“Learning Not To Drown”, Debut Novel by Anna Shinoda

March 17, 2014

I rarely talk about my wife Anna.  But today is a special exception, for a special reason.

Anna grew up in a mountain town so small it only had one stop sign.  He parents grew up during the Great Depression, and they lived in a modest home packed tight with her large family.  As a kid, she used to climb up into trees with books to escape the chaos of being the youngest person in the busy house.

Reading led to writing, and she eventually immersed herself in classes and conferences.  She worked with as many other published and non-published authors as she could.  In particular, she devoted herself to a manuscript that was clearly special.

I met Anna in the late 90’s.  Like most people close to her, I admire her honesty, integrity, generosity, and fierce independence.  A few years ago, after her manuscript got nominated for the SCBWI “Most Promising New Work” award, it became obvious (and exciting) that her book might eventually be published.  And knowing how much energy she was putting into the book, I realized how much she deserved to get proper credit.  Anna’s writing is great, and we both wanted her work to be judged on its merit, not on the book’s potential connection with me or Linkin Park.

So she made a decision: when speaking to people about her book, she would keep the focus on her writing, and not mention me.

It made things harder for Anna, and the process took much longer than it might have otherwise.  But in the end, it allowed the focus to stay on what was important.  Anna got nominated for two Sue Alexander Awards based on the quality of her writing.  She got her agent’s attention based on the quality of her writing.  And she got her publishing deal without sharing any knowledge that her husband was “famous.”  In fact, when she finally told her editor and team who I was their reaction was, “Linkin Park!? You’re kidding!”

I’m proud to tell you that, ten years in the making, her book was an endeavor she carried out with integrity.

LEARNING NOT TO DROWN is a dark, introspective, funny, and meaningful work of fiction; it follows a young girl named Clare as she deals with a brother in and out of prison, small-town gossip, and a family dynamic that threatens to choke out Clare’s own plans for her future.

Pretend that you, just like the people who have supported Anna so far in this process, are encountering this book without any connection to me or my band.  Pretend I’m just a friend telling you about it, because really, I have no hand in what makes it great.  And I promise: just like them, when you read it, you’ll find out that it’s an extraordinary novel, and you will love it.




  1. ariedaycoveries on September 22, 2014 at 1:50 am

    He, I read it Mike!

  2. aravind221 on May 24, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Hey mike Greets from India , watched the video of you and anna speaking on Good day LA seems the book is very inspiring & intresting . There were times in early 2000’s where i ouldnt buy Linkinpark stuff or almost anything here in India but thanks to internet mass media now we can everything here , the book is available in amazon.in . Placed a order copy of it looking forward ! cheers

  3. shennigton on May 4, 2014 at 5:40 pm

    Her book is very great. You said the truth, I like it !

  4. zahralp on April 21, 2014 at 10:54 am

    I have been looking forward to this book for years tbh. I would google Anna’s name once in a while just to see what happened to the book. I am so thrilled with the books success and hope to read it soon. From all I know, Anna is a wonderful person and her integrity is inspirational. I wish her all the best

  5. Melissa Stein on April 2, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    very well said Mike 🙂

  6. Bellaliz on April 2, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Reblogged this on Bellaliz.

  7. saeidemia on March 28, 2014 at 3:50 am

    I wish I could, but my country isn’t listed in amazon.com!:-(

  8. tellwest on March 24, 2014 at 3:41 am

    Reblogged this on Tell West and commented:
    I’m sure, this book, which we all wait so long, wil be great! I advise all of you to order “Learning not to drown”! (http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Not-Drown-Anna-Shinoda/dp/1416993932)

  9. Radyo Plexus on March 22, 2014 at 1:58 am

    Reblogged this on .

  10. jted7829 on March 20, 2014 at 1:01 am

    Reblogged this on jted7829's Blog.

  11. notunafraid on March 18, 2014 at 2:01 am

    Damn Mike. Don’t get me wrong, I love your band A LOT, but that book looks like something I’d read even without knowing she was your wife. “…And a family dynamic that threatens to choke out Clare’s own plans for her future.” hit me hard because that is my life right now.

    I just preordered this. Thank you for letting me know about it. I wish Anna all the best.

  12. xnekocat on March 17, 2014 at 5:43 pm

  13. Alexandra Nofi on March 17, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    I’ve talked to her about her book on the lp.com site a bunch of times and I’m thrilled Learning Not to Drown is finally being published. It is very difficult to get noticed in the book world, especially without male assistance. I know this from personal experience. I’m a little surprised she didn’t go the self-publishing route, but, she’s going to have one hell of a career as a writer! You go Anna!

