An Edmond lawyer is taking her career to another level, mixing her imagination with traces of reality. Since December, Shannon Forth-Davies, partner at Lester Loving & Davies, is also a published author. Action, mystery, suspense, a little comedy and a hint of romance are unfolding across Oklahoma City on the pages of Forth’s first book, “Hunting License.”
“They always say you should write what you know about. I do know about practicing law and so some of what is in here relates to my experiences,” said Forth. She added that still a big part of the content is fiction. “It’s just fun and things I wanted to tell a story about.”
Years ago, during a proceeding in a divorce case that a distant acquaintance worked on, the husband walked into the courtroom and shot everyone. “That was awful and the young lawyer really kind of stuck with me,” Forth said. “I’ve always wondered what kind of story (you would) make out of that.” She used the incident as the basis for her book’s storyline.
The main character, Simms Mitchell, is also a lawyer. “She is tall with long black hair and her eyes are a gorgeous blue color. She is a strikingly beautiful woman,” explained Forth. Simms works for the FBI but after an undercover operation goes bad, she decides to move into the legal field. A sexual harassment case takes an unexpected turn and Simms tries to stop a murderer from killing more victims. “Over the course of the book Simms goes through a lot of things, she questions herself and challenges herself and at the end she is
Simms lives on a ranch in north Oklahoma City, dines with colleagues at the Petroleum Club downtown and often drives up and down May Avenue. She enjoys spending time with her friends. Bobbie Joe is a typical Oklahoma girl with “big puffy hair” who “eats cheeseburgers and drives around in her beat-up old car.” Elizabeth is a psychiatrist. Jack is also a lawyer, who owns a ranch and likes bull riding. The Oklahoma landscape, the sunsets and the weather are widely featured in the book, immersing readers deeper into the narrative. “I really want people to have enjoyed reading it,” Forth said.
Coming up with a title was a big challenge. “I finally settled on ‘Hunting License’ because pretty much everyone in this book is hunting someone else. And license was kind of fun, because I am a lawyer, it’s kind of a legal thing.” While working on the draft, Forth took several master’s-level creative writing classes at UCO. “It was very rewarding to sit in the classes and hear from the professors that I should keep going.”
Growing up, Forth never thought she would be a lawyer or writer. As a student at Edmond Memorial High School, she participated in several school plays and took dancing classes. During her first years in college, Forth pursued an acting and fine arts degree. “I was thinking about going to New York and trying to make it as an actor or dancer, or something like that but I met my husband to be and I decided, I think it would be much nicer to get married and live here and pursue other things.”
Forth took a First Amendment law class and really enjoyed it. A friend suggested she take the LSAT and she got accepted into law school. “Turned out I loved the law, and still do.” She admitted she hasn’t danced in years but remembered how one professor often joked about her contrasting interests. “He used to go, ‘Whoa, Ms. Forth, are you still dancing around that legal argument?’ And I go, ‘OK, that’s getting really old.’”
Forth enjoys painting and some of her works are displayed at several homes and businesses. “I love seeing color on paper, it just makes me happy.” She also loves to drive her children to their various activities, because she can spend time with them. Forth’s resume also includes member of the Board of Directors of the Edmond Chamber of Commerce and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Leadership Edmond Alumni Association.
She is currently working on two new books. “Liquor License” will be the second book from a series of license-themed thrillers, featuring the same characters. “The Obituary Writer” is a story about a young woman who returns home from a big city to save her family’s newspaper. Forth plans to continue writing books and has started a publishing company. However, she is keeping both of her jobs and all of her hobbies. “I just want it all,” she joked.
“Hunting License” is available online and at local bookstores. For more information, go to www.shannonforth.com.