Meet The Author: Shelly Mack

A bit about Shelly…

Shelly Mack is an author of children’s books, including picture books and young adult fiction. From a toddler through to adulthood, books have been a permanent part of her day-to-day life. Her children and faith inspired her writing. Michelle wants to keep books alive in a world that needs escapism and wishes to bring joy to her readers through her books.

As well as writing, she runs a ‘Meet the Author’ programme on Instagram, which has been a great addition to her author career. Michelle is a full-time writer living in Scotland with her husband, two girls and two cats.

Q – What inspired you to become a writer?

A – I’ve been in love with books my whole life. English was my favourite subject at school, and I suppose I always thought…maybe one day. It wasn’t until I had my kids that I was truly inspired to take that leap. I self-published picture books for them in lockdown but my real dream was to write a novel. There was something about being holed up at home that gave me that push. I decided to follow the path of traditional publishing. It was a tough road, but it was worth it.

Q -Who are your biggest literary influences?

A – This is quite a hard question as I’m a multi-genre reader, so I’ll keep specific to what influenced Landis. I’m a big fan of George R. R. Martin, Suzanne Collins, Kiera Cass, J. K. Rowling, and Stephenie Meyer. Authors that have influenced and inspired me recently; to name a few… Amber Smith, Louise Finch, Gina Blaxill, and many others.

Q – How do you handle negative reviews or criticism of your work?

A – The word I’ll use here is subjective. I think it might just be the most used word in the publishing industry and as annoying as it is to hear, it’s also on point. It’s hard to receive a negative review or a rejection but I’ve learned that my writing might not be for everyone and I’m okay with that. To put it another way…I love steak but not everybody does; that doesn’t mean the steak is bad.

Q – What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

A – Make real connections; write to get lost; read in your field. If you get knocked down, breathe, have a break, and get back up again. Never stop believing that you have what it takes because you have written a story that was made to resonate with someone out there. Keep going and your words will find a home.

Q – What do you hope readers take away from your writing?

A – I hope to provide escapism in the best way and that my characters might resonate with them and be remembered long after they have finished the book.