Shana, describe yourself for our visitors.
I am a very laid back person. I love reading, writing, and spending time with my family and friends. I am very creative, but my laziness often clashes with my creativity. I can come up with great ideas but won’t feel like carrying them out. I love music, and I try not to limit it to just one genre, just anything positive, uplifting, and has a nice tempo. Right now, I work primarily with the education ministry at my church but in the past, I’ve worked on the hospitality, publication, and abuse ministries as well.
How do you find time to connect with God?
Between my family, day job, and writing, it is hard to squeeze in my quiet time with the Lord, but I make a point to set aside at least 30 minutes a day in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon for my Bible reading, praying, meditation, etc. I’ll go crazy if I don’t.
Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?
My favorite books vary all of the time, but my absolute favorite authors are Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright. While I love Wright, a part of me does resent him for contributing to Hurston’s downfall. Some of the books that I love are Invisible Life, Finding Makeba, The Bluest Eye, Waiting to Exhale, and 1984, but Native Son and Their Eyes Were Watching are the books that made me want to be an author.
Tell us about your journey to publication.
My journey to publication was quite accidental. I’ve always loved to write, but I never seriously thought about trying to have a book published. During the summer of 2004, I was taking a movie critiquing class, and my professor would force us to sit through these long, boring westerns. To keep from falling asleep, I’d just start writing and before I knew it, I had a novel. I didn’t try to have that novel published, but it did show me that I had what it took to sit down and write a book. In January 2005, I started writing Suddenly Single and finished it that May and started shopping it around to publishing companies. After a year of rejections, close calls, and dashed hopes, I finally got an agent. After that, she secured my book deal within a week or two.
Tell us about your current book?
My current book, Suddenly Single, chronicles one woman’s journey to self-actualization and true love without offering compromises and apologies. More than finding a man, though, she discovers God’s love for her and learns to love herself.
How did you come up with ideas for this book? Coming up with ideas for the book was relatively easy. I have a lot of single friends who manage to get themselves in all kinds of unbelievable situations, so I had a virtual cornucopia of material to pull from. I would use their experiences as a basis and create my own story from there.
What’s next for you?
Right now, I’m putting the final touches on First Comes Love, and I’m about five chapters in with the third book, Bag Ladies. I will continue teaching as long as I can but if I have to make a choice between teaching and writing, I wouldn’t hesitate to choose writing. I will also strive to be a good wife and mother and to maintain my relationship with the Lord.
Where can visitors find you online?
www.shanaburton.com and www.myspace.com/shanajburton