Galen: Congratulations and welcome Shelley. Tell us about your book.
Shelley: Numbers Never Lie is a romantic suspense about a woman that happens onto discrepancies in her employer’s financial reports while working on a project. Sophie Henderson isn’t sure whether it’s important or not but starts investigating the variances covertly so no one thinks she’s over-reacting. She happens to meet a consultant that she enlists to help her and very quickly gets thrust into a situation where she’s hiding out from an unknown assailant.
Trevan Prater, an FBI investigator, was assigned to investigate Sophie and a coworker as lead suspects in a possible embezzlement scheme. When her boss was killed after reporting the issue, they ramp up the investigation. He poses as a consultant to get closer, and suddenly he’s front and center, investigating and protecting. He’s not sure if she’s a suspect or a target.
I really enjoyed writing this, the ending will surprise you. The bad guy has a sliver of a good streak, and well, things just aren’t what one thinks they are.
Galen: What was the inspiration for Numbers Never Lie?
Shelley: Some of the scenarios in this book were ideas that stemmed from situations that could have happened in my own career under different circumstances. I’d very often hear or see something and just ask myself, wouldn’t it be interesting to read about X happening in this situation?
Galen: What started you on the road to writing romance?
Shelley: I’ve written in one form or another since I was a child. As far as choosing romance, well, I believe in happy endings. I have read way too many books that leave you sad, angry, or scared. I’d rather leave the reader with something uplifting or even inspiring in the end. If I can fit the other parts in during the story, even better.
Galen: Do you remember the first romance book you read? If so, who was the author? What made it stick with you?
Shelley: I don’t remember the name. It was a Victoria Holt book. Very scary.
Galen: Where would you like to travel to if you had to research an area?
Shelley: Italy, Greece, Thailand…actually everywhere and anywhere. My husband says my middle name is Go.
Galen: Best and worst part of being a writer.
Shelley: Seeing your work in print is such a rush. It really feeds your confidence. Even better is getting a good review from a reader that really enjoyed your book. That is the real test of whether the writing works or not. The only bad part for me is being patient. I have always been a person that likes to finish something and then move on to the next project. With a book, you finish it, then send it out into the world of publishers. You hope for a bite and wait. Like a fisherman, you may wait for ages and then get nothing. Or you may get a lot of interest all at once.
Galen: What’s your favorite line from one of your books?
Shelley: Oh, there are so many that I don’t know where to start. In Numbers, I love the ending when Trev is afraid that Sophie won’t stay so he’s waiting for her to admit she loves him. He knows she does but he’s not sure she’s willing to take the chance. She’s been through a lot. What happens is not so much in a line, but an action that they both take. It is their way of committing and it’s pretty cool. I can’t really give it away but I loved it.
In my next book, Bring It On, Thomas and Kathryn receive a gift from the “bad guy” and send it sailing out the window out of fear. Their family’s reaction is a little funny.
Galen: Are you a pantzer or plotter?
Shelley: Both. I create a very generic plot but don’t sketch out all the scenes, then I just start typing. I fill in the blanks as I go. Sometimes I’ll have to really think over a particular part before going on. I don’t like to plot it out too much because sometimes a better idea comes along and changes the direction. But it does help to have at least a vague plan to go by.
Galen: What do you do when you are not writing?
Shelley: I tend to daydream a lot. I’ll hear or see something and often ruminate a way to put that into a book. I’m also working on an idea for a nonprofit that’s pretty exciting. I’ve worked for years in technology for the public sector, devoting my spare time to one cause or another that was associated with my employer. I have a better idea now what I’d like to devote my later years to and am focusing on that. I think we all owe it to future generations to leave something worthwhile behind. It can be anything, but it has to be for the betterment of those that are affected by it. For me, the writing is a portion of it, my family another, and I hope the nonprofit is the third.
Galen: Did you sell the first book you wrote?
Shelley: No. I never even submitted the first one. Hated it. Maybe I’ll dust it off some day, who knows.
Galen: If you could have any other job, (not your current writing or day job) what would it be?
Shelley: Honestly, I’d love to have a job like Trevan’s. I think it would be so interesting to do security analysis for the feds. I’ve been a victim of this type of crime in my past, so putting the bad guys away would be satisfying.
Galen: What was the best piece of advice given to you?
Shelley: You will be exactly what you expect to be, in proportion with how hard you work at it. There is monumental truth in that statement.
NUMBERS NEVER LIE is available at: