Thanks for joining us at the book club, Shane. Can we begin by having you tell us how you got into writing children's Christian fiction novels?
I have always loved writing. Three years ago when I was in 6th grade, our assignment was to tell the story of the birth of Christ through another perspective. I chose to write the story through the eyes of a donkey, because that was what carried Mary to Bethlehem. After the paper was turned in, my parents encouraged me to take the story all the way to crucifixion because everyone loved it. At the time we had 2 Sicilian donkeys, also known as the Jesus donkeys. They had a distinctive cross on their backs that went from shoulder to shoulder and all the way down their spine. The legend of the donkey is that after Calgary the shadow of the cross shone on the donkey’s back and forever left its mark. A lot of people I know didn’t realize there is a cross on the donkeys back, so while telling my story of birth through crucifixion I incorporated the legend of the “Jesus donkey”.
Where is your book set and why did you choose that location?
Bethlehem and Jerusalem, because I wanted to follow the setting of Jesus’ life.
Your novel sounds perfect for a movie! If it were made into a movie, who would you want to play the main character?
I would have to have a voice over for my main character “the donkey”, and I’m not sure who I would choose.
I’d like to know more about your main character, can you tell us more about him/her?
My main character is the donkey. He shows his love and devotion towards Jesus throughout his life, and is rewarded with the unfading mark of the cross on his back.
Can you tell us a little about the other supporting characters?
The other characters are all from Jesus’ life, himself, Joseph, Mary, the three Kings, etc .
They say all fiction books have pivotal points in the book where the reader just can’t put the book down. What’s one pivotal point in your novel?
When the donkey realizes that he is beginning a special journey and he feels like something inside him is starting to change.
What’s next on the agenda for you, Shane?
I plan to write a book on the effects of bullying, but express it in a way that younger kids can relate to.
What would you like to say to your readers and fans?
Inside the Book:
Title: Journey to the Cross
Author: Shane Cloonan
Publisher: State Street Publishing
Publication Date: September 11, 2015
Genre: Children's Christian Fiction
This is the story of the Jesus donkey, a fictional tale that takes readers on a journey from our Lord's birth to his ultimate crucifixion. Though written and illustrated for young readers, this book is perfect for people of all ages who want a fresh, youthful perspective on the life of Jesus. The book's message is imbued in the strength and simplicity of hearts that are linked to other hearts by Jesus. Journey to the Cross follows the light of hope that first appeared on that special night in Bethlehem.
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Meet the Author
Shane Cloonan is a resident of Elgin, Illinois and a high school freshman. This book, his first, started out as a grade school writing project. Shane is an avid outdoorsman. He also is an accomplished woodcarver. Shane took third place in his age group and category two years ago at the Ward World Championships Wildfowl Carving Competition in Maryland, then followed that up with a first-place finish in the International Woodcarvers Congress competition in Iowa.
You can visit Shane’s website at www.shanecloonan.com
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Virtual Book Tour