Shannon Polson lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. She was a contributing writer to More Than 85Broads, and her work has appeared in Seattle and Alaska Magazines, Cirque Journal, Adventure Magazine, and Trachodon, among others. Polson graduated with a B.A. from Duke University in English Literature, an M.B.A. from the Tuck School at Dartmouth, and an M.F.A. from Seattle Pacific University. She served eight years as an attack helicopter pilot in the Army and worked five years in corporate marketing and management roles before turning to writing full time. Polson serves on the board of the Alaska Wilderness League and sings with the critically acclaimed Seattle Pro Musica. She has looked for adventure and challenge anywhere she can find it, scuba diving, sky diving and climbing around the world, including ascents of Denali and Kilimanjaro, and completing two Ironman triathlons. She and her family enjoy backpacking, any kind of skiing, paddling, and spending as much time outdoors as they can in the Western states and Alaska. In September 2009, Polson was awarded the Trailblazer Woman of Valor award from Washington State Senator Maria Cantwell.
What inspires you to write?
I write to explore ideas or circumstances I don’t understand, to make sense of things, to connect with the sense of beauty I believe is the core of our world and our lives despite the difficulties so many face, and that we all face in arts of our lives.
Tell us about your writing process.
I write a very flabby first draft, and then go back and see where it might work to shape it or revise. Usually I have ideas in my head for a while before I start to write, and they are almost always better if I let them sit for a while.
What advice would you give other writers?
The thing you always hear is that the most important thing is just to sit down every day and write, and I think that’s great advice. As the mother of two young kids I don’t have the luxury to do it at the same time and place every day, though that seems to be the recommended solution if you’re able to do it. When you can’t write on a given day, I think you just read. I think it’s at least as important to read as it is to write. And read things that are written well, and read across interests and genres. If I hear something is popular but badly written I avoid it the way I avoid sitting next to someone with the flu.
In terms of publishing people just getting started are always asking what the recipe is, as though there is one way to do it. I was the same way. And the reality is there are as many ways into publishing a book as there are techniques for writing one, maybe more. The same goes for promotion. And like writing, there is no shortcut to spending the time to educate yourself on the possibilities, trying them, and seeing what works for you. There isn’t a one-size fits all solution. That’s why no one is giving it to you.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I’m still a believer in traditional publishing for awhile. I know that there are some great reasons to self publish, and that the market is shifting rapidly, but I think there is still legitimacy that comes with traditional publishing, and I’m not willing to move away from it quite yet.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s really hard to say- it certainly is moving toward digital and self-publishing, and there are a lot of exciting things happening around that.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print