Talkshow Thursday: Welcome Shannon McNear!
Shannon: The works of Lori Benton and how she handles Native culture and characters have long been an inspiration to me, overall. For Mary specifically, while I was researching Elinor I ran across something called the Legend of the Coharie, which states that George Howe, the boy whose father (of the same name) was brutally killed the first week they were on Roanoke Island, had married a daughter of Manteo, and that their descendants could be traced to later Native people. That provided the first seed of this story, which is book two of three.
LM: Most of your stories are set in the 18th and 19th centuries. What made you decide to visit the 16th century?
Shannon: My editor, believe it or not! She approached me with the series concept, and once I dipped my toes into the research, my imagination took off from there.
LM: What research did you need to do for the story, and is there a particularly intriguing tidbit you knew had to be included?
Shannon: Much of the research for Elinor extended naturally into Mary, but overall I read (and re-
LM: Tell us about your road to publication.
Shannon: It was long. :-) I started throwing words on a page when I was in third grade, journaled and wrote longer stories up through junior high school and started my first novel at age 15. I revised that one probably 20 times in as many years—entered a few contests, and submitted to several publishers, both before and after the break I took from writing fiction when my older kids were all young. About 20 years ago I felt the Lord nudging me to pick it up again, and He sent me a pair of older and wiser authors who encouraged me to attend a writer’s conference. It would still be another 10 years before He opened the door for my first contract, and by that time I had 7 novels written, in various states of polish. None of those are yet in print. :-)
LM: What do you do to prepare for writing?
Shannon: First, try desperately to clear the area (and my head) of anything that could distract me. Ideally, a cup of coffee to hand and a comfortable spot to tuck in with my laptop. Most pressing emails and/or phone calls taken care of. Our two German shepherds let out and back in again. :-) It can also be helpful to skim back over what I’ve written previously, or over my research, to get my focus back into the story.
LM: What is one thing you wish you could do?
LM: What advice do you have for fledgling writers?
Shannon: Read a LOT, both in and out of your preferred genre. Don’t be afraid to study the writing craft (as I was in my early years), or to be part of a critique group! And write, of course, a LOT! Don’t be afraid to experiment with your writing technique, but also learn to recognize the uniqueness of your own voice. Lastly, be patient with the journey!
LM: Where can folks find you on the web?
Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/u/4X2EN6
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