Interview with Author Shelly Meyer

You can find out more about Shelly at her website (here)

 

Shelly has 2 novels and went to school to be a medical biller.
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What made you decide to start writing?
I’ve always said I think I was born with a
pencil and paper in my hand. It has always been my passion. It was my favourite
class in school. Actually, anything English or Creative Writing related were my
favourite subjects. I don’t think I ever “decided” to start writing. It has
always been a part of who I am. It came naturally.
Where did you get your ideas for your
books?
My first book, Portland Authority,
came from my imagination, honestly. I just got an idea about two journalists
investigating a doctor who was using unapproved medications on his patients. It
wasn’t from anything “real-life”.
My second one, The Letter, which I
just completed this past December, came from something I actually did. I wrote
a letter to a film start and started wondering, “what if he wrote back? What if
he thought my letter was so amazing that he felt the need to meet me?” So, I
started playing around with that “what if” in my head and went through an
entire scenario of what would happen. I had every scene in my head from the
first word to the last. I’m, currently, in the process of looking for a
literary agent.

Where did you get your ideas for your characters?

With Portland Authority the characters
were just made up. They aren’t based on anyone in particular.
With The Letter all of the
characters are based on people I know. The main female character (Sarah) is
based on me (a little bit of ego thrown in for good measure), the hugely famous
film start I wrote my letter to, people I worked with at the time I
began writing it, and my family and friends. Their personalities and the way
they spoke were easy because of that.

Do you relate to any of the events that happen in your books?

Not totally, but in my head, yes. When I
write, I become engrossed in my characters and their lives. They are like my
children, in a way. Their struggles are my struggles. I’ve never had any of
these situations happen in my life, but because I have such a vivid imagination,
I can almost feel like I can relate.

You went to college for medical billing, what makes you want to go into
medical?

I actually don’t any more, but when I
started college, I had lost my job and my home and was living with my
grandmother. I was having trouble finding a “job” so I had to do something, and
I kept hearing that the medical field was booming. It was about the time the
job market was so bad. I had previously worked in real estate escrow, and that
industry went down the drain, and I  lost
my job. But the medical field seemed like the logical choice. It turns out that
everyone had the same idea I did, so there was an influx of medical billers and
medical assistants coming into the workforce. Needless to say, I’m still not
working in medical billing.

What was your favorite class in college?

My favourite course was the neurology
course. My grandfather died from a stroke and I had this need to find out what
caused it. I wondered how the brain worked and why something like that could
happen. I said I wanted to work in a neurologist’s office when I got out of
school.

Which of your books did you have the most fun writing?

My second novel, without a doubt. Being
based on me and my friends and family, I had an emotional attachment to my
characters and when I wrote about their pain and heartbreak, I felt it, too. I
also liked thinking about all of the things they “got to do” and how I wanted
to do them, too.

What is your favorite place to write?

I write at home. I can’t say it was my
favourite place, but it’s just where I write, no matter if it’s on a book or
for work.

Do you read a lot?

I read for pleasure when I can. Right now
I’m working so much as a writer of website content, and about other people and
their careers, which I love, by the way, that I really don’t have time to read.
I never read when I’m writing.

What is your favorite type of books to read and what authors?

I’m a huge fan of Anne Rice, Nicholas
Sparks, Stephen King, and James Patterson. My guilty pleasure is the Twilight
Series. I love the books a lot more than the films. I would have to say my
genre of women’s fiction/romance is close to Nicholas Sparks for the love
stories, but no one dies in my books.

Would you read new authors books?

I am always open to reading new author’s work.
A lot of the work I do now revolves around reading the work of other people so
I can write about it. I am always willing to give everyone a chance, just as I
hope people will give me a chance.

Do you have any hobbies?

Writing has always been a hobby because I
never got paid for it until now. Novel writing is a hobby, until I start making
money off of it. Aside from writing, I spend a lot of time online on Facebook,
and chatting with my friends on Skype. It’s our nightly ritual because we’re
all spread out across the country. I spend a lot of time with my daughter,
we’re like best friends, and my granddaughter. She’s my little angle and I
couldn’t imagine her not in my life.

What is your favorite scene from your books?

That’s a tough one. In Portland Authority
I would have to say the sexual tension between the two main characters. They
are so sarcastic and unwilling to compromise or admit how they feel that it’s
funny. They fight it so hard that they say stupid things that make for a funny
dialogue.
In The Letter, I think my favorite
scene is how everyone my female (Sarah) and male (Andrew) main characters know
are trying to put them back together after they face a huge set-back in their
relationship. Their are running around, trying to find a way to get these two
in the same vicinity. Sarah’s best friend basically verbally b*tch slaps Andrew
into snapping out of his stupidity and getting back together with Sarah. The
whole scenario is humorous.

If you could spend a day with someone who would it be? (Dead or Alive)

My grandfather. I miss him so much. He
passed away in 2004 from a stroke. He was the glue that held the family
together and nothing has been the same without him.

What advice would you give to other people who want to become authors?

Just start writing. Don’t worry about
mistakes or if it doesn’t make sense. All of that can be fixed later. If it’s
what you’re passionate about, don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t. If you
have something to say, say it and let the world know about it. I would also
say, don’t ever give up when literary agents and publishers tell you “no thank
you”. It gets frustrating and makes you want to throw in the towel, but don’t.
The next one could give you a “yes”.
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