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Author Interview,  Giveaway,  Hope-filled Fiction

Shannon McNear: History, Pocahontas, Jamestown, a Giveaway & More

Help me welcome Shannon McNear to the blog this week! Shannon writes Historical Christian Fiction and is sharing about her recent release, Rebecca, Book Three in the Daughters of the Lost Colony series.

She’s offering a paperback to a US winner or an ebook to an international winner as a giveaway. To enter, simply comment below by July 25!

Welcome, Shannon! Tell us a little about yourself and your family.

I’m a wife, mother (8 here on earth and 1 in heaven), mom-in-love (5 so far and adding a son-in-law in August), grammie (7 so far and #8 due in August), history nerd, music lover, youth and worship leader. My husband retired from 32 years of military service last year, and I also retired from homeschooling with the graduation of our youngest. Does that mean we’re less busy? Noooo…

Wow, nine children?! That’s amazing. And special thanks to you and your husband for his military service. My husband served 20 years in the Navy. How and when did you start writing?

I’ve been writing little stories (like, one page long) since third grade. Graduated to longer ones—two I recall from my junior high years include a story about a girl who’s the sole survivor of her family after a tornado but finds an injured horse to save, and Dukes of Hazzard fanfic that morphed into a series set in southern Louisiana. 😂 I started my first novel at 15 and rewrote it like 20 times in as many years before moving on to something new. (Yeah … I was stubborn. And maybe a little bit dumb.) 

I love your tenacity! What genre do you write and what inspired you to write that particular genre?

Currently writing—and published in—historical fiction, some of it romance and some less so. My first novel was fantasy with a historical feel (no dragons, elves, or wizards), so I suppose it was a natural move, inspired greatly by all the local history around Charleston, South Carolina, where we lived for more than two decades.

We’d attended a Revolutionary War reenactment, actually one of three spread across adjoining historical plantations, and wound up in the British camp. I found myself intrigued by what I later learned was a popular reenactor’s myth about the fate of campfollowing wives—and thus was born my first historical, Loyalty’s Cadence, which covers a sliver of the American War for Independence from the British and loyalist point of view. That title is not yet published!

Charleston is a beautiful city. My son and his wife lived there briefly when they married in 2015. If you wrote in a different genre than your current one, which would you choose and why?

Faith-based fantasy. My first novel (and its storyworld) are still very dear to me.

How do you incorporate Christ and hope into your writing?

I try to give my characters authentic faith that isn’t without struggle but deals honestly with the problems and questions of life. To show how God’s love and goodness are still unfailing and unchanging even when circumstances are at their darkest.

Just the kind of stories I like to read. How do you tackle research for your novels?

I start with an overview of the history and its key players—Wikipedia is handy there—then dive into primary accounts. I can’t rush that part of the process! I’ll read, and re-read, sometimes three or four times, to make sure I catch relevant details. If it’s a time period I’m not familiar with (and the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras were way out of my wheelhouse) then I’ll also research the material culture—dress, music, foods, etc. 

Sounds like an intense process to get the details right. I highly respect historical fiction writers! What did God teach you through the writing of Rebecca?

That I can write faster under pressure than I ever thought possible… and that the truth of redemption in Jesus really does translate across all cultures.

What do you hope your readers take away from Rebecca?

That God is always with us, even or maybe especially in the sorrows and heartaches. And that He definitely works through all the nuances of history, despite the mistakes we humans make.

Great lessons. Which character in Rebecca was easiest for you to write and why? Which character presented the biggest challenge?

Oooh, that’s a tough one to pin down. Pocahontas herself was a joy and wonder to write. I also loved writing her parents. (It probably shows that I fell a little bit in love with the legendary Wahunsenecawh!)

John Smith was somewhat tough—of all primary accounts that survive, his are the most extensive, but trying to unravel what really happened, what might have been embellishment on his part, and what was merely him skimming over details (or someone else’s edit) because it wasn’t relevant, that was challenging. He tended to present himself in the most flattering light possible.

What was the hardest scene to write?

How to answer this without giving spoilers? Let’s just say, there were three in particular. Things happen in history, or to characters, that are not fun to recount.

I can only imagine! How many unpublished and unfinished manuscripts do you have? Any plans to pursue publication for any of them?

I had 7 unpublished manuscripts in varying stages of completion when I signed my first contract—and that on a novella I hadn’t yet written. 😊 Now, including unfinished stories, that’s grown to 10. I’m waiting to hear on a couple of those, but I do hope to eventually publish most, if not all, particularly the fantasy series. (Some segments will need extensive rewriting, though!)

I hope you get to publish them all! Thanks so much for sharing on my blog today. It’s been a pleasure learning more about you and your writing. I wish you God’s best as you continue to write for Him.

Thank you so much for having me!

