Southern Fiction Author, Freelance Writer & Retired Clown

Native Floridian, Southern Author & Retired Clown: Shannon O’Neil

What is normal?

Shannon O’Neil is the author of two novels (Killer Shine + Ancient City Christmas) steeped in colorful humor, complicated family dynamics, and a touch of mystery. Her third novel, Shattered Shine, is scheduled for release in 2018.

A native of historic (and eccentric) St. Augustine, Florida, Shannon never had a chance at normalcy. Born into a family of parade clowns (by choice, not profession) Shannon’s earliest memories are of riding through St. Augustine’s cobblestone streets in a little red wagon, tossing candy to other children along the Easter and Christmas parade routes.

When she wasn’t enjoying the beaches, culture, and kooky charm of her hometown, Shannon could often be found with her toes in the clay of Lower Alabama. From the muddy waters of Lake Martin to the shaded oaks of her great-grandparents’ farm, Shannon has always had one foot planted with her mama’s southern roots while the other stayed in the sandy shores of her daddy’s native Florida.

Two Goals: One Dream

In 1993, Shannon was inspired by a national championship football team and a spectacular third grade teacher to set two important life goals for herself: graduate from Florida State University and become a published author. Ten years later, she stepped onto campus at FSU ready to earn her degree in Creative Writing. But practicality (induced by her supportive, but realistic parents) led Shannon to switch majors to study public relations and marketing. She left FSU in 2008 with two degrees and a new career path, though still carrying a fiery passion for writing.

While her marketing skills took Shannon on a journey through collegiate athletics, boutique firms, nonprofit museums and a billion dollar corporation, she continued to pursue her author dreams on the side. Her first draft of Ancient City Christmas was completed in the fall of 2008. Like many authors, Shannon chose to retain  rights and control over her work and self-publish. Ancient City Christmas was first self-published just in time for the holiday season of 2009. Four years later, Killer Shine hit the shelves in fall 2013.  Shannon is currently at work on her third full length novel, due out in 2018.

Outside of her day job and novel pursuits, Shannon also enjoys sharing the stories of her quirky little town through freelance writing in local and regional magazines. A regular contributor for both First Coast Magazine and St. Augustine Social, Shannon’s work has also been featured in Deep South Magazine and Artisan Spirits Magazine

Shannon’s other interests include volunteering for the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum and Habitat for Humanity, where she serves as chairman of the Homeowner Support Committee for her local affiliate. She’s also passionate about Americana music, Florida State football and her rescue dog, Bailey. She still resides in St. Augustine (despite the best efforts of two recent hurricanes).

Follow Shannon on Social Media

To keep up with the latest on all of Shannon’s endeavors, follow her on Twitter, like her author page on Facebook, or check out her photos on Instagram.