Shelby Londyn-Heath has been a world-traveler, crossing the Sahara Desert on the back of a salt truck, working on banana plantations in Spain, an oil company in New York, and on coffee farms in Hawaii. She has jumped freight trains across the United States, and she was the proud owner of a beachfront bamboo hut on the Canary Islands. She has worked as a counselor, social worker, and teacher.
What’s your favourite part of the lifestyle of an Author
There is a lot of freedom in being an author. However, within freedom is a looming void; that place where a choice must be made – to write – or not to write. That is the question. There is no boss handing out work orders for the day. How easy it is to become distracted, especially at the beginning of a project, when resistance is the highest. Ah, the satisfaction of breaking through and completing a writing project! That’s a great feeling.
What made you start writing?
I cannot remember ever deliberately starting to write. I began writing when I learned to form letters. I wrote little short stories and fantasies that no one was interested in.
Is there an Author that you consider your inspiration?
I went to British Grammar School and my headmaster always read Charles Dicken’s books out loud to the class. I grew up fantasizing how I would change the world through novels, like Charles Dickens did. He was an inspiration because he always wrote books to better lives of down trodden people.
What’s your number one tip for an aspiring Author?
This is a cliché, but write every day whenever you can. Carry a notebook and practice writing descriptions of places and people. Watch people’s facial expressions and listen to the rhythm of their dialogues. Observation is the key to developing as a writer. When you are ready, gather it all together, whip it up with your imagination, and voila, you will give birth to a book. Believe in yourself.
What type of book do you like to read and does this differ from the genre that you prefer to write?
I like to read everything. Right now I am reading a friend’s memoir, a book of poetry, a self-help book and an advance copy of a novel.
Which one of your characters would you most like to spend time with?
I would like to spend time with Grey, the protagonist in my book The Twilight Tsunami. Grey is not someone who easily fits into the norm. He is real. He rages, he cowers, he takes risks, and he hides from the world. He is a breathing contradiction.
What I like most about him is his sense of adventure. He has a passion for life; yeah sure, he battles with it, but he never quenches his passion like so many people do. His imagination is rich, and in fact, his imagination might save him if he can finally give up the futility of trying to be predictable.
Which book do you consider a must-read?
I really enjoyed The Kite Runner, which I recently read. For a debut novel, the writer took risks with his pacing and his content, which by the way, was rich with description and emotional power.
If you could live in a book, which one would it be?
Are you kidding? Who wouldn’t want to eat mushrooms and climb into Alice in Wonderland’s tunnel with her?
Can you sum up your life story in ten words or less?
Live, breathe, love, hurt, illusion, disillusion, acquire, lose, let-go, let-go!,
What’s exciting you about your next project?
Having a strong female protagonist in my book. So many times, women start out strong, then fall apart if they become romantic, or they become submissive if they have to be rescued. My next book is about a young, ambitious, head-strong corporate woman who travels to a tropical island she intends to develop. However, she cannot find the hotel she made reservations at. She travels through jungles, across rivers, past head-hunters, and through flesh-eating environmental zones in search of her hotel..What she finds instead of the hotel, surprises her.
And finally, you have one quote to be remembered by, what is it?
My quote that I am proudest of is: “If you have a big heart, you will live a large life.”
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