A light has gone out over the Mississippi.
Posted by Robert Craven on Sun, 21 Jan 2018
I was shocked and saddened to receive the news of the passing of my friend, author and designer, Shannon Ware.
It came through in the same manner as we met - on Facebook. One of her close friends and fellow writers contacted me to tell me Shannon had passed suddenly; some complications from the flu.
She was 54.
I once asked her for her address, to send a thank you for all the work she’d done, but Simi would only tell me that she lived near the best restaurants on the planet – along the Mississippi river.
This isn’t a eulogy, but a recognition of the immense contribution Simi made to three of my novels. I have attached her work too, including the rough draft for the re-worked Hollow Point.
Simi (Xiamara) was her FB avatar, a designer with Ssquared Design, she was part of a group called the ‘Hunter origins family’, as I was trying to build a following for Get Lenin & Zinnman, I connected with them and not only Simi, but the members of the group began to promote my books.
Simi then contacted me with this message – ‘I am Eva, and I want to design your book covers.’
True to her word, Simi first gave the novels five-star reviews.
My first three novels; Get Lenin, Zinnman and A Finger of Night had been a bit of a circus – two publishers gone bust, pathetic sales, issues with royalties, so a decision had to be made:
I’d go indie.
Simi was up to the task, despite the 6 hour -time difference between America & Dublin, she built an FB page and reworked the covers – we agreed a brief: 3 colours, Black, Red and White – the colours of the Swastika,
Then an outline of Eva – Simi’s ideas were tuned in perfectly to what the books were about – Simi ‘got’ Eva. Behind the outline would appear the wartime leaders (except for Lenin.)
The covers were quickly put in place and hardly any corrections were required.
I’ve attached them here, including the planned Hollow Point cover.
Simi’s enthusiasm was boundless, she was clued-in, taking the project on and making I her own.
Also, she was a single-handed cheerleader for the books. Constantly prodding, pushing, encouraging me to get the next book out.
That rocket fuel I’ll miss. I realised that it isn't just the words on the page; a book can become an organic thing, it can touch, motivate and inspire strangers to reach out and help. Simi's generosity and doggedness to make as many people aware of the books are the one thing I won't ever forget.
Shannon leaves behind a young family, devastated friends. Behind the avatar was a wonderful, bright soul, fierce, loyal and true.
She was an integral part of the Eva series; I always saw us as two parts of the team and there is no doubt a beautiful, bright light has gone out over the Mississippi Delta.
I will miss you.