When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing a few days after I retired of working over 32 years as a RN. I woke one morning with the thought in mind “I am going to write a book.” I got out of bed and started writing a young adult mystery called, The Tower, which is now an updated eBook called Crimes and Retributions. I haven’t stopped since that day.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
I am a very eclectic person in my reading and in my writing. I write in all areas, but I have found that I do favor young adult. I am a Christian, and I try to show my values in my writing. I can’t use vulgar language and only mild violence in my books.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer and how does that affect your writing?
I consider myself full-time because it seems I’m always doing something pertaining to my writing. I spend the majority of my day sitting in front of my computer, either writing or promoting.
What are some day jobs you have held?
I have worked in the nursing field my entire life. My family built and ran long-term care centers. By the time I was twelve years old, I worked in the facility laundry. I’ve done every job in LTC from cleaning to Director of Nurses. After I became an RN, I continued to work in LTC about six years before I left and began working Labor and Delivery in hospitals. I continued in that area until five years before I retired and then I became a Long Term Care investigator for the state of North Carolina.
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
I spend my day in front of my computer. So I do not have a special time to write. I do have to admit that days happen that I don’t want to write a word. I do something else to take my mind off of what I’m doing with my writing. This helps me think a little clearer about my story when I get back to it. Every word I write comes from my muse. I have never used any type of an outline. I’m not saying outlines are good or bad just that I don’t use them. I have found most things stay clear in my mind about what and where the book characters want to go.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
Writing is like anything else. You have to continue to grow and learn your craft for it to become any good. I take classes when I can to learn the mechanics. When I began writing, I thought all I had to do was write words on paper. I certainly was wrong. I had no idea what good writing entailed from grammar to the physical structure. There is a lot to the craft of writing.
What have you written so far?
Right now, I think I have six books on Amazon. My first book The Tower just republished as Crimes and Retributions is a young adult mystery available as an eBook. I’ve also written a couple of books of short stories called Shirley’s Shorts and Flashes and Tapestry of Words. They are of different genres from horror to love. I also have a historical fiction called Dobyns Chronicles, which follows the life of a young Oklahoma boy thought his life in the 19th century. I then did a young adult fantasy which is a newly published eBook called Princess Adele’s Dragon. It was fun to write.
What are some ways in which you promote your work?
Most of my promotion is done on line and by word of mouth. I primarily utilize Twitter and Facebook. I could be a lot more aggressive than what I am, but I’m satisfied with how I’m doing things and that’s what’s important.
Can you share with readers a little bit about your latest book?
Since my remake of The Tower was published close to the same time as Princess Adele’s Dragon, it’s hard to choose which one to tell you about. I guess it will be Princess Adele’s Dragon. It is about a young woman living in the medieval age in a castle with her brother, the King. She finds out about a decision he’s made to save their kingdom. She can’t agree with him and takes it upon herself to fight the monster. She knows she will either kill the beast or die. What she finds changes her life and the lives of all those around her. There are good and bad guys, witches and spells that will keep you turning the pages.
What role does research play in your writing?
For Princess Adele and the Dragon I did quite a bit of research to find out about Dragons, the medieval ages and warfare. I find it invaluable to help me understand what I’m writing about.
How can you connect with Shirley?
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Crimes and Retributions | Princess Adelle’s Dragon | Tapestry of Words | Shirley’s Shorts and Flashes | Verses For My King | Dobyns Chronicles | Shirley’s Book of Horror