About Shelby Londyn-Heath:
Shelby Londyn-Heath is a writer who lives in the South Pacific. She has been a world-traveler, crossing the Sahara Desert on the back of a salt truck, working on banana plantations in Spain, an oil company in New York, and on coffee farms in Hawaii. She has jumped freight trains across the United States, and she was the proud owner of a beach front bamboo hut on the Canary Islands. She has worked as a counselor, social worker, and teacher. She loves children, music, literature, and art.
What inspires you to write?
Writing is in my blood. From the time I started reading, I started writing. Writing is like exploring. A writer constantly turns over rocks and stones to reveal what is not seen by passing eyes. A writer is imbued with messages, gotten from such innocuous activities as walking, driving, washing dishes, and imagining other lives.
Tell us about your writing process.
I believe much of the writing process starts when I am busy with other things. The process is like making wine. The ingredients get thrown in together to ferment and brew. Hold on, maybe I’m talking about beer here. My point is that storage of memories, thoughts, feelings, and experiences combine to create my writing process throughout my waking and sleeping moments. For instance, sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea for a story and sometimes I take a walk and hear a character talking to me. There is always a feeling of excitement when my writing ideas surface, like unwrapping a big Christmas present from the universe.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I give my characters their first amendment rights. I listen to them and take time to know them. When I stand back and let their voices come through, they often surprise me. Getting to know them is like being in a growing relationship—layer after layer is peeled away as they step out of the shadows. Many times I think about them long after my story or book is completed. As my characters become a part of me, the struggle arises when I don’t like one of my characters, and I am tested to allow that character its expression. I think this is a challenge for anyone in relationship with others—whether real or imaginary.
What advice would you give other writers?
Every time you write, you are growing as a writer. So keep at it. Write, write, write. Keep a journal, write down observations, write letters, write poems. At the same time, make sure to take breaks and enjoy life. For that matter, enjoy your writing. Let it be a great treasure box you are opening, filled with gifts. Even with a lifetime of writing, you will never get to the bottom of your gifts.. However, you will be enriched beyond measure. You will live in a kaleidoscope of dreams and fantasies. How fun is that?
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I sent out my query for my book to several agents and presses. My first bite was a small press, “a way to get my foot in the door,” as often described by writers’ journals and blogs. True. True. Although a small press has no budget to speak of, it is still a demanding process. I had to rewrite my book several times before it was finally considered for publication by the press. Now I have to lead the way for my own marketing and publicity. I am learning a lot as I go along. I think, if I had started out by self-publishing, I would not have been as strict with my writing. But who knows? Self-publication seems like an independent and exciting step to take in the future. It is working for a lot of writers nowadays.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
The future of book publishing is moving into a radical digital age. While I love the feel of a book in my hands, I dislike a musty book, and I hate dusting bookshelves. Add that to the cost of sending books out to reviewers—horrendous!
Besides, as I look around, I see rising generations wired to their electronics. We are moving into a big bang of digital inventions that will continue to shape the future of book publishing.
What genres do you write?: Contemporary fiction, fantasy, science fiction
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print
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.