Sandi Kahn Shelton

So Who Is Sandi Kahn Shelton, and Why Is She on Maddie Dawson’s Website?

It’s complicated, really, and yet it makes perfect sense. I, Maddie Dawson, am actually Sandi Kahn Shelton, and wrote three non-fiction books and three novels under that name. I was also a humor columnist for Working Mother Magazine and the writer of numerous magazine articles.

And then—well, it turned out that my novels (What Comes After Crazy, A Piece of Normal, and Kissing Games of the World) had been marketed as “chick lit” novels. That was a very popular genre for a while about a decade ago, and since my books had female protagonists who were concerned with love and marriage, it was kind of a handy place to have them land. The trouble was, they really weren’t “chick lit” the way, say, that Bridget Jones’s Diary was. They were about women who had been married and divorced, who had kids, who were attempting to find out where they belonged in life. Even though they were funny and quirky and had a lot of problems, they didn’t really fit the mold.

But then I wrote a book, The Stuff That Never Happened, which definitely wasn’t “chick lit.” It was about a woman looking back at her long-term marriage, skipping from the time they fell in love in 1978, until 2005, when they fell out.

The wise folks at Crown said it might be time for a name change, so that my books could have a chance at finding an audience who would like to read a book by someone who wasn’t associated with chick lit.

And so Maddie Dawson was born.

I like the name. I actually answer to it in public, and my husband says if I get a pseudonym, he should too. He’s now Steve Dawson.