Shawn Smucker: The Writer & His Book (with a giveaway)

Shawn - paper plane


Chatting with debut novelist Shawn Smucker about autumn, Marilynne Robinson, and the enigmatic Mr Jinn. Be sure to enter the giveaway below for a chance to win a copy of Shawn’s intriguing story.


The Writer


Please describe yourself in three words (ask your best friend or family if you are struggling!)

Thoughtful, creative, determined.

What’s your favourite season, and why?

I love autumn so much more than any other season. For so much of my life, autumn meant exciting, new beginnings – soccer season, school (which I enjoyed), cooler weather. I’ve always had an affinity for the changing leaves and the gradual shutting down of things, the shorter days and the smell of wood smoke.

What is the best part of your day?

When I stand up after a productive day of writing.

What do you miss most about your childhood?

The absence of bills, and more time to read. I spent so many hours, especially in the summer, sitting on our porch reading, reading, reading, while the world went on around me.

Which TV talk show host would you like to be interviewed by? Why?

I think I’d have to go with Jimmy Fallon – hopefully his music and dancing skills would rub off on me.

You are at a fruit market – what do you reach for first?

Grape licorice?

What was the first Christian Fiction novel you read?

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

What is one author and/or book you always recommend?

Marilynne Robinson.

What book character has stuck in your mind from a book you have read this year?

The character Glory from Marilynne Robinson’s book Home. The tension she feels at returning to the place where she grew up, realizing most of the expectations she had for her life have gone unfulfilled, can be both sad and liberating. In the book, she is about my age, and her story left me with many questions.

The Book

The Day the Angels Fell-Book Cover

It was the summer of storms and strays and strangers. The summer that lightning struck the big oak tree in the front yard. The summer his mother died in a tragic accident. As he recalls the tumultuous events that launched a surprising journey, Samuel can still hardly believe it all happened.

After his mother’s death, twelve-year-old Samuel Chambers would do anything to turn back time. Prompted by three strange carnival fortune-tellers and the surfacing of his mysterious and reclusive neighbor, Samuel begins his search for the Tree of Life–the only thing that could possibly bring his mother back. His quest to defeat death entangles him and his best friend Abra in an ancient conflict and forces Samuel to grapple with an unwelcome question: could it be possible that death is a gift? 

Haunting and hypnotic, The Day the Angels Fell is a story that explores the difficult questions of life in a voice that is fresh, friendly, and unafraid. With this powerful debut, Shawn Smucker has carved out a spot for himself in the tradition of authors Madeleine L’Engle and Lois Lowry.

What was the working title?

The same as the final title, The Day the Angels Fell, although I did consider Samuel Chambers and the Tree of Life.

Describe your book in 5 adjectives

Reflective, melancholy, hopeful, surreal, exploratory (but not like surgery).

Which character took you by surprise?

I didn’t expect Abra to become so central and active. I certainly didn’t expect her to do what she did at the end.

What was the latest you stayed up working on this story?

Maybe 2am? I feel like I do my best writing first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

Which character’s name was the hardest to choose? Why?

I had some trouble with Mr. Jinn because when I first started, I wasn’t sure whose side he was on.

What’s something that didn’t make it into the final copy?

In a very early draft, the animals had a bigger role, but as the story progressed it didn’t fit. It started to feel too much like Narnia, and I didn’t want to go that route, so I had to do some major revisions and kept the book less fantastical (though some of those elements did remain).

Thanks Shawn.

Shawn Smucker is a co-writer, ghost writer, and author. The Day the Angels Fell is his first novel. He lives in Lancaster, PA, with his wife Maile and their six children, which is mostly great but sometimes feels like a circus.

Relz Reviewz Extras
Shawn’s Author Alert
Website || Facebook || Twitter
Buy at Amazon: The Day the Angels Fell or Koorong

RR Giveaways (16)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Share This!

4 Responses to Shawn Smucker: The Writer & His Book (with a giveaway)

  1. Hmm. Not sure if I’m supposed to comment about my best friend here? My best friend’s ability to understand me is truly ever best quality.

  2. danielle hammelef

    The blurb for this book tells me that I would enjoy it very much. My best friend is always there for me no matter what and that is the best.

  3. Narnia is definitely a favorite!

  4. I really don’t know how to answer that question. I really enjoyed the description of the book and it sounds like a great read.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *