Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
Many of my characters’ traits come from traits I wish I had rather than traits I have. For instance, one of my characters is quick witted and never fails to turn a conversation in her favor. I on the other hand, suffer from delayed humor syndrome…I think up great responses about two hours after they’re appropriate.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
After being a stay-at-home mother for nine years, I told my husband I wanted to become a tax accountant and open my own practice. Two weeks later, our tax agency had been born and I was enrolled in our local technical college to acquire my associates in accounting degree. To date, I’m still a practicing tax accountant, although our tax company is closed.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’m still in a phase of disbelief. Telling stories has always been a favorite pastime, but writing them down hadn’t crossed my mind until my husband encouraged me to do so. I had to overcome my fear of grammar and creative writing rules before I could allow the story to develop. I will forever be grateful for editors and critique partners; they are gifted beyond measure, in my mind.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love to read young adult—from consumer fiction like Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson to inspirational fiction like those written by Melody Carlson. Recently, I read some of Jenny B. Jones’ work and fell in love with her comedic romance.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Assuming I’ve kept my sanity, our family works hard to guard our Sundays as family day of rest. It’s the most rejuvenating practice I’ve found.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Most of my characters introduce themselves. Whether I’m walking the dogs or having a moment of quiet, their names drift through my mind and as I test them out, their nicknames and quirks begin to develop.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Raising my four children—hands down. Nothing can compare to watching them grow from infancy into adulthood and knowing God trusted me to be their mom—good and bad traits included.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Hmm. I’d love to be a Jaguar, filled with grace and speed; or a she-lion, fierce in her protection; but my husband likens me to that dog on UP (the one that says “squirrel” with energized distraction).
What is your favorite food?
Paninis or cheesecake. My favorite meal would be a
and asiago cheese Panini with cheesecake for dessert. Turkey
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest struggle has been smoothing each sentence into a coherent paragraph that flows into a readable chapter. I started writing like a news reporter—fact-based and choppy. But a few wonderful critique partners knocked that nasty habit right out of me.
Tell us about the featured book.
Robyn Stanley can’t help but notice the handsome new guy at her school. She ignores, however, the arrival of another being atRobyn loves her friends, enjoys her youth group, and looks forward to meeting cute Caleb Montague. But when a caustic news reporter challenges her school’s prayer team, Robyn must choose: defend their right to meet on campus and pray for whomever they wish or back down at the principal’s request.
—a demon assigned to destroy her… Brookfield Central High School
Now she must learn what God wants her to do. And she had better learn fast, because there’s a supernatural enemy in town whose sole mission is to stop her—no matter the cost.
Please give us the first page of the book.
From a comfortable height above the trees, Sebastian circled the abandoned paper mill, drinking in the atmosphere of dereliction and decay surrounding the property. This place has more character than most of the humans I know. Half broken windows winked like the evil eyes of wayward souls, while snow drifts gathered in the corners. The wind toyed with the snow, whipping trails that could chill his feet and ankles. If he had feet and ankles, that is.
Slipping through a second-story window, Sebastian watched a rat scurry across the dusty floor in a dash for the shadows. Like an angry cloud—black as asphalt, thick as cigar smoke—Sebastian floated after the rodent, watching with mild interest as it raced for another shadow and nearly collided with an old tom cat whose eyes glowed bright with hunger. The tom sprang, but Sebastian turned away. He didn’t have time for these cat and mouse games today, no matter how much he enjoyed them. He had bigger game to consider, and as he moved over the room, he thought about the girl he’d come to destroy.
Sebastian peered through the panel of small rectangular windows overlooking the town of
, fifty in all, though most were broken, and he yawned as he watched the town stretch with morning life. Humans filtered in and out of the corner diner, scampered about in their shiny cars, and huddled against the wind in mindless oblivion. Sebastian’s mouth curled into a sneer. Brookfield
The chill of something sinister invaded his airy form. Turning, he watched his master rise above him like the heavy black curtain of a Broadway stage. Sebastian shuddered; if he had skin, it would have crawled. The master’s eyes glowed yellow—the only indication that he was not merely a cloud of coal dust, but something far more dangerous.
“Your host is ripe, Sebastian,” the master said. The voice sounded sweet, like a lover’s call, and Sebastian had to concentrate in order to keep his focus on the task at hand. With a shiver, either from fear incited by the master’s voice or in anticipation of human possession—he knew not which, nor did he care—Sebastian billowed out to his largest, most impressive form.
“Your timing is superlative, as usual, sir.”
As if Sebastian had not spoken, the master went on. “The human dabbled in spirit calling and witchcraft and is quite receptive to our temptations. This should be an easy possession for you, even if the human is a teen.”
Sebastian deflated a little, his voice falling into a whine. “But, sir, I despise working among teenagers. They. . .”
How can readers find you on the Internet?They can contact me through my website: http://shellieneumeier.com or email me at Neumeier(dot)shellie(at)gmail(dot)com.
Thank you, Shellie, for spending this time with us.
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