Welcome to Author Expressions. Our guest blogger today is well-published author June Shaw. She is going to discuss how and why she became a writer.
“What made you decide to become a writer?” is a question I’m often asked during talks about writing or when I’m signing my books. My answer—“A splinter.”
I wasn’t fortunate enough to have anyone ever teach me creative writing, but while I was in ninth grade, my English teacher said he was sending me to a literary rally for English I. I’d take a test that was mainly grammar and also need to write a paragraph in case there was a tie. To practice writing, he told me to write a paragraph about a splinter.
His topic assured me that he was a boring man. I described a splinter using perfect grammar and brought it to his desk. “This is boring,” he said. “Yes, but you told me to write it.” And then he wrote a magic word: “Ouch!” He told me to take it from the splinter’s point of view. Somebody just sat on it. Wow, I thought. A writer can do that? She can make up any thing or person and make it say or do anything she wants? One day I’m going to do that. Be a writer.
No matter that it wasn’t until I had five children who’d begun giving me grandchildren, and my aging mother had moved in with me that I finally sold a novel. I did it! What happened was I’d kept the desire after I won: ) that literary rally. I was busy throughout school, married young, had five children, and became widowed when they were small. Often I’d recall that splinter and know I wanted to be a writer, but life intervened. I finished college, started teaching, and finally discovered time to write and sell a few small pieces. Much more time passed before I found time to read and write and rewrite novels—and now I have nine of them published!
Now I proudly represent
on the board of Mystery Writers of
America’s Southwest Chapter and am the Published Author Liaison of Romance
Writers of America’s South Louisiana Chapter. My children, grandchildren, and
squeeze Bob are really proud of me, and I am content. Louisiana
ABOUT MY BOOKS: I sold my series of humorous mysteries to Five Star, which produced them in hardcover. To my surprise, the first one, RELATIVE DANGER, was nominated for a David award for Best Mystery of the Year and garnered excellent reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, and many others. The next books, KILLER COUSINS and DEADLY REUNION, were also well received. The series features a spunky widow who “thinks” she wants to avoid her hunky lover so she can rediscover herself. But he opens Cajun restaurants wherever she travels—and she is so bad at avoiding tempting dishes and men.
RELATIVE DANGER was just released as an e-book. KILLER COUSINS and DEADLY REUNION will soon follow. In November Harlequin will reprint DEADLY REUNION in paperback, which they’d done with others.
RED SKIES revolves around three generations in a story of secrets, lies, lust, love, and redemption. Everyone asked me to, so I wrote a book about my mom. Many readers tell me NORA 102 ½: A Lesson on Aging Well is the most inspirational book they’ve read in a long, long time. And then my youngest granddaughter asked me to write a book with her. We’ve sold many copies of HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR PET GHOST, and now an editor has a YA that both her young teen sisters and I wrote and hope she’ll accept. I’ve written other books, too—and loved every minute with each of them!
I appreciate your interest in reading about my writing journey and thank Jacqueline for inviting me here. I do hope you’ll check out my books and see my mom dancing and me holding an alligator….and I love to hear from readers! www.juneshaw.com
Comments or questions for June are welcome!