Thursday, August 28, 2014

# Guest Blog # On Writing

Throwback Thursday with Julie Shelton

On Throwback Thursday I showcase the very first book or story ever written by some talented authors.  Today I'm happy to have Julie Shelton, author of the Sarah series She's here to share a throwback to her first work.

Throwback Thursday with Julie Shelton


I have always been fascinated by the Middle Ages, even through high school, whenever I had a paper or a book report or a project for either English or history class (except for American history, lol), I would always choose something to do with the Middle Ages.  For one of my projects, I chose medieval clothing and made an entire outfit by hand for one of my old dolls.

So, when the head of the French department at Georgia State University told me that my grades were good enough to graduate “With Honors,” if I did an Honors Project, I chose to do a paper (in French, of course,) on life in a thirteenth-century French castle.  As I devoured all the books in both Georgia State’s and Emory University’s libraries for this project, I took notes on 3 x 5 index cards.

As I was doing this research, I went with some friends to see the movie, Becket, with Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole.  In one scene there was a background character wearing a blue gown and the idea for a complete novel sprang into my mind just from that woman wearing that gown.  The minute I got home, I started writing down everything I could think of that would be part of this story.  And what I wrote it all on was 3 x 5 index cards.  I was soon carrying around two enormous stacks of index cards precariously held together with rubber bands, one with my research notes, the other with my novel.

And then a second complete novel came at me from out of nowhere, so I started writing that one down on index cards, too.  By the time I finished my Honors Project and submitted it for approval, I had four shoeboxes full of index cards—two for my research, one each for the two novels I was writing simultaneously. And, being the over-achiever that I am, I wasn’t content with just typing a paper on life in a thirteenth-century French castle, I designed it as if it were being written by a thirteenth-century monk, with “illuminated” letters and border designs throughout the sixty-four page work.  That was forty years ago, and I did graduate “With Honors”.

I schlepped those four shoeboxes of index cards around with me through nine moves to four different states.  Finally, when I got my first computer in 2003, the first thing I did was transcribe, Dark Warrior, the second of the two medieval novels I wrote back in 1974 from the index cards into my word processor.  I reworked it and it was released in January 15, 2014.  One thing I’m really proud of is that nearly every reviewer has commented on my “encyclopedic” knowledge of the Middle Ages.

The first novel, the one inspired by the blue gown in Becket, didn’t fare so well.  At one point in all the schlepping, I dropped the shoebox that it was in and spilled out all the cards onto a rain-soaked driveway.  I picked them up as quickly as I could and just shoved them willy-nilly back into the shoebox.  I still have the shoebox.  Just haven’t looked inside it in forty years.

Also by Julie Shelton
Keeping Sarah
(Book 3 of the Sarah series)

Honeymooning in England, Jesse Colter, Adam Sinclair and their beloved wife, Sarah, are heading for their friend Thorne Cahill’s BDSM club for dinner when another car deliberately tries to run them off the road.  Thanks to their own driver’s skills, the other car is destroyed, the two unknown occupants killed.
Through Thorne, they discover that they’re the targets of a “blood feud”, instigated by Konstandin Sokolov, son of Viktor Sokolov, the Albanian mobster who had unwisely kidnapped Sarah a few months back, and paid for it with his life.  They also discover that Thorne’s guests, ruthless human traffickers, have gathered at the club for a slave auction being held the following night.  Konstandin Sokolov happens to be one of the buyers.

Fraught with treachery, betrayal, and deadly danger, Keeping Sarah keeps the reader on a knife’s edge of tension, while simultaneously exploring the deepening emotional and physical commitment between Jesse and Adam.  They already trust each other with their lives.  Now they must learn how to trust each other with their love.

About the Author
Julie has always loved stories, both reading and writing them, ever since she was old enough to hold a book in her hands.  One of her favorite childhood activities was smuggling books under the covers to read by flashlight after she was supposed to be asleep.
A career as a children’s librarian eventually led to her dream career as a freelance storyteller and puppeteer, a business she operated successfully for twenty-five years.  During that time she created and wrote all the original material for Kidstuff, a monthly language arts newsletter full of poems, songs, puppet and flannel-board stories, finger plays, and other resource material for early childhood educators.  For that endeavor she won the prestigious EDPRESS Award for the best educational newsletter of 1982.  Her 288-page book, Puppets, Poems and Songs was a major resource.  She has also written other resource materials for librarians and preschool and early elementary teachers.
Julie lives in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.  Now widowed and retired, she once again has time to devote to her two favorite things—reading and writing—especially her new love, erotic romances with strong heroines, hunky alpha-male heroes, and lots of smokin’ hot sex.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for being here today to share your Throwback! What a great Honors Project--and it went on to spark a career!


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