What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Living in Las Vegas since she was two, Shelly Hickman has witnessed many changes in the city over the years. She graduated from UNLV with a Bachelor of Art in 1990, and in her early twenties worked as a computer illustrator. In the mid-90s, she returned to school to earn her Masters degree in Elementary Education. She now teaches computer literacy and media technology at a middle school in Las Vegas. She loves to write about people, examining their flaws, their humor, spirituality, and personal growth. Shelly lives with her husband, two children, and their dogs, Frankie and Junebug.
Today Shelly Hickman will be talking about how she became a writer and what inspired her in regard to the story she's promoting.
* Though I’ve enjoyed writing from the time I was in high school, I never really had aspirations to become a writer. My career is actually in teaching and my writing had always been sporadic. After my daughter passed away in 2000, I wrote my first book Believe, which had no other purpose for me than to work through my grief. I had started the manuscript before Sydney’s first of several relapses, so the story was something I came back to again and again.
* Years later, my niece told me that she knew someone who had a small publishing house and asked me if I would like her to give this person a copy of Believe. Long story short, she liked the story and offered to publish it.
* Believe is contemplative and metaphysical—not the tone I write in now. My second book, Somewhere Between Black and White, moved more toward the romantic comedy genre that I now favor, but also addressed some deeper concepts.
* I’ve always had a love of romantic comedy films, which is probably why I enjoy writing romantic comedy so much. Because it can be a challenge to find light-hearted novels with middle-aged characters, that was partly my inspiration for writing Vegas to Varanasi and Menopause to Matrimony. Plus, since I’m middle-aged (as hard as that is to accept), we write what we know, right?
* Each stage of life comes with its own challenges, and I think trying to find humor in those challenges is what helps get us through this crazy life.
* Anna has never been the beautiful one; she’s always been the nice one. So when the gorgeous man sitting across the table at a wedding reception remembers her from high school—and quite fondly at that—she’s taken off guard.
* Formerly overweight and unpopular, Kiran has never forgotten Anna, the one person who was kind to him when no one else could be bothered, and Anna’s a bit flustered as she slowly comes to grips with his intense attraction for her.
* In what feels like a romantic dream come true, all-grown-up, hunky Kiran invites Anna
on a trip to Varanasi. But her troubled, whack-a-do ex-boyfriend starts interfering, creating drama at every turn, which begs the question, “Can nice girls really finish first?”
* BLURB FOR MENOPAUSE TO MATRIMONY:
* The sequel to "Vegas to Varanasi" catches up with Anna and Kiran a couple of years after the event that brought the once “ugly duckling” high school acquaintances together. But will their romance continue to flourish in the face of a whole new set of insecurities brought on by middle age?
* First, there’s Kiran, who has an unexpected health scare. While his doctors assure no permanent damage has been done, there seems to have been some damage to his personality, as the normally respectful and reserved Kiran begins behaving erratically and overtly. Anna wants to hope that this is temporary, sparked by the visit of Kiran’s womanizing, free-spirited cousin, Seth. But is this just the midlife Kiran surfacing?
* Anna has midlife issues of her own. Now forty-eight, she’s navigating the onset of perimenopause and all the delights that come with it, from facial hair to mood swings to body temperature issues. On top of that, her two-year-old granddaughter is starting to show signs of a behavior disorder, bringing with it a whole other level of stress and worry.
* Will Anna and Kiran finally find their happily ever after? Or end up stuck in a midlife mess in this romantic comedy of accepting change, and “the change.”
* This is becoming far too intense. My insides feel as if they’re playing musical chairs. “I could really use a drink. You?”
* “I’ll get it for you. What would you like?”
* “A glass of white wine, please.”
* “Any particular kind?”
* “Whatever they have is fine.”
* I sit down on one of the sofas while he walks to the bar for our drinks.
* This is childish. Why am I acting like I’ve never had a man give me attention before? It has to be because I’m letting his looks intimidate me.
* Luke never flustered me, but maybe that was because he was my buddy first. Despite his good looks, he was approachable. Kiran, on the other hand... I can honestly say I’ve never met anyone in real life who was so arresting.
* I feel flushed and touch my face.
* He’s not full of himself, and he genuinely seems to like me. Clearly, he has these idealistic memories of me which are far too much to live up to. I’m not Gandhi, for crying out loud!
ANNOUNCEMENT! Shelly Hickman will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour! So be sure to leave a comment AND use the Rafflecopter below. Also, visit the other tour stops for a greater chance of winning!
a Rafflecopter giveaway