Today the very chocolaty lady author Shelly Arkon joins me to talk about herself and her book.
Hi Shelly, I’m so glad to finally be able to feature you! 🙂 Thanks for giving me this opportunity to tell the readers a bit about you.
Shelly Arkon is the author of Secondhand Shoes
When Shelly isn’t doing the laundry, cleaning, cooking, chasing grandkids, listening to daughter drama (five of them), or lopping heads of hair at the salon, she’s writing beside her two fur-peeps, Sir Poops and Hair Ball, popping an occasional chocolate while her hubby is flipping through TV channels.
She lives in New Port Richey with her husband and two dogs. She’s also a member of Florida Writer’s Association and Writer’s of Mass Distraction.
I know you as a very lively and always cheerful person. You must have a cry of joy or whatever.
Can you give me your best Whoop? Unless you have another one which works better for you?
Whoopwhoopwhoop! Hey-ho! Wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care. Whoopwhoopwhoop!
Hahaha, that sounds like a real winner, and one I can totally agree with. 🙂 But does it work all the time, even those times when the muse has gone and done a runner on you?
My muse run? She pretty much sticks around, but inspires me at the darnedest times. Like when its time to wash the dishes, take a shower, and do the wild nasty have conversations with the Sweetman. I’m great at multi-tasking, doing something else when I’m creating a story in my head. I can’t help it.
I would love to hear about those wild nasty things, but it might not be suitable on here. 🙂 Go on, I’ll try not to interrupt too often. But don’t you ever have trouble when cutting hair and your mind drifts into the realm of imagination? Does it result in new and inventive styles?
It’s a good thing I can cut hair and let my imagination hang out in one of my stories I’m working on. Although, I have cut my left knuckle off twice…a child moving was the culprit each time. It had nothing to do with my daydreaming.
And when did you first start with it?
Truthfully, I think I’ve had the multi-tasking talent ever since kindergarten. I’d pretend to be in class while engaging in my own fantasy world. It has stuck with me all through life.
Right, sounds like you are on the right track there. Let’s do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun.
What is the title of the book you would like to talk about?
Which has a fascinating cover, as you all might have noticed? Look again at that great picture at the top of this interview.
Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?
At first, yes. But then I began to see a common thread throughout the story. Lila lived in fear of changing and getting ring and hook worms(I know. Y’ll are like ‘WHAT’?). Lila is wearing a pair of bridal shoes that were bought in a secondhand shoe store by her mother, Babs. Secondly, the darned things were too small-Babs loves a good bargain. She’s a big part of Lila’s dilemma. So the secondhand bridal shoes despite the fit, is a symbol of everything she needs to let go off.
However, she doesn’t start letting go until after she says ‘I do’ to an absolute moron. Lila begins her adventure in discovering her own power and trusting her own intuition when she escapes out of bathroom diner window in the Florida woods still in her wedding dress and her ill-fitting bridal shoes.
Did I mention, she has her ghostly Gram in her corner to help her out? You see, Lila is a psychic-medium whose lacked the confidence to trust herself. She’s also a germ-a-phobe- mother induced, of course.
Well, it sounds great and I must read it. Oi! Another book on my already too long to-read list. 🙂
If you would have to change the genre, what would it be then?
I wouldn’t change the genre. I love paranormal. I love the thought that our deceased family may still be with us helping and guiding us along the way.
Good! One must stand ones ground and stick to the decision made no matter what the market might demand.
Although, I do have a tendency to be prolific. I have other stories in the works both short and novel length in other genres.
Just to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.
What don’t you like about writing, or whatever you need to do marketing wise?
Anything writing, I love. Even the moments when you have to tear your MS apart and rewrite portions. But marketing…Oh my gosh!
The biggest thing I hate about marketing are all the constant changes on how to promote yourself. Facebook is overloaded with authors bugging you to ‘LIKE’ and ‘BUY”. Linkedin is like a ghost town. Twitter is a sea of jibber-jabber- I’m still wondering if that really works. Goodreads is loaded with lots of authors and readers-some mean spirited. Amazon wants money to be paid back if you give away 20 thousand or so books for FREE. My email is always full anymore. It’s a giant monster of…-excuse me a moment- ***lets out a scream in the middle of my kitchen*** Sorry about that, but my nerves are racked.
Quite frankly, I like meeting people face to face and nonchalantly tell them about my book, hand them a post card with the blurb, shake their hand, and make them feel like a VIP. I’m perfectly happy sitting at a table in an art festival somewhere. I’m a writer who loves people.
Social media drives me insane. In fact, it gives me heart palpitations. The ‘LIKE ME’ stuff drives me to eat more chocolate. Blah-blah-blah…***goes to kitchen again and screams*** There just has to be a better way. Seriously.
That, Shelly, is something I soooo agree with. Chocolate is the only thing really useful to get rid of the anxiety social media brings. But since you are an indie author, you have to, no must, engage in the fray and do your thing. 🙂
Tell me, when your muse is visiting and you’re on a roll, what would seriously drive her/him away?
Sweetman has a special way of driving her away. He’s got anal retentive issues and I have a tendency to work like a child. I empty the crayon box out onto the table and spread them out so speak. If I don’t, I can’t find what I’m looking for. One would think after 10 years he’d respect how I do things. Its not like the entire house is in shambles or anything.
What does your muse look like?
I usually say Sir Poops and Hair Ball are my visible muses. So I would have to say my muse is a shiny white Shi-Tzu. A four-legged furry little cutie with a pink bow in the middle of her forehead, named Charlotte. I love puppies and fur peeps.
Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?
Holy-schmoly. All the time. Sometimes they all chatter at me at once. They argue over whose story should be finished first since I work on multiple projects.
Can you name the food and drink that will surely get you started?
Water and hot tea get me started and keep me going. I keep a pot on all day and my glass full of water.
As for food, I keep apples, carrots, celery, cheese, nuts, and chocolate on hand to keep my blood sugar up.
Would you be able to come up with an excuse on why you haven’t written a whole day, and have me believe it too?
The honest truth is, I work 30 hours a week at a hair salon. So I schedule 2 to 3 hour stints of writing 5 days a week. I usually take off Saturday and Sunday to use these times to hang out with Sweetman, catch up on the social media stuff, and watch The Walking Dead.
And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?
For one, I control the destiny of my characters. Its nice to be in control. Real life doesn’t allow that with real human control freaks and acts of God. And I can kill off or have the freaks arrested in my stories.
Plus, I love quiet and to be deep in thought. Did I tell you, that my imagination is a great place to hang out in? Well, it is.
Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂
Oh my. Are you for real? Ummm….hmmm. Okay. I confess to stealing pencils from the school bookstore when I was a kindergartner. I truly am sorry and hope I don’t got to jail or hell. Hope I’m not on the most wanted list either.
There, that’s my dirty secret. I couldn’t help myself. I love pencils then, too. Especially the pink eraser part.
That, my dear, is the most endearing secret I have ever heard. 🙂 It is so very you and so very sweet, you are forgiven I am sure of that.
Now where can we find you and most of all where can we buy the book?
Shelly on Amazon
And she is on Facebook
And most important, (drum roll) the book on Amazon