Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.
The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with Kelly Irvin is Linda Finn! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing address!
This week we are featuring Shelley Shepard Gray! To win a copy of her new book, Eventide (Avon Inspired, 2013) leave a comment on this post. (And click on the banner at the bottom to enter to win a set of The Days of Redemption series!)
What is the smartest writing advice you ever got?
My agent suggested I let my faith guide me and try writing for the inspirational market.
What was your biggest break?
My agent sending three chapters of Hidden to the folks at Harper Collins. They took a chance on me, a no-name author.
I’m inspired by . . .just about everything—from the sermons at church to the lady at the grocery store doing something that strikes me as funny.
My great adventure has been . . . my husband and I went on a cruise in the Baltic Ocean last year. Walking around a palace in St. Petersburg, Russia was quite a moment for me.
The one thing I hope to discover is . . . how to exercise more and eat less dessert.
If I could go anywhere, it would be . . . I love to travel, so my new goal is to one day sit in a café in Buenos Aires.
If you have only an hour . . . I love to read. So reading is always my choice if I only have an hour to do something. I’m not one of those people who likes to be busy 24-7.
Describe yourself in one word
If your house were on fire, what one thing would you save?
I’d like to say I would take our special family photos, but since I am pretty terrible in emergencies (you don’t want to be bleeding near me) I’d probably take something dumb like my Kindle or a pair of shoes.
What has been your most surreal, “pinch-me-I’m-dreaming” moment so far?
Getting a phone call from one of the ladies at my publisher, to tell me that The Protector made the New York Times extended list. I was too shocked to say anything but ‘thank you for the phone call.’
What drives you to succeed?
I love to write, so I think what influences me the most are my readers. I still get amazed when I hear from someone who tells me that they can’t wait for my next book. That makes me want to work harder.
My kids are in their twenties and are busy doing their own thing. I love when they call me out of the blue, or come home and want to spend time with me. I never take time with them for granted.
Best Saturday Afternoon Read
When J.K. Rowling’s last book in the Harry Potter series came out, I read the whole book on a Saturday. I sat out on our back deck, drank a pitcher of iced tea and happily told my family that I’d talk to them when I was finished. That was a wonderful Saturday, for sure!
Best Forgotten Custom
Gosh, this is a tough one! What comes to mind is the fact that my husband always opens the car door for me. It’s such an old fashioned thing that always makes me feel cared for.
Best Way to Break a Sweat
I have an exercise bike. I pedal and read (big surprise, huh?) That’s my favorite work-out.
Best Style Icon
Grace Kelly. She was so elegant.
Solitaire games on my computer.
Getting a massage.
My brother told me when I was fifteen that I had a whole lifetime ahead of me . . . and that I could absolutely make all of my dreams come true. He was right! The best part about this advice is he doesn’t remember saying it!