Since my books have recently become available in an entirely new medium, I decided to take vast liberties on Local Voices, and interview myself.
PATCH: What exactly do you mean by a “new medium?
Shelly: E-Books! Those electronic devices we see everybody holding in their hands (instead of something sensible – like a cup of coffee or a chocolate donut.)
PATCH: By “electronic devices,” do you mean digital books?
Shelly: Yes. Flat screen gadgets that fit into your pocket or purse. You can expand or shrink the type size to make the text more readable; you can even read an e-Book on your cell phone!
PATCH: How do people obtain your digital books?
Shelly: From Internet books stores or the library. They are available on Amazon’s Kindle. Barnes and Noble’s NOOK. Sonny Reader, iPad, and probably a dozen other devices I’ve never even heard of.
PATCH: Which of your books are we talking about?
Shelly: My six novels, Julian Solo, Origin & Cause, Spent Matches, Weeping, Tabula Rassa, and The Skirt Man. And a memoir, Come Home. Love, Dad.
PATCH: The memoir is about your childhood, isn’t it?
Shelly: Yes. I grew up on Jackson Avenue in Glencoe. The book covers the period after I left home to become a writer. Interspersed among the letters that my father wrote to me in New York – the dominant theme of which was to “Come home” – I tell the story of my remarkable, adorable, creative, iconoclastic father.
PATCH: Do any of your novels also take place on the North Shore?
Shelly: The main character in Weeping is very much like I was as a teenager, and her experiences growing up mirror mine in Glencoe. I just changed the name of the town to Conversation, and moved it Upstate New York.
PATCH: What else in Weeping echoes your childhood?
Shelly: Well…the Victorian house where the fire occurred, the tennis, the bike rides, the babysitting, the neighbors; summer theater in Winnetka; taking photographs at sorority and fraternity parties at Northwestern University when I wasn’t going to New Trier. Dozens of things.
PATCH: You mentioned fire. What part does that play in your books?
Shelly: Other than being a writer, I am also a fire investigator.
PATCH: Do you work for a fire department?
Shelly: No. I freelance for manufactures, insurance companies, and attorneys. My first novel that dealt with fire was called Origin and Cause. That’s what I do. I determine the origin and cause of the fire.
PATCH: How much does it cost to buy one of your eBooks?
Shelly: Very affordable. $2.99.
PATCH: How about your other books?
Shelly: They are all wonderful, and available in print and audio editions, too.
PATCH: Do you have a favorite?
Shelly: Yes. Whatever I am writing at the time.
PATCH: Do you have a website where readers can learn more about them and you?
PATCH: Can we expect a new book from you anytime soon?
Shelly: Absolutely. A fantasy novel for adults called The Man With The Glass Heart.
PATCH: And when can we expect it?
Shelly: In time for the holidays. I promise!