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Welcome to Shellie Blum

Where are you from and where do you live now? I grew up in Lake of the Ozarks Missouri but I now live in Lake Wales Florida.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. My one and only book I’ve written so far is a memoir. It’s called Waterski Girl Wonder

Where do you find inspiration? I was extremely motivated to write my memoir. It had been a goal I set for myself a long time ago. I had originally written my life experiences as a screenplay. Hollywood is a tough nut to crack, but so is the traditional publishing world. But I feel like the old cliche may apply here, “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” Wouldn’t it be great if a non-celebrity like me could break through and prove it can be done? People love to root for the underdogs. I’d love to be part of the reason others realize that the underdogs of the world can succeed… if they never give up.

Do you have a favourite character? If so why? My favourite character in my book would have to be my mom.

Do you have a character you dislike? If so why? I dislike the small part of my assailant in Los Angeles for obvious reasons.

Are your characters based on real people? Yes! I did change the name of a “troubled” female waterskier. And it’s really a conglomerate of a few girl skiers, but everything I said that happened, did happen. I just combined some of the incidents into one character.

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? Since this is a memoir my research is pretty thorough. I have quite a bit of knowledge when it comes to my sport of performance ski show waterskiing. Most of my knowledge about it comes first hand and is of course experience driven.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? Yes, at least I hope so, I would like for people to take away from the experience of reading my book a layperson’s philosophy of deep thinking. I didn’t want to come off as preachy or full of pontifications. But I hope that people finish the book and maybe without realizing it, the theme of the story resonated and washed over them. That my story’s message might make people think more deeply about their own lives, and hopefully take away and make useful something positive from it.

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…) Great story telling…

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? Hard copy and E-book

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I had several people look over my book. If someone cares enough I think they can self-edit, but it’s hard to do. For lots of writers, I think money constrains us to get professional editing done.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be? I do, but I’m hopeful with time this will change.

Do you read work by self-published authors? Yes! Of course, some of what the traditional publishers would tell us is good writing isn’t always what appeals to everyone. There’s a bit of a war going on with the creative writing academics. I am constantly hearing the “Show don’t tell” mantra but to be honest I enjoy a “good story told” versus writing that seems overally abused with adverbs, adjectives and wordy prose to fit the “show” part of the mantra. But hey, that’s just me.

What are your opinions about authors commenting on reviews? How important are reviews? Authors commenting on reviews don’t impress me near as much as regular people reviews. I will consider the average mean of what the regular people say about a book more than a well known author. That was kind of confusing, but I think you know what I mean.

When buying a book do you read the reviews? I do, but I mostly read the 1 and 2 star reviews. I don’t need to know why everyone loves a book. I can make my own mind up about that, but I do want to be warned about why someone doesn’t like a book, and then, in my own writing, try to avoid it.

What are your views on authors reviewing other authors? Be kind.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? Nothing can truly substitute the written word and the potential affect it can have on a person. I do enjoy seeing movies that have been adapted from books.

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers? Don’t be too hard on yourself. Believe in yourself, and never give up.

What are your best marketing/networking tips? What are your worst? Be consistent and be authentic. Not sure what would be my worst, although I’m sure I’ve committed most of them.

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? “The Free Market Existentialist” by William Irwin. I always enjoy books that stretch my mind philosophically.

Can you name your favourite traditionally published author? And your favourite indie/self-published author? Anne Rice for traditionally published author, and I’m just now getting to read some really good indie/self-published authors.

What are your views on authors offering free books? Whatever floats their boat, but for me, I think I want people to have some skin in the game.

Do you have a favourite movie? I have my two favorites, “Lawrence of Arabia” and “True Grit”.

Do you have any pets? I have two little doggies, Melvin and Victoria (Torie)

Can you name your worst job? Do you think you learned anything from the position that you now use in your writing? I have only had one job in my life… waterskiing. And I loved it!

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? When I was little I could make liquids squirt out of my nose.

Book links, website/blog and author links:

Shellie Blum


Interested in purchasing my memoir click here? http://www.amazon.com/dp/0996366903