This terrific author is offering two giveaways: (1) The Backcountry Brides Collection in print and (2) the prequel novella, The Highwayman, in digital form.
So join our circle by commenting below, and you may find yourself a winner next Tuesday evening, the 21st.
**Congratulations to reader Tina, winner of Backcountry Brides Collection, and Deana, winner of The Highwayman.**
Who’s Shannon McNear?
I was born and grew up in rural central Illinois and graduated from a small Christian high school. After losing my adoptive dad a month later, I went off to Liberty University. Crazy. I wound up with mono the fall of my sophomore year but managed to finish that semester. And made the move with my mom and brother to northern Missouri, where she remarried.
Then I met a cute neighbor guy named Troy. He had grown up with my stepdad’s kids and did his chores while he was dating my mom. So I tell people that my mom married a farmer, and I married his hired hand. (Click to Tweet!)
After our wedding, Troy and I moved to Lynchburg, Virginia. He attended Liberty, and I worked in the library and later the registrar’s office. Then he enlisted in the Air Force and I gave birth to our oldest. We spent six months in Biloxi, MS. The AF plunked us down in Charleston, SC, where we lived for the next almost-23 years. We have 8 children here on earth and 1 in heaven. Our oldest daughter and two oldest sons are married. So we have 3 amazing children-in-love. We’re blessed with 2 grandbabies on earth with several in heaven.
My husband and I are both bibliophiles, so he’s been amazingly supportive of my writing. Over the years I’ve been a childbirth educator, seamstress for my kids’ ballet and drama companies, youth and worship leader, and a total research nerd. My kids are fond of bragging that they learned South Carolina state history from being dragged to various historical sites (we homeschool too). I respond with, is there any better way?
How Was Shannon McNear, the Author, Born?
I started my actual first book at age 15 and rewrote it probably 20 times in as many years. Setting that story aside while my older children were little, I came back to writing with the intent to get published early in 2003 and managed another six completed novel-length stories in the next ten years.
A Debut for Shannon McNear
My first published story came in the form of a novella contract that was especially fun. A good friend had nudged me to put in for the Pioneer Christmas Collection. Back then the editor had a personal tradition of announcing a first-time author contract at the opening session of the American Christian Fiction Writers conference. I was one of two, in 2012.
Award Spotlight on Shannon McNear
As if that wasn’t magical enough, that first novella, Defending Truth, actually finaled for a RITA® award with Romance Writers of America. It appeared in the middle of a bunch of mainstream romance novellas. I felt like Cinderella at the ball, attending RWA that year! Although mine didn’t win, it was such an amazing experience. I knew that God had made it happen and I was supposed to savor it all. It made waiting for 30 years for that first traditional contract definitely worth it!
My first full-length contract, for The Cumberland Bride, happened last year, again as a result of a good friend’s recommendation. When that editor invited me to submit a proposal for a new series, God flung open a door. Incredible opportunity. I cannot tell you how many times over the years I’ve gotten discouraged. Wanted to quit. And begged the Lord to open a door or show me I should keep going. Every time He sent me encouragement to continue and reassurance that writing is as much a call as anything else I do. And that I’m not wasting time by pursuing it.
What’s Ahead for Shannon McNear?
Well … when I began answering these questions, I was completely open to God’s leading. I was waiting for Him to make the next part clear. Now, I’m hoping to have an announcement to make very soon! God is so amazing. He keeps opening doors. And showing His graciousness in letting me continue to write historical fiction.
As kind of a sideways answer … Of those seven novel-length stories already written and waiting on a publishing home, only one is a historical—a Revolutionary War story set in South Carolina. One is a contemporary romance set, of course, in my former hometown of Charleston, SC. The others are from what has long been the story of my heart, a fantasy saga told from a solidly Christian viewpoint.
A Potential Change of Direction?
Incidentally, even my fantasy has a historical feel, as opposed to the elves/dragons/
wizards type. I call it “theological” fantasy, very similar in tone to works by Jill Williamson, Tricia Mingerink, and Patrick Carr. Editors like an author to stay within one genre, so it might be a long time before these see print. But I’m still praying for that.
In the meantime, I’m trying to stay obedient to God’s leading—which would seem to mean at least another “new” historical or two, first!
How to Find Shannon McNear and Her Books
Pinterest (I use this for my own visual reference while I’m writing, so some of my boards have more pins than others)
(1) The Backcountry Brides Collection, in print
(2) The Highwayman, a prequel novella, in digital
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Lord, You are Lord of All Seasons of Life! We acknowledge Your providential hand and thank You for affirmations, reassurances, and directions. We pray You’ll use Shannon’s books to point others to You. Please bless each word she writes for You! ~ For Jesus’ sake