Interview with Shanti Hershenson, Author of The Bane of Angelfall Academy
in Author Interviews, eBook, News, Young Adult
31 Mar 2023
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write The Bane of Angelfall Academy?
The idea for Angelfall Academy, the setting for my novel, The Bane of Angelfall Academy, came predominantly from a dream. I recall running through the halls of an irregularly decorated school, with endless secret corners and luxurious amenities. There was a narrow balcony on one of the top floors, which later led to an important place throughout the story. At the time, it reminded me of something out of a nightmare—and, I mean, the dream might’ve been. I don’t really remember.
The idea for this school later intersected with another idea I had, about a boarding school for talented writers and a main character who didn’t belong. These two ideas were joined together and were the beginning of the rich and twisted world of Devan Cyrano and her adventures at her boarding school.
If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of The Bane of Angelfall Academy, what would they be?
When I first began writing this book, I created a playlist with songs that described the plot, events, and characters. Personally, I think that Devan Cyrano’s song would have to be Oh No! by MARINA. Byron Wells would definitely listen to Family Line by Conan Gray, and the friendship of the two can be described with Ribs by Lorde.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
My favorite genre for about as long as I can remember has been Science Fiction, although now, I tend to dabble in both reading and writing in other genres. When I started out, I primarily stuck to Sci-fi and the majority of the novel’s I’ve written fall into those categories.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
I’m the type of reader to buy books at a higher rate than what I read, so my TBR is absolutely endless. With that being said, I’ve been meaning to finish reading War and Peace for the last two years.
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
There’s a scene early on in the book where Devan steps into Angelfall Academy’s bus and meets two of the novel’s main characters, Byron and Vi Wells. It’s a great introduction to both of their personalities, as well as gives the reader a thrilling introduction to the advanced technology and other marvels of the school.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
I have this writing habit, and while I think in some ways it’s very helpful, it’s also slightly quirky. There’s a set of songs I have and I listen to each of them before I begin writing—or during the first few minutes when I sit down to begin for the day—and they help trick my brain into remembering that it’s time to write. I’ve been doing this since I was in middle school.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
I can’t think of anything specific!
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
Beneath the heartwarming and sometimes perilous adventures that The Bane of Angelfall Academy brings, creativity and the gift of imagination—and how these things can get taken away very easily—is a heavy theme of the book. I don’t want to go into the messages too much, considering I will probably spoil at least half the book, but the subtle themes themselves are certainly ones to remember.
Shanti Hershenson is the author of the new book The Bane of Angelfall Academy
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