HEATHER HAVEN, the Maven of the Mysteries with Laughs! (GIVEAWAY!)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

EDITOR’S NOTE: I first met Heather in a writing workshop about five years ago and quickly learned that any time with Heather is time well spent. She has a beautiful heart, and I always feel better about the world after a little time with Heather and her handsome husband Norm. I love these guys so much that I asked them to emcee my wedding! They made the day so very…


I’m an Extrovert….Wheeeeeeeee!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Hello. My name is Shelly, and I am an extrovert. When I first moved to the Bay Area, my dear late brother Tom was living in the Castro district of San Francisco. In my mid-twenties, bright-eyed and fresh from a lifetime in the deep South, I wanted to talk to everyone about everything. I wanted to find out why a drag queen was a drag queen and where in the…


The Five Commandments of Book Launch Parties

Friday, April 3, 2015

I have a confession. I’m a legendary party-thrower. Seriously. There have been ballads written about my cocktails and canapés. My Christmas parties have been known to make New Year’s Eve completely irrelevant. My Sunday brunches have been known to last six hours. I used to live in a 500 square foot apartment and still managed a cocktail party with a 80-person guest list. I am a party-throwing goddess. So when…


Talk Like a Writer, Think Like an Entrepreneur

Friday, March 27, 2015

Unlike the other Debs, I’ve never worked in the world of magazines. I’ve never been a freelance writer. I’ve always worked in full-time jobs in high tech–nice, comfy, regular-paycheck, comes-with-bennies jobs. They also come with stock, bonuses, raises, employee discounted stock purchase, free software, and many, many other perks. My last company (if you’re doing your own taxes right now, you’ve probably know it) used to display the total sum…


Envy Is Good

Friday, March 20, 2015

To paraphrase Gordon Gekko from the movie WALL STREET, envy is good. And I say that as a completely non-psycho, non-egomaniac (at least I think I’m not). I say that as a writer who may still have an unpublished novel if I didn’t let my envy drive me to do what I needed to do. Back in 2012, I read the Facebook update of a dear friend. She just signed with an…


The Savior of Debut Authors…Emily Griffin

Friday, March 13, 2015

I remember the first conversation I ever had with my agent, the marvelous Stéphanie Abou. We were talking about working together, and she said to me in her beautiful French accent, “I know an editor at Grand Central Publishing who will love this book, and I think you will love working with her.” She was talking about Emily Griffin, who did end up saying “yes” to my book. And my agent was…


The Magical Month of Cleanse

Friday, March 6, 2015

OK, right next to the hipster tech center of the world–Silicon Valley, where I worked and lived for nearly 20 years–is the hippie center of the world–Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz mountains–where I live now. It may seem a little odd to have these two very different worlds right next to each other, but it kind of works. I think one influences the other. I know when I used…


The Only Guarantee in Writing Is Rejection

Friday, February 27, 2015

I started my writing career batting a thousand. The first story I ever submitted won a local writing contest. $500!!! It was the most money I ever earned from a short story. The second short story I ever submitted came in second place in a writing contest for a national magazine. $300!!! I was on fire! I scoffed at all these rumors of rejection. “Bah!” I said to the writing…


The Balancing Act

Friday, February 20, 2015

This post is nine hours late. Here’s why. I try to work on book #2 for four hours a day. Not a problem right? For most people that’s working part time. When I worked in Silicon Valley, where that would be considered barely 1/3 of a work day. But that’s just the writing part and I have to fight for it. What no one tells you when you’re in writing classes and…


Books I Can’t Quit

Friday, February 13, 2015

I love that scene in BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN where Enos says, “I wish I knew how to quit you.” That’s me and my favorite books. No matter how tall my TBR stack gets, there are books I go back to over and over again. Their spines are broken, their pages are spotted with whatever I was eating or drinking when I was reading them, and nearly all the pages are dog-eared…