Wednesday, January 23, 2013

A Blog Hop, (I'm just a girl who can't say no!)

Do you remember that delightful song from the musical, OKLAHOMA, "I'm Just A Girl Who Can't Say No?" Well, that song describes me to a "T" when it comes to promoting my debut novel, and frankly I've been so busy that I've screwed up this blog hop thing!

I was tagged by the talented Nancy J. Cavanaugh whose debut novel, THIS JOURNAL BELONGS TO RATCHET will be published on April 1st. This morning I realized that my blog post is due today so here goes:

What's the title of your debut novel? THE BALLAD OF JESSIE PEARL

Give a brief synopsis.

It's 1922 and Jessie has big plans for her future, but that's before tuberculosis strikes. Though she has no talent for cooking, cleaning, or nursing, Jessie puts her dreams on hold to help her family. She falls in love for the first time ever, and suddenly what she wants is not so simple anymore.

What have been the most amazing things that have happened to you since holding your debut novel in your hands?

First was getting a cover blurb from Richard Peck. He wrote, "With the poetry of plain speaking, Shannon Hitchcock recreates the daily drama of a vanished world." Mr. Peck's writing always blows me away and I'm honored that he provided a quote. Secondly, I got good reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and Children's Literature. And thirdly, I had the chance to speak on a debut authors' panel at the Miami SCBWI conference.

What is the biggest challenge facing a debut author?

I think there are two: The first is marketing. I think all debut authors struggle with how to make our novels stand out in a crowded marketplace. I've been asking myself which promotional efforts are most effective. How do you get the most bang for the buck? The second biggest challenge is finding time to write a second book while promoting the first one.

I'm tagging YA author, Alina Klein, author of RAPE GIRL and picture book author, Alison Ashley Formento, author of THESE SEAS COUNT, to be the next stops on the blog hop. Look for their posts on January 30th!


  1. Lovely post, Shannon. It doesn't seem like you messed up anything in this blog hop, although I imagine you had to rush around a bit to post in time. : )

  2. Yes, I had to rush, and I was a day late tagging, but I in the immortal words of Larry the Cable Guy, "I got 'er done!"