My mom liked the name Selena, and thought about making it a little different, so she added the H and liked how it sounded. :)
I guess I've sort of stuck with that "little different" mentality my whole life, because I'm always thinking of ways I can make something different, hence Weston! LOL.
Your first book, THE PACE, was one of my absolute favorite books last year. The sequel, THE BROKEN LAKE, comes out August 19th. I’m sorry, but I have to pause for a minute and **SQUEE** because I’m so excited. For those of our readers who haven’t read THE PACE yet, and really guys - if you haven’t, you MUST - here’s the description:
Weston Wilson is not immortal and he is of this world. But, aging is not part of his existence, and eighteen-year-old Sophie Slone is determined to find out why. In doing so, she could also uncover something about her own life expectancy that she may not want to know. Suddenly, immortality will mean everything and nothing all at the same time.
Intensely fascinating and rich with determination, The Pace brings together romance, mystery, and suspense in a compelling bond that is sure to have readers asking for more.
Where did your ideas for THE PACE come from? Did your characters just start talking to you one day?
Well, I’m a love story junkie in every way. I LOVE reading a story, or even watching a movie, where I can root for two people to be together. It just so happened that I was in a reading slump for a very short time, where I couldn’t find what I was looking for. Next thing I know, I started imagining what I wanted, and Wes’ and Sophie’s story unfolded so clearly in my head.
Outline or no?
Sometimes, but when I do, it’s very brief, quick notes, in bullet form. Just so I don’t forget what I see in my head.
Now, we don’t want to give anything away, but the ending of THE PACE was a bit of a cliffhanger. Do you enjoy torturing your readers? Just kidding. ((HUGS))
No! Believe it or not, I DON’T :) HUGS BACK! Seriously, I feel the same way everyone else does at the end. And actually, the end of my books are where the visions stop. After both The Pace and The Broken Lake, I didn’t even know what happened next. I had an idea of the long term, but the getting there was blank. So I feel like the books end where the characters stop knowing what happens next. And when the next phase of their story is ready…it comes.Book two in the series, THE BROKEN LAKE, is described like this:
In the aftermath of Sophie's ordeal, Weston will make some uncharacteristic decisions to distance himself from the past in an attempt to change the future.
But, while venturing into the improbable, the present sneaks up in a chilling way that will lead to Wes' unexpected submission. Suddenly, Sophie will find herself watching as both his immortal secret and his own existence are threatened.
Continuously intriguing, The Broken Lake takes readers to a place where eternal bonds confront a division that is sure to leave everyone wondering whom they can trust.
Let me just say, OMG!, can I have it now?? But seriously, how hard was it to write a sequel to THE PACE? Did you feel any pressure to make the second book better or different?
The pressure was definitely there. I’m fully aware that sequels have a hard time living up. All I can say is that I kept it authentic to their story and who they are. If people care about Sophie and Wes, they will like The Broken Lake…I hope! Can we do hugs again :)?
Can you give us a hint about what’s next for Wes and Sophie?
You’ll see them making the most of what time they have in case it’s not very much, while also trying to figure out the solution and fulfill Wes’ “purpose”.
We’re curious about how the writing process changes (or doesn’t) when you go from an unpublished author to a published author. Did you learn anything along the way you’d like to share to other aspiring writers?
I learned to have thick skin! When you write unpublished, you sort of have expectations that the only people who read your work are the ones who will like it. Once you’re published, you can get 100 people who love it and see one who doesn’t. It can make you second guess yourself, your story, and the characters you brought to life. After a while, you learn to find that alone place where you started writing to begin with, just so you can focus on what’s important which is writing a story for you, your characters, and the people who care about them as much as you do.
We know you teach high school, so we’re curious how your students have reacted to the books. Do you use them as Beta readers? Have the books made the approved curriculum list where you teach?
The guys are like whatever! LOL, but the girls love it. They think it’s very cool, but they’re always asking for sneak peeks. I can’t blame them! The books are not on any approved lists that I know of, but they are in the library!! That’s cool.
We see from the playlists on your website that you’re a Secondhand Serenade fan. *awesome* Do your students’ musical tastes influence you at all?
Not really. LOL! We have a lot in common regarding books, but music doesn’t really get brought up in class.
Like many of us, you have a job and little ones running around the house. How have you managed to balance it all? Do you recommend writing on a schedule or when inspiration strikes?
It’s very hard, and I can officially say I watch nearly zero T.V. I write mostly at night and in spurts. I’ll go several weeks without having a single sentence to write, but I don’t force it. I just read a book or think, and when it comes, I’ll write every night until 2 or 3 in the morning.
BONUS QUESTION: You’re stranded on a desert Oasis, but a magic butler offers you one dessert that you can eat for the rest of your life. What do you pick?
That’s easy! Costco’s Five Layer Chocolate Cake! (Hugs for the magic butler too:D!)
Shelena, thank you SO much for joining us. Folks, please, JOIN Shelena's mailing list and share the news about Shelena’s awesome books. It wasn’t so long ago that she was one of us: waiting to have that amazing first novel published. To buy her books on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, click the links.
Thank you guys so much for having me. I wish you the best!!
And NOW, you can enter below for a chance to win a **SIGNED** copy of The Broken Lake from Shelena's personal stash. Contest closes at 9 p.m. EST on August 26th.