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  • Writer's pictureShawn Keller Cooper

Going Places

I’ve always been fascinated with treehouses. Built a few as a kid, but far and away the emerging concept of elaborate treehouses, as nature spas, artist’s studios, family retreats, and maybe, even, for the children, is about as cool as it gets. I’ve spent hours designing and re-designing my adult treehouse. This week it looks like an Irish cottage with a writer’s area, a reading nook, a long, dual-sided art table for coloring, and window seats for my cats so they can chatter at the birds. Then, there is a porch that overlooks beautiful acreage where just breathing the air is like inhaling possibilities.

In the Animal Planet series Treehouse Masters, architect Pete Nelson is hired to design and construct themed tree structures made of fantasy and ingenuity. People want to hang out in them, lose themselves in childhood memories and creative pursuits, snuggle into their natural surroundings, slow down, and listen to their own imaginations.

For me, treehouses and books belong in the same category. Stories offer me a new perspective, take me where I’ve never been, create landscapes I can’t wait to walk through, and most importantly, push aside the weight of the world, if only for a little while. Books are captivating, seductive even, making promises and touching my heart. They crack open their spine, wave their pages, enticing and inviting me to explore and dream, bewitching me with words.

Over the last weeks, as more people have read my debut novel, Drawing Down The Moon, their comments indicate I’m able to share and encourage that experience with my readers.

“There were times I actually felt like I was with those three friends in the beach house kitchen.”

This book is about, “strong women, friendships and self-love.”

“So many of us relate to those friendships from college.”

Writers dream of their readers feeling so at home within the settings they hear the characters speaking to them, sharing their fears and hopes, tragedies and celebrations. This is not a new concept. Books have always been a place where people come together, or sometimes clash. But whether literary or informal, their words instigate conversations, spark creativity, and arouse emotions. My readers are seeing themselves in the story, relating to the characters like they were old friends from college.

“It takes you on a serious adventure of love, friendship, and understanding.”

For this writer, knowing my stories connect women, my purpose is realized. I’ve always wanted my words to connect with my reader. So come with us to James Island. Feel the marsh grass tickle your legs and the warm sand under your feet. Taste the slight burn of a bourbon shot. Inhale the smell of beer wafting through the football stadium…

As Agnes would say, “It’s all about the journey.”

#shawnkellercooper #TurningThePage #treehouses #escapeinbooks

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