Q1. What got you into writing? Was it something you always enjoyed doing or did it spark at a certain time?
A1. I only began writing because I had forgotten a book one day when I was teaching school. I started writing as a fun hobby! I never intended to try to get published until my husband encouraged me to go to a local RWA meeting. That was in 2000.
Q2. Ohio is a wonderful place to be, I grew up there so I know, what made you decide to set this in Ohio? I know you have visited the town Charm quite a few times, but what stood out to you?
A2. You’re right, Ohio is a wonderful place! My husband grew up around Cleveland, but I grew up in Houston, Texas. When we moved to the Cincinnati area in 1999, I decided to explore the area. That’s when I discovered an Amish community just an hour from our house. I chose Charm for this year’s series because I have set many books around that area, but never focused on this quaint, very small town. Charm also is the home of a large family owned lumber mill, which inspired this series of books.
Q3. I see that you enjoy baking, which I do too (yummy). What are some of your favorite things to bake?
A3. I really do enjoy baking! I like to bake almost anything, but I think my favorite items to bake are cookies. I used to make cookies almost every week for my kids when they were in high school. I loved having a bunch of teenagers show up, hang out in our basement, and ask if I had, by chance, made any cookies recently. Those are good memories!
Q4. Speaking of food, what are some of your go to snacks while writing?
A4. Though I have been known to go through a box of Wheat Thins in a matter of hours while on deadline (eeek!) I usually try not to eat. I write fast, so eating doesn’t really lend itself to typing. I do drink lots and lots of coffee and hot water.
Q5. When writing do you do anything specific every time you write? Like, do you have to have certain music or do you sit in a favorite chair? Anything that stays consistent in your process.
A5. I can write just about anywhere, but my favorite spot is in my office at my desk. I do listen to music, usually some song that feels like it hits the mood of the book. I’ll sometimes play that over and over again while I write.
Q6. If a lovely genie came your way and granted you three wishes, what would they be? (No, you can’t ask for more wishes, hehe).
A6. Hmm. Well, I think they would all be about staying healthy and happy..and for my husband and kids to stay healthy and happy, too. I’m a pretty content person.
Q7. If you could give advice to new writers, what would it be?
A7. I think the best advice I could give would be to actually write. I know that publicity and marketing is very important in this business. But what really matters when you’re a writer is to produce books that you can be proud of. Nothing attracts an agent, editor, or a reader like a really good book.
Thank you so much, Shelley for taking time to answer the questions. I loved all your answers, especially seeing how you would use the genie wishes. Health and happiness is key; so true.
Thank you for hosting me! These questions were a lot of fun!
Make sure you check out Shelley’s books here.