Posted by: rcwriter | May 19, 2009

Featured Author–Shelley Adina

**Don’t forget to leave a comment on this post. You’ll be entered for a chance to win a set of the All About Us Series, Books 1-4. **

Hi all,

This month for The Sandbox Festival, I have the wonderful Shelley Adina. She has a fascinating series out right now, All About Us.  I recently had the chance to ask her some questions, and found out some fun things about her.

RC: Shelley, thanks for allowing me to interview you. I’ve really enjoyed the All About Us series. The message is timely and entertaining.

SA: Thanks, Rhonda! It’s always fun to talk with someone who “gets” what I’m trying to say with the books. So let’s kick back and get comfortable—I’m looking forward to this!

RC: Teens can be a tough audience. What made you decide to write teen books?

SA: I remember vividly what it was like to be a teenager, with all its highs and lows, drama and secrets, uncertainty and passion. And while a lot of people say they hated high school, reading about it can be cathartic. I think this is why YA is so popular among adult readers, both in books and in movies. They want to go back and have it turn out “right” this time, even if it’s for someone else. Personally, I began to get a clue when I realized that YA was my favorite genre of movies: Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion, 10 Things I Hate About You, Saved!, Twilight, High School Musical. So once I figured that out, I realized I could take all that emotion—which, let’s face it, is still there inside us, deep underneath—and channel it into the reader’s experience. It could be a universal point of connection.

When I was a teenager, I belonged to a toxic church that required us to wear our hair up in FLDS-like buns and our hems halfway to our ankles. We weren’t allowed to watch TV or go to the movies. Makeup, dancing, jewelry, and dating outside the church were forbidden. You can imagine the misery of going to a suburban high school under those circumstances. With the All About Us books, I get to relive my teen years vicariously through my characters—with a Platinum Visa and designer clothes.

RC: Yeah, and living vicariously means you don’t have to pay the Platinum Visa bill. Too bad you can’t have the clothes. What inspired you to write the All About Us series?

SA: I was eavesdrop—er, I mean, shopping one day, and overheard some women talking about their daughters’ reading material, which happened to be in the boarding-school genre. I could tell by their voices how distressed they were about it—yet their girls were reading. We all want kids to be reading, right? A light went on in my head and I thought, “What if there was a series of books where, given similar choices and circumstances, the characters made different decisions based on their faith?” I went straight home and began to outline the first book.

RC: Can you tell us what you have planned after the series?

SA: I’m bouncing between a craft-based series (costuming and sewing) and a steampunk trilogy. Both have me really jazzed because they’re based on things I love. Can you imagine doing a steampunk booksigning? I’ve already made the historical costumes for it. And got the goggles. All I need now is a contract!

RC: Both of those sound fun. Steampunk? That really is an original idea, but I’d expect nothing less from you. I know you wrote your first novel at 13. At what age did you know you were a writer?

SA: I was eight. I’d written a composition about a ghost in a graveyard and my teacher (bless you, Miss Gilstein, wherever you are) wrote on it about how I’d scared her. At that moment I realized you could affect someone’s emotions with the words you wrote, and I was hooked.

RC: Congratulations on your Christy nomination. What was it like to find out you were a finalist?

SA: I think I screamed. They told me two weeks before it was to be publicly announced, but I was sworn to secrecy. Oh boy, was it hard to keep my mouth shut and not trumpet it all over the place! Then, I went down to Dallas for the Christian Book Expo and was there for the official announcement, sitting with a group of my friends who had no idea. I think they screamed when The Fruit of My Lipstick went up on the screen. Such fun!

RC: That would have been a hard secret for me to keep, too. What other writing awards have you won?

SA: I won the Romance Writers of America RITA Award for one of my inspirational women’s fiction novels in 2005, written under my married name. That was another thrilling moment! No screaming, however—I had to give an acceptance speech in front of a thousand people and four TV networks and I was too scared!

RC: If you didn’t write, what else would you do?

SA: :: pauses to think ::

Wow. Um. Well, my day job is as a marketing communications editor, so I would probably do that. But life would certainly have a great big hole in it. I can’t imagine not writing. It’s something that just . . . comes out, whether a person is published or not. Writers must write. That’s the bottom line.

RC: I understand about the need to write. It’s something that I have to do also. If I don’t let it out, it starts clogging up my soul. I know you like to travel. What place do you want to visit, but haven’t?

SA: New Zealand. I want to find out for myself if there are really elves and hobbits there.

RC: :chuckles: I don’t think you’ll find any elves or hobbits, but it would be fun searching for them. I have a couple of friends in New Zealand, maybe we could get a trip together and have them serve as tour guides?

We actually have something in common. I love handbags, and am known for them. Which brand do you prefer? Which of your collection is your favorite?

SA: Oooooh, have you seen the Valentino “Petale” satchel? Siigghhhh. I can’t afford it, but I like to look at it. And touch it. And maybe try it on. And then carefully put it back before the saleslady picks up the phone to call Security.

Okay, back to reality. I love my Kate Spade computer tote, and this summer I’ll be traveling with a Coach “business bag.” It looks like a purse, but it holds everything I normally carry, plus my computer, a pair of shoes, and my booksigning kit! I swear the thing was made just for me. 🙂

RC: I haven’t seen that bag, but I’m going to check it out. My favorites are Beijo, and Fossil.  Now tell me about some of your other favorites. Author?

SA: only one? Can I have just a couple more? Like Connie Willis, Jane Austen, Troon Harrison, and M.L. Tyndall?

RC: Book?

SA: same problem. How about Doomsday Book by Connie Willis, The Shell Seekers by Rosamund Pilcher, and anything by L.M. Montgomery. Oh, and Kristin Hannah’s True Colors. That was a knockout.

RC: Actor?

SA: Jensen Ackles, Colin Firth, and Nathan Fillion.

RC: Movie?

SA: the Colin version of Pride and Prejudice, hands down. Oh, and Serenity. And Star Wars: A New Hope. And both The X-Files movies. Oh, okay. Stopping now.

Thanks, Rhonda, for inviting me over to chat. Care for another latte while I’m up?

RC: This has been fun. Thanks for answering my questions. Thanks for the latte.


  1. I really enjoyed reading this interview. Thanks Rhonda and Shelley!


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