has to become the “face” of the bad bloods during the election. Between her bravery and her fear, Serena has to come to terms with who she is and what she wants to be throughout the story, even if it means losing everything she’s strived to protect.
6. What do they do for a living?
Serena survives for a living. Bad Bloods aren’t citizens, so they cannot work. They can’t go to school, go out in public, or be seen at all. So, Serena loves her flock and works every day at protecting them for a better future.
7. What do they do for fun?
Fun is a strange word for Serena, but she loves playing with Melody, a four-year-old bad blood Serena saved from the streets. She enjoys how free Melody is, and the little girl reminds Serena that they can still play games and pretend to be flowers in a world full of hate.
8. What is their greatest weakness, their greatest strength?
Serena is her greatest weakness and strength. While never explicitly stated, Serena has PTSD. She struggles with her traumas (including living in an execution camp for the few weeks before the book opens), and she has memory loss. But she finds strength in how her fears have pushed her into a harder determination to love and open up once again. She also wants to face the truth behind her childhood, and she wants to overcome the oppression holding her loved ones back, even if it means she has to put her feelings aside. Again. Serena might be more concerned about others’ feelings, but she works hard at understanding her own, too.
9. What is the best that ever happened to them? The worst?
The best and worst thing to happen to Serena has yet to happen, but up until the beginning, living in an execution camp is by far the worst part of Serena’s life. The best part was building her flock family together with her leader, Robert.
10. What do they want from life? What are their goals?
Serena wants to learn to read. Since she’s been living on the streets since she was five, she can remember reading a little (with her mother, who was a novelist), but she can’t recall how to read anymore. Her biggest dream is learn the power of reading and to help other bad bloods learn to read, too.
11. Does this character of a “theme” song (or several)?
The two main songs Serena listened to while Bad Bloods was in creation was “Black Crown” by Silent Rider and Camille Corazon, and “Murakami” by Made in Heights.
Want to learn more about Serena and the rest of the cast? Well, BAD BLOODS releases today! Go grab your copy now – fresh off the press!
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