Today we travel to Solihull in the West Midlands, UK, to chat with Shelley Wilson about what a crazy black cat, Tudor history, being a content writer, Anne Boleyn, self-help books, werewolves, living in a converted cowshed, a holistic health spa, a spider bite, pizza, Scooby Doo, Warwick Castle, meditation, and Vikings have to do with Shelley’s current and past life.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello, I’m Shelley. I’m an English author of motivational self-help and young adult fantasy fiction. I’m a single mum of three, have a crazy black cat called Luna, and live in a beautiful town called Solihull in the West Midlands, UK. I’m obsessed with travelling, Tudor and Viking history, being by the ocean, VW campervans, vampires, and pizza! I’m also tall (5ft 10″) which surprises people when they meet me in person. They always say “you’re much taller than your profile picture!” HAHA.
In which genre do you write?
I’m a multi-genre author, so I get to wear a few different writer hats although they are as far removed as you can get! I write non-fiction self-help titles for women and children, my latest release being Meditation for Children. I also write YA fantasy/supernatural fiction, my new release The Phantom’s Curse came out in June. If you think meditation and werewolves, then I’ve got you covered!
How many published books do you have?
I’m currently writing my sixteenth novel which amazes even me! Thirteen books published so far, and another two written and with my publisher awaiting release dates. I self-published eight titles before signing with BHC Press in 2017.
What does your ideal writing space look like?
As well as being an author, I’m also a content writer for women in business. I love working on their brand storytelling and having the freedom to work from anywhere. My ultimate dream would be to start a travel blog, so my ideal writing space would be the back of a VW Camper Van parked up by the sea with a mug of tea and my laptop.
If you could have a fantasy tea or coffee date with an author or famous person from the past or present, who would it be and what would you ask them?
I would love to have a coffee date with Anne Boleyn. I love Tudor history, and if I had a time machine the first place I’d visit would be Henry VIII’s court (hopefully I’d keep my head!). I’d ask her if she truly loved Henry and if she ever thought he would do what he did. If Anne wasn’t free for tea, I’d invite some of my favourite authors to brainstorm ideas and talk about books. Karen Millwood Hargrave, Tomi Adeyemi, and Adrienne Young would be on that list.
What is the most enjoyable thing you’ve found through writing?
I write the kind of books I love to read. My non-fiction self-help titles cover topics that are important for my personal and professional development. My YA novels are fast-paced and full of action, werewolves, and essential issues that need to be addressed. The most enjoyable thing is finding a reader who resonates with what I’ve written. I had so many incredible messages from women across the globe after my first book was published (How I Changed My Life in a Year). It was heart-warming to hear how my words helped them. To also chat with my younger readers at book fairs and events and listen to them talk about my characters with such passion is priceless.
List 3 interesting facts about yourself.
I lived in a converted cowshed in the Catskill Mountains, New York State for three months when I was in my early twenties.
I was an agony aunt in a popular women’s magazine for six months after answering the call for reader contribution. I loved it, and learned so much about working with editors, deadlines and writing fast!
I’m a fully qualified reflexologist, massage therapist, EFT practitioner, and Reiki Master Teacher and ran a holistic health spa for women for seven years. In 2015 I had to close it after developing an autoimmune disorder following a spider bite. My writing hobby became my full-time job, and I built my content writing career from scratch.
If you were trapped in a cartoon world from your childhood, which one would you choose and why?
I’ve realised there are far too many to choose from. I adored the Flintstones, Looney Tunes, and Tom and Jerry, but I think I would rather be trapped in the world of Scooby Doo! In that world, I’d have friends around me, get to drive a camper van all day, solve mysteries, and still enjoy the supernatural (even if the werewolf, in this case, is Mr Stephens from the Library wearing a costume!).
I watched all of these as a child, Shelley. And I would also choose Scooby Doo. I’m not a fan of the modern version. Old school for me!
If you could turn into one of your characters for a day, which one would it be and why, what would you do?
One of my novels due for release in the future is The Last Princess, set in 866 AD and includes Vikings. I love anything to do with the Vikings and had so much fun researching this book. I would enjoy being Edith for a day. She’s a Northumbrian princess who rebels against the male-dominated regime. Her sword skills are as excellent as any soldier, and she’s feisty, hot-headed, and loyal. Not that charging into battle is high on my to-do list, but doing a ‘safe’ re-enactment would be fun.
What’s your favorite place to visit in your country and why?
I’m fortunate to live in the UK, which is rich in history and culture. There are so many incredible places to visit. Choosing a favourite is tough, so I’m going to cheat slightly (*cue big grin in the hope that Camilla lets this slide*). I live in the West Midlands, on the border of Warwickshire, which means I’m within a 20-minute drive of Kenilworth Castle, Warwick Castle, and Stratford-Upon-Avon. When I’m not visiting local attractions, you’ll find me at the seaside. Polperro, Whitby, or Bamburgh would be my absolute favourites.
It’s definitely okay. I nearly always cheat on these types of questions. I visited Warwick Castle in the year 2000 when on a two week vacation in England and Scotland. I didn’t make it to the seaside, so will have to add that to my bucket list!
What are you currently working on?
I’m working on another YA series at the moment using my favourite supernatural creatures as my characters – vampires. My publishing contract is for both fiction and non-fiction, so once book one of this series is complete, I’ll be working on my next non-fiction title. Following the incredible feedback I received from my Meditation for Children book, I’ll probably write a similar book aimed at young adults/teens.
It was wonderful to have you on MTA, Shelley. I enjoyed getting to learn a bit more about you. Wishing you all the best! – Camilla
An old evil threatens to rise from the depths of the warded city…
Sixteen-year-old Marianne lives a simple life as a healer in the Link, looking after her younger brother since their parents’ exile. Little does she know how everything will change after attending the blessing in the city of Obanac. After her brother is wrongfully imprisoned, Marianne seeks his release from Crawford Reign, the Lord of Obanac. But she’s faced with an impossible choice—the lord wants her in exchange. To save her brother she turns to the daring outlaw Robbie and his friends for help. Along with the help of Theo, the holy man’s son, a daring rescue soon uncovers rumors of an old sorcerer who may still live and whispers of the phantom’s curse—an evil that requires a host and seeks to destroy the world—threatening to resurface.
With the threat of an old evil rising in Obanac and the attacks of the Black Riders throughout the realm, nowhere seems safe. To save the people of the land and everyone she cares about, Marianne must unlock the secret to who she really is and embrace the mage magic that stirs within her.
Connect with Shelley:
Author blog, publisher blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc., and my business information in one handy place: https://linktr.ee/ShelleyWilson72
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