With a successful series in her background, Shirley Kennett remade herself to become
Dakota Banks...Here's a short bio...
I have to believe that growing up in a converted turn-of-the-century funeral home, complete with blood gutters and a drain in the basement floor, warped my mind.
I set aside all those macabre thoughts spawned by reading books in the basement at night with a flashlight and undertook a relatively normal life. College, science fiction, husband, computers, Star Trek, mortgage, fantasy, Star Wars, kids, mysteries, writing, thrillers, horror, and cats. I'm not sure in which order all those things happened, but I haven't killed off enough gray cells yet that I've forgotten any of them. That brings me up to now, or at least the last decade.
I wrote short stories in high school and college, submitted them, and got rejection letters. I still have some of them. Writing was shelved while life ran amuck, and I came back to it in the 1990s. I published six books, all hard-edged suspense thrillers dealing with virtual reality, one of them set in a future world. None were written under the Dakota Banks name. I enjoyed these books because they were my first taste of the writing life, not to mention that they brought in some money and put 600,000 published words under my belt.
Something was missing, though, and it took me six books to find out what the missing piece was. Although my books were highly imaginative and extrapolated then-current trends in forensic science, computer simulation, and virtual reality, they didn't go far enough. I felt hemmed in by reality.
I needed to get back into the basement with a flashlight.
I took a deep breath and thought about what I really wanted to do with my writing career. I had an idea that had been playing around at the edge of my mind for a while, and I decided to see what I could make of it. Combining my love of archaeology with the freedom that comes from using mythological elements in a story, I came up with the basic concepts for the Mortal Path series. Developing that world and the characters who bring it to life has been tremendously rewarding for me, and I hope the books provide pleasurable reading for you.
I live on the western fringe of St. Louis, Missouri with my husband. Our two sons, one adopted from Peru and the other from Ethiopia, are in college. My cats Snickers and Marble sometimes ghostwrite my books. Good stuff, too, if you speak Cat.