FaithWriters member Shelley Ledfors describes herself as: Wife.. Mom. Grandma. Writer. Photographer. Teacher of one (home school). Owner of crazy Bull Terriers. (Or is that crazy Bull Terrier owner? ) Perpetual home-improver. Wanna-be traveler. Another word we can definitely add to that list is Writer. Join me as Shelley shares more about those self-given “titles” and gives us a glimpse into her writing life.
LYNDA: Tell us a little about yourself and your Christian testimony.
SHELLEY: My parents accepted the Lord when I was about 3 years old, so I was blessed to grow up in a Christian home. (Even though I was very young, I do remember one funny thing from my parent’s conversion; my brother yelling to my other siblings that Mom was smoking all her cigarettes at once when she threw them in the fireplace just after she and Dad came to the Lord!)
I accepted the Lord at an old-fashioned summer tent camp meeting when I was 5 years old. And, although my walk has been far from perfect, I haven’t ever significantly strayed from it. So I guess you’d say I have one of those rather boring testimonies–no dramatic turn-arounds or anything–but the kind of testimony we all hope for, for our children!
LYNDA: How did you get your start as a writer?
SHELLEY: I’ve always enjoyed writing (and reading), and started both at a pretty young age. I remember writing a story about a girl and a horse when I was, maybe 6. I don’t have it any more, but still remember bits of it. Quite melodramatic, it was!
I’ve “dabbled” at writing all along, but just as something for my own enjoyment, or writing (unpaid, volunteer) newsletter articles for organizations I was in or something of that sort. Beyond that, I didn’t consider writing anything for anyone else to see until 3 years ago when I dreamed the basic storyline for the novel I’m now working on. Once I got the bug that I should write it as a book, I decided I’d better both learn more about what was required and also hone my skills–which led to finding / joining FaithWriters in the fall of 2007.
LYNDA: You were a runner up in the 2009 FaithWriters Page Turner contest and a finalist in this year’s American Christian Fiction Authors Genesis contest, a national competition for unpublished authors. What was that experience like for you and which Genesis category did you enter?
SHELLEY: That was absolutely amazing! I still have a hard time believing it sometimes. I entered my novel in the speculative fiction category. I think most people think of speculative as being fantasy or sci-fi. Those are speculative, of course, but I don’t think the category is limited to those. I’d call my novel more of a supernatural thriller, so felt the speculative category fit it best.
LYNDA: Is your novel complete? Tell us about it.
SHELLEY: The first draft is complete. I’m now in the l-o-n-g process of revising and self-editing. I thought completing the first draft took a long time and was challenging. I think this stage is even tougher–especially for a perfectionist. (Make that a frustrated, would-be perfectionist…I know I could work on it for the next fifty years and it would never be perfect!)
I’m primarily a “seat of the pants” writer, so in revisions some elements of the story are changing. Because of that, I don’t want to get too detailed as to the story line, but the essence of it is a life and death situation in a location where the veil between the worlds is thin so that the characters deal not only with the immediate danger but also the normally unseen battle for their souls.
LYNDA: Do you have an agent? If not, any plans to start searching for one or to submit your manuscript to pubishers?
SHELLEY: My manuscript isn’t ready for that, yet, but after I complete my own revisions and editing (and make use of the half-price professional edit from Deb, courtesy of my runner up placement in the 2009 Page Turner), I’ll decide on which route to go. At this point I’m thinking I’ll seek an agent, but am open to which ever direction the Lord leads.
LYNDA: How exactly did you find FaithWriters?
SHELLEY: As I mentioned earlier, once I decided to expand my writing from the realm of personal enjoyment to putting it out there for others, I searched for a Christian writing site where I could learn more. That search led me to FaithWriters. I’m so glad it did–I love it here! It’s such a supportive and nurturing environment for learning and growth.
LYNDA: Tell us about your family.
SHELLEY: John and I have been married for almost 24 years. John recently retired which has been a big change, but once I adjusted to it, I’m really enjoying it! “Our” older kids (John’s daughter and son) are in their thirties, and our own son, Jesse, is 17. I home schooled him, which I really enjoyed. He’s now taking classes at the local community college. Our family also includes six English Bull Terriers (think “Spuds”, or the Target stores mascot–we used to raise and show them), and a Goffin’s Cockatoo.
LYNDA: Any unique interests or hobbies?
SHELLEY: I already mentioned our crazy canine (and avian) menagerie. Also, since John retired we have begun the adventure of a long overdue whole house update / remodel–parts of which we’re doing ourselves. I also do diamond point engraving on glass and, more recently, granite. I engraved a heron on a piece of black granite which we installed in the entry way. (If anyone would like to see it, I posted a picture of it here http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=7112001&l=7191840d6b&id=770794852 )
LYNDA: Very cool! So where can we connect with you online? Do you have a website or blog?
SHELLEY: Um… yeah, I do have a blog, but haven’t updated it in ages. (I need the little red-faced emoticon from the forums, here!) It’s http://the-veil-thins.blogspot.com. I update my facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/shelley.ledfors), a little more often.
I just wanted to add that this is my first ever “author” interview. It’s been challenging (that perfectionist thing, ‘ya know…) but fun! Thanks, Lynda!
LYNDA: Thank YOU, Shelley. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you better. Much success with your novel. May God abundantly bless your efforts!
Check out Shelley’s FaithWriters Member Profile.