About Author

Shannon Lee Boote

Shannon Lee Boote

I am a business woman, a single mom, and published author. Emerson wrote, "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." I love those words. For me I believe the destination is not as important as the journey because it is the journey that helps to define who we are at the end. I write for me but I also write for my daughter so that she might see my journey which in turn might inspire her on her own path. For her, I want there to always be magic, I want there to always be the belief that the impossible is just inspiration, and I want there to be respect for the darkness in this world because without it there can be no light. I have been a writer my entire life, but it is only now that I have been able to be who I want to be and write both truth and fairytale while knowing the difference. I have realized the brilliance of Emerson's words, "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."

Shannon Lee Boote's Books

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Heart on Fire
(1) $3.99 kindle Free with KUeBook, Paperback,
Heart on Fireby Shannon BootePublish: Jan 29, 2022Contemporary Romance Romance LGBT

Shannon Lee Boote Interview On 31, Aug 2022

"Author of Heart on Fire, Shannon Lee Boote is a businesswoman, a single mom, and an avid reader. As a child, she learned and evolve. She has always been a writer but only got serious about the idea of publishing her writing about 15 years ago. The first story she ever wrote was The Monster in the Closet. She loves to learn and evolve."
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I wanted to become a pilot in the Air Force and eventually work for NASA. While I have always been a writer, I was a huge science and math geek and wanted to touch the stars. I also wanted to write of course, that has always been a part of me.

What was your biggest dream as a child? Did it ever come true?

As I got older and found that the Air Force and NASA were not a possibility for me, I focused on writing. The dream was to write about the amazing universe around me. While the direction of my writing is a little bit more down to earth these days, becoming a published author was a dream come true. One day, I hope to catch the eye of a publisher and truly make a name for myself. Truthfully, though, knowing what I have put out into the world, so far, has touched so many people already is the best dream come true.

How does being a single mother inspire you?

This is a big question for me, because it was one of the most amazing yet hard experiences of my life. My chronic illnesses and disabilities were always part of my daughter's life. It was she who taught me what real resilience is. The two of us have been through so much together and I can truly say my daughter is my hero. When I write, I write for my daughter so that she might see my journey, which in turn, might inspire her on her own path. For her, I want there to always be magic, I want there to always be the belief that the impossible is just inspiration, and I want there to be respect for the darkness in this world because without it there can be no light. I have been a writer my entire life, but it is only now, through my experiences as a single mom living with disabilities and illness, that I have been able to be who I want to be and write both truth and fairytale while knowing the difference between the two.

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?

I have to laugh at this question. The first story I ever wrote was The Monster in the Closet. It got an A and I was mighty proud of it. I recently dug it out of my memory box and cringed a lot, but laughed more. That will never be for any eyes other than mine.

How did you get your first opportunity to write a novel?

I have been writing full length books since my early 20's, but only got serious about the idea of publishing my writing about 15 years ago. Unfortunately, family illnesses and my own spinal injuries put a small kink in that dream for a few years. I don't regret not publishing sooner because I believe my voice in both the disabled and LGBTQIA+ communities has grown so much more.

What is your ideal setting to write in?

I'm a little bit of a neat freak, so I like my office to be uncluttered and clean. I generally write in my office, the lights down, instrumental music playing in the background. It helps me get lost for hours sometimes, not looking away from the computer screen until the world comes knocking to bring me back.

Audiobook vs e-book vs printed book, which one do you prefer and why?

Print books are my favorite. There is nothing like the feel of them in your hands. Of course, due to vision loss, it is getting harder and harder to read physically. E-books and audio make reading accessible for millions of disabled persons and I feel lucky that I can still do what I love through any medium.

Who all are a part of your family? How critical are they of your writing?

My family is not big at all, my sister, her son and daughter, my daughter, and son-in-law are my biggest and most special fans. They are all critical to my writing especially when it comes to honoring the themes of mental illness, autism, and PTSD in my books. While I suffer from both physical disabilities, and chronic and mental illness it is by looking through my family's gaze, experiences, and including them in my conversations about representation that I am able to interject such depth into the characters I create. While I'd like to thank my Masters Degree in Psychology for my knowledge, it is only a very clinical way of looking at autism, mental illness, and PTSD on a grand scale. But living each day side-by-side with family and friends that live with the reality everyday inspires me to give them representation. Everyone deserves to find kinship in stories. Experience with physical, chronic, or mental illnesses and disabilities are a spectrum and can't always be 100% representative of everyone, But if I am able to give voice to those that feel they have none, it is an honor.

What sparked the idea for your book, Heart on Fire?

I grew up in a home where my father was a violent and hateful person. There was no room for safely coming out as queer. I was also forced into attending a "Christian" school and church that told me and the people I loved that people like us were evil and going to hell. Writing about Silas' reverend father was easy based on my own experiences. Most of the disabilities featured in the book are based on my own physical diagnosis, chronic pain, and the need to hide scars. It was cathartic in a lot of ways and I struggled, believing the story just needed to be told, even if it never saw an audience. Putting those things down on paper gave them life and gave me a voice through Silas' character. I've been told the book is a tear jerker and while it was hard to open up wounds and let them bleed onto the pages, hearing from readers who cried alongside Silas and Micah as they struggled was worth all the pain.

What is the best way a fan has ever shown an appreciation for your work?

After reading Heart on Fire and leaving great reviews, I've had several readers reach out to me via social media. They wanted to thank me, because they felt seen. One reader said she loved the way Silas and Micah loved. Yes, physical gifts are nice, but hearing I have touched a reader's heart is priceless. What is one question you wish you would get asked more? What would be your answer?

I had someone in the writing/publishing community once ask why I write disabiled main characters. It's not sexy, they said. Make them a side kick, they said. People want strong, beautiful main characters. My answer, I want to bring visibility and representation to the disabled community. I want to challenge the idea that the heroes of our stories have to be beautiful, perfect women and strapping virile men who are all able bodied. Strength, beauty, and ability doesn't just represent the able bodied, it represents every person who struggles with disability, chronic, and mental illness. We can be beautiful, we can be strong, we can be the heroes. What we must not do, is quit writing because who we are is not "sexy enough" for those too biased to see the truth.

What's the single best bit of advice you've been given as an author?

In Maria Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet," there is one line that is the best advice there is: “If, when you wake up in the morning, you can think of nothing but writing . . . then you are a writer.” My take is, don't let life defeat the writer's spirit within you. Use the pain and tears, the smiles and laughter, the heartbreak and love to fill the page.

What mistakes do new writers often make in their writing?

I think it's easy to think less of ourselves as writers in the beginning. Nothing is ever perfect, we have to write and rewrite and rewrite some more. We get discouraged because we can't just whip up the next great American novel. The mistake is thinking that any writer gets it right and perfect on the first go. The mistake is to believe that their worth is dictated by an unrealistic standard. Write! Write badly. Then write some more. Practice and tenacity it's the only way forward.

How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one?

At the moment I have two books in the last editing stages, five current works in progress, and about four in only outlining stages. The one I am really eager for is based on a gay, blind tech genius that builds apps and programs to support the disabled community, He ends up in the cross hairs of a serial killer.

What do you think of AllAuthor? Has this website been helpful to you?

Unfortunately, I have not gotten any sales connected to AllAuthor as a resource. But I do get a lot of engagement from the mock-ups and it gives me a little traction whenever one posts. I am hopeful as I self-publish more it will help turn those engagements into readers sharing in my stories.

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