Some of my most creative thoughts happen when on a dog walk, as do my best conversations with my dog-walking buddy. So I thought I’d invite some of my author friends along to join me and my Ruby and see if I can find out a little more about them and the book they’ve just released.
Joining me today as part of her blog tour is Shelley Wilson who stretches herself by writing both fiction and non-fiction and has just released How I Motivated Myself to Succeed, a self-help/memoir. (You can read my review of this book by clicking on the title throughout this post, Ed)
Shelley Wilson divides her writing time between motivational non-fiction for adults and the fantasy worlds of her young adult fiction.
Her non-fiction books combine lifestyle, motivation and self-help with a healthy dose of humour, and her YA novels combine myth, legend and fairy tales with a side order of demonic chaos.
Shelley is an obsessive list maker, who loves pizza, vampires, and mythology, and may also have ‘crazy cat lady’ tendencies.
She also writes a motivational lifestyle blog which was the basis for her bestselling non-fiction book, How I Changed My Life in a Year. In June 2016 she won the Most Inspiring Blog Award.
Shelley was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire but raised in Solihull, West Midlands, UK, where she lives with her three teenagers, one eleven-year-old fat goldfish and a black cat called Luna.
Some of her favourite things include:
List Writing (yes, it’s a thing)
Anything supernatural or mythological – especially Vampires.
Staring up at the moon
Chocolate – in large quantities.
How I Motivated Myself to Succeed: Top Motivation Tips for Life, Happiness, Changing Habits, and Releasing Fears.
If you’ve ever felt like life is passing you by at a startling rate, or you just exist day to day rather than living life to the full, this book will share honest, straightforward, and realistic techniques to help motivate you to make powerful changes.
From setting goals and organising your life, to freeing yourself from fear, Shelley shares the unique story of how she planned, prepared, and executed the year of challenges and life-changing events brought about by her motivational, award-winning blog.
How I Motivated Myself to Succeed is full of practical tips, exercises, and real-life stories of success, including advice on how to trust yourself and celebrate achievements, as well as manage your time and balance your life effectively.
Shelley’s first book, How I Changed My Life in a Year, became a bestseller in self-help and memoir as it struck a nerve with the thousands of women looking to make a difference and be the best they could be. (You can read my review by clicking on the title, or book cover, Ed)
Welcome Shelley I hope you’ve had a good journey here and you’re ready for a hike across the fields of sunny Cambridgeshire?
Hi, Georgia! Thank you so much for inviting me to join you as part of my blog tour. Unfortunately, my black cat, Luna, wouldn’t let me put a lead on her so it’s just me today 😉
I’m not sure how well Ruby would cope if a cat joined our walk so it’s probably just as well. Now that you’ve got my undivided attention, Shelley, this is your chance to tell me all about How I Motivated Myself to Succeed and convince everyone to buy it and move it up their to-be-read list?
No pressure! 😉 After my first book, How I Changed My Life in a Year, came out in 2014 I was overwhelmed by the response it got. This was a book based on fifty-two New Year Resolutions I set myself to complete in twelve months. Women from all over the world left me messages of thanks as they embarked on their own set of challenges, or made changes to their lives. It was incredibly humbling to be a part of the journey for so many wonderful people. Together with the inspirational messages I received, there were also many questions. Readers wanted to know how I decided on the fifty-two challenges I took part in for the first book. They were also interested in how I brought up three kids on my own, ran a business, and still had time to do the challenges and blog about them (and then write the book!). When I was still getting asked the same questions a year later I thought it might be a good idea to collate all my motivational tips, lifestyle hacks, and organisational tools together in one book.
Life can be so rushed at times and we often feel like we’ve been busy but never achieved anything. Having a background in holistic health and personal development means I’ve learned so many tools to help me organise my life. I wanted to share this with my readers in the hope that they can also streamline their lives and free up time to achieve their dreams, have fun, and be happy.
I believe you’re a hybrid author Shelley, with some books traditionally published and some self-published so can you tell me more about your publishing journey? We all need help at various stages of writing and I’d like to know more about the team you have behind you. Who helps you pull your books together until they’re ready to be published?
When I wrote my first book I knew straight away that I wanted to self-publish. It never crossed my mind to submit it to a publisher, I just knew I wanted to do it myself. Of course, it might be the control freak in me that opted for this route! I do outsource editing, cover design, and formatting. I love writing but I’m hopeless at the creative side and technical bits (my grammar is a bit dodgy too if I’m perfectly honest!) The majority of my non-fiction books are self-published with the help from my lovely friend and fellow self-help author, Peter Jones from Soundhaven.com. Peter has designed the covers and done the formatting for me on almost all my non-fiction work and I love working with him. He knows me well enough to read between the lines and pull my personality out onto the cover design.
Self-publishing gives me the freedom to chop and change as I go. I love having control over the design elements as well as the launch, price, and promotions. Having said all that, if a publisher was interested in taking on my books I certainly wouldn’t say no! Penguin Random House got in touch a few years ago looking to acquire my first book, How I Changed My Life in a Year. While nothing came from this meeting, I still grin with pride when I remember getting that email from them and sitting in the PRH offices in London.
