The Story Behind the Story
When Shannon's son was 8 years old she met a lost boy of South Sudan who at the age of 8 was fleeing a war torn country - Alone. The man's story pulled at her and she felt it was important to tell, however, after a time she realized it wasn't her story to tell.
The story was set in a place she'd never been, with a people she didn't know, and most in the Western World didn't care about. As she tried to write it she found the words did not inspire empathy for a place so far removed from life in Canada.
A thought came to her while on a walk in her South Surrey Neighbourhood. Why not bring the war to Canada? The more she thought about it the more it made sense. An invasion resulting in a totalitarian government in Canada would change everything and make the story more relevant to her intended audience.
When the idea to bring the war to Canada came to her, she was struggling with her son's desire to be more independent at the age of 13. Her struggle to come to terms with the drastic change in him is a universal struggle all mothers have as their children grow.
Her son is now 16 and although Jack is based on him, he remains unique and different from the character she has created based on her son.