I hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend so far. If you haven’t had the chance to snag your copy of “The Pace” yet…here is a little something to help inspire the reader in you. As promised, I got to have a nice little chat with “Shelena Shorts” (Author of “The Pace) this week and here is what she had to say! Enjoy!!
KO: Before I ask about your novel “The Pace” I would love to know a little about you. In your bio you mentioned a “passion for igniting a spark in teens.” What is it about teens that peak your interest?
SS: Oh man, teens never get boring! Never. There is not a day that goes by when a teen doesn’t say or do something to surprise me or make me laugh. It’s so refreshing, and it motivates and inspires me to return the feeling.
KO: When did you first discover your love of reading? Is there a particular book that opened your eyes?
SS: I first became absorbed in books when I was about eleven years-old. I read all the Nancy Drew mysteries. My mom would take me around to the antique stores and we’d look for the classics until I had the whole collection. I loved those books!
KO: To date, who are your 3 favorite authors and why?
SS: Nicholas Sparks, for his ridiculous ability to tell great love stories.
Stephenie Meyer, because of her ability to suck people into her characters’ lives.
And Simone Eckles, for the way she portrays life seen through different eyes.
KO: Was there a point when inspiration just hit you and you thought “Hey… I can do this… I can write a book” or has writing always been there lingering in the background?
SS: I’m not sure I ever thought that! LOL. I began writing The Pace, because at the time I felt like I needed to. There was a short window where I couldn’t find any books that drew me into the characters like I wanted, so I thought, “I might have to write my own story to get exactly what I’m looking for.” So I did, and it wasn’t until I finished it that I thought, “Wow… I did it.”
KO: How did you first come up with the concept for “The Pace”?
SS: My favorite part of any book is the romance. So right away I started picturing a guy loving a girl forever, and next I could see and feel his worry that something was going to happen to separate them. From there I needed a way for Weston to know that. I knew I wanted him to be real and human, so I started looking for something way unique, and after some scientific research I came up with a way to make it happen.
KO: We hear so many variations from authors on how long it actually takes to write a novel, some say a successful novel “takes years” while others say “if the imagination is flowing it could take only weeks.” How long did it take you to actually complete (and be happy with) “The Pace”?
SS: About three months for first draft and another two of revisions.
KO: What would you say was the most challenging aspect of writing a novel?
SS: Definitely being able to capture what I see in my head and feel into words so everyone else sees it the same way I do.
KO: In the beginning of “The Pace” we learn that Sophie decides to attend an “Online High-School.” In your personal life I understand that you yourself are involved with a virtual school called “K12”, are there any more aspects of your personal experiences that were used in your writing process?
SS: The only event that was actually written from personal experience was the funnel cake incident, and that was added during the revision! I was at the beach for spring break with my kids and my daughter was holding the funnel cake. When the wind came….well you know what happened! There was so much powder, I couldn’t do anything but crack up, and after that, I thought, I HAVE to write that in.
KO: Is there anything in “The Pace” that you regret…wish you could turn back the clock an change?
SS: I’m working on my 3rd book now, and I can already see how much better I’m getting at crafting what’s in my head, but The Pace is everything I wanted it to be and more. I’m extremely happy with how well the story unfolded on those pages. It’s surreal. I go back and reread and think, “Who wrote that? Where did that idea come from? Oh, yeah it was me.” It’s very strange!
KO: What made you decide to make “The Pace” into a “series” novel?
SS: About ¾ of the way into writing it, the visions of their relationship kept coming, and I knew I couldn’t fit them into one book. And once I let go of the idea of trying to do that, more and more visions of their lives came.
KO: I am personally looking forward to the August release of “The Broken Lake” but even you have to admit that 5 months is a really long time to wait… is there anything at this point you can share with your fans to keep them holding on until then?
SS: Oh man! This time Sophie and Wes took me on a journey outside of my comfort zone, but it makes them seem even more real to me. I can tell you there will be more interaction with other characters and more risks for Wes than I would prefer.
KO: Again…thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to have a little chat with me! It is always fun to hear what inspires authors. Is there anything else you would like to add or have I successfully run you into the ground?
SS: Thank you very much for reading and reviewing The Pace for the Kindle. It’s amazing to discover all the places Sophie and Weston end up. I just appreciate the reception so much. Thank you- again!!