And we're welcoming back another author!
You remember Shelly, don't you?
Here's a little reminder: Shelly M Neinast was born in Anaheim, California, and has traveled to Europe and lived across the United States, growing up in a military family. Traveling had led her to love other cultures and always had a notebook and camera in hand, inspiring her to use her extensive creativity abroad and cultural differences to seek a BA degree in History and Anthropology. She was introduced to the fantasy and cultural folklore which created her to start in writing in the fantasy and mystery genre she loves leading her to write her first book.
On her down time, she catches up on reading her favorite mystery and paranormal romance authors, and enjoying historical museums, gardening, embroidery, and spending quality time with her family in Vancouver, WA.
NOW you remember her!
Let's talk with her!
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Since I had traveled extensively growing up, I was able to learn about many other cultures and wanted to write about them. I started writing poetry and then short stories at age 15 but I didn't actually start a novel until 1998 and finally finished it in 2021. That took a lot of persistence.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
The majority of the information I use for my books are from my travels growing up and a bunch of ideas that I have rolling around in my head at midnight.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
My most interesting quirk would be me having conversations and arguments with my protagonist, which does not do as I say sometimes and wants to control the situation. However, the author WINS.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
The first book that I had published was when I was, women really don’t tell their age, but for you Adam, I was 65 years young in 2021. Ha ha.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
When I am not writing, I like to hike to the many waterfalls that the great northwest has to offer or go to zoos and historical museums. My hobbies include gardening, embroidery, and spending time with my family in Vancouver, Washington near the city of roses of Portland, Oregon.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I have written and published two novels. The Curse of the Ruby Eyes, book 1 and The Pearl of the Pirates Heart, book 2. I guess my favorite out of the two would be Book 2 because of my love for Pirates and the Sea.
What are common traps for aspiring writers?
The trap that I fall into many times through writing is my negative emotions that get in the way of completing what I am working on at the time. I have found that when I set aside time to write, which is usually about two-three hours a day, I try to stay focused on my writing and the scenes in the story that keeps me lifted and brush off my negativity to finish what I need to finish for the day.
Have you ever gotten reader’s block?
That question is one of the funniest ones I have ever heard in a writer's career. I believe most every writer and author goes through the block at some point in their writing career. Or they are not being honest. I write about 2 or 3 pages of my manuscript everyday and I get writer’s block at least 1 time during a week.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want? I write mystery supernatural novels and I try to deliver to the readers in that genre. However, I still write from my own originality of what I want to write that comes to my mind when starting my novels. I still don’t know exactly what my particular genre is but I believe it is a mix of mystery, supernatural, horror, and fantasy.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I talk to many authors on Facebook, and in other writer’s groups that I talk to quite often about my writing and their writings. I read all of my book reviews and take what they have to say to heart, whether they are 5 star or 3 star reviews and I listen to their advice and comments and try to use those in my following novels. As far as meeting with any authors, most every author I know lives too far away to be able to associate with personally.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Since it took so many years to finish my first book and didn’t think I would ever publish it, I was overjoyed when it appeared on Amazon as a book for readers to purchase. I have since continued writing and have my 2nd book published and in the process of writing my 3rd.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
The most money I have spent on my novels have been for book covers. She is great. I give her all the information that I want on my cover and she puts it all together. I don’t know how she does it.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
My Muse, that is continually with me when I write and is my detective protagonist, Amelia Albert. She follows my every word and sometimes gets in my way and I have to stop writing and have a few words with her. At times, she has some pretty good advice, other times not so much. However, she helps me stay focused and on target and a really enjoy talking with her as she is a fun and clever woman to be around.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I have 1 Folklore short story that is about ¾ finished and I have started a memoir that I don’t know if I want to finish it. And I am in the process of writing my 3rd book in The Twelve Gems of Murder series What does literary success look like to you? To me, literary success would be to accept all the published books you have and not look at all the money you might make on them. It would be nice to make money on your hard work but in today’s world of independent authors it wouldn’t be realistic to think that being an independent author is a money making business. What makes me happy and content is the kind words that book reviewers say about my books and that they enjoy reading them, so I will continue to write for my readers.
What do you have coming next?
My 3rd book is called “The Sapphire of the Dark Castle” should be out this Summer some time. The Villain in this book is evil and destroys everything she looks upon andlives in a dark castle high upon a cliff with the ocean waves crashing onto the cliff walls. It is set on the islandof Crete and is a great Greek mythological tale, that is all I am saying at this time.