Interview with Shakara Cannon

Shakara Cannon will be appearing at the Leimert Park Village Book Fair on Saturday, June 25.

Shakara Cannon developed her love for writing during her childhood years, writing stories to read to her family at bed time. As she honed her skills, Shakara steadily gained notoriety in high school writing stories that surprised her teachers. She further developed her passion for writing at California State University, Northridge, double majoring in English and Business with a minor in Psychology. Later, writing fiction grew from hobby to therapy after the loss of her daughter’s father.

Shakara’s talent for creating colorful, sexy, and humorous characters, coupled with relative, relatable, and controversial topics brings her novels to life. Each page has you thirsting to know what happens next!

More information can be found at

This Can’t be Life:

Simone Johnson’s repressed memories resurface through a year-long recurring dream unveiling secrets that turn her world upside down. When it seems that her life is in a downward spiral, she meets the man of her dreams and falls in love for the first time. With her 2 best friends by her side – Talise, the romantic, who dreams of a marriage just like her parents, and Stacey, the brother, the shoulder, and the comic relief – and the love of her life in her corner, life is better than it has ever been. But, when tragedy strikes and she finds that the man she’s given her heart to isn’t who she thought he was, Simone falls into an abyss of darkness that she may not find her way out of.

(1) Tell us about This Can’t be Life. What led you to write a novel?

I was led to write this novel after having a recurring nightmare that brought me to the realization that I’d repressed memories as a child. That is how it started, but it grew from there and became its own story.

(2) How did you go about creating and developing your characters? Were there inspirations behind them?

When I created the characters in This Can’t be Life, I first did a complete bio on them all. I wanted background information, what motivates them, what annoys them. I just really wanted to know them inside and out. While doing this, they came alive and was so much easier to tell their story. It’s like it flows through you. None of my characters are based off of anyone I know aside from one. The character Deon Bradford in This Can’t be Life, is based very lightly off of someone I know, but of course in actuality he is no Deon Bradford. You’ll understand after reading This Can’t be Life (wink wink).

(3) What was the process like in getting the This Can’t be Life published?

It has definitely had its challenges, but anything worth doing will be challenging in some way. The main thing that I’ve ran into was figuring out who to hire. When it comes to editors, typesetters, printers, publicist, etc., you want to make the right choice the first time around! Luckily I’ve connected with people that put me in touch with the right professionals that have helped guide me. I can’t say how important it is to have a mentor and join writers groups. Having that support of your piers is priceless. A lot of times you can find someone who can give you advice and prevent you from going down the wrong road.

(4) What are you doing to promote This Can’t be Life?

I’m doing everything possible to promote This Can’t be Life, from having a heavy presence on the social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as prompting reviews, write ups, interviews such as these, book signings, book fairs and expos, etc. I’m working with a very experienced publicist who is doing a lot of promoting which is very helpful to the novice author/publisher. Also, friends and family are doing a lot of promoting as well as avid readers. When they read something they love they speak on it. Good word of mouth is the best promotion in my opinion, because it is unsolicited and honest. You hear it straight from the mouth of someone who has actually read what you are selling.

(5) What are your favorite books and authors? Anything special that you have recently read?

It has always been hard for me to pick favorites, but here goes. Eric Jerome Dickey, Mary B. Morrison, Danielle Steel, Mary Monroe, Jackie Collins, Dean Koontz, Brandon Massey. Again, it’s hard for me to narrow it down because my taste in fiction is so broad. A couple of my favorite books is The Upper Room by Mary Morrison, momma Ruby was nuts! I also love Sleeping with Strangers by Eric Jerome Dickey. Gideon is the love of my life! EJD is an amazing story teller. The Sleeping with Strangers series of books reminds me of the Bourne Identity movies. Very action packed with a great storyline. Love it!

(6) Anything else you’d like to share or say?

Yes! I’d like to thank you for this opportunity. I’m looking forward to the Leimert Park Village Book Fair and meeting lots of readers! This is a great event promoting literacy in our inner cities. I’m a native of Southern California and am truly honored to be a part of this movement.

(Interview posted, June 2011)

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