Thursday, 28 January 2016

Guest post with author Shelley Wilson

Happy New Year! Yes, yes, I know I'm a little late, but at least it's still January!
I have been beavering away and have started my next book, but it will be some time in the writing, due to other commitments. So, in the meantime, if you're looking for something to read, I'd happily point you in the direction of author Shelley Wilson's books, aka S.L. Wilson for her fantasy novels.
You may recall I reviewed Guardians of the Dead some time ago. Well, Guardians of the Sky launched last week, and I'm a little more than halfway through and very much enjoying how the story has continued (it's part of a trilogy).
Anyway, with the launch, Shelley has been ridiculously busy, but she deigned to come on and share a little more about herself, her writing and her choices.
Welcome and take it away, Shelley!

A touch of self-help with a dollop of fantasy


Once upon a time, there lived an old witch who ate kittens for breakfast and small children for lunch…

 Okay, so I don’t read many books that start with ‘once upon a time’ anymore, but evil witches devouring kittens?  Bring it on! 

My mum was the one to encourage my reading; she would buy me tons of books covering a variety of topics.  I wasn’t a pony and ballet kind of girl; I liked dragons, fantasy and gore.  For me, it was the perfect way to escape.

As a child, my favourite book was Enid Blyton’s, The Folk of the Faraway Tree.  It’s been re-written over the years, giving the cast of characters more up-to-date names, but the storyline is the same.  I wasn’t a girlie girl, so climbing trees was a favourite past-time of mine.  I could always climb higher than my younger brother, which annoyed him and made me climb even higher.  To think that there could be an imaginary world of fantasy characters up the Oak tree was incredible.  My passion for fantasy tales began then.   

My tastes haven’t changed over the years; I did have a horror phase when I hit my teens, which coincided with a black clothing fest and a desire to hide away.  I came through that period eventually, although I do still wear a lot of black!

In May 2014, I published what would be a life-changing book in more ways than one.  How I Changed My Life in a Year began as a weekly blog.  I shared a series of challenges from losing weight and being creative, right through to adopting better habits.  Instead of sitting back and congratulating myself on surviving a crazy year, I turned my experience into a book.  For the past two years, that book has hit the number one spot around the New Year on Amazon’s best-seller list for self-help, memoir, and women’s biographies.  Life changing!   

Not once during my childhood, teens or even in my thirties did I contemplate writing non-fiction.  However, taking that leap and publishing my non-fiction titles gave me the confidence to explore my comfort zones, to write more motivational and lifestyle blog posts, and to launch a series of Motivate Me workshops on a range of well-being topics.  I have also developed a set of motivational oracle cards that should be available this year.  I was living the dream, and publishing books, writing health and wellbeing articles and running personal development workshops.  But I could still feel the tug towards fiction. 

It was thanks to one of my challenges that I finally made the transition to fantasy fiction.  Taking part in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for the first time, back in 2013, gave me the freedom to create a supernatural race of soldiers and throw an unsuspecting sixteen-year-old heroine into the mix.  The story evolved as the month flew past and Guardians of the Dead was born.  Published in February 2015, this was to be the first book in my young adult trilogy.  I used NaNo to pen the second book in 2014 which celebrated its launch on the 22nd January 2016, and then I completed the set by writing book three during last year’s NaNo competition, to be released in December this year.   

As a Gemini (on the cusp, so I’m not as crazy as I could be!), it makes perfect sense to write for two genres.  I split myself in two and work on my non-fiction when I’m feeling motivated, or lose myself in fantasy fiction when I need an escape.  My writing now compliments my life, and I feel more balanced than ever before. 

I thoroughly enjoy writing young adult fantasy fiction, and as an avid reader of the YA genre, it feels like I’ve come home.  The pace of teen fiction is fast, and this suits my nature.  I think fast, I talk fast, and I now write with the same vigour.  I use my self-help tactics to ensure I keep writing regularly, and I make sure to slot any reading in around my writing schedule.

I have a couple of favourite authors; Sarah J.Maas, who writes about faeries and witches, and Casandra Clare, who wrote the Mortal Instruments series.  Their books allow me to escape from real-life, just for a while and become a heroine in an epic battle between good and evil.  One of the first YA authors I discovered was Maggie Stiefvater.  It was her book, Shiver that hooked me back into fantasy.  In my book, Guardians of the Dead I named one of the characters Maggie, after Ms Stiefvater. My way of saying thanks for welcoming me into her world. 

I love the freedom that I feel when I write YA.  Fantasy gives you that special pass to mess with your characters in weird and wonderful ways.  My eldest son once said to me; ‘Mum, you can’t behead someone in the prologue!’
My response? ‘Of course I can, it’s my story, I can do what I like.’   

Knowing that other authors can drag me into their world and make me laugh, cry or scream only made me more determined to stick to fantasy fiction and write with the same passion.  I have fun when I write, whether that’s a self-help guide or a young adult tale about shifters and dragons, and I don’t have any plans to stop doing what I do.  
Thanks very much for all that, Shelley. Very illuminating - always interesting to see how another author's mind works! And now for the book: what a cool and scary cover! The blurb follows!

Guardians of the Sky (Book 2)


Can one girl sacrifice herself to save the one she loves…

Following their daring escape from the demon realm, Amber and her friends become caught up in a war between good and evil.  They must join forces with the Queen’s warriors to overthrow a malevolent force that has spread across Avaveil, the land of the Fae.

As her powers grow, Amber is faced with the real possibility that she is a danger to the ones she loves.  Her full strength is yet to be tested in a way she can’t comprehend.

Dragons, faeries and humans stand side-by-side as they are drawn into a battle of cunning, magic and surprising revelations.  Can Amber survive long enough to see her dreams fulfilled? 

If you haven't got your copy yet, here's where you can buy Shelley's books:-
Amazon UK -
Amazon US -

And now for a little bit more about Shelley and where you can find her.

Author Profile 

I write my YA fiction under 'S.L Wilson' and combine myth, legend and fairytales with a side order of demonic chaos. I was born in Yorkshire but raised in the West Midlands, where I live with my three teenage children, a kitten called Luna and one fat fish.  An obsessive list maker, I love pizza, social media and Game of Thrones.  I’d love to live in the Shire but fear that my five foot ten inch height may cause a problem.


That's all folks, as they say. Look out for my review of Guardians of the Sky in the next few weeks, as well as, hopefully my reads of 2015 and my must reads of 2016. Yes, yes, I know, I'm behind!


  1. Thank you so much for inviting me over to your blog, Susan. :-)

  2. Great interview, Sooz! And lovely to read more about you Shelley!

  3. What a fascinating interview and inspiring.

    1. completely agree - isn't she amazing! I am still decluttering after reading her motivational book! The fantasy ones are to relax too, though!

  4. Crackin' interview! Thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you better, Shelley, and congratulations on all you have accomplished! *Waves to Susan* :)