(Photo Credit: DeVende Photography)

The Official Bio:

Shannon Messenger graduated from the USC School of Cinematic Arts where she learned--among other things--that she liked watching movies much better than making them. She's studied art, screenwriting, and film production, but realized her real passion was writing stories for children. She's the NYT and USA Today bestselling author of the middle grade series, KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES, and the SKY FALL series for young adults. Her books have been featured on multiple state reading lists, published in numerous countries, and translated into many different languages. She lives in Southern California with her husband and an embarrassing number of cats. Find her online at shannonmessenger.com.

The Longer, Rambling Bio:

I've lived my whole life in So Cal--which means I'm incapable of holding a conversation without using the words super, like, and awesome. I'll also throw in an occasional dude. It happens.

I have WAY too many cats (I won't post the number because it's ... lame)--but it's not my fault. I swear there's a beacon somewhere calling stray cats to our house like the Pied Piper's whistle. And my husband and I are both too soft hearted to turn them away, so the number will most likely continue to grow.

I've always loved to draw, and as a kid I dreamed of being a Disney animator. But I soon discovered that in order to do that I'd need to be able to draw the same thing over and over, and even my stick figures don't look alike. So I spent one semester as an art major (where I realized I definitely wasn't weird enough to be a fine artist and wasn't good enough to be an illustrator) before I decided that art was just a hobby, not a career.

After I dropped my next round of art classes, I took a screenwriting class on a whim and realized how much I'd always loved telling stories. My Professor for that class really encouraged me to pursue it, so I ended up a film major at USC--where I was shocked to discover that I would be expected to MAKE FILMS (who knew, right? I foolishly thought I was going to study screenwriting. Oops!) Thanks to a few friends who helped me with my ... um... severe learning curve, I figured out how to work the camera and arrange lights and adjust for f-stops and edit footage and add sound design and managed to make my required films. But I also started to notice a key difference between myself and my classmates. 

They were all making serious films with serious statements about serious issues. And um... I was making films about my stuffed animal partying in my apartment when I wasn't home, or about a lonely tumbleweed finally finding true love. My wrong-fit-ness only stood out more after I graduated and started to actually work in television, and after about a year of trying different things I finally realized Hollywood just wasn't for me. I was also engaged at the time, so it seemed like the perfect time to leave LA, move back to suburbia and settle down. 

But... I missed writing. I realized that telling stories was what had brought me to Hollywood in the first place, and that just because I'd left didn't mean I couldn't keep doing that. So I decided to write a book, and naturally I gravitated towards children's literature, given that all my ideas were much more geared towards kids anyway. I was in the middle of one project when I had THE IDEA. The big, scary, much-more-complicated-than-I-ever-wanted-to-write idea that told me WRITE ME--I AM "THE ONE!" So I did. 

And... three years of research, writing, revising, revising some more, oh, and then revising again and it was finally purchased by Simon & Schuster. KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES, book one in a series, launched into the world in Fall 2012. As if THAT weren't crazy enough, my secret, just-playing-around-for-my-own-amusement-in-my-free-time project also sold to S&S. LET THE SKY FALL, book 1 in a YA series, launcheed in March of 2013. For more info on either series, see the pages on this website.

If you'd like to learn a little more about me, I've done some guest posts and interviews throughout the blogosphere:

Still not enough?

See some vlogs, and some of the awesome authors I've met HERE
You can read the story of how I got my agent on the Guide to Literary Agents Blog.
You can also see some of my art samples HERE.
And you can read the story of my 20 draft process for writing KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES HERE.

Oh, and...*blush*...some people now seem to know me much better as the silly costume I wore at Comic Con. So yeah...you can also call me Rainbow Brite. Le Sigh...