Shannon Miller is a fiction writer whose storytelling threads together themes related to female identity, place as character, history, and elements of horror. Her often solitary characters have singular obsessions, wild imaginations, and a myriad of social anxieties that make writing a pyramidal plot structure a real uphill battle.
Her novel-in-progress is Blank Hills, a layered ghost story set in the American Appalachian foothills, where coal is big and communities fade fast after mining operations end. Blank Hills is the new home of Roslyn Blanc, a temperamental teenager from San Francisco with family roots in the town. She arrives in Blank Hills in the mid-1990s to live with her thorny great aunt after the sudden death of her mother. Haunted by her dysfunctional relationship with her mom and unresolved anger at a dad she never knew, Roslyn must navigate a dizzying new landscape: isolated hills, a sprawling ancestral estate, abandoned coal mines, a selective college for the curious arts, and a myriad of personalities that confound her more than anything.
Shannon has a BA in English/Creative Writing from San Francisco State University (California, USA) and an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College (Massachusetts, USA). She’s written a short story collection and is working (persistently) on publishing her first novel. Recently she completed a first draft of the book as a guest artist at the Kemijärvi Artist Residency in Lapland, Finland. She has plans to polish it off at Konstedpidemin. In her too-busy career she’s worked as a literary agent’s assistant, copy editor, book reviewer, fiction editor, fiction contest judge and copywriter. She now lives in her hometown of Akron, Ohio: former rubber capitol of the world.