Today I’m so happy to welcome author Shelley Stout to my blog!
What do you do when you are not writing? Do you have a day job as well?
First, thank you for having me as a blog guest! Second, yes, I do have a day job. I am an outside sales rep for a regional retail chain. I meet hundreds of people each week on my job, which provides plenty of ideas for stories and characters!
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I first started writing seriously about 10 years ago. I finished my first book in 2003.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
Surprisingly, I have two novels out in two completely different genres: historical fiction and romantic comedy. I guess you could say I like variety!
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Yes, but I would describe it more as writer’s and researcher’s block. Sometimes I am stumped and can’t move forward, because I need to research some piece of information.
Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
I’ve always wanted someone to ask me that question, because my answer may surprise many people. I think my writing has been influenced more by the fact that I tend to have favourite books rather than favourite authors. And, my favourite type of book to read has evolved over time. I went through a biography phase, then a general fiction phase, and now I am reading lots of historical fiction.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
How much time do you have? I have a long story for you, but I’ll try to make it short. I tried for several years to get an agent, but failed. I even tried with several different books I had written. I did eventually find a small publisher, but they went out of business before my book was published. Since then, I found an ebook publisher who later went into the print book business as well.
How do you market your work? What avenues have you found to work best for your genre?
I do a lot of marketing online, by posting on message boards, visiting blogs, (thank you again for having me), and using Facebook and Twitter.
Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
Yes, several. I recently pulled them out of the closet and dusted them off, only to discover most of them should remain in the closet.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
Well, I don’t know if it will ever be published, but I have been revising one of my older novels. It’s a little hard to describe, but let’s try: How about humorous historical/commercial fiction?
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Read a lot, go to writer’s conferences, and join a critique group. Those three activities seem to help many writers improve.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I would like to add that both my books are available in all ebook formats in the US and on Amazon.co.UK. Radium Halos is also available as a paperback.
Originally from Annandale, Virginia, Shelley Stout resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. She loves to write, break rules, and
laugh. She spends her days working full time, writing articles, revising manuscripts, and campaigning for the 26-hour day.
Be sure to check out Shelley’s blog!
Radium Halos is available:
Batt Humphreys, former senior producer for CBS News and author of Dead Weight:
“Shelley Stout debuts with a novel of characters as compelling as the true story it covers. Like a good reporter, she follows the facts. In this case she not only uncovers a story little known, but more importantly she reveals in her characters, the humanity of a tragic tale.”
Red Adept’s Kindle Book Review Blog:
“5 Stars……this was a novel to tug at the heart.”
“It has been a very long time since I have read a book as delightful as “Celebrities for Breakfast.” I live in Chicago, and I have travelled extensively throughout Illinos. The description of Illinois B&B that serves as the focal point of this book transported me back to my summer visits to the southern area of Illinois as a pre-teen. Stout’s characters — Ren, Judith and Shannon — remind me so much of myself and my two classmates. The situations that these three find themselves in as it relates to romance. You will experience every emotion imaginable — joy, hilarity, melancholy, but most of all, you will walk away from this book with a reminder the importance of sisterhood. I strongly recommend this book!” -Amazon reviewer
“Reading this book really reminded me of those delightful 1960s Doris Day/Rock Hudson romantic comedies given a modern twist. We have the leads: the has-been Hollywood actor seeking solace in a bottle, the divorced mother wanting her daughter to have a normal life away from the harmful influences of Hollywood and the daughter suffering all the angst of teenage years. They may sound like typical stereotypes but Shelley Stout’s writing technique makes them fascinating individuals.” -CarolAnn from The Romance Reviews