This week we caught up with Shannon Condon, an author and mother based in the U.S. who, after three novels in her exciting Magdalena Series, is beginning to branch out into brave new genres - we're looking forward to what's next!
Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself.
First and foremost, I am mom to three amazing boys. Watching them follow their dreams makes me so proud.
Writing has been my passion since I was a child. I have a BS from the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. It took many years, however, before I could direct my full attention to writing. Whenever possible, I like to travel to the locales in my books and immerse myself in the culture. If not, I do plenty of research!
What first inspired you to start writing?
I am the youngest of three girls and was quite shy growing up. I used to retreat into my imagination and make up stories to entertain myself. As I got older and more confident, I started writing my poetry and stories down and letting others read them.
What made you want to work with Rowanvale and be published?
I had tried two other indie publishers initially and the results were disastrous. I felt like I was picking and choosing from a buffet but by the time I paid the cashier, there was nothing on my tray!
I did some research and thankfully found Rowanvale in Wales. From its website I could tell it would be a warm, pleasant experience. Everything was spelled out in the beginning and there were no surprise charges. I was so happy with the ladies at Rowanvale that I removed my first two books from the previous publisher(s) and had them republish them for me so all my books would be under the Rowanvale Publishing house imprint. Out of four books published with them, I have not had one bad experience. Everyone there is a pleasure to work with and always courteous and timely.
When you’re not writing, what are you reading?
Historical fiction is my favorite genre to read. I do love a good suspense/thriller as well. Some of my favorite authors are Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum.
Which work are you most proud of?
I would like to think my writing has improved with every book, which would my make the upcoming Subterfuge my best work. I must admit, however that Spider’s Web is my favorite. So many questions were answered for Maggie and her life changed in so many ways.
What’s your best advice for handling writer's block?
That is a tough question. I usually have to put away my laptop for a while and let my brain simmer. I know authors who can keep writing even if they go back and erase it all, just to keep the flow going. I’m not that patient. I find walking away for a week or two and then coming back with fresh eyes helps me the most.
What’s one thing you always have with you when you’re writing?
Call me quirky, but I have to have a Coke and Ritz crackers to occasionally munch on as I am thinking!
What is the one book you would take with you if you were stuck on a desert island?
I would choose The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer. It is twenty-four tales in one. It is also a social commentary of the times. I love when a book has thinly veiled irony.
What is the best part about being an independently published author?
I am able to publish on my own timetable and I know the cost up front. I can also get advice about marketing. I have learned from Rowanvale, other writers and experience the best ways to market my book. I may not have the connections a publisher does, but most books are sold on the internet, mainly Amazon. Brick and mortar stores are going by the wayside. Plus, if you have an agent, everyone takes a piece of the pie. This way, I get to keep the lion's share of the royalties.
What’s next for you?
I am currently working on a book with a paranormal twist. This is totally new for me. I usually won’t even read paranormal, but the story popped into my head and wouldn’t go away. I hope my readers enjoy a different genre before I get back to the Magdalena Series.
Thank you Rowanvale for giving me the opportunity to share some of myself with your readers!