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About the Book
“Welcome to a world of danger, action, and complicated relationships. Shannon Baker has created a finely crafted mystery that moves to its powerful climax like the rush of an oncoming train. This book kept me reading too far into the night.” – Anne Hillerman, New York Times bestselling author
October 17, 2017
Dark Signal by Shannon Baker is the second installment in the Kate Fox mystery series, called “A must read” by New York Times bestselling author Alex Kava, starring a female Longmire in the atmospheric Nebraska Sandhills.
Reeling from her recent divorce, Kate Fox has just been sworn in as Grand County, Nebraska Sheriff when tragedy strikes. A railroad accident has left engineer Chad Mills dead, his conductor Bobby Jenkins in shock. Kate soon realizes that the accident was likely murder.
Who would want to kill Chad Mills? Kate finds that he made a few enemies as president of the railroad workers union. Meanwhile his widow is behaving oddly. And why was his neighbor Josh Stevens at the Mills house on the night of the accident?
While her loud and meddling family conspires to help Kate past her divorce, State Patrol Officer Trey closes in on Josh Stevens as the suspect. Kate doesn’t believe it. She may not have the experience, but she’s lived in the Sandhills her whole life, and knows the land and the people. Something doesn’t add up—and Kate must find the real killer before he can strike again.
Can’t wait until October? Pick up Stripped Bare now, or the thrilling Kate Fox short story Close Enough on September 19th! Shannon-Baker.com
Interview with the Author
What initially got you interested in writing?
When my older sister told me very early on that she was the writer in the family and I’d have to find something else to do, I gravitated to theater. It wasn’t until my 35th high school class reunion that I realized I’d written the class prophecy as well as class wills. So, part of me was always writing. When I hit college, my practical side took over and I ended up in the business school. My freshman comp prof drew me aside one day and said, “You have a real facility for the language. You should consider becoming and English major.” Of course, I blew him off (except I still remember his exact words).
What made it possible for me to be a writer is that I’ve always loved to read. My first husband used it as an insult when he said, “Your nose is always in a book.” I still consider it one of the nicest things he ever said to me.
How did you decide to make the move into becoming a published author?
I wrote my first book with the idea that I had always been a big reader, I could certainly write. Ha! I finished that book but even I could see how awful it was. I discovered Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers in Denver, and started attending their yearly conference. That’s where I learned to write and decided to try to get good enough to be published.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
First and always, I want readers to do that magical thing–like when space ships in Star Wars go into warp speed–where they are transported into the world of the story. Reading novels has made me so happy and I’d love to give that to readers.
Then I’d love for them to find out something about rural America, cattle ranching, and the beautiful Nebraska Sandhills. I’d also like them to make friends with Kate Fox and enjoy spending time with her.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Like yoga or long distance running, I love having done it. For me, writing is like solving this big puzzle. You start out with all these ideas and you need to figure out how to fit them all together and add more stuff to come up with a story that moves along and hangs together. While I’m going through it, I can get frustrated. I stomp around declaring that I’m not smart enough. But, so far, if I bash my brain long enough, it all sifts into place and it feels like magic. So, yeah, that’s pretty rewarding.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
I think it’s exactly what is the most rewarding. Beating the plot into submission is really hard. *whine, whine, wine *
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
The big two that Stephen King recommends: write every day and read all the time. I’d also add to keep learning. I learned how to write from going to conferences. Now I take online courses and read lots of great books on writing.
And also, one I wish I’d have told my younger self—be gentle with yourself. Writing is a long game. Hardly anyone gets there immediately. It takes lots of words, lots of effort, endless education. Keep working but don’t expect immediate success.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
I don’t know how interested other people would be about this, but two days ago I returned from scuba diving in Roatan, Honduras. I dove with sharks, people! And I saw 6 sea horses in total, all at different times. Not only that, but we spotted a manta ray with an 8-foot wingspan!
If you’d have asked me this two weeks ago, I’d have told you that at my ripe old age, more 60 than 50, I ran my first ½ marathon. I beat Oprah Winfrey’s time, so there’s that.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
You can contact me through my website: www.shannon-baker.com
I am the worst Twitterer ever, but my handle there is: sbakerwriter
About the Author
Shannon Baker is the author of the Kate Fox mystery series, set in the isolated cattle country of the Nebraska Sandhills. She was voted Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers’ 2017 Writer of the Year and Stripped Bare earned the author a starred review in Library Journal (as their Pick of the Month) and a nomination for the 2016 Reading The West Award from Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers. She also writes the Nora Abbott Mysteries (Midnight Ink), featuring Hopi Indian mysticism and environmental issues inspired by her time working at the Grand Canyon Trust. Shannon makes her home in Tucson where she enjoys cocktails by the pool, breathtaking sunsets, a crazy Weimaraner, and killing people (in the pages of her books).