Besides writing fiction, Shelia is a freelance writer. She’s also an Essence Magazine bestselling author, the recipient of three Shades of Romance Magazine Readers Choice Multi-Cultural Awards and honored as a Literary Diva: The Top 100 Most Admired African American Women in Literature.
Although Shelia has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, her passion for writing has always been there. Shelia decided to pursue her life-long dream after being down-sized from a fortune 500 company.
She’s received many accolades since embarking on a writing career:
• #1 Black Expressions.com Bestseller
• Essence Magazine Bestseller
• Dallas Morning News Bestseller
• Amazon Bestseller
• Honorable mention in a New York Times article & Writer’s Digest article
• Literary Divas: The Top 100+ Most Admired African-American Women in Literature
• 2012 Emma Awards Finalist for Inspirational Romance - Delilah
• 2011 Top 20 Christian Fiction Novels of the Year - Delilah
• 2011 EDC Creations Top Books Award - Delilah
• 2009 EDC Creations Top Books Award – His Invisible Wife
• 2009 EDC Creations Author of the Year – Lip Gloss Chronicles series
• 2008 BlackWebAwards.com – Best Female Author Site
• Disilgoldsoul 2007 YOUnity Guild Award – Most Outstanding Book Debut Promotions- “Paige’s Web”
Her titles include:
My Invisible Husband
Roses are thorns, Violets are true
His Invisible Wife
The Lip Gloss Chronicles series: The Ultimate Test, Splitsville, Paper Thin, and Secrets Untold.
The Sweet Sixteen Diaries series: Sade’s Secrets and Crystal's Crush
About “Montan’s Way”
Montana Blake and her sisters, Savannah and Asia, teamed up with security professional Troy Bridges to bring their father’s killer to justice. Along the way, Savannah and Troy fell in love, and Montana is overjoyed that the two are headed toward marriage. Suddenly, Savannah and Troy vanish and a surveillance camera reveals they were abducted from their home. Troy’s partner, six-foot-two Sean Patterson, joins the sisters in a rescue operation. Sean has met Montana before, and he’s never been able to forget her. He’s not the settling-down kind, but Montana may get him to change his ways. That all depends on whether they get out of this alive—because the kidnapping is only the first move in a vicious plot that endangers all of Dallas.
Available in Hardcover from BlackExpressions.com or in paperback where ever books are sold.
UBAWA: When did you first decide you wanted to become an author?
Shelia: I decided in the 9th grade that I wanted to be an author. What inspired me is when Maya Angelou spoke to my high school freshman class during a lock-in. I wanted to capture the same passion she portrayed with her words.
UBAWA: How did you decide on the idea for your 1st book? 2nd book? 3rd book, etc?
Shelia: I've always had a vivid imagination so ideas come to me in so many ways. Some ideas come to me in dreams. My first book was actually a short story that I wrote and I decided to expand it into a full novel. I've gotten ideas just from observing what's going on in the world.
UBAWA: How long did it take you to complete your first book? What was the process like?
Shelia: It took me a few months to complete the first draft. At the time, I was off from work so I would get up early in the morning and write all day. I write all of my books via the computer. I don't hand write anything unless it's just notes.
UBAWA: What’s so rewarding about writing books and being an author?
Shelia: I try to have a message in all of my books so being able to present that message in an entertaining way has been rewarding. It also allows me to speak with people on various subjects.
UBAWA: Was there ever a time you felt like giving up?
Shelia: Yes; however there was something within me that wouldn't allow me to. Every time I even considered giving up, God would show up and show out. I remember that I was going to retire right before I wrote Delilah, but this voice within said, no. Delilah has been one of the most talked about, controversial and award winning books I've ever written.
UBAWA: There’s more to being an author than writing a book. How do you manage to handle the business side of things?
Shelia: I keep good records and I'm good at multitasking.
UBAWA: Do you have an editor or do you edit your own books?
Shelia: There are two people that I normally use to edit my books. The publishers also have their own set of editors.
UBAWA: Who does the cover art for your book(s)?
Shelia: My publishers have been responsible for getting the cover art done for my books. Sometimes I don't know who is behind them. For my book Sade's Secret, the cover artist was Nuance Art: https://www.facebook.com/NuanceArt.
UBAWA: Do you ever encounter writer’s block? How do you get past it?
Shelia: No because writer's block is simply procrastination. To get past procrastinating, I give myself deadlines and more importantly, I log off of the social networks.
UBAWA: How often do you write?
Shelia: It depends. If I'm on deadline to complete a book, I write every day. If I'm not on a deadline, I write a couple weeks out of the month.
UBAWA: Tell us about your last book signing.
Shelia: My last book signing was at an event hosted by the New Orleans Public Library. I gave an hour motivational speech to a group of pre-teens and teens. The library purchased copies of one of my young adult books and they were all able to get their books signed. It was a very rewarding experience for me.
UBAWA: Beside social media, what other methods are you using to get the word out about your book(s)?
Shelia: I try to reach out to book clubs. Word of mouth from readers is still the best form of promotions.
UBAWA: As a Woman of Color, what inspires you the most?
Shelia: Life inspires me. I'm very observant. I pay attention to the things that go on around me.
UBAWA: Who is your biggest influence?
Shelia: My mom has been my biggest influence because she has virtues similar to the woman described in Proverbs 31.
UBAWA: Have you ever done something in the past you regret? How did you get through it?
Shelia: Of course I've done some things that I've regretted but I didn't wallow in my mistakes. If it was something that I could correct, I did. If it was something that I needed to learn from the mistake so that I wouldn't repeat it, I did.
UBAWA: How do you get through the tough times in life when life throws what it throws at you?
Shelia: My faith in God has gotten me through every tough situation in my life.
UBAWA: What is one goal you want to accomplish for yourself in 2013?
Shelia: I want to write at least four novels and a couple of more screenplays in 2013.
UBAWA: What do you have planned next?
Shelia: I wrote an original screenplay, a romantic comedy, and it was recently optioned by filmmaker Vernon F. Clarke/BNG Media so I'm looking forward to working with Mr. Clarke on this project as well as others.
UBAWA: How can readers and others in the literary community reach you?
Shelia: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org