# Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!
Hi! I’m Shannon Jump, an avid reader and indie author based out of small-town Minnesota. I’m a mom to two teenagers (one girl, one boy) and married to a wonderful man. I’ve been writing ever since I can remember, but only recently set out to publish at the start of 2020 when the pandemic started. I’d been working on my debut novel, My Only Sunshine, for about 12 years at the time and am proud to say that the novel finally published in February 2021! Besides reading and writing, I enjoy time with my family and friends, playing tennis, watching baseball and cooking.
# What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?
My Only Sunshine is loosely based on true events, so there is definitely a real-life aspect to the story. That said, the book is fiction and it definitely has a good amount of fiction built in. But each chapter pulls from reality in one way or another; some are more closely tied to the true events, while others are driven only by an idea or even a single phrase for the purpose as telling a story. But I think as authors, we often pull real-life into our writing and it’s fun to take those aspects and mix them with a bit of storytelling.
# How do you deal with creative block?
I’ve struggled with this a bit after publishing MOS, actually. I think one of the hardest things about publishing a book is starting over with the next one. I like to work at my own pace, so I don’t put pressure on myself to write every day or establish deadlines until I absolutely need to. I have a full time job and a family, so for me, writing needs to be fun or else it’s just another job. When I’m in a creative block, I tend to read more or simply focus on other aspects of writing (such as marketing–which is key for an indie author like myself, or plotting, short writing sprints, etc). This helps me bring the focus back to the end goal and yet still leaves me feeling like I’m making progress on the project.
# Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?
Titles and covers are SO important! Even as a writer I’m a judge-a-book-by-the-cover kind of reader. Intriguing titles and a great cover will get me to purchase a book without even reading the synopsis (I’ve been known to do this plenty!). It’s also important to choose a title and create a cover that not only fits the story, but the genre. The cover image itself is the most important, but without a strong title and the proper fonts, text placement, etc, the book can easily flop. As an indie author, it’s even more important as you want your book to stand out, which isn’t easy to do in a sea of traditionally published novels. I recommend utilizing a beta group to vote on several cover or title options.
# What role do emotions play in creativity?
Emotions are huge when it comes to writing. As storytellers, it’s important to be able to evoke emotions from the reader and to do that, we should experience some heavy emotions ourselves as the writer. I feel close to my characters when I write their stories; I feel connected to them and want to give them the depth that they deserve. I listen to music a lot when I write and this helps me get into the proper headspace that the character requires.
# Tell us some quirky facts about yourself
I’m a total noob when it comes to bad jokes; I laugh at the dry, sarcasm more so than the stuff that should actually be funny. Dad jokes really get me! I also randomly speak with accents and often experience uncontrollable laughing fits for little to no reason.