Joanie Shawhan

Why I Started Writing:

One night, my life changed forever. I rolled over in bed and felt a mass in my abdomen—ovarian cancer. As a nurse with an oncology background, I should have felt equipped, but I found myself with more questions than answers. Where could I go for more information, support and camaraderie? I sought out other ovarian cancer survivors but found no support groups, Facebook groups, or Gilda’s Clubs. Were there other survivors? I chronicled my cancer journey so I could help other women navigating cancer and its treatment. Later, I realized other women had their own unique cancer stories waiting to be shared—everyday women with everyday lives interrupted by cancer. Since their experiences were different than mine, I wanted to include their stories to make In Her Shoes: Dancing in the Shadow of Cancer relatable to more women. My hope is to come alongside others with the help I desired when I went through my own treatment.

Authors Who Have Influenced Me:

From early childhood, I loved books. Nancy Drew opened the door to mysteries and intrigue, and I continue to enjoy books written by Dee Henderson, Kate Morton, Clive Cussler, and T. Davis Bunn. Many writers have influenced me through the years including non-fiction authors Elisabeth Elliot, Helen Roseveare, Myrna Grant, and Oswald Chambers. I have been moved by the fictional works of Lynn Austin, Charles Martin, and Francine Rivers. Lois Henderson and Brock and Bodie Thoene brought the past to life through their historical fiction.

Books I Have Written:

I am very excited about the release of my debut book, In Her Shoes: Dancing in the Shadow of Cancer. In addition, I have contributed to a compilation book entitled God Still Meets Needs. I also have had articles published in the Cancer Coping Magazine and The Upper Room devotional.

What I'm Working On Now:

A dear friend and mentor blessed me with many spiritual life lessons. Her story and nuggets of truth inspired me and offered me hope. Since she is no longer with us, my goal is to continue her legacy and personally deliver these gems of wisdom.

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