Would you like a chance to win a copy of Rebecca, a #ChristianHistoricalFiction by @Shenandoah_Dawn? Simply use the link provided to comment on her interview by 7/25. #giveaway #amreading


Join the conversation. Are you a Historical Fiction fan? Does a story revolving around Pocahontas and John Smith appeal to you? What questions or comments do you have for Shannon?

Be sure to comment below by Tuesday, July 25, for a chance to win Shannon’s book! Paperback for a US winner or ebook for international.

Rebecca book cover

Rebecca by Shannon McNear

Click the book cover for purchase link

The Lost Colony of Roanoke: discover an alternate view of their fate alongside the life of Pocahontas.

Born the daughter of a Powhatan chieftain and a woman of unknown origins, Mato’aka enjoys a carefree life. When strange men from across the eastern waters appear near her home, she regards them at first as a mere curiosity. Soon, though, she finds herself torn between fascination for one of their leaders and the opinions and ways of her people–then becomes a pawn in their delicate and dangerous game of politics. Drawn to a young Englishman, John Rolfe, who has lost a wife and baby daughter, she shares his griefs. . .and perhaps something more.

Could she have a future among the English of Jamestown, accepting their ways and even changing her name? Could her destiny be a part of the lasting legacy of the Lost Colony of Roanoke?

After more than two decades in the South, Shannon McNear now makes her home on the windy northern plains with her husband, two of their eight children, two German Shepherds, a bunny, two cats, several chickens, and a noisy flock of guinea fowl. She serves in worship and youth ministry, and has been writing novel-length fiction since age 15. Her first novella, Defending Truth, from A Pioneer Christmas Collection, was a 2014 RITA® nominee, and her most recent novella, The Wise Guy and the Star in Love’s Pure Light is a 2021 SELAH winner.

When not cooking, researching, or leaking story from her fingertips, she enjoys being outdoors, basking in the beauty of the Dakota prairie.

Connect with Shannon: Website / Facebook / Pinterest/ Goodreads / BookBub / Twitter

Shannon McNear Head Shot

Please share Shannon’s interview on social media to help spread the word about her book!

Check out these interviews with Jennifer Sienes, Urcelia Teixeira, and Penny Frost McGinnis.

As a Jesus girl for more than thirty years, Deena Adams understands how important hope is to daily life, which fuels her passion to inspire others through hope-filled fiction based on true to life stories. She is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency and is a multi-award-winning writer, an active ACFW member, and ACFW Virginia president. Connect with Deena through her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  • Shannon McNear

    Thank you to ALL who commented and entered! (Special thanks to Mary, my pastor’s wife, and David, an old school chum, for chiming in! Y’all are so sweet!) I was slightly sidetracked with an impending wedding (next to youngest daughter) and a visiting mother-in-law, so my apologies for not joining in the conversation. It was a huge honor to have Deena feature my story!

  • Amanda C

    I thoroughly enjoyed the first two and can’t wait to read this one! I am the librarian at our church and will definitely be adding it. 💜

  • Roxanne C.

    Ever since I learned about The Lost Colony of Roanoke as well Pocahontas in school, I have been fascinated with their history. The author’s book, Rebecca, needs to be added to my TBR.

  • Teresa Warner

    I’m always looking for new authors, thanks for the interview. Sounds like a great read!

  • Vickie Waters

    You are such a busy woman Shannon. Don’t know how you do it.

    I love learning about how you have done your research to write as authentic as possible the dress, culture, food, etc. of your historical fiction. It sounds like a lot of work. My husband, who loves history, especially the Civil War, has also seen a reenactment. So fascinating.

  • David Burris

    I always knew Shannon would make it someday. I was there when she was writing in grade school,and I have been a long for the ride up to present day. I can say , I knew her when…. Lol.

    • Traci Winget

      Such a good interview. South Dakota is on my bucket list ~ especially Mt Rushmore! I was not a history fan growing up, but am enamored with it now, and thoroughly enjoy novels covering it. I look forward to reading Rebecca and others by this new-to-me author!

      • Deena Adams

        Traci, I didn’t enjoy history when I was growing up either. Had I known then I could learn interesting historical facts through reading fiction, that could have been a gamechanger for me!

  • Pam Piccolo

    Love historical fiction! Researching is half the fun of writing! Great interview. Would love to read any of Shannon’s works.

    • Deena Adams

      I wish I loved the research part, Pam. That’s a big reason I chose not to write historical. I can’t imagine getting all those details right! I enjoy reading them, though!

  • Natalie Morice

    Well, I like to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the article and interview. I also really loved the cover photo for the book Rebecca, and the story intrigues me. I too am a history buff who especially loves the stories that hit closer to our home here on the East Coast. I will definitely be reading this series.

    • Deena Adams

      Thanks so much for reading and joining the conversation, Natalie! I hope you will love Shannon’s book when you get a chance to read it.