Swoon Author Shannon Klare: You Mean It Happened?
Surviving Adam Meade was literally the fastest story I’ve ever drafted. Written from beginning to end, in less than three months, it currently holds my record for most life consuming piece of work ever. Why? What about this story wrapped its hand around my brain and refused to let go? Hint: Some of this story was based on real things.
Powered by Giphy
This P, for example. Any Friday Night Lights movie fans would recognize the Permian P. This P is also the emblem for my hometown. Like Claire, I moved to a small town who loved football. This P is seen on the backs of cars, sides of football helmets, and most school t-shirts. So, when it came time to name Claire’s new town, I kept this P in mind. Granted, I changed the school colors because I didn’t want it to be too similar. But, the name Pader came from this P.
Next, it’s no coincidence Riley is a cheerleader. I had an amazing friend group, with four different people who kept my high school years a blast. One of the four people I was lucky enough to call a best friend was in fact a cheerleader. Cheerleaders often get a horrible stigma for being catty, mean girls. My experience was the opposite. This girl was my first friend when I moved, never hesitating to welcome me to town. Almost fifteen years later she’s still one of my best friends. That meant Riley had to be the same kind of cheerleader. She had to be nice, quirky, and the perfect person to welcome Claire to town.
Powered by Giphy
Last, but certainly not least, my high school nights were filled with too many memories to count. Fall Friday nights were spent at football games. If the games were home games, my friends and I ran the flags. If the games were out of town, we traveled to the games. We spent too many nights riding to and from sporting events, eating hamburgers out of brown paper bags and listening to music on our iPods. But, one of my fondest memories is our senior year nights spent playing hide-and-go-seek in an old chicken barn.
Barn hide-and-go-seek. Sound familiar?
Powered by Giphy
Without going too in-depth, one of my friends lived out on the caprock, right outside our city limits. Once the sun was down, the land was either pitch black or moon-lit. New moon nights were the best. We would take the dirt path to her old chicken barn and would play hide-and-go-seek in this abandoned barn for hours. Iridescent lights would be flipped at each round, leaving dusty and cobweb laden rooms to be navigated by flashlight. Then, we would navigate this huge building without getting caught. There was an actual storage room with a boat, like the one in Surviving Adam Meade. There were spiders. Critters. Creepy rooms that looked like they belonged in a horror movie. And it was AMAZING!
While I wasn’t fortunate enough to encounter someone as swoony as Adam during these late-night games, barn hide-and-go-seek will forever hold a place in my heart. That meant it was on must-have activities list for Claire and her friends. Turns out it worked even better for her!
As you can see, these experiences drove my passion for this story. I’ve always heard: “Write what you know.” I didn’t expect to write this much from experience, but I wouldn’t change a thing.