Blogs & Interviews

Interview with Shawn Shiflett by Jessica Mack for the Chicago Writers Association 'Behind the Pen' series. 

Mark Larson interviewed both Shawn and his father, Reverend James Shiflett, as part of his research for Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater (2019, Agate Midway). The Body Politic Theater was run by Reverend James Shiflett during Shawn's youth and was the inspiration for the theatre of the same name in his subsequence novel, Hey, Liberal! 

Playtime with Bill Turck and Kerri Kendall on 1550 WCGO Evanston, IL

December 02, 2018

“Shawn Shiflett is a Chicago author.  His book Hey, Liberal! is an autobiographical novel of thirteen year old Simon, thrown into the stark  street  level realities of social and racial upheavals in the 1960’s."  –Bill Turck,  

A conversation with author Christine Sneed about HEY, LIBERAL!

I am honored to have contributed to Rick Kogan's discussion in the Chicago Tribune about the tough subject of violence in our society and its relationship to literature. 

In the first half, I discuss the challenges of humanizing evil characters, writing realistic dialogue, and how being a natural mimic helps me create authentic-sounding voices.

In the second half, Barbara DeMarco-Barrett talks to Jim Fusilli, editor of, and contributor to Crime Plus Music.

Mary Mitchell's thoughtful article in the Chicago Sun Times about HEY, LIBERAL! and integration. 

"At a time when Donald Trump is stoking distrust among the races, and the Black Lives Matter movement is challenging police departments over police shootings of black people, “Hey, Liberal!” might be dismissed as a frivolous tome.

It isn’t.

This novel tells a piece of our racial history that must be included as part of the conversation if we are to heal our  wounds."

"When it comes to the subject of race relations in America, our common enemy is silence."

I discuss this, and more, in my blog interview with Lauren Stacks at Chicago Review of Books. 

Here is my essay explaining why I wrote HEY, LIBERAL! for the Chicago Review Press blog. 

"Had you tried to hurry...[HEY, LIBERAL!] out, Shawn, when you were in your twenties, it would not have been the powerful book [it is] today... I think there are lots of things in this book that echo loudly in contemporary Chicago, as messy and sad as that is." Rick Kogan

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