Shannon Richard is a Forever Yours digital debut author of a hot, little romance entitled “Undone.” GWN recently learned about Richard’s novel, which focuses on an artist from Philadelphia who has a hell of a lot to deal with in a short period of time. She’s a good person who just needs a luck aimed her way. It’s a fast read filled with desire, caution, taking a chance, attraction, jealousy, trust, and let’s not forget love. Grand Central published the book on July 2.
She grew up in the Panhandle of Florida as the baby sister of two overly protective but loving brothers. She was raised by a more than somewhat eccentric mother, a self-proclaimed vocabularist who showed her how to get lost in a book, and a father who passed on his love for coffee and really loud music. She graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s in English literature and still lives in Tallahassee, where she battles everyday life with writing, reading, and a rant every once in a while. She’s still waiting for her Southern, scruffy Mr. Darcy, and in the meantime writes love stories to indulge her overactive imagination.
GWN: What inspired you to be a romance author?
Shannon: I’m the type of girl that loves her happily ever after endings. I’ve always had my nose buried in books and I wanted to write the type of stories readers could get lost in.
GWN: Were you an avid reader of the genre?
Shannon: I’ve actually only been reading romance novels for about three and a half years. I picked up a Christmas compilation of three short stories and I was hooked immediately. I promptly went to the bookstore and bought about ten other books, which I devoured.
GWN: Is “Undone” the story every woman can relate to?
Shannon: I think a lot of people can relate to not fitting in, to being the new person in a new place and not really knowing what to do with yourself. Paige is so completely out of her comfort zone and she just wants to find that sense of normalcy that she lost.
GWN: Tell us what leads Paige Morrison to give up her life in Philadelphia.
Shannon: She has no other choice. Her life is falling apart and the only place she has to go is back to her parents. The problem is her parents have moved to this small southern town where Paige has a really big problem fitting in.
GWN: Why did everything fall apart?
Shannon: It was a chain reaction of events. First she lost her livelihood, then the roof over her head, and to top it all off, the man she thought she was in love with broke her heart. But in the end, if everything hadn’t fallen apart she wouldn’t have found the real love of her life.
GWN: How did she stay strong through all of this?
Shannon: In the beginning it was just getting though one day at a time. Paige has never really had to deal with anything too tough in life, so this is a really big blow for her. But she’s incredibly close with her parents, and her best friend Abby is always just a phone call away.
GWN: What’s it like for her to give up her independence to move home?
Shannon: Humbling. It’s not easy to go from being on your own to having to depend on somebody else. Paige is struggling in Mirabelle in many aspects and giving up her independence is a pretty big one. That’s why it’s such a big deal for her when Brendan helps her out.
GWN: Does she fit into the new community?
Shannon: Not at first. I grew up in a small southern town, not nearly as small as Mirabelle, but small nonetheless. Paige is more of a city girl, she’s not used to everyone knowing her name or her business. She also has to deal with certain people purposely trying to make her feel like an outsider and attempting to bring her even further down.
GWN: Can she find her “space” and return to her art?
Shannon: Paige does find her creative space in Mirabelle. She actually winds up being more successful there. The job she had in Philadelphia was detrimental to her creative side and she doesn’t realize it until she’s out.
GWN: How does she meet Brendan?
Shannon: Her car breaks down on the side of the road and Brendan is the mechanic on towing duty for the day. And boy is he ever glad it’s him that gets called to come to her rescue.
GWN: What attracts her to him?
Shannon: At first she finds him to be incredibly cocky and arrogant, but he has this smile that she just can’t get out of her head.
GWN: What do you love about the book?
Shannon: I love how much Brendan loves Paige. He’s this big strong guy and he falls for her so fast. He never even sees it coming, but he has no regrets when it comes to loving her.
GWN: Are you currently working on your second novel?
Shannon: I’m actually working on the third. The second book is about Jaxson (Jax) Anderson and Grace King, one of Brendan’s best friends and his little sister. Undeniable will be out in October, so readers won’t have to wait that long for the next story in the series.
GWN: Were you thrilled to be published by Grand Central Publishing? When did you receive the acceptance letter?
Shannon: I was beyond thrilled to sign with Grand Central Publishing. Everyone that I’ve worked with has been incredibly nice and I know that I’m in good hands with all of them. I found out I was going to be signing with them in July of last year. I didn’t get an acceptance letter, but I did get a very exciting phone call from my agent. It was a happy day all around.
GWN: How are you promoting your book?
Shannon: Social Media mostly. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, I have a blog of my own where I write about daily random mumblings, and a couple other lovely blogs such as yours have been so gracious as to let me stop by and say a few words. I’m incredibly grateful for it.
GWN: Do you have any tips for beginning writers?
Shannon: To write. It happens fairly often that when I tell people I’m an author they say, “I’ve always wanted to write a book, I just don’t have the time.” Well, you have to sit down and make the time. Otherwise, it just isn’t going to happen. I have days where I sit in front of the computer for hours and absolutely nothing comes out of my fingertips. But as I’m sitting there, I’m thinking and getting past the block. You have to just persevere through it.