  14. evooba on March 17, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    Anna is amazing! I’m really really glad I had the opportunity to be a part of her monthly book club chats cause a) she made me go back to actually reading books and b) learn to appreciate someone’s hard work even more and discuss it even further to see and understand any hidden messages in the story lines etc. It was a great journey so I’m really looking forward to finally reading her own work. I wish her the best of luck sign it’s release! I’m sure it’s going to be legendary!

  15. shoegaze4u on March 17, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    Thanks Mike, for your warm introducion and congrats to Anna for the successful conclusion of her work (or maybe passion is a better word). It’s sometimes hard for me to read a whole book in English language. It depends, how it’s written. If Anna’s book is available here in Germany, I wanna read it 🙂

  16. crimsonstar88 on March 17, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    I have to say, Anna is very inspiring. It is a strength to rather let her writing define itself than her last name. Writing is a passion, which I’m honored to share since it is such a beautiful form of art, and it defines the author in more ways than one. I have been waiting awhile for the release and I’m so excited that it is so close. Congratulate her for me on such an accomplishment.

  17. debalexa on March 17, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    The fact that her last name is Shinoda wouldn’t make me want to read the book.
    The chapters available on scribd did.
    Go Anna!

    Great post Mike, thank you for your honesty.

  18. sandycoworld on March 17, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Reblogged this on Sandy Co World and commented:
    When Mike Shinoda talks about his wife Ana and your book

  19. Anonamiss on March 17, 2014 at 11:32 am

    I’ve been looking forward to this for a while and I’m even more excited to read it after reading this. I know how fiercely private you aim to be with your family, and how proud you must be as a husband and “friend”. Congrats to Anna!

  20. NephthysPhoenix on March 17, 2014 at 11:16 am

    I am actually really excited for the novel. I added the book to the “to read” section on Good Reads about a month ago. I usually wait till release dates are announced before I actually add things to it. I haven’t read the preview chapters, and don’t plan on to, because I am waiting to be 100% fully thrilled with happiness, joy, and yayness when I get my copy. Also, good for you as posting this as a “friend” and nothing more, and the passion Anna has for putting 100% non-Lp related things makes her look even more hard working and determined. The wait is worth it, and all that hard work I know will pay off! Sorry I am rambling! Once again I wish her luck and can’t wait!

  21. Mermaid on March 17, 2014 at 11:01 am

    Wow good to see another husband who supports his wife in everything she does. I’m lucky to have found someone who encourages me to continue with my goals in life. Anna has a good head on her shoulders, and hope this is the start of an amazing path.

    Despite my fondness of Cryptozoology, I will order this book out of my own curiosity, to see what adventure this book will take me on. I will also do a youtube book review once I’m done reading it.

  22. Adie on March 17, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Great post! As a hardcore Linkin Park fan, I really like how Anna works on her career as independent as possible. It makes me personally believe more in her work and dedication. I really admire her for that. Congrats to Anna for finally publishing “Learning not to Drown”. I’m looking forward to reading and discussing the book in book club.

  23. dcl1982 on March 17, 2014 at 10:57 am

    Can’t wait to read it! I have to admit, I don’t read anywhere as much as I used to, so the book may be lying by my bedside for months, but I WILL read it!

  24. tensh_iie on March 17, 2014 at 10:56 am

    After following Anna’s updates on the novel for several years now, I can’t wait to finally hold it in my hands when it comes out. I think I’ve never been this excited for a book, and that’s not because she is your wife. I’ve been participating on her book-club and it’s been such a great and fun thing of her to do. I can’t wait to discuss HER book next. It’ll be exciting and interesting. I’m sure the Novel will be great, I have no doubt in that. It must be a very exciting time for her, for all of you. And I wish her so much success with this. Thank you for this post, Mike!

  25. YoMarquesLP on March 17, 2014 at 10:49 am

    I absolutely love this post. Already ordered Anna’s book and I’m really excited about it. It’s amazing to see/read the amount of work she had to go through and how she kept going and never gave up on her story. I really admire that as well, and I can’t wait to read her book! Thanks for sharing this with us 🙂

  26. postitwar2013 on March 17, 2014 at 10:25 am

    Thanks for the tip Mike! I already learned a lot through reading your blog. Some aspects shed a totally different view on tasks I had to complete for my studies and just have me confidence to try something different, others just influenced me as a human being in a very positive way. I even learned to love other musical acts thanks to your mixtapes and now I am just curious to read “learning not to drown.” Who knows, perhaps I somehow can also make sure that our local libraries will include it in their catalogue, because that’s kind of my Job and could help to spread the word.

  27. strangerz92 on March 17, 2014 at 10:14 am

    I’m sure this novel will be great. “Don’t judge the book by its cover.”, that’s always my principle. Hopefully my local bookstore will order this since ordering online quite difficult for me. Good luck and all the best, Anna and Mike, can’t wait for the new album! 🙂

    Sincerely, one of the hardcore LP fan from Malaysia.

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