Shaw, June

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Shaw, June

PERSONAL:

Married (husband deceased); children: five. Education: B.A. Hobbies and other interests: Swimming, fishing, dancing, flower gardening.

ADDRESSES:

Home—LA.

CAREER:

Writer. Former teacher.

MEMBER:

Mystery Writers of America, Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Grants from Louisiana Division of the Arts.

WRITINGS:

Relative Danger (mystery novel), Five Star (Detroit, MI), 2006.

Also author of one-act plays produced Off-Off-Broadway. Author of Attacked, a screenplay. Contributor to periodicals.

SIDELIGHTS:

June Shaw is the author of the mystery novel Relative Danger, featuring widowed business owner Cealie Gunther. Shaw, who raised five children, earned a college degree, and became a teacher after her own husband passed away, has published a number of short stories, completed a screenplay, and had two plays produced Off-Off-Broadway.

In Relative Danger, Cealie arrives in the Chicago suburbs to visit her granddaughter, Kat, an honor student who is about to graduate from high school. A dark cloud falls over the upcoming ceremony when a school custodian, Mr. Labruzzo, is found dead in the auditorium, having fallen from a balcony. Police soon rule the death a murder, however, and one of Kat's favorite teachers, Miss Hernandez, who has become a mother figure to the motherless girl, becomes the chief suspect. A distraught Kat refuses to go back to class, though it means she will miss final exams and graduation. In an effort to solve the crime and get Kat back in class, Cealie takes a job as a substitute teacher at the school, where she encounters unruly students and eccentric colleagues. Shaw's debut novel received generally strong reviews. "Relative Danger has lots going for it: a likeable heroine, a bit of romance and a sense of humor," noted a contributor on the Cozy Library Web site. A Publishers Weekly critic observed that "humorous dialogue, a suspenseful climax and good character development should please … fans."

Shaw told CA: "I'm thrilled to be included in Contemporary Authors, first of all because it affirms that I've fulfilled my childhood dream of becoming an author! I'm also excited because as a student, I often did research for school reports in Contemporary Authors.

"My dream started in ninth grade. My English teacher told me to write a paragraph about a splinter to practice writing for an upcoming literary rally. I described a sliver of wood and he said, ‘No, like this.’ And then he wrote ‘Ouch!’ He told me to take it from the splinter's point of view. Someone just sat on him. That was it—my inspiration for becoming a writer. Before that I thought all authors were old men who'd died in Europe. I had no idea that a writer could create a thing or person who did and said what the author wanted the character to do.

"I was busy in school and soon afterward, with getting married and having five children close together. My husband died while they were young. Besides the emotional turmoil, I knew I had to earn a living. I wanted to write—but my silly children wanted to wear shoes and eat. I finished college and then taught English to teenagers while I raised my own and sold a few short pieces to periodicals. I've retired now, and my sweet children have given me eight terrific grandkids. And I sold my debut novel!

"I enjoy numerous authors, especially the humor and pace of the ‘Stephanie Plum’ books by Janet Evanovitch. I feel truly honored to have some readers compare my work to hers.

"I also feel successful because many readers tell me Relative Danger made them fear, laugh, and cry. Their feedback makes believe I've done my job of being entertaining. I hope I'll be able to entertain readers for many more years."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2006, review of Relative Danger, p. 993.

Publishers Weekly, October 30, 2006, review of Relative Danger, p. 41.

ONLINE

Cozy Library,http://www.cozylibrary.com/ (September 13, 2006), review of Relative Danger.

June Shaw Home Page,http://www.juneshaw.com (April 20, 2007).

Spinetingler Magazine,http://www.spinetinglermag.com/ (January 2, 2007), Dawn Dowdle, review of Relative Danger.