Welcome, Shelley! Tell us a little about yourself.
How long have you been writing? How many books do you have published?
I’ve been writing since I was 13, when I started my first novel. It got rejected, of course, but in the letter, the editor said I knew how to tell a story. That was enough to keep me going until I learned how to write a book properly. I sold my master’s thesis from the M.A. in Writing Popular Fiction program at Seton Hill University to a major commercial publisher—that was my first full-length sale. Since then, I’ve had 16 books published in romance, women’s fiction, and now young adult.
If you compared your writing style to any other Christian Fiction author, who would it be? Also, how would you rate the romance in you books?
My YA books have a frothy, friendly style, as though the characters were talking to the reader as one of themselves. I’m not sure who else does it this way—maybe Jenny B. Jones? As for romance, it’s definitely there (we’re talking about 16 and 17 year old girls, after all!) but it doesn’t go beyond kissing except in It’s All About Us, where the plot of the book revolves around the idea of the technical virgin, and how far is going too far. But there’s no physical stuff, it’s mostly what’s going on in the characters’ heads.
In your own words tell us a little about Tidings of Great Boys.
The fun part about Tidings of Great Boys is that it’s about Christmas in Scotland. I had to do all kinds of research about customs and food and had to contact folks I know who live there to give me real-life examples of what they do at Christmas in their families. I learned that New Year’s is called “the bells,” i.e. you wait until the bells to sing Auld Lang Syne. And I learned about first-footing, when the first person over your threshold on New Year’s Day brings food—even if it’s one minute after midnight
What made you want to write this story?
Well, Mac demanded her own book and I wanted to change up the setting, which had mostly been Spencer Academy, San Francisco, and California for the other books. Since she lived in this beautiful castle and winter break was coming up, I thought, of course she’s going to want to go home for Christmas—and of course the girls all have to go with her! Then I wondered how her old childhood friends would take it when she arrived with all these Americans in tow, and, well, the story just took off from there.
What research did you have to do for this book?
Fortunately I’ve been to Scotland, so writing about the countryside and castles was sheer fun. I used Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire (http://www.rampantscotland.com/castles/blcastles_fyvie.htm) as my model for the ancestral home of Mac’s family, the MacPhails. And, as I said, I did a lot of research on holiday customs.
Who would you pick to play the lead roles if this book was made into a movie?
How can readers get in contact with you?
I love to hear from readers! There’s a contact button on my website at http://www.shelleyadina.com/.
What are you currently reading?
I just started an MFA program, so I’m dividing my reading between Mastering the Techniques of Teaching and Jane Eyre.
Tell us something surprising about yourself that readers may not know.
I’m a historical costumer. Right now I’m making a Victorian bustle petticoat to wear under a Victorian gown. I’m speaking on a panel about writing steampunk this summer in Nashville, so I’m going to go in costume. How fun is that?
If you could be any animal, which would you choose? Why?
I’d be a sea bird of some kind because I love the ocean.
Era to write about?
The Belle Epoch.
What is/was this book’s release date?
Tidings of Great Boys came out a couple of months ago, in September 2009.
Do you have a link to a place to read the first chapter of this book?
You bet: http://software.newsstand.com/bookrdr/hbg-live/BookBrowse.html?a=a5YhH8Ej2M1ueEtevXa7iOS3avEtEqDPo4WlhmpTZR0l7%2FvNfirPLxlsYZGPFV6InjIa%2FM6yHR0tIvCgPkrdSc7wwOe4LsmB2asdMzJtAYs7TVOtxvsdUMQX0YrFB0VZ&z=hbg
**USA residents only, please**
Okay readers, here is your chance to win an autographed copy of Tidings of Great Boys!
*Leave a comment with your name and email address (so I can contact you if you win).
*Please specify that you want to be included in the contest!
*If you want an extra entry, become one of my followers.
*The comment is mandatory. (Please, say in the comment if you are a follower!! It makes my job easier when you do.) You will not be entered unless you leave a comment. If you are already a follower, and then you leave a comment, you will still get two entries in the contest.
*The contest will run from today (Feb. 19) until 6:00 CST on Thursday (Feb. 25). I will announce the winner that night. The winner is always randomly drawn. I will contact the winner on Friday the 26th, and then that person will have one week to reply. If the winner doesn't reply within that time period, I will pick a new winner.
Good luck! Thanks for visiting.