Jan 11, 2010

Guest Author: Shelena Shorts

This week, Willing to See Less is proudly presenting  

Shelena Shorts

Shelena graduated from George Mason University with a BA in English and MA in Education. Combine these two, and you get my favorite kind of teachers-English literature teachers!

Shelena is the author of The Pace series; the first book, The Pace, was published by Lands Atlantic Publishing, LLC on August 19, 2009. The sequel, The Broken Lake, is coming August 19, 2010 (now available for pre-orders).

About The Pace: Weston Wilson is not immortal and he is of this world. But, aging is not part of his existence, and eighteen-year-old Sophie Slone is determined to find out why. In doing so, she could also uncover something about her own life expectancy that she may not want to know. Suddenly, immortality will mean everything and nothing all at the same time.
Intensely fascinating and rich with determination, The Pace brings together romance, mystery, and suspense in a compelling bond that is sure to have readers asking for more.

When did you start to write and who are the authors who influenced you?

I first started writing in college, but never got past the first two chapters of any book I started, so I sort of let it go. Then, I became huge fans of Nicholas Sparks and Stephenie Meyer and somewhere I read where the first scene she wrote of one of her books was the middle and not the beginning. Sounds like a duh moment, but honestly that was the first time I realized I didn’t have to write a book in order. So I allowed myself to think about stories again without getting stuck at the beginning of them.

What prompted you to write The Pace?

I’m a major sucker for a love story to root for, and I also like some mystery and suspense. There was a short window of time where I was having a hard time finding exactly what I wanted to read in stores, so I thought the best way to read what I was seeing in my head was to write it myself!

How long did it take to write it?
It took me about three months to write from beginning to end and another two or three to edit it.

Do you have some specific rituals for writing (a hot drink, a special place, music...)?

I don’t really have a special place or specific ritual. I work full time and have three kids, so I literally squeeze in moments whenever I can- anywhere I can. But, when I have my way, I guess I like peace and quiet, my playlist playing real low, and a cup of coffee which always gets cold after only three or four sips, because I get wrapped up in the story and forget about it!
What's the best thing to do when you get writer's block?

Well, that leads back to the whole reason I started writing again. I learned that I didn’t have to write chronologically. So when I’m stumped on a section, I close my eyes and let myself picture my characters doing something else in another part of the story and I write that part. Then, when I’m ready, I revisit the section I was stumped on.

What was the most difficult thing you've encountered on your road to publication?

Finding an agent for sure. It’s almost impossible to grab an agent’s attention when there are thousands of other authors doing the same, and you can’t get on with a big publisher without one, so it is a disappointing process. I still don’t have an agent, but I’m okay with that for now, because I’m just happy to have my story in print. I just wanted people to be able to read it if they want to, and now they can. So that makes me really happy!

What is the best piece of advice you can give to beginners?

Write for yourself. Truly. I think you’ll get the best story that way. I wrote The Pace because I wanted a specific love story to read and thinking about publishing it came after it was all done, when I actually started thinking other people might like it too.

Another piece of advice would be to believe in your story, because if you don’t, no one else will. And sometimes all your characters have is you, so don’t quit on them.

Thank you for being my guest today, Shelena!  
Thank you so much for the interview! I truly appreciate the invite, and I hope you all enjoy reading The Pace:)!


To find out more about Shelena and her books, visit her official page ; if you like the book, make sure to become a fan on Facebook.

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