Author Spotlight: Shannon Dittemore

Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.

The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with Dave and Neta Jackson is Angela Chesnut! Please email my assistant Christen with your mailing address. (

This week Shannon Dittemore is in the Spotlight! To win a copy of her book, Angel Eyes  leave a comment on this post!

Share a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in?

Hi Suzanne! Thank you so much for having me. I’m married to a coffee roasting addict and I have two beautiful children. My son is 7 and my daughter is 3. They like that I write stories, but they’d rather have me snuggled on the couch with them, so I write when I can. Often when they’re sleeping or when my husband’s home. When deadlines get too close, my parents and sisters help as well. I’m very blessed in that way.

And share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest…

I’m a speculative junkie. I like all those ‘what if’ questions and the journey of examining the possible answers. I’m open though and I’ll read just about anything. Bookshelves are interesting things these days; genres are crossing all over the place. I couldn’t be happier about that.

How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?

When I was in first grade, I won some award for writing a story about a parakeet who went missing and was later found feasting on a bag of bird feed. The hysterical thing is that I have a bird phobia and yet continue to write about things with wings. But, that might have been the first time I realized I had a knack for it. I didn’t start dreaming of publication until much later. Really, I thought I’d be acting. I thought my creativity would work itself out on stage and I hope to do more of that as my kids get older. Shooting for publication was a decision I made one night while walking a fussy newborn around the house. I wanted my job to be something I was passionate about and I’m passionate about stories.

After you started writing seriously–how long was it before you were published?

It was November of 2008 when I decided to go for it. Angel Eyes was published in May of 2012, so three and a half years.

Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well? Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write? How many hours a day do you spend writing?

I generally write at home. I need my cave, my boards, my notebooks, my research. It’s hard to haul all that to a coffee shop. I also like candles and while I don’t always listen to music while I write, I like listening to movie soundtracks. I just discovered the James Horner Pandora station and I’m in heaven. Best writing music ever.

What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader?

I joined Inspire Christian Writers after I finished my first or second draft of Angel Eyes and I can’t tell you how helpful that was. My crit group taught me about POV and their red pens helped me tons. I owe a lot to those ladies. Reading, and reading widely, has really helped as well. I like studying how a story unfolds and why characters do what they do. That’s been the greatest help to the business of sitting and typing, and let’s be honest—nothing gets done if your behind’s not in the chair.

Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be? (Explain your answer)

I didn’t expect the constant emotional upheaval. So much excitement, so much terror, so much happiness, so much, so much, so much. It’s taken some getting used to, but God’s helping me.

What are your biggest distractions?

It’s probably unfair to call them distractions, but I’m pulled away from my work most often by my children. Still, I chose this road. I wanted to work from home so I could be here with them, so I don’t begrudge them it. Oh. And the internet. Yeah. That’s all shiny and stuff.

What was one of the best moments in your career and what was one of the worst?

I’m going to be very predictable here, I think. Signing the three-book deal with Thomas Nelson was definitely one of the best moments. The Angel Eyes book launch also lands high on the list. My friends and family made that crazy special. The low point would have been the first negative review. I was working so hard on the next book in the series, that I don’t think I was as prepared as I could have been. Again, God’s helping me here.

What do you least like about being a writer? Most like?

Least: Deadlines! They make me all antsy. And they never ever go away. Most: Stories. I like telling them and I really like reading them, so that the job of doing both falls squarely on my shoulders, is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

What is the role and importance of an agent?

I had the opportunity to work with two agents on my road to publication. My first, Jason Pinter, got my manuscript to Thomas Nelson. When he left the agency, I was taken on by the lovely Holly Root and she made sure the deal got done. I thank both of them. They got me seen and they got me signed. And the advice and direction an agent brings is invaluable.

What advice would you give to new writers?

Read. Lots. Write what you love because if you get it contracted, you’ll be in those pages for quite some time. You’ll spend hours and hours in the world you’ve created and with the characters you’ve penned. If you don’t truly love them, you’re in for a long road.

Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one or two sentence promo to convince me to buy your book.

Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to see crazy stuff like angels, demons? No? Oh, well, neither had Brielle, but when the boy next door showed her the invisible, her world changed forever.

What’s on the book horizon for you?

Right now, I’m drafting the last book in the Angel Eyes trilogy. I’m guessing it’ll be just about ready to go by the time book two, Broken Wings, hits the shelf in February. After that, I don’t know. I have a YA fantasyish book in progress that I’d like to get back to.

Last question, how can readers find you and your books?

I’m everywhere, I think:

Thank you for sharing your writing life with my bleaders! (blog + readers = bleaders)

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Shannon–I enjoyed your interview! Really appreciated your comment about your feelings when you received a negative review–it happens to every author and it’s so helpful to hear how you felt/coped. Thanks for sharing today! Glad we’ve connected. Warmly, Suzanne

  2. Bonnie Traher says:

    Really need new reading material.

