Shannon McKenna Schmidt is the co-author of Novel Destinations: A Travel Guide to Literary Landmarks from Jane Austen’s Bath to Ernest Hemingway’s Key West, 2nd Edition (National Geographic Society) and Writers Between the Covers: The Scandalous Romantic Lives of Legendary Literary Casanovas, Coquettes, and Cads (Plume/Penguin Random House).

In addition, Shannon has written for National Geographic TravelerShelf Awareness,,, and other websites and publications, including an Arrive magazine cover story featuring President Bill Clinton. She has been a guest on the Leonard Lopate Show/WNYC and the Travel Show with Arthur & Pauline Frommer, and has spoken at the New York Public Library, the Texas Book Festival, the Dallas Museum of Art, and other venues, including bookstores, libraries, and historic sites.

From 2010 through 2017, Shannon traveled full-time—first in the United States by RV and then backpacking around the globe. She now spends several months of the year on the road, and the rest of the time she lives in Hoboken, New Jersey.

In this interview with Books On The Table, Shannon shares the literary destination she has visited the most (three times and counting), packing tips, and more.


Joni Rendon is the co-author of Novel Destinations and Writers Between the Covers. Her writing has also appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Continental, Pages, BookPage, The Writer and on Prior to launching her freelance writing career, she spent ten years in marketing and editorial in the book publishing industry at Ballantine, The Random House Trade Group, Bloomsbury, and Hyperion Books, where she was Assistant Director of Marketing. Joni holds a masters degree from Cambridge University and currently lives in London, England.