We want to not only welcome, but thank Shelli for involving us in the release of her book On the Bright Side and giving us the opportunity to do a fun Q&A with her. Be sure to stop back tomorrow when we put a review up for this cute little tween book!
I think there are pieces of my life and myself in every character and book I write. I think you can tell when stories are made up or when they come from the heart and place of real life.
Do real-life situations ever influence things that happen in your books?
It helps me reach out to different people about me book. I am not afraid to test the waters in marketing where I think if authors are not comfortable with it, they tend to back off. I will say, my platform online and my presence has nothing to do with marketing. My goal has always been to build relationships with people authentically. It has never been about networking. My marketing also helps me do my own stuff – swag, press kits, web sites etc. So I save a lot of money.
Has your background in Marketing given you a better way to communicate your own books?
In order for the book to work, you had to like Gabby and feel sorry for her and cheer her on. So it was very hard making her a grumpy, snarky angel, yet still likable and relatable. It was also hard coming up with pranks that were more funny and less nasty that Gabby could not redeem herself.
For On the Bright Side- what was the hardest part in writing about a character that now has to guard her nemesis?
We love hiking up in Blue Ridge Mountains and Just outside Cherokee where Grace lives. I think that is why the setting feels so real. I’ve been up there and I love it. I don’t think I would give up my bed to live under a tarp but a nice hike with my family is doable.
Where has your favorite place been to hike?
Does your husband ever use British slang - and do you ever use it in your writing?
Mo is my hubby. My hubby says everything Mo says. It’s funny when I read reviews of people saying I went a little overboard on the accent. My hubby and I laugh. I actually toned Mo way down from all the things my hubby says. I think it could seem exaggerated unless you live with a Brit.
The rejection. It takes a toll on your confidence. And somehow you have to push forward even if someone says you suck.
What has the hardest part of publishing been?
Don’t give up. If you do, you will never make it. But if you keep trying, you might.
What is the best piece of advice you could give an aspiring writer?
First know what it is. Some get it confused with advertising and publicity and they are all different even though they overlap. Get a degree. Marketing is a methodology. You have to think like a marketer. You can’t just go out and slap up an ad or web site. You have to know the principles behind it.
In turn, what is the best piece of advice you could give someone pursuing a marketing career?
I love Adele and Coldplay. I love Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson. I do write my first draft to music because I want to keep plowing until the end. During edits, I listen to instrumental. Why? It drowns out my kids :L)
Are you inspired to write from music, and if so, is there a specific artist or collection of artists you stick to?
To the moon. I love the phrase: shoot for the moon and you land on the stars.
If you could fly anywhere regardless of cost, where would it be and why?
Thank you again Shelli for gracing our blog for another tour! It was nice having you here!!
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