Intimate Conversation with Shelia E. Bell
Shelia E. Bell, formerly known as “Shelia E. Lipsey” and also known as God’s Amazing Girl, is a nationally acclaimed, multi-award winning author with fifteen titles to her credit thus far. She was bestowed the 2013 OOSA Book Club Female Author of the Year Award; 2012 Disilgold Magazine Editor’s Choice Book Award for four of her ten titles; nominated for a 2013 and 2012 Christian Literary Award by Joy and Company; recipient of 2011 Book Clubs Unite Literary Award; 2011 Kindle Awards for Literary Contribution; 2010 Pink Diamond Literary Award; 2009 SORMAG Readers’ Choice Awards for My Son’s Wife, 2009 Black Pearls Magazine Top Book Shelf Award, 2009 Urban Reviews Top Shelf Award and 2008 Author of the Year by Conversations Book Club.
Shelia is the founder of BWABC (Black Writers And Book Clubs) Literacy Festival (www.bwabcliteracyfestival.com), acquisitions editor for Bonita And Hodge Publishing Group, LLC (www.bonitaandhodgepublishing.com). She is a sought after inspirational speaker who shares messages of empowerment and overcoming obstacles with audiences all over the USA.
BPM: What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
My Wife My Baby…And Him is Book V in the My Son’s Wife series. I wrote it because, first, my readers wanted to know more about the Graham family.
Second, I wrote it because the Graham family had so much more to say that I couldn’t resist writing about their continuous drama!
BPM: Does your upbringing, prior relationships or life experiences inspire your writing?
I believe my upbringing, prior relationships, and life experiences ALL inspire my writing. Because I write ‘perfect stories about imperfect people,’ I believe anyone can identify with the characters and/or story lines in some shape, form, or fashion simply because of the various things we experience in life. As for myself, past relationships, mistakes, failures, ups and downs of my life are perhaps all woven in my writing.
BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot driven or character driven? Why?
My ideas basically come from everyday life, events and situations that occur. The My Son’s Wife series of books now has taken on a ‘real life’ of its own so the characters dictate the storyline.
BPM: Introduce us to your current work. What genre do you consider your book? Is this book available in digital forms like Nook and Kindle?
I market my work as contemporary fiction, dramatic faith-based fiction and women’s fiction. Yes, multiple genres!!! My books are available at an unlimited number of online eTailers as well as on my website (sheliaebell.net) They can be downloaded to your favorite eReading device (Nook, Kindle, Ipad, Ipod, Smashwords). They can also be read and downloaded with a subscription to Scribd.com. All of my books can be purchased from your favorite brick and mortar bookstore.
BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters. What makes each one so special?
The main character in My Wife My Baby….And Him continues to be none other than Pastor Stiles Graham. His not so lovely wife and First Lady Detria Graham plays an essential and central role in Book V as does Stiles’ good friend Skip Madison. My Wife My Baby….And Him also introduces readers to Associate Pastor Hezekiah McCoy and his wife Fancy. I believe readers will enjoy the new twist this couple brings to Holy Rock.
BPM: What topics are primarily discussed? Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
There are a number of topics discussed. Betrayal, lust, deceit, infidelity, grief, anger, forgiveness and the ultimate - payback! I believe I always learn something personal from writing my books. Sometimes they serve as a cleansing of the spirit for me. Other times, they make me realize my own shortcomings and force me to look within to see if I am being the best person that I can be. Because my books discuss real life issues, I sometimes feel that God uses the stories He gives me to write as a teaching tool for ME to learn and to live my best life now!
BPM: What defines success for you, as a published author? What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Wow! This is a tough one because I believe I am still wrestling with the definition of success as it equates to the literary industry. I most definitely have a desire to become a New York Times bestselling author, as well as see my books on the big screen! This industry is tough and success I guess means a continuous visible presence among the fierce competition for readers. In a world that has literally millions of authors and tens of thousands that write in the same genre(s) as I write, and who may have a bigger budget, more publicity, more of everything….it gets hard. So to be honest, I don’t know if I have attained true success in my own eyes. I’m constantly striving to attain it. I want my books and my stories to remain relevant, but it’s not easy, at least not for me. Yet, I continue and I do not believe in giving up or giving in.
As for my ambitions, I long to continue to do what I do each day and that is write in some form. I am also one of the acquisitions editors for a boutique publishing company called Bonita And Hodge Publishing Group. We are bringing on new and talented authors. My desire is to see this company play a positive and pivotal role in the ever evolving literary arena by helping authors live their dreams now.
BPM: What are your expectations for this book? What would you like for readers to do after reading this book?
My expectations for My Wife My Baby…And Him, umm, I would say first that I want it to entertain the readers to the point they will tell others about it. Word of mouth is the best form of advertisement, so of course I would love for readers to spread the word about not just this book, but all of my books! I would love to reach the highest pinnacle of literary success, with readers wanting more of the types of books I write.
BPM: Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
I want readers to know Shelia E. Lipsey and Shelia E. Bell are one in the same. However, since I have returned to my maiden name, all of my future books will be written under Shelia E. Bell . I have ventured into writing young adult books too. My first young adult book is House of Cars. The second book will be released later this year. It is called The Life of Payne.
BPM: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Readers can find me all over the web. You can Google Shelia E. Bell, reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com You can find me on social media as Shelia E. Bell and via twitter @sheliaebell My website address is sheliaebell.net