Author Interview with Shannon Hannan –
Author of Living Under a “Rock” : “The Red House”
Connect with Shannon Hannan
About your book: Told by one of the brothers, this is a story of 4 brothers that, through the divorce of their parents and living with an alcoholic step father, they built a bond that could not be broken… “Turning onto the gravel driveway, excitement wells up inside of me as I prepare to see my mom and two younger brothers, Tracy and Jason, whom I haven’t seen in almost three months, and to be a family again after two years living with my father and older brother, Dana, since the divorce. But my father will not be staying with us in the “Red House” now that mom is remarried to her husband, Rocky. Just thinking of his name, “Rocky,” makes me nervous and causes a shiver to travel down my spine. He is a large, powerful man with little patience for the weak and even less tolerance for those who don’t respect him … I climb out of the car with the “Red House” directly in front me, and the bark of the largest dog I have ever seen ringing in my left ear; the two-hundred-pound-Saint Bernard yanking on the chain attached to the collar around his neck, trying to break free to greet me with his large white fangs. The front door of the “Red House” is wide open, but completely void of any light, not even the bright rays of the sun are able to penetrate the darkness. Little did I know the evil hiding and waiting for me in the shadows on the other side of that door.”
What is one take-away from your book that you hope readers identify with? : A bond between siblings can get a person through the most difficult situations.
We ask Shannon to tell us a little bit about himself: I am Christian husband to my beautiful wife, father of 3 incredible daughters and grandpa to two amazing grandsons. I enjoy the outdoors, which is why I have lived in Washington State my whole life. Being able to write and share my stories with others is truly a blessing. It is such a rewarding feeling to hear how others have enjoyed reading my stories and how much they touch them in some way.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?: I have always enjoyed reading books. I talked about my childhood many times to others and multiple people had mentioned to me that my childhood would make a good novel. So about 3 years ago I decide I was going to write down the many thoughts I had of my childhood. After writing down over 100k words I found that I had enough written down to actually produce a novel. A year later I had my first book completed, a second book 60% done and found a publisher interested in publishing my first book.
How long does it take you to write a book?: About a year.
Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why? : This is my first book and so it is my favorite at this point. If there is a lot of interest in my stories, I will continue to write and we will see what will end up being my favorite writing accomplishment.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?: I work a full time job, so when I am writing a story I spend an hour each morning, one to two hours at night and many hours on the weekends working on my story.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?: I like to draw people in to the story so that they are experiencing some of the same emotions and feelings the character is experiencing.
How do books get published?: Confidence in yourself, a lot of hard work, imagination, perseverance and sense of accomplishment. And, of course, a good publisher.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?: I love the outdoors, snowmobiling, hiking, mountainbike riding, etc… And spending time with my family.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?: I just finished my first book in 2015. I was 50 years old.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?: My first book is based on true events from my childhood. But after I complete the 3 book series of my childhood I do have some good ideas for other fiction books that I would like to write. For me, it takes a good imagination and using all the knowledge and experiences I have gained over the years to help me keep the stories realistic and something that people can relate to.
What does your family think of your writing?: They have all told me they really like my writing. It brings out all of the different emotions as they read my book.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?: How much I enjoy writing, how great a feeling it is when I am able to touch people with my stories and how much work goes in to getting it published.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?: I have only written 1 book so far, but am 60% completed with my 2nd book.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?: Write from the heart, make sure that you write about things that you know well and make sure you have a good story line that will not lose the readers.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?: Yes, often. My book was easy to read, it was hard to put down once they started reading it and how much they enjoyed the story. I have heard how sad they felt at moments, how it made them laugh and the strong feelings they had toward certain characters.
Do you like to create books for kids or adults? and Why?: My book is targeted at adults/teenagers. My stories would be too intense for young children.
What do you think makes a good story?: The ability to draw people in to the story and capture the readers interest to the point that they can actually imagine what it would be like to be the character in the story.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?: I always wanted to be an architect/builder. I am now a Director/VP at a large insurance company. So you never know what path you will follow.