Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I can find myself in all of my characters. Obviously, some more than others. There’s not a character I don’t like for that reason.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Hmm…quirky? Let me think about that and get back to you J
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I discovered I was a writer when I refused to conform and draw pictures like my third grade classmates and opted to pen my first mystery chapter book instead. I wrote my first play in the sixth grade. The fever of the thing pulsed through me early on and I fell in love with the power to create.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
From the historical writings of the Bible to urban culture, I enjoy books of many different genres. I have found the type of book is much less important than the writer’s style. A skilled writer can pull me in and take me anywhere.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I think of others. This consideration, a “getting out of my own self” usually results in prayer. Prayer centers me. It grounds me in the midst of chaos. Also reading has the ability to take me out of my present “busyness.”
How do you choose your characters’ names?
In The Loom, the majority of my character’s names were chosen because of their biblical meaning and/or reference to the man or woman in the Word with the same name.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
The half marathon I ran last December. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done because I’m not a runner but mostly because I have had 4 knee surgeries, two of them reconstructive. Nothing is impossible…
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
If I were an animal I would be a bird. A bird is a petite yet powerful creature. Also, I love the idea of soaring. It’s a feeling I want to experience in every area of my life.
What is your favorite food?
I love Mexican food. I grew up in
Arizona and along with Soul Food, it was
mostly what my mother made.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Writer’s block, that frustrating time when the brain freezes and the creative thoughts stop flowing and you have nothing. I think the key is to keep writing even if you think it’s garbage. Most of the time you’re right, it is, but I found that if I keep writing, I can get back to that place where everything feels like magic again.
Tell us about the featured book.
The Loom is a suspenseful love story about a light-complexioned house slave who is torn between the love she has and the life she doesn’t.
Please give us the first page of the book.
Every push for life pulled her closer to death.
Lydia pressed her way forward
through the black night, through the maze of oak and hickory, through the path
of pines, over stubble, patches of worn blue grass, fallen twigs, moss. The
beauty of the things that bred around her, these natural wonders she had first
come to recognize as a child, now as familiar as her own scent, she could not
see. Through the wiry thicket, she ran, her breath catching in her chest until
it rose to her lips in a desperate pant.
With every step toward freedom,
was bound. She knew it, even now, in the midst of her flight, she knew there
would be no unleashing from all she left behind. Every mumbled rainbow wish,
every broken branch she rose, stretched out over the creek she demanded to
part, every Black-eyed Susan she plucked and bunched into a bouquet for a brown
boy she longed to marry, for every dried, white crusted tear she’d rubbed clean
from her eyes in the cold water of the river, shivering when she discovered not
one dream of them would come true. Every crinkled brown sack hand she’d clung
to, squeezed, soothed, Daddy’s right-cocked smile, Grandma Lou’s feathery
touch, all would remain, reside in her until they smothered her to death.
Bondage could not hold her.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Readers can find me at www.shellagillus.com. Thanks!
And thank you, Shella, for sharing your book with us.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.The Loom - paperback
The Loom - Kindle
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