Please give a warm welcome to author Bella Shay
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m a 31 year old social worker at a psychiatric hospital. I live in a little town in West Virginia with my husband and two puppies. I’m an introverted extrovert. I love meeting new people and learning things about each other but I’m also incredibly shy and awkward. I, often, use memes and gifs to have full conversations. I have a new obsession with collecting signed paperbacks of my favorite books. I, also, rarely ever read the same book twice.
Have you always wanted to become an author?
I haven’t. I’ve always wanted to be so many things. When I was little, I wanted to be a marine biologist because I loved sharks but I never learned how to swim. I changed my college major SEVEN times before I finally gave in to the calling of being a social worker.
I had always had a knack for developing stories. As a coping mechanism, I used to disassociate and live out these made up lives in my head. It wasn’t until recently I had the idea of writing them down and fell in love with it.
What was your inspiration for your current book/series?
My childhood was pretty rough and I experienced a lot of trauma. My brain tried to cope with it in so many different ways. One of those was through repressing memories. My main character is dealing with repressed memories coming to the surface and is re-experiencing her trauma in a way.
I wanted to tell a story about how trauma can affect you and what the aftermath looks like of trying, not only to survive, but to fight for a life you feel you deserve. I wanted to convey the message that what happens to you doesn’t make you a stronger person. You survived what happened because of the strength you already possessed.
What are you working on now?
I’m still working on finishing Darkest Lies. It’s growing into a bigger story than I ever anticipated and I’m so excited to share it. It releases June 12th. After that, I’ll be working on a short story about domestic violence for an upcoming anthology that releases in October.
Do you have any quirks while working?
Hmm… My favorite thing to do while writing is to play something in the background that I’ve watched before or music that doesn’t have lyrics. I find I get too distracted and want to sing along or something like that. So, usually I’ll have SpongeBob playing or instrumental versions of songs. Occasionally, I’ll play disco music or classic rock when I’m tired and trying to push through because the music energizes my brain.
What are your hopes for the future?
My first hopes when I started writing was to be widely successful and retire from my day job. Now, after experiencing how incredibly difficult it is to write a novel, I just want to share my ideas and hope that enough people love it to help pay for the next release.
Do you have any advice for new authors about the publishing world?
Oh man! I am such a baby author, I’m still in the writing womb. That probably sounds really weird.
Let’s see. Things I’ve learned so far:
• Never do a pre order unless your book is 90% finished. Don’t. Do. It.
• Self-doubt is the enemy. Never stop believing you can do it.
• Keep writing. You can’t edit an empty page!
• Find your tribe & pay it forward. Find people that will support you in your losses and successes. When you get the chance, help the person that was once where you were.
Do you have anything to say to your followers?
I’ve been amazed at the incredible people that have supported me so far, without even releasing my book yet. I’ve experienced nothing but love so far and I am enormously grateful and appreciative of the way I have been welcomed into the community. Thank you all so much!