How We Got Here 


Andy & Shawn Catsimanes



Most journeys take circuitous routes and ours is no different. Though from my earliest days, I knew I wanted to write, my dream has always been to be a self-supporting novelist.


So in 1996, I quit my beloved job at Olive Glenn Golf and Country Club in Cody, WY to pursue my delusion.  Heck, I’d published one fictional story – not much of a track record – but I had oodles of passion (it’s like love, you can live on it, right?)


My zeal fizzled after eight months. Coerced back into the workforce, I took jobs at Pizza Hut and a convenience store, until I landed a terrific admin position. (Winters are hard in Cody, so I frequently worked more than one job.)


However, during my sabbatical, I managed to finish my first novel, MURDER AT THE GLEN and start my second one,STRONG WOMEN.


The winter of ’99 hit hard and I had to seek a second, third ... and then fourth job.


Divorced with my kids raised, I'd found contentment in my solitude.  I wasn’t looking for a man.  But, as it turns out, one was looking for me.


My leg of the voyage also began in ’96, though I don’t think I realized it at the time. I’d written some killer papers in high school and college, but never considered writing as a career.


In October 1996, I moved from Tennessee to Wyoming to run the business my family had just bought.  While there, I got to use a little of my creative acumen.

I shaped copy for advertisements, wrote and performed a couple of radio spots, and crafted the menu for The Black Sheep Restaurant & Gib’s Sports Pub.

By ’99, I’d decided I needed to be close to my kids and made plans to move to Kansas City where they now lived.  Then Shawn came to work for us.


Shawn & Andy

We won’t say it was love at first sight – that would just be silly – but the attraction was immediate and strong. 

Our courtship lasted 13 months before Andy finally asked Shawn to marry him.  Two months later we wed and two months after that we moved to Blue Springs, MO.

Andy leapt into a new career in sales, making hundreds of cold calls a week. He joined Toastmasters and stunned his colleagues with his speeches.  At home, he even dabbled in fiction.

Through a series of events (some fortunate, some not), in mid-2003, Shawn was emancipated from work and with the support of her husband began to write full-time. One of her romance stories, entitled Good Neighbor Policy, appeared in the July 20, 2004 issue of WOMAN'S WORLD under the nom de plume Shawn Kay Sidwell (her maiden name).


Andy had relieved himself of his duties on the sales floor and returned to the restaurant management work he loathed.  Shawn took various lackey positions to help put food on the table. But neither of us particularly enjoyed the direction we were headed. 


On a whim, Andy picked up a copy of WRITER'S DIGEST GUIDE TO NON-FICTION in the summer of 2004. An article by Peter Bowerman (a household name among copywriters) sparked interest in starting a commercial writing business. Laden with library books on the subject, including Peter’s book, THE WELL-FED WRITER, we began to get excited about the possibilities. Before long we were hooked. We joined on-line forums, signed up for newsletters, and enrolled in the AWAI Accelerated Program For Six-Figure Copywriting. We were also greatly encouraged by Shelle Castles-Melton of The Corporate Writer.

Now the real story begins. We invite you to join us for the next chapter!

P.S.  If you’re at the beginning of your own copywriting career, we suggest you check out THE WELL-FED WRITER and its sequel, BACK FOR SECONDS by Peter Bowerman; SECRETS OF A FREELANCE WRITER by Bob Bly. 


P.P.S. Feel free to contact us at: with any questions you might have. We love to see new copywriters get their businesses off the ground. We’ll do what we can to help. 



For some good reading , check out our Article Archives!


"With Andy & Shawn's help, 'Snapshots from the Soul' became a reality. They demonstrated great sensitivity and compassion and we enjoyed working with them very much."

~Dennis E. Chapman, Associate Executive Director, City Union Mission, KC, MO


“Andy and Shawn are copywriters you can count on to understand your business and your customers. I couldn’t be more impressed with the copy they provided us. Their work is excellent. I look forward to working with them again soon.”

~Kevin Fryer


"A book would not be enough room to compliment Shawn on her work. Her professionalism comes first even if it means staying up late at night to answer all your question. She works tirelessly to get the best results possible. Her attitude, caring, and devotion are unique and I'm thankful I had the chance to work with her."

~ Olga O'Mara


"Andy is a no fluff wordsmith with high direct response, long copy talent. His work will lift interest in your website. His ability to get up to speed on your unique business model is impressive. He is persistent to completing projects and takes personal pride in the quality of his work. He is honest and knows what drives sales. If you are lucky enough to get him, you will get above average copy for a fair price. I'd use Andy anytime."

~ Christopher Hebard
Pruett Media