I sat outside of the café enjoying the winter sun, as I waited for author, Shelley Wilson to arrive. Thankfully, I had decided to wear my walking jacket and hiking boots and purple ski hat to ward off the chill. The blue sky breathed glorious colour into the sea, and the sun brushed my face. Mesmerised by the magical light bathing the scene, I contemplated what I would drink to warm me up. Finally, the fresh icy temperature drove me inside the café to wait for Shelley’s arrival.
Having travelled from the Midlands, by car, Shelley arrived bright and early and full of enthusiasm; her positivity shone from the moment she arrived. Wearing black knee-high Timberland boots with black leggings and a Harry Potter slogan t-shirt. Shelley delighted in the location of my Bloggers’ Café. I ordered an Americano and pain au chocolat, Shelley ordered a skinny latte and a croissant.
Shelley has recently gained a publishing contract from BHC Press and has written shelves full of books. Beside writing young adult fiction, she is also a motivational blogger. I was excited to meet with an author who has pursued a successful writing career through the indie route. Intrigued, I asked Shelley to tell me more about her novel Oath Breaker.
Shelley: What would happen if little red riding hood was a werewolf assassin?
Mia is torn between training to hunt wolves and becoming one of the pack.
Jessie: Ah, so you have challenged the fairy-tale. It sounds fascinating and scary. How has the novel been received?
Shelly removed her gloves to retrieve pre-printed page of reviews from her large brown bag trimmed with a beige piping.
Shelley: I have been so excited with the overwhelming responses.
Shelley Wilson’s best book by far…a fast-paced, excellently written young adult novel. – Barb Taub.
The reader will enjoy the build-up of tension and suspense, the riveting and likeable characters, the surprising plot twists, and spine-tingling secrets to be found behind the locked doors of Hood Academy. Paranormal YA fans will not want to miss this one — it is a true delight! – InD’Tale Magazine.
Oath Breaker is gritty, fast-paced, and addictive, and the need for answers drove me alongside Mia until the whole truth was discovered. – The San Francisco Book Review.
Jessie: Wow! Brilliant accolades. Please, give me a tempting couple of words from the novel
Shelley: How could I tell him that my dad was the one who tried to kill me and that a wolf had jumped through the window and ripped out his throat? Who would believe me?
Jessie: How did you feel when you had finished writing Oath Breaker, and did you miss any of the characters?
Shelley: I was filled with a sense of satisfaction when I’d finished writing Oath Breaker as my protagonist, Mia, had come such a long way. From the broken young girl at the start of the book, she had evolved into a strong and independent young woman. I guess I did miss having her around. Perhaps that’s what spurred me on to write the sequel!
Jessie: Who would you like to read your book and why? This could be another author, someone famous, a friend or a member of your family.
Shelley: Ooh, what a fabulous question *ponders this for way too long.* I’ve been a fan of young adult (YA) books for many years, but before discovering the delights of Maggie Stiefvater, Sarah J Maas and Jana Oliver I was an avid follower of the TV Shows and script writers that shaped this genre. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a firm favourite of mine so I’d love it if Joss Whedon read my book and then called me to say ‘Hey Shell, loved Oath Breaker and think we should make an epic TV series based on your characters!’ – It could happen!!
Jessie: Why should I keep your book in my handbag?
Shelley: The full moon rises every month and we all know that any werewolf worth his salt will be shifting and howling well into the night. Think of Oath Breaker as your go-to guide for dealing with these hairy neighbours. If the top tips laid out by the hunters’ doesn’t sit right with your ‘all animal are cute’ vibe then at least you’ll have something to read when the wailing keeps you up until the early hours!
Jessie: What is the last sentence written in your writer’s notebook?
‘To every pack, a cub is born. Unleash the hunter to protect and serve.’
Jessie: It sounds as if you are planning another novel, but I won’t pry. What is the biggest challenge for an author?
Shelley: For me, I would say that marketing, and encouraging readers to leave a review are the most challenging aspects of being an author. Writing and editing the book is the easy bit!
I love social media and I’m fortunate that my YA Facebook followers are great at engaging with me online. The writing and blogging community on Twitter is also hugely supportive. Fellow authors know the importance of reviews, sharing special offers, and cross promotion but getting the reading public to do the same is much harder. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all remedy so having, and maintaining, an author platform on social media and through a blog are vital tools which can eat into valuable writing time.
Jessie: What is the best advice that you have received as a writer?
I’m not sure this piece of advice is purely for writers’ as I tend to use it in all areas of my life – ‘fake it until you make it.’
I’ve never declared myself as an aspiring author, instead I’ll shout from the rooftops that I am a writer. My writing career started on the self-publishing stage and I was proud to be an independent author. Thanks to my ‘faked confidence’ many of my fellow traditionally published author friends were surprised when they found out I was self-published. I was proud when they complimented me on how I handle myself and my author platform.
All that fake it until you make it paid off as I recently signed a ten-book publishing deal with American publisher BHC Press and sold the audio rights for two of my non-fiction titles to WF Howes.
Shelley Wilson divides her writing time between the fantasy worlds of her young adult fiction, and her motivational non-fiction for adults.
She is an obsessive list maker, who loves pizza, vampires, and mythology, and can be quite excitable around a castle ruin.
Born in Leeds, West Yorkshire but raised in Solihull, West Midlands, Shelley lives with her three teenagers, one eleven-year-old fat goldfish and a black cat called Luna.
It was a pleasure to meet a fellow Leeds lass! I met with Shelley the day of the Super Blood Moon, and our conversation did pique my imagination. I confess that I listened for the werewolves when the moon shone bright in the night sky. I am intrigued by the way Shelley manipulates fairy tales and applies mythology to her novels. There are many layers to her novels and she presents a very contemporary, motivational message in her novels. She is lively, fun and energetic – all the qualities required for a successful writer. Her self-belief and ‘fake it till you make it’ philosophy is great advice. Oath Breaker has received wonderful accolades and she should expect that phone call very soon…