My guest today is Shelley K. Wall, author of Flood, Flash, and Pheromones. She has worked for many years in information technology as a network engineer, a project manager, operations director, and I.T. director. She holds several technical certifications and is proud to say she mastered many technologies few women ventured toward in her early years while working 24-hour days. Shelley is a member of Houston Literary Guild, Romance Writers of America, The Writer’s Guild, and Sisters In Crime (SinC).
Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Flood, Flash, and Pheromones. When did you start writing and what got you into fiction?
I’ve written since I was a teen but only recently decided to pursue it as a second career. Why? I suppose I don’t want to look back on my life and think I had left anything undone. We all have goals and dreams. This was one of mine since high school. I’m fairly dedicated to setting goals and working toward them.
Did you have a mentor who encouraged you?
I have a lot of them. Every writer/friend I’ve met that goes out of his/her way to encourage.
Did you have any struggles or difficulties when you started writing?
Writing isn’t as easy as everyone thinks…forcing myself to dig deeper into the character’s mind and write intensely is always the challenge that, if well done, makes the book a keeper.
What was your inspiration for Flood, Flash, and Pheromones?
After working and living in the Houston area during Tropical Storm Allison and Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and the devastating Ike, I had seen so many acts of heroism and community support. I didn’t want to write something that concentrated on the hurricane though, it needed to be about the people and their challenges. Since I love a happy ending and a good thriller, this evolved out of the first few chapters. The initial chapter is actually based on events that occurred during Allison where several people ended up stranded on the main freeway in downtown Houston during the storm surge. It’s pure fiction but that was the inspiration.
Do you have any plotting secrets? Do you use index cards or special software?
No, but if you do (and they don’t take more time than the writing), I’d love to learn them. I have tried many methods. The one I like the most is referenced on my website. I am more of a free-styler so this fits my personality best. Here’s a link.
What do you tell your muse when she refuses to collaborate?
Ha. I write action scenes with fights in them, so beating her into submission is no big deal.
Many writers experience a vague anxiety before they sit down to write. Can you relate to this?
I don’t get anxious about writing but will confess that there are days when it just doesn’t jive. Those are the days when I can’t seem to think originally and what I put on paper is not really all that jazzy. Fortunately I edit those parts until they work. Or I change gears and do something else for a while until the light comes on.
Do you have a writing schedule? Do you set yourself weekly goals for your writing?
I like to write first thing every day but have also been known to stay up until wee hours to finish an idea.
How do you celebrate the completion of a novel?
I move to the next one. I’ll celebrate when I get a contract that garners a hefty signing bonus. Or perhaps when the royalty check hits a number that I have in mind for personal goals.
What do you love most about the writer’s life?
The creativity and the people I meet…from all over the world. Regardless of whether they’re a bestseller or an unknown, they are always warm and supportive for the most part.
Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
Be true to yourself. Decide early in life what mark you want to make and dedicate as much time as you can spare toward that end. No one will ever remember us for being a good boss or employee, but they will remember whether we were a good person or not. Don’t get tied up in the wrong queue for happiness. I write pretty spicy love stories which sometimes may surprise the readers… there is always love. I hope these stories will appeal to you and that you’ll enjoy and recommend them. I’d love to hear from you.