Bio: Shelley Shepard Gray writes Amish romances for Harper Collins inspirational line, Avon Inspire and historical romances as Shelley Gray for Harper Collins Christian Publishers. Her novels have been Holt Medallion winners and Inspirational Readers Choice and Carol finalists. Shelley’s novels have appeared on both the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.
To date, Shelley has published over fifty novels for a variety of publishers. Her novels have been highlighted in the
Post, Time Magazine, and USA Today.
She has also been interviewed on National Public Radio as well as numerous regional radio
Welcome back, Shelley. As an author, I know it takes a lot of people to birth each book. Who were the people involved in the birthing of this book, and what were their contributions?
Yes! There certainly were a lot of people involved in making this book a reality! Two people who were instrumental in the planning and plotting of this series were Laurie Smith and Lynne Stroup. These ladies are not only friends, they are also my assistants. We often travel together. When we had to take a detour one evening on our way from
to Sugarcreek, we drove through Charm. All three of us knew it would be a
perfect setting for a series. Berlin
The next person who was instrumental in the birth of A Son’s Vow was my editor, Chelsey Emmelhainz. After I wrote her about my ideas, she gave me a call and we fine-tuned both the novel and the series’ direction. She also encouraged me during the editing process to dig deeper into some of the story lines.
Finally, I’m indebted to Julia Meltzer, who copy edits the manuscript. Julia has a sharp eye and caught all sorts of tiny discrepancies. Her work on the novel made it that much better.
If you teach or speak. What’s coming up on your calendar?
First off, just attended my literary agencies writing cruise in January. I spoke one morning about my writing journey. I also love to visit libraries and speak with patrons, so I’ll be visiting several this Spring in
and . Indiana
If you had to completely start over in another place, where would you move, and why?
Since it’s currently 5 degrees here in my town in southern
, I think it would be wonderful to move
somewhere warmer! One thing I particularly loved about my visits to Ohio ,
when I was doing research for my Pinecraft books was how nice it was to go
walking outside in February. Sarasota, Florida
If you could only tell aspiring novelists one thing, what would it be?
There are so many things I’d love to share that might be helpful, but I think perhaps the most important advice is to not give up. Writing is a challenging profession and it’s sometimes hard for an author to remain positive and continue writing, especially if she has received some tough critiques from judges or publishing professionals. Criticism is part of the territory, but if an aspiring novelist truly loves to write, then she needs to focus on staying positive and keep writing every day!
You’ve been asked to be in charge of a celebrity cruise. Who would you ask to take part, and why? (AS in what program, singers, etc. [it doesn’t have to be writing related])
LOL! I don’t watch a lot of television, but I have to admit to being a big fan of The Voice and American Idol. If I could book celebrities for that, I’d book some of the folks who’ve either participated or judged these shows. I can’t sing at all but I truly admire people who can!
Tell us about the featured book.
A Son’s Vow is the first book in this year’s Charmed Amish Life series. This romance centers around Lukas, the eldest son in the Kinsinger family. The lumber mill that their family owns has recently been struck by tragedy and he’s doing his best to both run the mill and hold his family together. The heroine in the book is Darla. Darla’s father perished in the fire, but there’s also a bit of mystery around him and his role in the mill’s tragedy. Lukas and Darla fall in love while negotiating a rocky road to redemption and forgiveness.
Please give us the first page of the book.
It was another picture-perfect day in Charm.
The sky was pale blue, quietly complementing the acres of vibrant green farmland as far as the eye could see. Spring lambs had arrived. They were frolicking in the fields, their eager bleats echoing through the valley. The morning air was not too chilly or too damp. Instead, a hint of warmth teased, bringing with it as much hope as the crocus buds that peeked through the dark dirt of the numerous clay pots decorating cleanly swept front porches.
It was the type of morning that encouraged a person to go out walking, to smile. The type of day that reminded one and all that God was present and did, indeed, bestow gifts.
In short, it was the type of day that used to give Darletta Kurtz hope. A day like this should have made her happy, revitalized her. It should have made her want to pull out a pencil and one of her many notebooks and record the images she saw and list activities she wanted to do.
It was the kind of day she used to love and maybe, just maybe, take for granted.
Where can we find you on the Internet?
I have a website, www.shelleyshepardgray.com. I’m also on Twitter @ShelleySGray, and on Facebook at Shelley Shepard Gray. I hope folks will reach out to me and tell me what they thought of my latest novel!
Thank you, Shelley, for sharing the first book in this new series with us. I really loved your Pinecraft series, and I'm sure this one will be as good or better.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.A Son's Vow - Christianbook.com
A Son's Vow: The Charmed Amish Life, Book One - Amazon
A Son's Vow: The Charmed Amish Life, Book One - Kindle
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