Three Times A Charm is my weekly feature where I introduce readers to new authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the children’s publishing industry.
Today’s guest is author, Shannon L. Brown. Thanks for joining us, Shannon. Please tell us a little about you.
I read and read as a kid, particularly every mystery I could find. I didn't plan to be a writer though. I first earned a degree in journalism & communications then a second degree in education. But I didn't end up working in either field. I wrote my first book, a clean romance, shortly after earning those degrees. I submitted it to a publisher, but when it was rejected I moved on.
Fast forward to a day some years later when I was driving and an image of a briefcase filled with feathers popped into my mind. I knew it was the idea for a children's mystery and The Feather Chase was born.
I wrote it while I worked in unrelated fields. I also began writing magazine articles on the side and gradually moved to doing that full-time. I'm now an award-winning writer, have sold more than 600 articles for local, national and regional publications and, until I resigned to finish the book, was the contributing editor for a jewelry publication. (Which tells you, you never know where life may take you.)
I stepped back from most of that writing to edit The Feather Chase and see it published in February of 2014. It's a fun mystery and the first in the Crime-Solving Cousins Mystery series. Now I'm using the classes I had in communications to write and those in education to speak to children about writing.
I'm originally from Alaska but live in Nashville, Tennessee with my professor husband and our adorable calico cat Evie. I'm working on the second book in the series. Hint: It begins with a gift wrapped package that is left on Sophie's front porch.
I find it so brave when people quit their jobs to pursue a writing career. It’s so risky! Now, tell us more about The Feather Chase.
The Feather Chase is a fun mystery for girls ages 8-12. It has tense moments, but it’s overall fun and upbeat.
Twelve-year-old cousins Sophie and Jessica are stuck together for the summer, and they don’t have much in common. Sophie loves hiking and her small town. Jessica would rather be shopping in a city. Then they find a briefcase in the forest with a surprise inside. When they hear footsteps behind them and bad guys run after them, they have no choice but to work together to solve the mystery.
The Feather Chase is available in print and ebook wherever books are sold.
Barnes & Noble:
Now, for the Threes. Share with us your top 3’s to help us know you a little better.
- Top 3 snacks to munch on while working.
Like Sophie, I enjoy fruity things. I often have a frozen grape juice bar as a snack. But I also share Jessica’s love of chocolate. (The two girls have bits of me in them.) Unlike Jessica, I only need one piece of chocolate, and I’m good for the day. Dark chocolate, of course! My third favorite snack would be something sweet like a cookie or a granola bar. Right now I have some snickerdoodles I made stored in the freezer, and I like to grab one and eat it frozen.
- Top 3 leisure activities.
Reading is probably my favorite thing to do. I read a novel in bed every night. Mysteries are my favorite, and it helps me relax so that I can sleep well. The books aren’t boring; fiction just quiets me down.
Shopping and baking tie for second place. Baking from scratch is also relaxing, and I love being able to share the things I bake with others. Like Jessica, I enjoy shopping. To me, it’s like a treasure hunt—I hit the sales and find great deals for things I really like.
Hiking on a trail through the woods is both awesome exercise and relaxing. I guess all of my favorite leisure activities are relaxing to me. Unlike Sophie who sees hiking and camping as equal, I’ll stick with the hiking and sleep in a nice bed at night. I grew up camping in Alaska—everything from boating to a camping site next to a lake to flying in and sleeping on a frozen river in the winter. I fit a lifetime of camping into my life early on.
- Top 3 favorite places.
Almost anywhere in rolling, green hills. I think my home of Nashville, Tennessee is beautiful. I’m from Alaska and we had tall mountains right behind my house, more than half the year covered with snow. I picture the fictional town of Pine Hill in The Feather Chase as having rolling hills around a lake. I hope to be able to visit somewhere that looks like that.
A beach is high on my list of places to visit. I spent a lot of time in Hawaii growing up and love walking on a warm beach with the water lapping at my feet. I say “warm” because I walked on a beach in Alaska and my feet went numb. Really.
Beautiful cities in Europe are also a favorite. I gave Jessica the hometown of London, England. I’m a huge anglophile and have read hundreds of books set in England.
Where can our tech savvy readers find more about you and your books?
Thank you, Shannon, for joining us on Three Times A Charm. Best of luck to you and The Feather Chase.