Creating Shouty Mack as a comic strip for a high school newspaper, NeonSeon developed Life of Shouty as a book series for children in 2010. NeonSeon grew up in Chicago’s Hyde Park community and currently resides in Atlanta. Honors include a Mom’s Choice Award for Life of Shouty: Good Habits.
For more information, visit www.SHOUTY.com.
What is your favorite quality about yourself?
My ability to relate to others and see life through multiple perspectives.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
I can be too critical of myself.
What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?
“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” attributed to Robert H. Schuller. I love this quote because it frees me to think about a wide-open future.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
I’m most proud of my ability to learn new things and acquire new skills year after year.
How has your upbringing influenced your writing?
My home was filled with positive and motivational books, and these themes are found in the Life of Shouty Series. My upbringing was also very creative, and without that, I probably wouldn’t have volunteered to be the cartoonist for the high school newspaper, and thus create the comic strip Shouty Mack.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Certain books gave me so much joy that it was natural to want to elicit that in others through writing. I read Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities” in eighth grade and it blew me away.
When and why did you begin writing?
I wrote short stories for fun when I was younger, and I had several writing internships in college. I was an English major so I was always writing papers. I have always enjoyed writing.
How long have you been writing?
The Life of Shouty Series came out in 2010, but I’ve been writing since I was able.
When did you first know you could be a writer?
I’ve always known I could be a writer.
What inspires you to write and why?
The human condition inspires me, and the journey of growth. Laughter. Play.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
Non-fiction comes easiest but rhyming is fun.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My character, Shouty. I knew I had to write and develop a series for him. He is relatable, lovable and imperfect.
Who or what influenced your writing once you began?
I like to let the story unfold so I would say it’s more of a stream of consciousness process guided by rhyme. “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron helped to get me out creative blocks, as well.
Who or what influenced your writing over the years?
What has helped me the most over the years is looking at other people’s edits or suggestions of my work. For that moment, I get to see how their brains work and in so doing, it expands the possibilities I see in the act and process of writing.
What made you want to be a writer?
I didn’t necessarily want to be a writer or set out to be one. I just wanted to tell a story and bring a character to life, and writing was the medium I chose.
What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?
Getting over your own doubts to realize the project and developing a good arc for the story.
Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?
I’ve struggled with making healthy choices most of my life and writing Life of Shouty: Food & Fitness taught me you can still contribute something of value in an area you’ve yet to conquer.
About Life of Shouty: Food and Fitness
Like many of us, Shouty places a premium on being a productive person, and crossing items off his daily to-do list. While healthy food and fitness don’t make his list of priorities, Shouty is unaware of the impact this has on his declining health. Over time, Shouty becomes painfully aware that he must make lifestyle changes to improve his health, quality of life, and self-esteem.
Touching on themes of overeating, obesity, and inactivity, Shouty’s journey is illustrated in a way that captures his despair, as well as his ultimate triumph.
Debuting on Child Health Day, it is NeonSeon’s hope that this book affirms the importance of making healthy choices in one’s life and helps readers envision healthier versions of themselves. If you’ve ever found yourself on either end of the health spectrum, or are making your way somewhere in the middle, Shouty hits several notes on his path that will surely sound familiar.