Shannon Gibney is a writer, educator, activist, and the author of See No Color (Carolrhoda Lab, 2015), and Dream Country (Dutton, 2018) young adult novels that won Minnesota Book Awards. Gibney is faculty in English at Minneapolis College, where she teaches writing. A Bush Artist and McKnight Writing Fellow, her new book, Botched, explores themes of transracial adoption through speculative memoir (Dutton, 2023). She lives in Minneapolis with her family.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
What’s your favorite line from a book?
“So when they met, first in those chocolate halls and next through the ropes of the swing, they felt the ease and comfort of old friends. Because each had discovered years before that they were neither white nor male, and that all freedom and triumph was forbidden to them, they had set about creating something else to be.” —Toni Morrison, Sula, pg. 52
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
James Baldwin, Toni Morrison, Junot Diaz
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
To tell stories, and discover myself and the world
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Read voraciously and broadly. Do not focus too much on publishing early on, that will come. Focus instead on understanding and enjoying the literary landscape that you will be contributing to. It will make your work that much more impactful.