About Colleen Helme:
As the author of the Shelby Nichols Adventure Series, Colleen is often asked if Shelby Nichols is her alter-ego. “Definitely,” she says. “Shelby is the epitome of everything I wish I dared to be.” Known for her laugh since she was a kid, Colleen has always tried to find the humor in every situation and continues to enjoy writing about Shelby’s adventures. “I love getting Shelby into trouble…I just don’t always know how to get her out of it!” Colleen lives in the Rocky Mountains with her family. Besides writing, she loves a good book, biking, hiking, and playing board and card games with family and friends. She loves to connect with readers and admits that fans of the series keep her writing.
What inspires you to write?
I am a voracious reader and reading different kinds of books in all genres inspires me. It’s so fun to see how a simple idea can inspire an entire book. In my writing, my inspiration comes from everyday life. I’m always asking the questions; what if this happened to me… what would I do… how would this change the course of my life? Then I apply that to my characters and the situations they find themselves in. How they handle it depends on their personalities with their strengths and weaknesses, and that’s where the fun begins.
Tell us about your writing process.
I am a ‘discovery’ writer…or as I call it, a ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants’ writer. I usually begin with a scene that starts the ball rolling and go from there. I think that can be both great and hard because on one hand I have the freedom to just write and see what happens, but on the other, I’m left without an outline. So the hard part of that process is that I often have to re-write scenes once I figure everything out! I don’t do character sketches, but I always work hard to keep my characters consistent from book to book. Although I do like to see them grow and develop throughout the series.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t talk to my characters, but as I write I definitely hear their voices!
What advice would you give other writers?
The most important facet of writing is learning the craft. I took a writing class at the beginning of my career that gave me invaluable information and I’m so glad I did. The next most important thing is to write, and then be willing to scrap it all and re-write if you need to. Just because the words are on the page, it doesn’t mean they have to stay there. I once lost several pages of writing, and you can imagine how upset that made me. I started the process of writing them over, but something interesting happened. Once I got done, I realized that the second time I wrote it turned out much better. It was a good exercise for me, although not one I like to repeat! It’s also important to have a beta reader who will tell you the truth if something is working or not.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
My first three books were all published by a small press, which gave me the courage to strike out on my own and self-publish my Shelby Nichols Adventure series. The Amazon platform with KDP works very well for me.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The industry has changed so much in the last ten years and I think that will continue. With the abundance of e-readers and technology, I think the future is very exciting. It’s a wonderful time to be an author!
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Mystery, Fantasy
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print, Audiobook
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.