I've watched her progress from a can-I-write-this-book newbie to a hell-yes-I-can published author. Anyone who writes understands that initial apprehension when starting out on the journey of their first book, but the only way of overcoming that apprehension is to write, continue writing, and then pow! you have it in your hands. It is the most marvelous feeling in the world.
I'm sure you will enjoy learning as much about Shelley as I have done. And what's with Amsterdam? Oh, my!
Join me tomorrow, April 16th, to discover a selection of her books.
1. When and why did you start writing? What is it about writing that satisfies you the most?
I began writing as a young adult but didn’t seriously pursue a writing career until my kids were adults. My first manuscripts were justice driven with each story premise embracing a goal to change the world and make it a better place. I am most satisfied with the resolution of a novel. That blissful place when a hero and heroine find a happily ever after. Love is satisfying.
2. What type of scene do you find the hardest to write? Funny, romantic, scary, or sad?
Horror. When I returned to writing, seeds of an ebony colour, a shade separate from the romance that rules my heart, found a way into my muse. The inkling to scribe what I now term a romantasy wouldn’t let go, and so The Odin Saga was born with her elements of MedEvil darkness. To assist with the creativity, to drive me deeper to the plotting of nastiness and despair, I listened to music. Metal music my Nocturna such as Carnival of Lost Souls. It was effective.
3. What advice about writing do you wish you had given yourself early in your writing career?
I took a pause in my career and gave up on writing. I wish I’d had the courage to persevere and push through the obstacles that got in the way. I’m grateful my words, my muse, came back to me, and I really appreciate the friends, colleagues, and family who have supported me in my journey along the way.
4. How did you feel when you held your first book in your hands?
I published my first novel, The Scarlett Mark, the summer of 2015. I cried when I held her in my hands and she’s still special to me.
5. Do you read your reviews? If so, how do you celebrate the good and get over the bad?
I don’t look for reviews, but when I find them and they’re positive, I feel I’ve accomplished my job as an author. Every author will receive a ‘bad’ review. I feel it’s important not to respond. If someone doesn’t like my book, what can I say that will make a difference? I understand that some readers will enjoy my style of writing and some won’t. I’m okay with my work being evaluated. And I’m grateful to every reviewer who takes the time to share their opinion, whatever it might be.
6. If you weren’t a writer, what would you be and why?
When I was a young girl, I wanted to be a rock star. I dreamt of holding a mic in my hand and wearing tight black leather pants. I have sung in a church choir and a rock band. I love singing almost as much as I love writing a novel. Though through my characters, I can be anything I want to be!
1. What holidays do you most like to celebrate?
Christmas. I love everything about the season. Decorating the tree, the house. Shopping for gifts for the family. I used to sing at the Christmas Eve candlelight service at church. Silent Night. All is bright. If I close my eyes I’m there again, harmonizing.
2. What is the most memorable class you’ve ever taken?
I acquired a Professional Editing Certificate when I became serious about pursuing a writing career. I enjoyed learning how to perfect the written word with clarity, style, and grace. Language is a puzzle. It was great fun learning how to better construct my words into meaningful sentences.
3. If you were marooned on a desert island and could only have one book, which book would that be and why?
I hope my book could be a journal, as I’d have plenty of time to scribe my next novel, freed from the constraints of everyday life that often get in the way.
4. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I love the ocean. Perfect happiness to me is watching the waves roll, breathing salty air, and all while holding a glass of Riesling or Blackberry wine. I’m fortunate to own a cottage nestled on a granite mountain beside a bay of the ocean. Every once and a while orca’s venture inside; I’ve yet to see them.
Have you ever:
1. Lied about your age? Never. I’m honest to the core.
2. Danced naked in the rain? Nope. But I have danced in the rain. It’s an exhilarating feeling.
3. Called in sick to work when you weren’t sick? No. Too dedicated. I went to work when my gallbladder was attacking! Crazy.
4. Won a contest? Not yet.
5. Eaten ice cream straight from the carton? Yes. Probably a strawberry or cherry flavour.
6. Locked yourself out of your house? Yes. My car, too.
7. Ridden a motorcycle? No.
8. Taken an enormous risk? Maybe.
9. Gotten lost in a strange city? Yes. Amsterdam. The Red Light District. Only Shelley Kassian would find herself in the naughty zone and wonder: “What are those girls doing behind those doors?” But alas, it was the oldest part of the city. I laugh about it now.
10. Eaten a whole packet of cookies? No.
11. Watched the stars at night? Yes.