I'm delighted to welcome guest author, Shelly Betts, to my blog today, to talk to us about her writing career.
Welcome, Shelly. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello, Karen. I’m forty seven, and live in Warwickshire with my husband. I have a grown up son who is married and a stepson. I suffer with Fibromyalgia and Primary Immunodeficiency. Writing gives me the escape I crave when housebound for endless days.
My short story “Dance Floor Days” took second prize in the Herefordshire & Worcestershire 2013 Active Age Literary Festival. My first novel “The Power of Goodbye” was long listed (final twenty) for debut novel of the year with Cinnamon Press in 2015. I love music and listen to it every day. Sadly most of my preferred songs are those from the eighties and I am pretty much stuck in that era with my music, much to my family’s despair!
Congratulations, Shelly. How did you get started writing?
I began writing after spending time in the classroom as a teaching assistant. Helping the children produce storyboards, characters and dialogue, sparked a light within me to write my own story. After suffering severe depression in 2010 and taking time off work, I used my first novel as a cathartic therapy, helping me push through the darkness. “The Power of Goodbye”, although a novel, is quite autobiographical. I wrote it in the hope that it would help others who are experiencing difficulties in their life.
Have you ever attended a writing course?
I began attending a writing course run by Sue Johnson at No 8 in Pershore on Friday mornings, back in March 2013. Here I wrote short stories during the sessions (as well as drink coffee and eat delicious biscuits) and I actually created, without knowing, some of the characters for my second novel “Let it Go”. I really enjoyed my time on the creative writing courses, but unfortunately my health intervened forcing me to stop going. I have fibromyalgia and arthritis which limits what I can do.
Do you have any other interests apart from writing?
My other passion in life is dogs. I have had a dog since I left home (many years ago!) and currently have a huge Rottweiler crossed with a Doug de Bordeaux (like Hooch) who slobbers and snores but is a gentle giant. My other dog was from Dogs Trust and she is a husky cross. She doesn’t slobber but nudges my arm for endless fuss. They are great company and my best buddies.
Sonny & Larna - aren't they gorgeuos!
What writing tip would you give other writers?
My writing tip would be to write what you know and what you feel. If you write a little every day, you will keep your fire alight and want to keep going. If I’m writing a novel, I try and finish the day’s work with something ready for the next day so that I am driven to get back to it. I had writers block with my third novel and didn’t write for months but then an idea just came to me. I was two thirds through it and I knew I had to finish it. Sometimes you have to be patient and let the ideas come to you.
What are you working on now?
My forthcoming novel is “Don’t You Want Me?” It’s a time split plot and takes place in the 1980’s and 2016. Here’s a peek at the blurb and cover…
Where can we find out more about you, Shelly?
Thanks for dropping by to talk to us, Shelly. Good luck with your new book!
Thanks so much Karen for inviting me to write on your blog.
Bring a little sunshine into your life!
Sassy, feel good romance by Karen King. Just right to cosy up with on cold winter nights. Published by Accent Press