About the Author
Shelley Shepard Gray lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. A busy wife and mother of two, she spends her days writing and keeping track of her two teenagers. Her two dogs keep her company when she writes in her basement.
Shelley enjoys writing about the Amish and visits Amish communities in Adams and Holmes counties several times a year. When not spending time with her family or writing, she serves on several committees in her church.
She also bakes a lot, loves coconut cream pie, and will hardly ever pull weeds, mow the yard, or drive in the snow.
Shelley also spends a lot of time on line! Please connect with her on:
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1. How did you get started as an author? What or whom inspired you?
I started writing when I was still teaching school. I wrote as a hobby. The first time I wrote something, it was because I had forgotten a book to read. I've always been an avid reader, especially of romances. I love to make up stories with happy endings. : )
2. How many books have you written and in what genres?
I'm not sure how many books I've written, but I've published around fifty since 2000. Most of my novels are romances, either contemporary about the Amish or historical romances set in Texas right after the Civil War or in Chicago during the 1893 World's Fair. I currently write about 5 books a year.
3. What writing projects are you currently working on? What can you tell us about these projects?
I always work on more than one book at a time. I'm currently writing A Sister's Wish, which is the third book in next year's Charm Amish series, and a historical set in Texas, which is part of a men of honor series I'm writing for Harper Collins Christian Fiction.
4. What does your writing process look like?
Ha! It's a mess! I usually start out with the best of intentions to follow a synopsis, but I usually only go where the characters take me. I can't tell you the number of times I've had to write a note to my editors explaining why the book is a little different than what had been expected.
5. Where is your favorite place to write?
Although I often write on my laptop outside, I usually write best in my office. My desktop computer has a big screen and a big keyboard, which is helpful to me. It also had no windows, so I don't get as distracted. I write 10 pages a day, six days a week.
6. How important are the names in your novels? How do you choose names for your characters? Do you have any name resources you would suggest?
Oh! Fun question! My names are fairly important. I get all my Amish names from The Budget Newspaper, which is the Amish Newspaper. I also have a baby book name that I use a lot. It's just one of those books expectant parents might buy. I never name characters after people I know.
7. What authors/novels that you enjoy would you recommend?
I like too many authors to list. I like anyone who can tell a good story, especially a story that I don't feel I could write. I read from all kinds of genres, and usually read about two or three books a week.
8. Where is your favorite place to read and why?
I either read on our back patio or in one of the chairs in our bedroom. Or in the living room. Or at the table while I'm eating lunch. Or when I'm on the treadmill. <g>
9. What period of history interests you the most?
I enjoy American history. I loved researching the late 1890s and of course, the West in the 1870s. I've written two books set during Prohibition in the 1930's. Those never sold but I loved writing about gangsters and speakeasies!
10. What inspired the idea for the Amish Brides of Pinecraft series? How many novels are you planning on having in this series?
I first came up with the idea about Pinecraft when I noticed some of my Amish friends were tan and I asked them about that. When they started showing me brochures of the Pioneer Trails bus service, I knew I was hooked. I was so, so happy when my editor gave me the okay for this series. There are four full books and one short novella in the series. I loved writing them!
11. What other hobbies do you enjoy when you are not writing?
We have a bike trail in our town. I love to go there and walk our dog, Butch. He's a little dachshund. We recently had to put his best friend to sleep so I'm currently trying to find another dog who would be a good match for Butch! Our daughter is also engaged, so her wedding is also my hobby! That keeps me busy!
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