About the Author

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Photo by Haley Miller, Captures Photography

Shannon Symonds writes in an old house by the sea, where her 6 children, their children, and 30 or 40 of her closest relatives, and their dogs come and go constantly. She loves laughter, a good mystery, running on the beach, deep sea fishing, and bonfires. Her all-time favorite job at church was Girls Camp Activity Director. Shannon worked for over 20 years as an Advocate serving survivors of abuse alongside law enforcement, as a home visitor supporting new mothers, and on other causes she is ridiculously passionate about. She will tell you, “Love sprinkled with laughter really is the answer, it always was, and it always will be.”  https://www.cozymysteriesbythesea.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As a mother…

I believe the world needs more clean entertainment so I write what I love, cozy mysteries by the sea. Learn more at: https://www.cozymysteriesbythesea.com/

I live in an old store, now a house, by the sea. My home was built in 1896. I love crabbing, clamming, fishing, kayaking, bike riding, and painting. But when it rains or the sun goes down,  I write books.

 

I have a lot of children, grandchildren, brothers, a sister, mom, dad, aunts, uncles, and cousins by the dozens who come and go on the regular. We live in chaos and we love the busy life of family. When the winter comes, and everyone goes home, I write sweet, clean, cozy mysteries.

Follow me on Amazon: Shannon Symonds, Author

.I am a volunteer for Operation Underground Railroad. In 2020, I was the volunteer of the year for my work creating and organizing several events annually, including:

Professionally:

Shannon Symonds writes in an old house by the sea, where her 6 children, their children, and 30 or 40 of her closest relatives, and dogs come and go constantly. She loves laughter, a good mystery, running on the beach, deep sea fishing, and bonfires. Shannon has worked for over 20 years as an Advocate serving survivors of abuse alongside law enforcement, as a home visitor supporting new mothers, and on other causes she is ridiculously passionate about. Shannon has been a hybrid author since 2014. She authored 263 articles for Deseret Digital Media under her name and with her daughter, blogs for Hilary Weeks Billion Clicks project, the Operation Underground Railroad’s volunteer newsletter between 2017 and 2020, and published her first book with Cedar Fort in 2017. Shannon received the Oregon Trial Lawyers Public Justice Award 2002 for the Tiffany Alvera Case that changed housing for victims nationally, and the 2002 Star Advocate Commendation from the Oregon Department of Justice. In 2020, Shannon was the Operation Underground Railroad Volunteer of the Year for the Authors for Freedom Event and her work organizing a 5k Run to Break to Chain. She will tell you, “Love really is the answer, it always was, and it always will be,” and then she’ll tell you a story that will put you on the edge of your seat, and leave you laughing.  @shannonsymonds7; @Cozymysteriesbythesea;  

 https://www.cozymysteriesbythesea.com/

 

Visit my Webpage! https://www.cozymysteriesbythesea.com/

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cozymysteriesbythesea/

Instagram Personal: https://www.instagram.com/shannonsymonds7/

Personal Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shannon.symonds

FB Author page: https://www.facebook.com/shannonsymondsauthor

FB Cozy Mystery Readers & Writers: https://www.facebook.com/cozymysteryreaderswriters

Join my Facebook Cozy Mystery Book Chat Group: : https://www.facebook.com/groups/183635806736247/

Follow me on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/~/e/B06Y5X6BYN

Follow me on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16539647.Shannon_Symonds

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/shannonsymonds7

Pinterest Personal: https://www.pinterest.com/ShannonSymondsAuthor/_saved/

Pinterest By The Sea Cozy Mystery: https://www.pinterest.com/business/hub/

Follow me on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtjwp6jP67o8t1GTLHz3KZw

Tell the story…

 

“1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have been physically abused by an intimate partner.” NCADV

As a movement, domestic violence and sexual assault agencies and prevention programs are beginning to see the power and value of survivor stories. The National Domestic Violence Hotline web page reads, “Survivors can find strength and healing in telling their stories to others. Their insight and inspiration can save lives.” But that is not true for an Advocate.

I can never tell the true story; the actual story of advocacy and my work with survivors of intimate partner or sexual violence. As an advocate, if I am doing my job right, I will stay up with you all night, side by side in the hospital or with police, holding you while you cry, see you bruised and bloodied, house you, feed you, comfort you, empower you, go to court with you and then pass you as if you are a stranger when we meet in the grocery store to protect your confidentiality. I will carry your secrets with me to the grave, unless you ask me, in writing, to share the story to benefit you or meet your needs.

As an advocate, I live inside a bubble of confidentiality and am committed to never sharing a single true story with anyone, including my spouse and closest friends. That makes for one short end of the work day conversation.

Friend, “How was work?”

Me, “Good.”

Friend, “What did you do?”

Me, “Can’t say.”

Daily, I am a witness. I sit with survivors at some of the worst moments of their lives and take seriously my sacred duty of witnessing, giving assistance and walking beside a survivor in their journey.

As a survivor, I choose to not tell my story. Telling my personal story would impact my children and extended family. Out of love and appreciation for their innocence, I choose to keep my story safe within my own heart, as do many survivors.

And yet, as a writer and an avid reader, I am converted to the power of a story to change hearts and change the world, to open eyes and to create a movement so powerful it cannot be stopped. I also believe that by never talking about violence, we allow the secrets to continue to give perpetrators safe space to live and abuse. I believe education is important for prevention.

As a child I was molded and influenced by the story of Harriet Tubman who escaped slavery only to return and help others escape at great peril to her. I was in elementary school when I stayed up late, under the covers, reading it by flashlight.

Harriet Tubman was a true advocate for freedom. The domestic violence moment to free victims of intimate partner violence, empower them to survive and find freedom reminds me of Harriet Tubman’s work.  Advocates go out in the night, meet victims at prearranged places and drive them away to freedom.

As an advocate, over the years I noticed several issues I wanted to share with the world. I noticed victims often blame themselves and say things like, “It’s my fault. I am not perfect.  I hit back.” I have watched law enforcement struggle to decide who to arrest.  I also noticed parentified children who took on too much responsibility in an effort to keep the peace in the home, or because the adults were caught up in chaos.

I chose to write Safe House to tell the story of advocacy and survival. By writing a complete fiction, focused on characters and issues, I could share with you what it feels like to advocate for survivors, and what it feels like to live in a toxic environment, where someone else has the power and control, without ever violating confidentiality. I wrote a fiction to bring hope to those who suffer and attention to issues inherent in the work.

It is my hope that you will be so swallowed up by the story in Safe House you will forget the issues and care for the survivors. I hope you cheer for the advocate, worry for the children, laugh with the locals, taste the salt air of the coast and fall into a whole new world, the world of the Advocate.

Are you ready to tell your story? If you are a survivor of domestic or sexual assault, remember, you are not alone. There are advocates worldwide who want to help.

For more information about help near you call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

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