  3. Debbie says:

    I would love to win the book. I have not read anything by Shannon and would love the chance to dive in! Wishing her a very successful writing career!

    • annette mccall says:

      Have never read her books. Would like to add her to my list of authors. Would be nice to win. Thanks.

  4. Heather W. says:

    Thanks so much!!!

  5. Angie Adair says:

    Wow…sounds like an interesting book! Congrats on your first book and best of luck in all of your upcoming books!

  6. angela says:

    would love to win.

  7. Lisa says:

    Awesome! I love that you pursuing your dream and making it happen. Would love to read the book. Checking my local Stores for books to put on my wishlist later this week. I have just added this one to the list.

  8. Sandi says:

    I am always interested in meeting new authors. I am hoping to win this and become a fan! Hugs and God bless.

  9. Stefanie McMullen says:


    You’re interview was very interesting to read. I always enjoy getting the opportunity to learn about an author’s writing/creative process. I’m also happy to see all of the genre crossovers. I think it makes for some very interesting books. Personally, I’m not really all that picky about what genre I will read. I will typically read just about anything I get my hands on as long as it’s interesting and relatively well written.

    I am really looking forward to reading your new book. It sounds like something I will definitely enjoy reading.

    Thanks for the great interview and the generous giveaway! 🙂

  10. Ann Kietzman says:

    I would love to win a copy of your book. 🙂 I am constantly reading and typically read between three or four books a week.

  11. Nat Homgren says:

    It would be awesome to win a book….I could use a good book date about now!

  12. Judy Burgi says:

    Great interview! I would love to win a copy of “Angel Eyes.”

    I would have loved to have read your story about the parakeet who went missing! 🙂 Sounds like it was a real cute story! I never tried my hand at writing a story but loved to write poems. I’m sure they were pretty horrible to others but I thought they were great. Too bad I didn’t keep them. Would have made for some great laughs!


  13. Linda Falzone says:

    Well, like to read, read, my summer away! Retired, living in Wisconsin…really warm here… 100 or so today… but, better than temps when we lived in Texas for eight years!!!

  14. Linda Kish says:

    I would love to win/read this book. It sounds terrific.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

  15. Sherry Watson says:

    I would love to win, thanks for giving us the opportunity!!!

  16. Megan Parsons says:

    I would love the chance to win this book. It looks like a wonderful read!

  17. Linda McFarland says:

    Awesome interview…and I would love to win a copy of the book of the book ‘Angel Eyes’…by writer Shannon Dittemore….sounds like a wonderful book..I have shared on facebook and twitter

  18. Rhonda says:

    Okay, so even if I don’t win a copy of Angel Eyes, I think I might have to go out and buy a copy. This book sounds so intriguing!

  19. Donna says:

    Can’t wait to read it, even if I have to buy it!

  20. Elizabeth Dennison says:

    I love the thought about new writers reading and writing about what they love.

  21. Kathleen B says:

    I’m always interested in the authors and books that Suzanne Woods Fisher recommends. The best news is that it is going to be a trilogy! Woohoo, triple my fun! 🙂

  22. melissa says:

    I would love to win a copy. I’m a big fan. I have read 3 or 4 books already & want to keep reading! I have also got my 13yr old daughter reading amish story she loves them too!

  23. Wendy says:

    This sounds like a great book.

  24. Sherri Myers says:

    Shannon, I enjoyed reading your interview. I too get distracted by the internet, although I’m usually writing the reviews and not the books. 🙂 I try not to write negative ones though, always look for positive. It’s not my job to destroy an author’s work, as reading is often a matter of one’s own personal tastes. What someone else may have thrown against the wall in total hate I might think was a fantastic read. Good luck with your writing, and remember to enjoy your little ‘distractions’, they grow up so quickly. God bless, Sherri christianbookreviewer @ gmail. com

  25. misskallie2000 says:

    This series sounds great and I am looking forward to reading. Enjoyed your interview Shannon. Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

  26. Jackie Tessnair says:

    Would love to win this book.Thanks

  27. Suzanne! You have wonderful bleaders! Thank you all for taking the time to read our little chat. AND thank you for the encouragement. Don’t be strangers, okay? Chatting books and God stuff is an awesome thing. Let’s keep the conversation going.

  28. Thanks for the opportunity to read one of your books Shannon. Maybe I’ll win. Maxie ( )

  29. Amy Campbell says:

    What a great interview! I have been looking forward to getting this book soon.

  30. Carolyn Jefferson says:

    The interview was great!
    Would love to win a copy of “Angel Eyes”.
    God bless,

  31. felecia says:

    I would love to read your book!