Where Faith and Fiction Collide.
Sheshanah Smith is a musician and author from Montana who currently lives in Independence, Missouri.
At the age of twenty-five, she self-published her first novel Two Bullets, and was surprised when people actually read it. For most of her life she planned on being in law enforcement, but God had other plans and a passion for writing was sparked.
"I feel confident now when I tell people that I'm an author. I definitely had an identity crisis when my dream of being a police officer faded and reality set in. But, I have always loved to create stories. Living vicariously through my characters is fun and makes each book that I write very personal. It's as much of an escape for me as anyone else."
Encouraged by the reception that her first novel was met with, Sheshanah continued writing and eventually published the follow-up novel to Two Bullets, 'Gathering Stones', creating what is now called the Barrier Ridge Series.
"It's still so exciting for me to hear from people who have read my books. They always tell me that by the time they finished reading Two Bullets' prologue, they were hooked. There's an element of pressure that comes with that kind of praise, but I welcome the challenge. That's partly why each book as a different main character in the spotlight. I like to keep things fresh and new."
Sheshanah is self taught, which she feels is a benefit and a blessing.
"I don't have book writing rules to follow because I was never officially taught anything other than what I learned in English class. Now that I write more seriously, I do try to perfect my craft. However the more rules and guidelines I learn about, the more confused I get. The joy of writing gets clouded by doing it "right". So, I just go with my gut and write the book that I would want to read.
Honestly, that's how the Barrier Ridge Series came about. I wanted to have a main character who loved God and lived their life according to the Bible without being cheesy. I wanted people to read an exciting action story that had the feel of a great action packed movie, but with the twist of Godly morals and prayer and promptings of the Holy Spirit. Readers will NEVER find sexually explicit content in any of my stories."
She now has three novels under her belt, the most recently being "Battle Wounds," book three in the contemporary action series, but she isn't done yet. Not by a long shot.
"The fictional town of Barrier Ridge and the people who live there mean a lot to me. They ARE me. But I have so many other stories about other places and situations that I want to tell too. I'm currently working on a draft for a secret agent story, as well as a Victorian-age mystery/treasure hunt, and a few others that we'll have to see if they turn into anything. The Barrier Ridge series is my safe zone, my sweet spot of you will. After three novels, I know these characters and their backstories, so it's fun to stretch myself a bit and write something completely different with new personalities and challenges that Lock and the others would never get to experience. Someday I hope to publish them as well.
Her goal in writing, no matter what genre the books fall under, is to put characters in real life situations but with a Christian twist.
"People get healed in my books. Some have even been raised from the dead. But there's also crime, secrets, betrayal, depression; real life issues to go along with the entertaining action. It all points back to Jesus in the end though, because for me, without Him there's no hope. I feel like there's a little something for everyone in my books, which is why Christians and non-Christians have all enjoyed them. Some enjoy the faith aspect while others come to find out "whodunit". Some have even told me they read Two Bullets and felt like they were going through therapy. As a writer, knowing that what I write connects with people personally is the ultimate victory. I'm not asking anyone to believe like I do, I just want to take them on a wild ride that leaves them satisfied in the end."
All of Sheshanah's books can be found on Amazon in multiple formats. There are even audiobooks files available on her website, which she read and recorded herself.
The Barrier Ridge Series #3
Hello, my name’s Jimmie. I’m a lieutenant at the sheriff’s department in Barrier Ridge. This town is where I grew up. This valley, these people, these mountains; there’s nothing like it. But I had to find that out for myself. I went and joined the Marines at eighteen and I served proudly on the other side of the world more than once. I saw the world, became a man, fought in battles and lost some close friends.
Now, over a decade later, I’m back, driving these same old roads that I did when I was sixteen, serving the town that raised me.
I view the world differently than the average Joe, but even I wasn’t prepared for the mayhem that was about to make a stop in my town. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but let’s just say that I saw how dangerous fear is, and, how deadly it can be to allow the past to dictate the future.
Oh, and as the last single guy on the department, you can bet that there are more than a few people who think that that should change.
So gear up, ladies and gentlemen. The battle for hearts and minds has just begun.