Thank you so much to my lovely host, Mackenzie, for being a part of the blog tour for the release of my latest non-fiction book, How I Motivated Myself to Succeed.
What part of the world are you from?
I live in a small town called Solihull in the United Kingdom which is about two hours from London and about half an hour from Stratford-upon-Avon, birth place of Shakespeare. It’s a very pretty place to live with plenty of green spaces and woods.
What inspired you to write non-fiction self-help?
I have always been interested in personal development, self-help, and inspirational people. The late, Louise Hay, was a huge influence on my life after I left an abusive marriage and started my life over. This genre played a large part in my recovery and my self-discovery and the more I learned, the more I wanted to share this knowledge and help others.
My non-fiction books tend to fit into memoir as well as self-help as I always share my personal experiences, the highs and the lows, as I’ve travelled along the path of reinventing myself.
What is your work schedule like when writing?
Oh dear! I’m a bit scatty when it comes to my work schedule. In every other area of my life I am uber organised and, dare I say it, a bit of a control freak. However, when I get sat behind my computer everything falls apart and I end up flipping between screens – manuscript, Twitter, Facebook, Email, manuscript, Facebook, Email, lunch! I need to teach myself how to switch off all other notifications when I’m supposed to be writing.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m not sure it’s a quirk, but I plan my books using pen and notebook, but then have to type the manuscript directly to my computer. I may also have a slight obsession with post-it notes!
Give us the title and genre of your latest book.
The title of my latest non-fiction book is How I Motivated Myself to Succeed and it fits into the self-help, memoir, and women’s biographies genre.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
I was quite ill during the time I was writing this book and actually threw away 30,000 words because the ‘voice’ wasn’t right. My editor was wonderful and called me brave which made me cry ha ha. Eventually, I was able to pick myself up, shake off the doubts, and start over. I was surprised at how much my writers’ voice changed when dealing with external issues.
Do you have an excerpt you’d like to share?
Absolutely! Here’s a section from the opening introduction:
When I wrote How I Changed My Life in a Year, I used the many personal development tools that have helped shape my new life. The book you hold in your hand right now is my way of sharing the what, why, and how of making life changes, and sticking with them for the long term. I finally understand why my readers needed answers. How I Changed My Life in a Year was like making a cake without the recipe. Here was the final twelve-layered chocolate sponge, covered in gooey icing and sprinkles, but with no instructions on what was needed, or how to go about making it. Luckily, it tasted great and went down a storm at tea parties, but people wanted more – as is normally the case with chocolate cake!
I’m not a life coach, a specialist guru, or a big name in the world of self-help. I’m a single mum with grey hair and back fat, but I have an insatiable passion for life, and I want to share what I’ve learned with you, in the hope that my journey can tempt, motivate, inspire, and assist you on your voyage of discovery. Empowering women to be the best they can be has become my mission in life.
The decisions we make in life, and the incredible treks we take, don’t just happen. We are in control of our destinies, and this means that it’s down to us to make them happen. I hope this book fills in the gaps for you. I want it to inspire you to try something new, change a habit, set a few goals, release your limiting beliefs, or stay motivated to achieve the dreams you’ve already set yourself. You’ll notice the title reads How I Motivated Myself to Succeed; this is intentional. I wanted to share my personal thoughts, experiments, successes, and failures, so writing this book in the form of a self-help memoir felt right.
There are a ton of fantastic self-help books on the market today; some even include workbooks that can help you with a specific area of your life, and some are linked to online or audio courses. I’m not reinventing the wheel here; my aim is to give you, the reader, a comfortable read that feels familiar and safe. Self-help, how-to, supportive, counselling- driven books are incredibly personal to the individual reader. I’ve bought loads of motivational books because of media hype or because a favourite author has written it, only to find it to be unhelpful. I slot it on my bookshelf and wait – in time, my life will change direction, or certain circumstances will present themselves, and that book will be just the thing I need to read at that time. I fully support the saying, ‘when the student is ready, the teacher appears.’
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m currently working on a sequel to my last young adult fiction novel after being inundated by readers for a ‘what happens next’ book. Oath Breaker is my first werewolf book and I had so much fun writing it – and apparently readers had fun reading it!!
I’m also working on a meditation for children book that I hope to finish this year.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Paying for a professional editor, without a doubt! Best money I ever spent. My editor is fabulous and she totally gets my quirks, voice, and hang-ups. She’ll tell me off when I use far too many exclamation marks (!!!) and boost my confidence by telling me what she loves about the book we’re working on. Yes, best money every spent was on my editor.
How can we contact you and find out more about your books?
Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B073QXLN4H
Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B073QXLN4H
Shelley is a multi-genre author of non-fiction self-help and young adult fantasy fiction. Her latest release, How I Motivated Myself to Succeed is being dubbed as the sequel-that’s-not-a-sequel to her bestselling book, How I Changed My Life in a Year. She writes a personal development blog (www.motivatemenow.co.uk) as well as an author blog (www.shelleywilsonauthor.com) where she shares book reviews, author interviews, and random musings about writing. Shelley was thrilled to win the Most Inspirational Blogger Award at the Bloggers Bash in 2016, and to scoop second place in the same category in 2017. She is a single mum to three teenagers and a black cat, loves pizza, vampires, and The Walking Dead, and has a slight obsession with list writing.