Dog-Loving Southern Charm Personified

Posted August 13th, 2010 in Deepak Chopra, Friendship, happiness, Happy People, New York by Glenn Plaskin

Have you ever noticed that some people you know, or work with, are so buoyantly upbeat, blessed with a sunny disposition, that they bring everyone UP around them?

It’s a pleasure just to be in their company. Laughter comes easily. They don’t take themselves too seriously. Nor do they “sweat the small stuff,” as the great writer Richard Carlson used to say.

No matter what happens, their outlooks are consistently optimistic, contented, and appreciative. I wrote a Family Circle article about this subject a few years ago titled: “What Makes Happy People Happy?” And when I interviewed Deepak Chopra, here’s what he had to say:

“Happy people are very comfortable with themselves. They usually look on the bright side, they see opportunity in adversity, their sense of well-being doesn’t depend on performance, and they don’t hold onto grievances and resentments.

“Just being in their company,” said Chopra, “makes you feel better. It’s not what they do or what they think, but who they are.

In the course of working on the launch of my upcoming book, KATIE, I’ve been fortunate to have met just such

Beautiful Shanon--inside and out

a person–the radiantly-congenial Shanon Stowe. She’s the newly appointed publicity director at Hachette Book Group’s Nashville-based FaithWords and Center Street imprints, overseeing the media campaign for Katie Up and Down the Hall. As if a full-time job wasn’t enough, she’s also got a houseful of kids (Dylan, Aiden, and Jack) and dogs!(Barkley and Punkin)

But her professional accomplishments and responsibilities are one thing, while her personality and ebullient nature are another.

Blonde, beautiful, and filled with high spirits, Shanon has a lilting southern accent and an infectious laugh, one that I first experienced in person when she guided me through the introduction of KATIE at Book Expo America last May.

Arriving at New York's Jacob Javits Center at Book Expo America

She met me right at the curb, guided me to the Hachette booth, and during a 2-hour autograph session, made it seem all so easy as people came by. She also bonded with my new puppy Lucy, who konked out after an hour and crawled contentedly into Shanon’s arms.

Flash forward to today, when out of the blue, Shanon sent me an E mail simply titled: “Look!!!”


In the E mail, attached was a single photo of Shanon holding up the very first finished copy of KATIE, fresh from the printing press.

After nearly two years–that included writing the book proposal, then writing the book, then a year of post-production (creating a book trailer, a PR and advertising campaign, and planning two launch events)–the waiting was finally over, the news delivered with Shanon’s happy photo.

So here’s a question: Do you have a Shanon in your life?–someone incredibly cheering, even-tempered, and fun to be with? I hope you do.

As for me and Lucy, we count ourselves lucky to know her. (I’ll soon introduce you to another Hachette dynamo, KATIE’S greatest champion, the man who encouraged me to write the book, HARRY HELM, the company’s brilliant associate publisher, editorial and marketing director, and a fellow dog lover to boot.)

Puppy Lucy snoozing, unimpressed by Book Expo America

In the meantime, for any of you who want to meet bubbly Shanon in person, you just might get the chance to do so if you come by the Katie Up and Down the Hall bookreading, being hosted by Liz Smith at Barnes & Noble on September 16th.

Considering that Katie, Lucy, Shanon (and the forever young Liz Smith) are all blondes–I’m wondering if blondes really do have more fun–making everyone around them happier too.

Fellow Blonde

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