Born and raised in the Appalachian Mountains of Southeastern Kentucky, Shawn grew up in a hollow (pronounced “holler” by the locals), the oldest of three boys. He attended a consolidated school, where he developed interests in science, math, music, history, and girls, having much less success with the latter than the four former subjects; but he admits that he despised literature and grammar, especially the college courses he took in high school, although he did eventually develop a taste for reading.
Upon graduating from high school, with honors, Shawn joined the United States Army to serve his country; but he was injured and chaptered out of the service less than a year later. After attempting, futilely, for two years to reenlist, he worked at various jobs in several states, and finally found himself driving a big rig over-the-road. It was at this job that Shawn really began to enjoy books.
As Shawn traveled the country, all 48 continental states and two Canadian provinces, he found that audio books would help melt both the time and the miles, and he developed a taste for mysteries and thriller, especially the works of authors like Rex Stout, J. A. Jance, Tom Clancy, and Steven Womack, to name a few. Yet, since his taste was eclectic, Shawn even listened to and began reading books by authors like J. R. Tolkien; and, after he met his wife, April, a fellow truck driver, as well as book lover, she introduced him to writers like Stephen King and Dean Koontz, so his taste in books continued to expand.
For a time, Shawn returned to school, attending online classes through the University of Phoenix, where he discovered, quite accidentally, that he could write not merely for communication purposes but also to express himself creatively. He discovered this when an instructor, Carol Culver Rzadkiewicz, known to her students as “Ms. Carol,” posted a voluntary writing exercise in the online classroom, giving her students three opening lines and challenging them to create a short story using one of those lines. Shawn accepted the challenge, wrote a story, and the rest is history, for Ms. Carol was impressed with his ability and encouraged him to continue writing; and thanks to her sustained encouragement, Shawn has grown and developed, becoming an accomplished and talented writer.
Following that first attempt at creative expression, Shawn had an essay published in Authors of Tomorrow, a book of winning essays submitted to Elder & Leemaur Publishers during a scholarship contest. A letter confirmed that, out of 5,000 entries, his essay was one of 250 essays selected for inclusion in the book; and although he didn’t win the contest, Shawn feels that being published was a great consolation prize. Then, encouraged by his success, Shawn later entered an essay contest sponsored by the University of Phoenix, and an excerpt of his essay was published in Future, the university’s magazine.
Today, Shawn is a business owner and stays busy driving his truck over-the-road. In his spare time, however, he manages his website and blog, offering advice to help other truck drivers and owners be successful in the industry. When time permits, he also enters writing contests and submits his work to trade publications; and he is currently working on several short stories for an upcoming contest, although he hopes to develop each one of these stories into novels in the not-too-distant future.