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Today I’m chatting with the lovely Shelley Martin. Shelley writes in the Young Adult and New Adult genres. She is a fellow Pink Petal author and her books include Wingless and Gargoyle.
Welcome Shelley and thanks so much for dropping by for a chat J
Hi Nicole! I’m so excited to be here. Thanks for letting me stop by!
What type of romance do you write?
I love all romance, but paranormal romance is my love. I can’t seem to write anything without a sexy man with wings or horns or fangs. Most of my work safely falls into the Young Adult category or crossover/New Adult audiences.
How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
Surprisingly, I get much of my inspiration from writing contests. I belong to several writing groups and when a challenge is set I like to join in. But I’ve found if my stories don’t have at least one paranormal creature then I just can’t get excited about it.
What comes first, the plot or characters?
Plot usually comes to me first, then the characters just unfold as situations challenge them. Once I get a feel for them I write out a template to get an idea of their goals and strengths better.
Are you working on anything at the moment?
I am working on a wonderful series of shorts called the Shadow Fan series. It follows the mountain spirit Yoshino. Her favourite priest sees into the future and says she will fall in love with a human in around 500 years. Yoshino laughs off the prophecy. She sees humans as weak, and love a dangerous emotion. She creates the shadow fan, a silk fan imbued with her power, in an attempt to protect her powerful line of priests, dreading the day the prophecy might be proved true.
That’s sounds really intriguing – I can’t wait to read it J
What has influenced your writing?
Fairy tales, legends and Greek myths influenced my writing as I grew. Today I often take little bit of world building I learned from those early stories and use them as a cornerstone in my worlds.
How do you come up with the titles to your books?
I think of the general idea of the book and test several variations of the words until they sound unique or enticing. For the Gargoyle Island series I decided to go the path of one word titles, so that simplified matters quite a bit!
What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
I’d love to be a dancer! I love all kinds of dancing reality shows. And I love music, but I have no balance or flexibility…
Are you a sweet tooth?
My favourite thing to gorge on is a warm gooey brownie topped with vanilla ice cream, drizzled with hot fudge. Yeah, now I’m hungry…
Sounds yummy. Now I’m hungry too!
Dreams and aspirations... what’s the one thing you want to do, see or experience above all else?
Oh, I like this question! I want to travel. I want to walk through European castles, and see the cherry blossoms in Japan, hang glide in Australia, I could go on and on. But I still have three young kids at home, so travel is difficult for a while.
Thanks Shelley and I hope to see you in Australia one day... although I'll wait on the ground until you've finished hang gliding.
Here’s the blurb and a snippet from Shelley’s Gargoyle... Enjoy.
Elizabeta's secrets will kill her, but the devotion of a gargoyle can save her.
In 1891, seventeen year old Elizabeta Riemma pulls the clothes from her dead twin's body and assumes his identity. To avoid her murderous uncle, she attends her brother’s school on Marettimo island, which is forbidden to women. Elizabeta takes solace in sculpting and one night, she awakens her gargoyle.
Gorgeous and fiercely loyal, Aelius uses his abilities to aid Elizabeta in keeping her secret. He only asks one thing in return- a kiss. As Elizabeta learns confidence from her creation, suspicions rise and the island’s bloody history threaten to bury them.
Elizabeta must hide her gender. Aelius must hide his existence. But both of them dream of the impossible- to be together.
The only male figure I’d ever created filled me with pride.
“Now, what to call you?” The full moonlight glinted off his flawless face. “Something ancient, Roman maybe.” I used the damp rag to wipe the dust from his jaw. “Aelius... What do you think?” His gentle features looked down at me, accepting and understanding. I ran my thumb over his full lower lip. I had secretly studied many lips of the young men at this school to be able to create the perfect mouth. The mouth I would most like to kiss.
But I would never get to kiss lips like those, since I was pretending to be a boy.
I dared to pull myself up another few centimeters. No one lingered below. The hour was well past curfew. My breath reflected off his marble face as I turned my head ever so slightly to the side. He was only a statue, and therefore I knew his lips would be cold and unyielding. But I was mistaken...
I discovered warm, soft lips when I pressed mine to his.
Then they gave a bit.
And then they kissed back.
The impossible yanked me back in surprise. The thought I had lost my mind was swallowed by fear as I lost my balance. Gravity pulled me from the ledge.
As I fell backward my eyes locked with his. Dark and full of wonder, they beheld me. I reached out for him as I slipped farther away. The muscles my hands had carved flexed in motion. Black wings sliced through the air as he lunged forward, his slender fingers grasping for mine. My falling body abruptly came to a stop, muscles pulling as I dangled from the gargoyle’s hand.
The warm, soft lips I had just kissed smiled. “Are you all right, my master?”
Confusion flooded my mind. A gargoyle was talking to me as I hung several meters away from broken bones or death. Was I crazy? Or sleeping? Perhaps my classmates were playing another prank on me. Had they dosed my food with laudanum? Either way, I had to get down before anyone saw me.
“Uh... just help me down, please!”
He swiftly pulled me to him and caught me midair. I braced myself as his arms encircled me and drew my body to his chest. I thought I would meet the impact of cold stone. But his expansive chest radiated heat as warm as his lips. Those agile muscles had lost the coldness of marble. My figure came to rest against smooth flesh. His legs were hidden from view by a simple white wrap as he stood us up. His great leather wings unfurled and gracefully moved against the wind, to drop us down onto the balcony.
My trembling hands grasped his shoulders. As the gargoyle straightened, he looked down at me. His pale arms held together my sanity. Black spices mixed with oak and vanilla filled my senses as I panted against him. The fragrance was heavenly. Then I realized the tantalizing scent was him. My rattled senses finally tore me from utopia. Taking pleasure in the arms of a monster was absurd. This could not be happening.
Shelley Martin taught kindergarten and ran cattle; once upon a time. She’s now a mother and wife, and loves living in North Idaho. Her imagination has always plagued her, the characters jumping into her head at some random song or thought. She started writing when she was ten, finishing her first short story when she was eleven. The paranormal has always fascinated her, and nothing draws her to the page more than the whisperings of fantastical creatures.