Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance. This week, I’m so pleased to introduce to you Shannon Kennedy. Shannon is a horsemanship teacher and substitute teacher who comes up with story ideas while she mucks out stalls or drives her bulldozer named Frou Frou. I had the best time with this interview, and hope you enjoy Shannon’s answers to your questions as much as I did.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Shannon lives (and works) at her family business, Horse Country Farm, just outside of Granite Falls. Teaching kids to ride and know about horses since 1967, she finds in many cases, she’s taught three generations of families. Her life experiences span adventures from dealing cards in a casino, attending graduate school to get her Masters in Teaching degree, being a substitute teacher, and serving in the Army Reserve – all leading to her second career as a published author. Using her grandmother’s name of Josie Malone, she writes mainstream western romance. Her third book, A Woman’s Place just came out in trade paperback. Throw Away Teen, a young adult novel, will be out in December from Black Opal Books and No Horse Wanted will be a July 2013 release from Fire & Ice YA . Shannon is the newest contributing writer for Mountain Loop exPress.
What is your personal, most effective way to get past writer’s block?
When I attended Washington State University several years ago, I really wanted to find a critique group in Pullman, WA. I did and learned a great deal from the other writers who met once a week at the Skippers restaurant in nearby Moscow, ID. We traded our latest chapters. Then we were expected to read our work from the previous week aloud, getting not only written critiques but verbal ones as well.
The name of the group was Writer’s Bloc, and the expectation of regular submissions to critique along with the assignments due for my English and History courses since I was doing a “double major” meant there wasn’t time for me to opt out. I had to write every day either for class or for critique. As more experienced members told me, it’d be easier to listen to their advice if I brought in the “raw” or “rough drafts.” After all, I’d be revising and polishing that work anyway. I still send my first drafts off to my critique partners and try to write every day.