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About Shannon

Shannon Deal-5Five things you need to know in order to “get” me:

  • I don’t know where I am from.  I was born in America, but moved to Australia when I was four and lived there until I was sixteen.  (It was in this former British colony that I developed my taste for tea.)  As an adult, I spent ten years in France, at the foot of the beautiful Jura Mountains, just across the border from Geneva, Switzerland.  For the last ten years, I have lived in rainy Brussels, Belgium, a quirky city full of constant surprises.  In between all these, I have kept going back to the US, but I am everywhere an étrangère. 
  • I have been in love with the same man for more than 30 years.  I met Carlton on the first day of Bible college when I was 17 years old.  In our first conversation, we found out that we both wanted to plant churches in Western Europe.  I fell for him right away!  We married four years later, and eighteen years after that finally fulfilled our dream in coming to Brussels and starting The Well.  He is a remarkable man who also started the international NGO Serve the City (  We have two grownup children, Ani and Parker.
  • I started reading at four years old and never stopped.   My first book was “Hop on Pop” by Dr. Seuss (still one of my favorite authors).  That opened me up to a river of words that flows through my home in a tide of books.  As C.S. Lewis says, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”  I am insatiably curious and never outgrew that three-year-old stage of asking “why?”  A lot of the answers are found in reading…
  • Teaching is my drug.  My very favorite thing in the world is to see someone’s eyes light up when they understand something new!  I was a music teacher for 18 years, teaching students from ages 2 to 65 in a variety of settings.  I consider this my apprenticeship for the work I am doing now.  Teaching piano taught me how to integrate theory and practice, as well as individual learning styles and motivations.  Teaching choir taught me the importance of harmony in community in a tangible (and breathtakingly fun) way.  It is clear to me that teaching is what God made me to do.
  • Part of my reflection of my Creator is creating things myself.  If I am not making something, it is an indication of depression—something I have had serious struggles with in my life.  In addition to writing (fiction as well as nonfiction), I love to cook and quilt.  My newest enthusiasm is creating teapot lamps—a great excuse to visit the flea market and pick up some new pots!

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