Monday, June 19, 2017


1.     Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?
I earned a degree in Journalism/Public Communications, but didn’t choose a writing career. A few years later, I decided to try writing what I’d been reading, a sweet romance. I submitted it. It was rejected. I wrote another one. It was rejected. I learned from each book, but decided to move on. Years passed.
About a decade ago, I began writing nonfiction articles and turned that into a career, eventually writing more than 600 and winning an award. But fiction called me back. I’ve loved stories since before I could read. I remember desperately wanting to read the Sunday comics when I was young and I devoured books once I could read. I now enjoy creating my own.

How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?

When I’m not plotting or editing, I write every day and have a set word count I’m aiming for both for the day and the week. If I miss a day, I do my best to make up for it during that week. This is my job so I keep to a schedule. Mornings are my most productive for creativity so I usually write then.
3.     How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or some other method of getting your words down?
I write at a desktop computer. I sit so many hours that I try to make it as comfortable as possible and I find laptops harder to use. I do have one and take it sometimes to a library or coffee shop so I can stare at a different set of four walls. I’m about to try dictating and pray that goes well. Then I can write anywhere.
What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
I love when characters suddenly do something wonderful that I hadn’t planned. In The Treasure Key, book two in the Crime-Solving Cousins Mysteries for kids, I knew how the story would end but not how I would get there. As I typed, Sophie and Jessica turned down a path through the woods and went to that place. I watched it happen and loved every second of it. The story came together in a wonderful way I hadn’t imagined before that moment.
My least favorite part of writing is final edits. I’m concerned I may have forgotten something and that’s kept me awake at night. I want my story to be the best it can be, to have readers love it as much as I do.
5.     How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?
The idea for Crazy About Alaska, Holly’s story and book three of the Alaska Dream Romance series, came to me in pieces. I created a male Alaska State Trooper who had a small role in book one. Holly was interested in him. From that moment, he became a love interest for her in my mind. Two books later, I thought, what if Holly—a woman with a sad past with men—now had two men interested in her? The opposite of the law enforcement personality—to me—is a professor (I’m married to one), so I decided to make that the second man’s profession.

It took me two months to the day to write this book. Then the editing began.
6.     What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?
Facebook, Facebook advertising, Amazon advertising, growing my email list and sending newsletters, and special sales through sites like BookBub. (I’ve tried to like Twitter. I really have. But I don’t so I rarely go there.)
7.     What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?
Crazy About Alaska releases later this month. I’m also working on the third book in the Crime-Solving Cousins Mysteries, a Nancy Drew-type series for ages 8-12 that began with “The Feather Chase.”
8.     Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.
I love reading mysteries and am toying with an idea for one. I have a mystery series for kids, but haven’t tried writing them for adults. It’s still simmering on that burner.
9.     What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?
Writing is a lifetime pursuit. Learn all you can. Practice. Practice. Practice. I wrote four books before I decided to publish one. You weren’t an expert at driving the first time you tried it; you had to learn when to hit the brake and how hard. Do you accelerate slowly or hit the gas pedal? Writing is the same way. We learn and get better at it over time. I do believe, though, that not everyone will be a writer. We’re all given different talents and skills. You don’t want me in the world of biology and chemistry.
A Question for Kathryn:
How do you decide what to write next? Your choices are infinite so, how do you narrow it down?
My characters, or new ones I haven't yet met, usually tell me. I knew when my Susan Cramer Mystery series was slowing down and when Brianne (a secondary character in the Susan Cramer Mystery series) would become the main character of her teen mystery series. 
In a nutshell, I listen to the voice which is the strongest, and write the book that the character is ready to tell me about.

Shannon L. Brown
Author, Journalist, Speaker 
Writing books that are fun and touch your heart

Falling for Alaska, Loving Alaska, Crazy About Alaska, and Merrying in Alaska - Alaska Dream Romance series
The Feather Chase and The Treasure Key - Crime-Solving Cousins Mysteries


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