Shannon has loved to read and to write as far back as she can remember. When she was in second grade, she started making “books” about her family’s camping trips, and later graduated to a series on three sibling detectives in fourth grade. When she was 15, her father gave her James Baldwin’s Tell Me How Long the Train’s Been Gone, a book that changed her life and made her see the possibilities of the written word. The novel took a long, difficult look at relations between Blacks and Whites, the poor and the rich, gay and straight people, and fused searing honesty with metaphorical beauty. After this experience, Shannon knew that she needed to read everything Baldwin had ever written, and also that she wanted to emulate his strategy of telling the most dangerous, and therefore liberating kind of truth, through writing.
Shannon’s Young Adult (YA) novel SEE NO COLOR was published in November 2015, and subsequently won a 2016 Minnesota Book Award in the category of Literature for Young Adults. In September 2018 Shannon’s second YA novel, Dream Country, is set to be released. This novel about more than five generations of an African descended family, crisscrossing the Atlantic both voluntarily and involuntarily. She is thrilled to be working again with Andrew Karre, this time at Dutton, the editor who brought See No Color to fruition.
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