Interview with Myanne Shelley

What's the story behind your new ebook?
I've worked in and around nonprofits for nearly all of my career, spanning decades now, plus I regularly volunteer at my local SPCA. I'm a true believer in their value and benefit to society, really! But now and then I notice the, um, less efficient side of this world. Thought I'd try to write a bit of mild satire.
What's up with all the sci fi references?
Huge fan of cheesy TV sci fi, starting with the 60s wacky Batman as a little child. Kind of weird for a feminist, but there you have it. I love how many aspects of the original Star Trek have filtered into the modern world.
What's the story behind Long Road to California?
I was motivated by seeing Ken Burn's documentary on the Dust Bowl. It's an amazing story, and one that happened within the lifetime of people I grew up with - but the people who actually made the trip are now quite old. The story I learned in American History class was statistics and facts, but I was interested in the people and the journeys. Grapes of Wrath stuff. And it struck me that people who feel burdened by financial or emotional challenges now really have nothing on the people then. We, now, would do well to listen to their stories.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Well I wish I had the chops to be a "real" author - an agent, a publisher, books in print... but it's pretty cool to be able to really focus on writing, which is certainly how I prefer to spend my time, as opposed to doing readings in public (eek) or creating the perfect query letter. It's exciting to see the expansive growth of indie work over the past few years.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
A lot of the time I feel like I'm slogging along, waiting for my characters to make it worth my while... but now and then I get in the zone, and it feels like flying. Like being in a magical place of my own creation. I've even had the experience of going back, reading over something I wrote awhile ago, and thinking, hey, that's pretty good. (Hope that's a joy and not just middle age talking.)
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I have a part time job at an environmental nonprofit. It's accounting, which is a restful and totally non-writing way to earn my keep. I also volunteer as a cat adoption counselor at the SPCA - volunteering sounds like such a good deed, but really I get as much out of it as the homeless cats do, I think. And I practice Yoga and spend a fair amount of time outside, hiking, gardening, etc. I'm lucky to live in a warm climate and near the beach.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I started writing stories as a kid, as a way to work out problems maybe. I've loved sci fi forever and tried, unsuccessfully, I'm afraid, to come up with the next Star Trek some time back in the 1970s. I had a story I wrote as a high school assignment turned in to a contest by my teacher (who forgot to tell me she'd done so, but it was cool because it won a $10 prize!). It was about a teenage girl going to the beach in California.
What is your writing process?
Like Nike, just do it. Broad outline, notes about who's who and what they're going to do, and then I sit and put hands on keyboard until words appear. Then later a lot of the words disappear, but others follow. It's not pretty, but it works. Even my cat can tell when I eventually get really into it, and he stops trying to walk across the keys.
What do you read for pleasure?
I love all sorts of fiction, especially with contemporary settings and strong female protagonists. I prefer inner turmoil to lots of external action, but breezed through the Hunger Games books, so go figure. I'm a regular at my local library, so often a year of so behind the latest books. Still enjoy discovering the books everyone was talking about a year ago!
Published 2015-10-26.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Already Gone
Price: Free! Words: 36,000. Language: English. Published: November 16, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Literature » Literary
After her husband is wrenched from her in a terrorist attack, Rachel Voight careens through the stages of grief. Then troubling questions arise – his computer was accessed after his disappearance, a secret account was closed. How well do you ever get to know someone, even after twenty years?
Feed the World!
Price: Free! Words: 72,380. Language: English. Published: October 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Jessie Morgan, 50, impulsively quits her nonprofit job after one too many good ideas are disregarded. Then her ex convinces her to team up for a fundraiser based on The Amazing Race. What could possibly go wrong?
Long Road to California
Price: Free! Words: 43,490. Language: English. Published: February 24, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Caleb and Nina Byrnes, long married and struggling financially, travel from Texas to California, following the route Caleb's grandmother took when her family migrated from the Dust Bowl. As Nina chronicles the journey, they discover a secret in Grandma's past. Learning about Vera's hardships offers perspective into their own lives. And tracking down old friends may help Vera in her waning years.
Set It Off
Price: Free! Words: 54,190. Language: English. Published: June 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
JJ Carlisle is a guy who grew up thinking he was destined for greatness. Instead, he finds trouble, though his sister Jackie and stepsister Karen regularly bail him out. While their lives settle down as the years pass, JJ feels personally affronted by the roiling 21st century economy. Occupy gives him a shot at leadership. But his anger threatens to radicalize him beyond the family’s imagination.
Price: Free! Words: 65,440. Language: English. Published: October 27, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
Clarissa Farrell awakens one morning with the certain knowledge that a friend has died. Coincidental dream or precognition? Investigating the phenomena leads to recognizing more of her own uncanny perceptions. But when an interested reporter turns out to have fraudulent motives, she is left to question all of her new found abilities.
The Ghost Family
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 61,820. Language: English. Published: January 6, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
The Ghost Family is a quiet, contemplative portrait of a California family. Laurel and Mion are cousins who grew up close as sisters. But there is an unknown third branch of the family. Their half cousin Jane was raised in communes with her hippie mom. When she stumbles across letters that trace back to her married grandfather’s affair, a generations old secret begins to unravel.