MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR SHELLI HUMPHREY
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is Shelli Humphrey. I write fantasy and paranormal books for young adults and adults. I also write poetry.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
My debut novel, Divine Royalty, is the first in an adult paranormal mystery/romance trilogy. The book follows Annastasia, who is the crown princess of a kingdom in a mystical realm. She had been trapped in our world for 3 years and finally gets back to her world. After returning to her world, she tries to pick up her life where she left off but tragedy seems to keep hitting her family and her kingdom. With the help of her older sister and her husband, Annastasia has to face multiple trials to keep her kingdom from falling into despair.
Divine Royalty was created out of boredum. One day I was bored and couldn’t find anything to do, so I turned on my laptop and opened a blank word document. I started writing and a year or so later, I finished Divine Royalty.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I have been a writer since I was young and as I grew up I started reading more and more paranormal fantasies. It was what I knew best, so when I started writing books, that was what I wrote.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
The only research I did was looking into old royal family names. Everything about the world that my book takes place in was completely created by me.
Can you tell me about your Series?
Divine Royalty is the first of a trilogy called The Descendants Series. The three books will follow the royal family of the Kingdom of Solayre from the time that Princess Annastasia returns to the Kingdom til the villain is defeated. There are many twists throughout the series and multiple smaller storylines in each book. We will meet new creatures and lots of new characters in each book. Book 2, Royal Legacy, is set to come out the beginning of 2019 with book 3, Legacy of Destiny, hopefully coming out the beginning of 2020.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
Besides Divine Royalty, my favorite book that I have written is one of my works in progress. It is my first young adult book and shall be released after The Descendants series is completed. It follows two sisters who come into some strange mystical powers in the middle of a difficult day of high school. They transfer to a school for people with these kind of powers and through learning more of their powers and what they are, they discover they have a destiny that puts them on a lot of hitlists as well as bringing them a lot of devoted followers. This book is the first in my Novas series and is still untitled. It was started when I was in high school off of a few ideas my best friend Nina and I came up with.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
It just came to me. The Divine Royalty was the first piece of writing that I wrote without any planning. Royal Legacy has taken a lot of planning and working out different aspects of the story line to match what I set in place in book one. I also owe a lot of thanks to my friend Jazzy who helped me work out some of the initial kinks for Royal Legacy.
Was it always meant to become a series?
At first I thought it would be a stand alone book but then as I finished it I knew I had to write more, plus ending book 1 with a cliffhanger helped the decision.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I do not have a typical day. I write whenever and wherever I can and for however long I can at one time. The only thing that has to happen for me to write is I need my country music playlist on loop, a yummy smelling candle burning, and some sugar (preferably from cookies) to munch on as I write.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
My upcoming book Is Royal Legacy, the sequel to Divine Royalty. I also have a few other projects starting and a couple anthologies I am a part of coming out in 2019 and 2020.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
The main characters in my books are named for special reasons all depending on the character and the book and where I got the inspiration for that character from. The lesser characters are just given names that fit with that world.
Where do your ideas come from?
I have no idea. My mind is always coming up with different worlds and storylines and characters that could fit together.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
I have always wanted to experiment with Erotica. There is one rather vague seen in Divine Royalty, but other than that I have never really done it.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Keeping focused is my biggest issue.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I haven’t done any trailers but have thought about it for the future.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
The fact that I finished a book after years of dreaming of being an author.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Hearing how much someone loved your story and the world you created.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Top of all the bestselling lists and traveling the world to sign copies of my books.
Have you always liked to write?
Since I could hold a pen.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write whatever come to mind. If it doesn’t make sense at first, do not erase it. Tweak it or save it for future use. Most importantly, do not ever give up.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I would be helping people. How? I have no idea. I just like to help others in need.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I have read all the reviews my books have received. I haven’t responded directly on the reviews but if I know who wrote them, I contact them thanking them for their review. Divine Royalty got a very negative review when it first came out, and it hurt but I have always been one of those people who take negative comments as a learning experience and do whatever I can to make my next piece get a positive response from that person.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Waiting to hear what people think.
What are you working on now?
Royal Legacy and my first anthology piece to be released on Halloween 2019
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
No excerpts. All I can say is Royal Legacy will mess with everything that was set in place in Divine Royalty. Villains in Book 1 will become heroes in book 2 and vice versa as well as a few other huge twists. So if you haven’ read Divine Royalty, you are going to want to grab a copy now so you are ready when Royal Legacy releases.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I write what I know and love.
Where did your love of books come from?
My mother is big reader and a writer as well. Seeing her love for it as I grew up, brought forth my love for books and I have since passed it on to my son.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
I am a HUUUGE Harry Potter fan. I also get alot of inspiration from the work of PC Cast and Kristin Cast. There are a ton of other authors but those are my top. I have always said that my dream is to be sitting on the beach watching my kids playing in the sand while my books are selling better than Harry Potter.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
My favorite is one noone has met yet. Chaelah of my Dark Realms series is a character with a dark and tormented past who becomes a heroine fighting for her realm despite the fact that she is haunted by ghosts of her past everyday of her immortal life. She gets up and does what is necessary despite wanting to give into the darkness.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both honestly. It all depends on how life is that day. Writing has always been my solace. It has helped me through years of depression and a couple suicidal spells.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
I am not sure. There a few things that I struggle with but my biggest thing is description. I can write dialogue no problem but describing scenes and characters is difficult for me.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
My books are what my mind creates. I take input from readers but ultimately my books are my creation.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
I am friends with a ton of other indie authors as well as a couple bigger name authors. I bounce ideas off of some of my author friends and reading their work helps me figure out different paths for my work and how to format things.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
I actually wrote an essay for a project in high school that was done as a story about my life. I titled in The Rise and Fall of A Kingdom. I would definitely steal that title for a book.
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
I have no idea. I honestly have not thought about being interviewed before.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
I can be followed on Facebook at Facebook.com/shellihumphrey and on Instagram at Instagram.com/serenityethne. I also have a group for my readers at facebook.com/groups/enchantedfantasies
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️