In the new book series THE SPECIALISTS by Shannon Greenland, teens with impressive smarts and strengths are recruited by a secret organization. In the first book, MODEL SPY, Kelly starts out as a shy, self-proclaimed computer geek who is uncomfortable in her skin. She often trips over objects (including people) and gets tongue-tied. She is quite accelerated in school and is about to graduate from college at age 16 when she is tapped by this covert project.
Author Shannon Greenland spoke to me about her new series as well as her backlist.
Did you consciously bless Kelly with both smarts and looks?
I wanted Kelly, aka GiGi, to grow into her own skin. When I plotted the books, I wanted the characters to look completely opposite their specialty. For example Bruiser is a little, red headed martial artist--one look at her and you'd never figure her for a highly skilled fighter.
There are six books in the series.
If you were in the group, what would be your specialty?
My specialty would be a dog whisperer. I have the best dog -- he's so well trained.
What spy gadget do you wish you wish owned?
That's an easy one. In book #2, Down to the Wire, Wirenut uses these cool glasses that x-ray through anything. I would have a total blast with those things. They can x-ray through buildings, clothes, anything.
Who is cooler, Sydney Bristow or MacGuyver?
Sydney, hands down.
Did you picture anyone as you wrote the story? I'd give Hillary Tuck or Felicia Day the role of Bruiser.
I used to be a teacher, and when I plotted this series, I had former students in mind.
The majority of your work to date has been adult fiction. What made you switch to teen fiction?
My critique partners kept telling me I had a young voice and I should try writing young adult. After about a year of nagging, I finally decided to try it, and I love it! I'm so glad they nagged me.
Which of your previously released novels would you recommend for teens, and why?
My three previous novels are romantic suspense. I have a lot of teen readers for those, too. I'd say if you're looking for an emotional read, try Laura's Secrets. An adventurous read, try Descent Into Danger. A stalker read, try Discovering Veronica.
What are your favorite books?
As we wrapped up our chat, Shannon was kind enough to say, "Wow! What great questions! I think those are the best questions I've been asked yet." I am flattered by her compliments.