My young adult fiction is published via BHC Press who are based in Michigan, USA. They are a wonderful team to work with and I always squeal when they send me the cover design for my YA books. It’s a fresh company with big plans and I’m so excited to be a part of their journey.
If you could choose to be any character out of any book you’ve written, who would you choose? And why?
Ooh, that’s a great question! My latest YA book, Oath Breaker, came out in June and has received fantastic feedback. I poured a lot of myself into the main character, Mia. However, I’d quite like to be Miss Ross as she’s the lethal werewolf hunter who trains Mia. When I was writing this character I pictured Halle Berry in my mind as she’s so pretty and athletic – yes, I’d definitely like to be like that!
A few quick fire ones.
India or Iceland?
I’ve always wanted to visit India as I love reading about the culture. Blogger, Barb Taub visits quite often and I love the posts and books she writes about her trips.
The Beatles or The Stones?
100% The Beatles as I grew up on their music.
Which superpower would you like to have? And Why?
I’m a huge Marvel fan and after watching Wonder Woman three times at the cinema the week it was released I’d love her Amazonian powers. Not sure I could pull off the awesome outfit though but I’d love the knee high boots!
What piece of advice would you like to give your 16-year-old self – if you were given the opportunity to use a time machine!?
Oh blimey, how long have you got? I wrote a blog post about this once because there were so many things I wished I’d known when I was younger. Of course, we would never grow as individuals if we had all the answers at a young age would we. I think the one piece of advice that I would offer (and have given my fifteen year old daughter many times) is to never compare yourself to others. Comparison leads to insecurity and that can haunt you for eternity. Be carefree, confident, and unique.
I believe that perfect days are unplanned, BUT if you were to plan your perfect day what would it look like?
I totally agree with you, Georgia, ‘going with the flow’ is a favourite mantra of mine.
I have to take my mummy hat off to answer this question because my perfect day is hugely selfish ha ha.
I’d wake up in a beautiful cottage overlooking the sea, take a walk on the beach then pop to a cosy coffee shop for breakfast. I’d then sit out on the deck of my house to write (the sun would always shine in the UK on my perfect day!). Lunch would be a picnic with friends followed by a boat trip on the lake and a dip in the water (because the water would also be clear and warm in the UK on my perfect day!). I’d then spend an hour answering all my fan mail 😉 A tall, handsome chap would then whisk me out for dinner and a movie. I’d go to bed with happy memories, a full belly, 10,000 words better off, and maybe even a snog or two!
Thanks for joining me Shelley and I wish you every success for the sales of How I Motivated Myself to Succeed.
Thank you so much, Georgia. I had a lot of fun answering your questions and I must say, Cambridgeshire is lovely this time of year 😉
You can find Shelley, and her books, at all of these lovely places:
Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B073QXLN4H
Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/dp/B073QXLN4H
Author Website: http://www.shelleywilsonauthor.co.uk
Author Blog: http://www.shelleywilsonauthor.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Shelley-Wilson/e/B00G5KPMJI
Personal Development Blog: http://www.motivatemenow.co.uk
Facebook (Personal Development): http://www.facebook.com/MotivateMeBlog
Ha ha, I LOVE the pictures!! Thank you so much for being a part of my tour and book journey, AND for the awesome interview. Loved answering your questions xx
You’re welcome, Shelley. Have a great day 😀
Love you guys! what fun!
We did have a good time, Carol 😀 nothing better than squelching across a muddy field while having a natter!
It was so much fun, Carol. Great questions and I love Georgia’s choice of photographs *dreamy sigh* 😉
What a fun interview! Thank you both and hope to see you in India soon Shelley.
Thanks, Barb – lovely to see you here 🙂 and I’m sure Shelley will be adding India to her bucket list 😀
Yay!! *rushes to pack suitcase* 😉
Oh to be twenty years younger… when I had the energy to really make a difference! I still try, of course, but these days they are feeble struggles…
Oh I’m sure they are not, Anita! You make a difference everyday with all that you do. Thank you for stopping by and commenting 😀
I read a wonderful article the other day called ’20 Things you need to stop saying if you’re over 4o’. It was utterly brilliant and included phrases like: It’s too late for me now, Life would be easier if I was younger, I’m just waiting for the midlife crisis to begin, and My best years have come and gone. Each phrase included a paragraph or two about how wrong we are to think these things. It was very empowering! I’ve reinvented myself more times than Madonna and plan on evolving even more until I’m 90+ 😉 Anyone can make a difference, Anita, and as Georgia rightly says, you already do xx
This interview has motivated me to buy the book, Shelley! And this from someone who hardly ever has the time to read for pleasure. I look forward to reading it!
Excellent news, Julia! I hope you feel fully inspired upon reading it 😀
Yay! That’s wonderful news, Julia. Thank you so much. I hope you enjoy reading it. You’ll also spot a familiar figure between the pages!! 😉