Jen: Please help me welcome Shelly Rosewarne to Romancing the Book. Shelli, will you share a short bio with us?
Shelli: Shelli Rosewarne had always had a dream in the back of her head about wanting to be a writer. However, like with so many things, life and paying the bills got in the way and she worked in various jobs from call centers to shops to offices. She eventually realized that life is too short not to try and follow your dreams, and has since had two stand alone novellas published with Breathless Press, along with several submissions in anthologies, and various works in progress in the pipeline. Yup, she’s having to pinch herself as well! She’s currently lucky enough to live in Edinburgh, where she can be constantly inspired by Scottish folklore and see castles every day. When not writing she loves reading, music and photography.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Shelli: My new release, Scarlett Legacy, is a paranormal romance that was inspired by the fairytale of Little Red Riding Hood. I’ve always loved fairytales and being able to do my own take on it was quite fun. I’m also a bit of a sucker for a villain, so being able to provide a bit of redemption for the ‘Big Bad Wolf’ was rather irrestible. Not that Damian isn’t big and bad, just maybe in a totally different way. *winks*
Jen; What what age did you discover writing? Tell us your call story.
Shelli: I used to love writing stories at primary school but it never occurred to me that it was something you could actually do as a job. It was a lot of years later when I finally picked up a pen again. I was doing an Open University degree and ended up choosing a Creative Writing module, just for a bit of fun. By the time I had finished my second assignment I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life.
My first story that was actually accepted by a publisher was two years ago now. It was a Christmas-themed novella and I’d never been so scared in my life as when I sent it off for submission. I opened the acceptance email at work and let’s just say it’s lucky I had my own office at the time as I was laughing, crying and dancing round like a complete nutcase!
Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Shelli: Nope! I’m definitely a first in my family, but they have been amazingly supportive. My parents have read everything I’ve written – even the bits I slightly wish I’d got to censor first!
Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Shelli: I am a pantser. I rarely have the slightly clue where my stories are going. The characters will come to me, and then they take me on the journey with them. I never know how things are going to turn out, and I’m usually just as surprised as they are with the twists and turns. While it can sometimes be a little frustrating it’s also one of the things that makes it so much fun.
Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Shelli: I don’t really. Like a lot of people, my writing has to fit around other commitments so it tends to be whenever I can squeeze time in. I tend to write at night a lot, and I like curling up in bed with the laptop on my knee and the cat next to me (with the occasional ‘contribution’ when she decides to walk across the keyboard!).
Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?
Shelli: I have notepads everywhere! I may have a slight stationary problem, I love pretty notepads and now I have excuse for having dozens of them scattered around. Of course, it’s when you need to go back to the idea and you’re trying to remember exactly which pad you wrote it down in that it starts to get interesting.
Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Is there one you’ll probably stay away from? Why?
Shelli: I love writing paranormal romance. It combines my twin loves of romance and fantasy, and it tends to be what I enjoy reading when I get the chance. I don’t know if there’s anything I’d specifically stay away from, I’ve tried short stories in the historical and horror/thriller genres and it’s always fun to try something new. I think I would find crime/mystery writing quite difficult, purely because I think it’s a style that needs to be quite carefully plotted and planned out in order for it to make sense and all the clues to be in place from the start, and that’s something that I find quite difficult to do.
Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Shelli: I’ve always loved fairytales, myths and legends and they are a frequent inspiration in my writing. I enjoy looking into aspects of how they can be read in different ways and with different interpretations. I must admit I’m not someone who extensively researches. I tend to get into a writing flow, and then on the edits I will have to go back and check that the factual details are correct – that these particular flowers would bloom in this place at this time of year, or that someone could actually walk that particular distance within the time frame.
Jen: How do you come up with characters names?
Shelli: I find character names really hard, especially for the hero and heroine. Before now I’ve written half a book with the hero down as X because it just wasn’t coming to me. I usually visit baby names sites online, and I like names that have a meaning, or that come from a certain country or reflect a certain background. I usually know it when I see it. It can be quite frustrating, the name will almost be floating at the back of my mind. I liken it to when you’ve met someone once and you know they introduced themselves to you, the name is there but you can’t quite make your brain remember it.
Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?
Shelli: I get very attached to all my characters. I have a complete soft spot for Damian in Scarlett Legacy. He’s such an alpha male in a lot of ways, yet he has a vulnerable side that he doesn’t like people to see. He also plays the strong and silent role much too well at times, to the extent that on the first draft of the book there was hardly anything actually from his POV, and I had to go back and literally drag some thoughts and emotions out of him. I think it all adds to the appeal though – and I really hope readers agree!
Jen: What’s next for you?
Shelli: Scarlett Legacy is the first in a new series (though don’t worry, it’s a complete standalone story!) so I’m currently working on the next two in the series. Hopefully, more wolves will be coming soon!