Stoically Yours (Author Interview)




Stoically Yours looks like a great romance novel.  Any plans to turn it into a series?

Thanks! That’s kind of you to say. I actually thought about building something around the secondary characters or maybe coming up with a short story or novella that functions like an epilogue for the main characters. A short story with a holiday theme might be nice since it’s that time of year, but I haven’t decided yet. I probably should get on that! Right now though, it’s a stand-alone novel, but I do have a 1st draft written of another story and one of the main characters works at the same university that Tabitha attends in Stoically Yours, so there’s a bit of a faint tie-in.

How long did it take you to write Stoically Yours?

It really didn’t take that long at all – about two months to get the whole story up and out, so to speak. But it took much longer to edit, revise, add to the plot, and then pare it down again.

How did you come up with the story in Stoically Yours?

Well I completed an internship in psychology, and I’d always thought it might be interesting to anecdotally write about what happens in those programs because there seems to be some mystique about it. I thought people might be curious about the “behind the scenes” aspect. Also, in terms of the characters themselves, I liked the contrast of Tabitha as this therapist who’s emotionally guarded and has her own stuff to work on while still being able to help others open themselves up and work towards their best selves. She’s trying to figure out her family and relationship issues while going through this program and while dating two guys who she never thought she would entertain.

Why did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve always enjoyed reading books and writing stories, ever since I was young. Now in my “day job”, I write stiff, clinical documents, so it’s fun for me to do something different like writing romance novels, which is obviously a completely different style than I’m used to writing day in and day out. Also, sometimes I’m in the mood to read a certain type of thing and it may not be available, so I like to write stories that are interesting to me and that I’d like to read later.

Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing Stoically Yours?

My character makes some poor choices in the book, and I struggled with that a bit because I didn’t want readers to dislike her. But I wanted to show a complex character who has strengths as well as some growth edges, like we all do, right? Ultimately, I decided it was more important and authentic to show all those sides of the protagonist because it was more realistic to do so. Fingers crossed that people don’t hate her! She might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but she’s definitely real.

What do you like to do when not writing?
I like to spend time with my family, travel, read, craft, watch the Masked Singer or an Amazon series. I just started watching Fleabag so I’m kind of behind the curve ball with that show but it’s funny and disturbing at the same time. 😊

Where can readers find out more about your work?
I’m constantly updating my website and technology is not my strong suit but it’s www.reneeshelbey.com. I’m also not that social media savvy (I gotta work on that, I know!), but I’m periodically posting to facebook.com/reneeshelbey.1 and twitter.com/renee_shelbey about what’s going on with me. Thanks for helping me get the word out about my book and about me.

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