I’m Shelley, a Sydney-based writer who is currently working on her first novel, The Forgotten Family. I live with my handy-hubby Shaun, two creative daughters – Bre (a pastry chef) & Ella (a prolific potter – as in clay) & our adorable dog Flynn.
After reading Catherine Woolley's Ginnie and the Mystery Doll at the age of eight, I longed to become an author. Instead, I chose to study nursing & am now blessed to work part-time in a primary school library, surrounded by thousands of beautiful books.
"After reading Catherine Woolley's Ginnie and the Mystery Doll at the age of eight, I longed to become an author."
When I hit my mid-forties, with our two teenage daughters becoming more independent, it was time to reconnect with my passions. I was already a voracious reader, avid consumer of tea & lover of elephants but writing, something that had been such an integral part of my life as a child & teenager, had totally disappeared from the landscape of my adult life.
Somehow, the writing had just stopped. I guess life just kind of got in the way. So slowly I began to write again, to reconnect with my words. With my writing safely tucked away on my computer, where no one could see it, I decided that I needed to hone my craft before releasing my words to the world.
Over the past few years I have undertaken courses & retreats with some of Australia’s best authors. First up was a weekend course with the wonderful Lisa Heidke at the Australian Writers’ Centre in 2015, followed by Dianne Blacklock’s fabulous six-week course at Writing NSW in 2016 which not only taught me so much about the craft of writing, but also connected me with a beautiful group of writers – who have become my writing tribe.
This was followed by an intensive, week-long writing Masterclass in Adelaide in 2016 with amazing historical fiction author Fiona McIntosh, which took my writing to the next level and also added some more wonderful writers to my tribe, followed by a smaller retreat in 2017 with Fiona and two other writers.
In 2018, I was lucky to spend four fabulous days on retreat with the lovely Vanessa Carnevale where I was able to fully immerse myself in my story.
So here I am, in my early fifties, still working away on my first novel. In its current incarnation it is a work of contemporary women’s fiction, with flashbacks to the early 1920’s. Yet, I am now slowly coming to the realisation that perhaps it needs to be written as a dual time line story. On retreat with Fiona in 2017, she said ‘Shell, I actually think you are an historical fiction writer in the making’. I suppose we will have to wait and see!