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Interview: Shirley Roe, Author of Dreams and Nightmares

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Shirley Roe is an author and Managing Editor for Allbooks Review International. As a freelance writer, she spends time between Canada and the USA. Her published work, including inspirational articles and award winning poetry, has appeared in magazines, anthologies and daily newspapers. She writes a syndicated column for 21 news outlets in North America including World News.

Winner of the Editor’s Choice Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry for 2002 and 2004 as well as recipient of the Freelance Writing Org. Int. First Place Award in 2003 for Business Articles, she excels in several genres.

Shirley’s first novel, Of Dreams and Nightmares was released in the fall of 2004. It won the UK Gold Blether Award in 2004. It has now been rereleased as Dreams and Nightmares: The Martha Whittaker Story by Realtime Publishing. Now My Life Begins, her second book, was released in 2011 in print and ebook version. Shirley and her husband enjoy traveling and every trip is research for the next story.

Thanks for this interview, Shirley! You’ve had two novels published recently. Dreams and Nightmares: The Martha Whittaker Story, was released this past December and Now My Life Begins just came out last month. At the same time, you’re Managing Editor at AllBookReviews.com. Where do you get your energy and how do you divide your time?

Writing is my passion and I never feel rushed or bothered when I write. If the mood strikes, I work on the novels whatever time of day or night. Allbooks Review requires several hours a day and I diligently do whatever is required first thing in the morning. My day starts about 6:00 a.m. and I have quite a lot done by 9:00 a.m. when most people start their day. I am very fortunate to have a great family of people working with me at Allbooks Review and with 32 reviewers, an editor and marketing person, we manage to get it all done. Since I travel a great deal, I always have the computer with me and continue to conduct my business while traveling. 

Let’s talk first about Dreams and Nightmares: The Martha Whittaker Story, which I hear won the UK Blether GOLD Award. What’s it about and what compelled you to write it?

Dreams and Nightmares is the story of a young English aristocrat in the mid 1800’s. Through an arranged marriage, she finds herself taken from the safety and security of England and transported to America. There Martha, her new husband, his three sons and several other pioneers travel by wagon train to Wyoming territory. We follow her through many trials and tribulations as her life is drastically changed.

I wrote this story because the character of Martha literally haunted me. I think most authors would understand that.  I dreamt of her, I would visualize her trudging across the prairie, and I simply could not shake the feeling that she wanted her story told. I soon became to think of the Whittakers as my family. When I started I had no idea it would turn into a trilogy, I just knew Martha’s story had to be told. 

How did you set out to research the pioneering era?

I spent hours in the library, on the internet and reading books of that era to learn as much as I could. The research took two years before I felt ready to begin. Whenever I travel, I always try to learn new things about the places I go. This can be very helpful in putting together a novel.

Now My Life Begins just came out last month. How is that novel different from Dreams and Nightmares?

About Mayra Calvani

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications such as The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, and Bloomsbury Review, among many others. Represented by Serendipity Literary.