Friday, October 03, 2008

COVER AUTHOR: Shelia Lipsey

Shelia E. Lipsey is a native Memphian. She attended Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi, graduating magna cum laude with a BBA degree. Shelia, a published author, professional copyeditor and inspirational speaker has been actively writing and speaking most of her life. Shelia has written several short stories and over 200 poems which she has plans of publishing in the near future. Her novels with Urban Books are entitled, Into Each Life (Jan. ’07), Sinsatiable (Aug.’07), My Son’s Wife (Oct. ’08)

My Son's Wife

First Lady Audrey Graham believes she's found the perfect woman to become the wife of her one and only son, Stiles who has recently returned home from Duke Divinity School. Audrey is overjoyed that Stiles has decided to follow in his father's clerical footsteps. Sweet, kind, sensitive and of course a fine Christian girl, Audrey couldn't ask more of lovely Rena Jackson. But skeletons soon begin to fall from the closet when Audrey and Stiles discover that Rena is secretly in love and committed to her old flame; a troubled, rebellious ex-con.

My Son's Wife is more than a love triangle, it's a time bomb set to explode with twists, turns, entanglements and sinful revelations that prove that what's done in the dark, will surely come to the light. What exactly will the light reveal?

What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

I would like them to walk away with what a terrible thing it is to be self righteous or judgmental toward those who are different. I also want them to read My Son’s Wife and walk away saying that it was one of the greatest novels they’ve read, of course (smile).

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned that God really used me because I had no idea that My Son’s Wife would turn out the way it did as far as the story itself. It amazes me when a story unfolds like that of My Son’s Wife. I learned also that self righteousness, condemnation and family dysfunction can happen to anyone, at any level and it is not always easy to deal with.

What is the hardest part about the writing business?

The hardest part for me is remaining true to who I am and staying focused on what God has anointed me to write rather than writing only what I think people want to read. I have to keep my eyes on His prize and allow God to be who He is in my writing and through my writing. He will draw the people who He chooses to read my books.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

What a great question. My family already understands the importance of giving me ‘time’ and space to write. Unfortunately, most non writers fail to grasp the importance of the time, dedication, commitment and concentration it requires to write, to meet deadlines, to edit, to format and to produce the best work every time.

Our theme this month is THE BUSINESS OF WRITING.

Most new writers don’t know about the business side of writing, what advice can you offer on this important part of writing? I advise new writers to learn everything about the business – plain and simple. First of all, they MUST understand and know that Writing IS a Business: a multi billion dollar business! Read, research, ask questions, join writing groups, network. Study the various publishing companies and alternatives. Anything and everything that has to do with the business side of writing is worth stopping to learn about. There is something new about the business side of writing that I learn everyday.

What marketing have you found that particularly works well for you?

I have found the internet to be most beneficial for me, especially during times such as this when there is such economic hardship throughout the U.S. The internet provides an open avenue of resources, tools, contacts, networking and promotional marketing at reasonable costs. It does, however, require just as much time, if not more, to keep up an internet presence.

What are three things you wish you'd known before you reached where you are now?

I don’t believe I can answer this particular question. I have so far to go and have come so far too. I only know that I am living my dream and I am trusting that it will continue to flourish, that it will continue to touch people positively and help change and motivate others to look at people through the eyes of God.

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

Writing real life stories in a Christian based setting can be tough because many Christians are still caught up in happily ever after stories instead of real life struggles, trials and tribulations that Christians and non Christians alike face everyday. I’m not knocking them for whatever they choose to read, but writing Christian fiction is not as easy as one might think.

What was the stupidest mistake you've ever made with writing?

The stupidest mistake I’ve made hasn’t been made yet; though I’ve made plenty of mistakes! However, if I say that I’ve already made the stupidest mistake, the trouble is, God is reading this too and I don’t want Him to get any new ideas to try on me (smile).

Was there ever a time in your writing career you thought of quitting?

I’ve thought of quitting many times, but my fingers always seem to find their way back to the keyboard and my mind follows quickly and before I even have time to remember that I want to quit, another story has been unraveled.

Do you have any advice for the aspiring writer?

I would like to let them know to never present less than your best work. Don’t be so anxious just so you can say that you have written a book, yet you haven’t taken the time to learn the craft, understand your gift, have your work edited, and learn what genre you write.

What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer?

I have learned how to improve my gift of presenting a well crafted story.

If you had a chance to have a writer’s retreat anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Easy: Colorado – because I desire to have a home there someday specifically for going there to write.

What is the hardest part about the writing business?

The hardest part for me is not to get caught up in ‘me’ but remember that writing is my ministry. I have to remind myself every once in a while that the seeds I plant in others, God will make sure that they grow and I will get my just rewards.

What is one thing being a writer taught you about God?

God doesn’t do junk or mess; working for Him requires no less than my best.

Five questions about books:

One book you’ve read more than once.

Into Each Life by Shelia E. Lipsey

One book you couldn’t put down until you finished.

Some Love Some Pain J California Cooper

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)




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