Shannon Jump author of My Only Sunshine
Hi! I’m Robyn from The Book Review Crew and I knew when I joined this blog, my first spotlight would be on Shannon Jump, author of My Only Sunshine. When I met her on Bookstagram, I fell in love with her book and now consider her one of my friends. I want you to get to know her too.
Shannon Jump is a survivor but more than that, she’s, what I call, a thriver. She has not only lived through some difficult times but turned those times into a book that many people will either be able to relate to or teach a person sympathy for abusive sitautions. When I first read “My Only Sunshine” by Shannon, I knew I wanted to know more about this strong, courageous woman. I was fortunate enough to be able to ask her some questions and I hope you enjoy her responses.
Robyn: Does writing exhaust you or energize you?
SJ: I would say a little of both. It depends on what I’m writing and why. When I’m writing on impulse (not because of a deadline) or to resolve some personal emotions, then writing it definitely energizes me. But tough, emotional scenes can take a lot out of me, too. My Only Sunshine had a lot of those so I had to space them out and didn’t write the book chronologically.
I also do best when I’m writing on my own time, when the words come to me freely and I don’t have to think too hard. If I’m forcing it I usually end up with material I’m not proud of, and that can definitely be exhausting.
Robyn: Tell me a little bit of what inspired your first book and if that will extend to your second?
SJ: Life. I went through an abusive relationship as a young adult, and that relationship resulted in a couple kiddos and then several years of single parenting. I was emotionally drained and felt like no one understood me, that I was alone and no one in my life could relate to what I’d been through. When therapy didn’t help, I turned to writing. I’d always been an avid reader and had dabbled in writing, but had never really done so seriously. I worked on My Only Sunshine off and on for about thirteen years, never really with real intentions of of publishing a book. But when the pandemic hit and everything went into lock down, I picked it back up and eventually the words filled the pages. I had a story to tell, and suddenly felt compelled to tell it.
Robyn: What does literary success look like to you?
SJ: This is a tough one for me to answer because I personally don’t feel I’ve achieved literary success (yet). I have a lot to learn about writing, publishing, and marketing so I definitely don’t consider myself an expert in the field.
That said, I think any writer simply wants someone to read their words. To dive into their story, and relate to their characters, their inner reality. I’m so proud of the work I’ve done on My Only Sunshine and happy to see that the book has been considered inspirational to readers. That’s a personal success for me, and something I don’t take lightly. If my book can help even one person, then it’s a success.
But I’ll always have goals—I’m always striving for something more, something bigger.
My Only Sunshine by Shannon Jump is available now