Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Interview with Shirley Connolly

Like historical romance? I have only read a few myself, but I do think today's guest might change that. 

Shirley Connolly, coffee loving author who writes from the heart.

Welcome, Shirley! Please tell us your latest news! 

Finishing up my 2nd book in the Decisions Series. It’s called More Than a Ruby and it will be out in October.

Hope many of you got to enjoy Book 1 SAY GOODBYE TO YESTERDAY and another of my earlier books, FLAME FROM WITHIN.

It’s all in the family, so it’s great to now see what is happening to my Jordan ladies and in my earlier books, from the Jordan men.

If you were to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Since I’m still working on it, it is changing in front of me EVERYDAY! :-)

Who is your favorite author, and what really strikes you about their work?

I have several. Love Francine Rivers and her precise writing in Redeeming Love and the detail work she created in her Mark of the Lion  trilogy a while back.

Love reading Tamera Alexander’s books.

On the secular side, I really have fun reading Julia Quinn and Loretta Chase is an excellent writer too. I also enjoy Susan Wiggs’ historical work.

Mostly, I just get a hold of any Historical Romance I can find, and devour them one by one.

Is there a single book or author that made you want to write?

Kathleen E Woodiwiss when she started doing historical romance decades ago. It was her first book The Flame and the Flower which grabbed me. Then her Ashes in the Wind which excited me about writing about the War between the South and what gave me the inspiration for my Flame from Within book.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

Probably from my dad, who wrote short story mysteries and suspense during the 2nd World War. I was about eight years old when the interest grabbed my heart. It never left.

How does your family feel about having a writer in the family? Do they read your books?

My husband doesn’t read my books but he gets to hear about them. All my kids read them though.

My sisters read them but since they are inspirational, I’m not sure if my sisters enjoy them as much as they might a secular story. You just never know. I try to make my stories apply to EVERYONE like writers did in the past (Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Victoria Holt) All their books had an element of inspiration in them but met the needs of all at the same time.

You can add those to my favorite authors although they are from the past.

Do you have a favorite object pertinent to your writing? (Pen, coffee cup, pet, blanket, chair…?


Haha, I can relate to that one. What do you love about your latest book?

If you are talking about Say Goodbye to Yesterday, which has been out for a bit, I love that the story, though written for the 1870s was very true to life and spoke about taboo things that were happening back then but were seldom spoke of openly. I made sure there was a message to be drawn from what my characters went through. I think I was able to do that.

What is your favorite review of your book?

The one that can be found at Romance Studio and also from Reviews by Molly (who does reviews for The Romance Reader as well)

They were both a real blessing to me.

Also one that came in from Delia Latham, another author. She really saw the message of the book and wrote of it in a way that hit the nail on the head.

Most of these reviews and others can be found right in Amazon with my book.

Tell us about your all-time favorite character (of your creating.) Is he/she modeled after a real person?

I have no favorites, not yet. But they all delve just a little bit into the true character of someone in my past or possibly present. I stay careful, though, not to go too far with that.

What type of scene do you enjoy writing the most?

I mostly enjoy writing dialogue to make my characters come alive. How they spoke back in the 1800s is so different from today. I love to draw emphasis to that I think.

How does it feel when you write? 

Sometimes frustrating, but most of the time very fulfilling to me. It is part of me. Except for the love of my family, my husband, and God, and my friendships with my pets and my chickens, and my greenhouse, and redesigning my rooms (all these things so much a part of me), writing is me. It will always be me. And I will do it until I no longer have hands and a pen and a keyboard to do it with.

What’s your favorite place you’ve visited?  Do you have a “must see” destination on your bucket list?

Loved seeing Ireland.

Loved going to Washington, DC and seeing history come alive.

Loved living in New York and working at West Point, United States Military Academy.

I just love it all over.

Anything else you want to share?

Just a hearty thank you, Maria, for the interview.

Hoping you’ll get a chance to read my books. I think people get to know me best when they read my stories.

If you have already read my other books and my devotional series, be watching for More Than a Ruby.

Thank you so much for coming over, Shirley! I loved learning more about you, and I'll keep my eyes open for More than a Ruby. :-)

Check out Shirley's website: http://shirleykigerconnolly.com 
Read Shirley's blog: http://apenforyourthoughts.blogspot.com/ 


  1. Great interview, Shirley. My husband doesn't read my books, either, but he does get a big dose of them while I'm writing them. :) It's neat to hear about another writer's process.

    1. Thank you for the comment, Patty. I love reading about other writers too. We learn what makes them tick and soon learn how well their voice fits their writing style, don't you think?

      I appreciate your dropping by! See you out in the writing world soon.

  2. I loved hearing about how your father influenced your desire to write. Especially since you were only 8 and he wrote about WWII, that really facinated me. Great interview and I wish you much success with your work.

    1. Thanks so much Christy. Yes, about my dad. I just wish he would have lived long enough to see my writing published. That would have been such a blessing to me.
      I also hope to delve into that era myself after I finish what I'm doing now. Of course, that will be a real challenge. But, hey! Don't we all love to try new things?

  3. Great interview! Thanks for sharing. I hadn't thought about Katherine Woodwiss for awhile. When I finish your book I'll have to re-read some of hers!

  4. Hi Lynn
    I think I loved Kathleen's early ones best. Right before she passed away, I found her last ones a bit different. Or maybe the times changed the need. But she was very descriptive in those early ones. They took hold of my heart right away
    Thanks for writing in

  5. Lovee the interview. I like the authors you selected too. I'm an avid reader I think you know because i've written to you over at your blog, Shirley.
    Keep up the good work. And thanks to you maria.
    Dorothy Carver

  6. Hi Dorothy! Thank you for stopping by!
    :-) Maria


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