About Tracy Shawn

Author Tracy Shawn

I grew up in a Southern California beach town. As a young child, I suffered from a speech impediment, which I (mostly) recovered from due to my speech therapist’s ingenious M&M’s reward system. (I still, to this day, mispronounce certain words and crave chocolate when I’m frustrated!) I believe my speech problem was part of the reason I became a writer. To be able to take the time to form words—whether they are nonfiction or fiction—and sculpt them onto paper remains one of the most gratifying arenas of my life.

Throughout the years, I’ve worn many work hats: busgirl, waitress, flower stand operator, traditional floral designer, sports shoe salesperson, behavioral counselor, receptionist, typist, secretarial assistant, vocational rehabilitation counselor, core counselor at a psychiatric center for schizophrenic adults, nutritional consultant, and over the last decade, a freelance writer and novelist. Although my professional path has been less than straightforward, I feel my writing is richer for it.

About My Reading & Writing Life

(And how “The Grace of Crows” was born)

I have always loved falling into a story. Reading and writing, both, serving as ongoing escape tools. Since grade school, I have scribbled notebooks full of short stories and poetry. In junior high, I discovered Ray Bradbury’s “Illustrated Man” and fell in love. From then until my late twenties, the bulk of my reading included science fiction and supernatural stories. After that my tastes shifted to historical fiction, and in the last fifteen years, my nightstand supports a number of contemporary fiction books—one I am currently reading and others I can’t wait to get to.

After receiving my masters in clinical psychology and working in the counseling field, I studied journalism. For over a decade, I’ve freelanced as a professional writer, publishing articles in parenting and women’s magazines, travel pieces for a local paper, and was lead writer for sustainable living articles with Noozhawk.com. (I still work as a columnist for Noozhawk.com, contributing articles on mental health.) I also am a contributor to Psych Central and Psychology Tomorrow online magazines.

My greatest passion is writing fiction. My  debut novel, “The Grace of Crows,” was released in October of 2013 by small press Cherokee McGhee. Before it was published, I honed my skills by taking writing classes, seminars, and going to writer’s conferences. I also studied with such authors as John DeChancie, Lisa Lenard-Cook, and Duane Unkefer. While I queried, I worked with New York editor Marlene Adelstein, and in the final “polishing” stage, writers and editors Lisa Kline, Catherine Viel, and Sydni Thurmond-Hamill. And with help from my friends Eve Juliana and Anne Diamond, both astute readers, I dove deeper into what didn’t work—and what did.

I have recently completed my second novel.

The Fun Stuff

I love the stuff of everyday life: morning coffee, stovetop popcorn, dishing with a friend, free frozen yogurt samples, going to plays and movies with my adult children when they visit, walking my dog, listening to my cat’s purr, reading before bed, giving and receiving compliments, flourless chocolate cake, chatting with strangers, being by myself, driving a stick shift, blasting my favorite songs, napping in the sun, a late afternoon beach, the misunderstood pit bull, memories of New York City, stupid jokes, take-out food, my weekly Toastmaster meetings, and of course, sitting at my desk and getting words down on paper.

Please visit her author page on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/tracyshawnauthor,
on Amazon at: www.amazon.com/author/tracyshawn,
tweet her @TracyShawn, and check her Stress Adviser & Speaker page at: http://www.conquerworry.org/consulting.html