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115I – How the Story Changes: An Interview with Shawn Smucker

Today, we're back again with Shawn Smucker, but this time we're talking about nonfiction and his new memoir, Once We Were Strangers. It's the story of how Shawn came to have a friendship with a Syrian refugee in Shawn's hometown of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and how their friendship changed both men.

This book moved me like no other book this year. I felt like I needed to reexamine my thoughts and feelings, but especially my actions toward new people in town, displaced people, and especially in regards to refugees. I strongly encourage you to read the book and see what you think!

While we talked, one of things that most interested me was Shawn saying that he originally meant to go one direction with the book – to just tell Mohammed's story – but it turned into something else, something unexpected. As a writer, I totally get this! Which is probably part of what made his story fascinating. 😀

Shawn offers a lot of great advice to writers about ghost writing and memoir writing. Be sure to listen with your Notes app open! You can find out more about Shawn and his books at his website, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter as Shawn Smucker.


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