I'm interviewing blogger Shelley Wilson on this Monday's Meet Up. Shelley
Hi Shelley, welcome. Have a cup of coffee and tell us a bit about yourself? What made you decide to start a blog and what do you blog about?
Hi Karen, thank you so much for allowing me to invade your lovely blog. I live in the West Midlands with my three teenage children, a fat goldfish, and a crazy black cat. I started blogging in 2013 when I launched a motivational blog, it was only after my first book was published that I thought a platform dedicated to books and writing would be beneficial. I started a second blog where I could share my writing inspiration, book reviews, and interviews with authors and fellow bloggers.
Blogging has opened up a hugely supportive online community for me, and this is why I keep going. Even when I feel the words have dried up, I’ll read an outstanding review, or an article, and inspiration hits.
I’ve been an avid reader from a very young age, favouring fantasy and horror over the more common horse and ballet books that my friends were reading at the time. My love of the fantasy, horror, and sci-fi genres continued into adulthood. I’m a huge YA fantasy fan, but I’ve recently branched out into other genres such as historical fiction and crime.
What is your favourite book of all time?
Wow, that’s a tough one! Enid Blyton’s The Folk of the Faraway Tree holds a special place in my heart, however, there’s one book that I read over and over as a teenager that tugged at my heart strings (I’ve still got my original copy!), and that’s P.S I Love You by Barbara Conklin, it was the first book in the Sweet Dreams Series from the 80s.
How many books, on average, do you read a month?
Depending on my writing commitments I try to finish one book a week, but that’s not always possible. If I’ve got a few review books to read, I’ll try to do a multiple reading session where I have two or three books on the go at the same time.
Have you ever sat up all night because you were desperate to finish reading a book? If yes, what book was it?
I do this on a regular basis! The last book that kept me up until 2 am was Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas, a YA fantasy series. I’m sure it will happen again soon, which is why I have to invest in a good quality eye cream!
Do you ever cheat and skip to the end of a book?
No! Never! I’ve only ever skipped forward a few pages if I think something bad is going to happen so I can prepare myself mentally. My dad has the weirdest habit of reading the ending first, and if he thinks it sounds good he’ll buy the book!! I’ve never figured out his logic.
What sort of plots do you dislike reading?
Anything wishy, washy would turn me off straight away. I don’t like reading about female characters who let people walk all over them (unless it is pivotal to the plot as in an abused wife murdering her husband). I also refuse to read anything to do with child abuse or abduction as that thought terrifies me too much.
What sort of things would you like to see in a novel?
Kick-ass heroines, plenty of sword and sorcery, action packed, fast paced, with magic, aliens, or mythology. I’m partial to a sexy vampire (I love Lyndsey Pryor’s series for this reason). I also love reading about the Tudors too so if anyone ever writes a Henry VIII meets Dracula book then I’m buying it!
Now that sounds an interesting plot...
What is the most unusual place you’ve ever read a book?
I’m not sure this is overly unusual, but it’s definitely different! Reading on the roof of a converted cow shed halfway up the Catskill Mountains, New York State.
Definitely different, Shelley!
What author would you most like to have a cup of coffee with? Why?
I was lucky enough to meet YA author, Sarah J Maas when she was on her UK tour, and although we didn’t have coffee, I was able to enjoy a fan girl moment. She would have been my first choice as I do love her writing style.
Next on the list would be JK Rowling, not only because I am a massive Potterhead, addicted to all things magical, but because she is such an inspirational woman as well as a writer. If I got to have a coffee with her, I’d have to make it a large so we could chat for hours.
Do you have any other hobbies?
I adore adult colouring books and have a steadily growing collection. Zentangling (a form of doodling) is also a favourite pastime. Does Netflix binge watching count as a hobby?
Oh yes, I love those adult colouring books too. They're great to relax with.
Do you write? If so, what sort of things do you write. If not, would you like to be an author?
Yes, I am a writer. I divide my writing time between the sword and sorcery of my young adult fantasy fiction, and my adult self-help books. Coming from a holistic health background, I always feel like my non-fiction work is the day job and my fiction is the hobby.
My non-fiction books combine motivation, lifestyle goals and self-help with a healthy dose of humour, and my YA novels combine myth, legend and fairy tales with a side order of demonic chaos.
Here's two of Shelley's books.
Thanks again for letting me join you on your feature, Karen. That was fun!
A pleasure, Shelley!
Bring a little sunshine into your life! Sassy, feel good romance by Karen King. Just right to cosy up with. Published by Accent Press