Monday, February 15, 2010

Shelley Shepard Gray's Creative Madness

Today I am glad to welcome Amish Fiction author Shelley Shepard Gray to Creative Madness that Makes Me Myself. Please sit a while and perhaps share a cup of tea while learning a little about the "creative madness" behind this delightful author. Thanks for stopping by Shelley.  

When I told Margaret I’d be thrilled to be a guest blogger at her site, I asked if she had a topic in mind. She told me creative madness. Well, I’m game for just about anything…but creative madness? I have to say, I wasn’t really quite sure what that was!

Then, like one of those aha moments in church, it all clicked together. See, Creative Madness is what I do. I just had never given myself that label.

But I kind of like how it fits. : )

I have a tendency to do several things at one time. Like do laundry and bake cookies. Or put together a puzzle while I help my daughter study vocabulary words. Or do needlepoint while I watch television. My mind skips around, so I usually dust two rooms but not three. I might vacuum the living room but not the dining room. I’m notorious for emptying only half the dishwasher at a time.

Yes, this is the stuff that makes my husband crazy.

I’m not really sure why I work best this way. I don’t remember skipping from one activity to another as a little girl. I can only blame this, uh, madness, on ten years of teaching fifth and sixth grade. Those kids needed a lot of things all at the same time, and I became a champion multi-tasker.

Being surrounded by twelve-year-olds for seven hours a day can definitely change a person.
Consequently, it’s rare for me to concentrate only on one book at a time. Sometimes it’s a result of my work schedule. After I turn in a completed manuscript, I usually have to do revisions, edits, and copy edits. This whole process can take up to a year. So, I might be writing one book, revising another, and doing copy edits on a third.

Some people don’t like this. I, of course, love the opportunity to switch gears during the day.
The Blind SideThe only time my mind doesn’t drift is when I read or write. Unless I really love the movie I’m watching, like The Blind Side, I get antsy. But when I’m reading a really good book, I forget all about the time. The same goes for time spent writing. Once I’m past the first one hundred pages, my imagination takes over and hours can go by in a few seconds.

That, for me, is a wonderful thing.

Just last Friday I received my revision letter for Autumn’s Promise, my book due out in August. Since I’m finishing up GRACE, my October release, I’ll be spending my days between two different Amish families, the Brennemans of the Sisters of the Heart series, and the Grabers of Sugarcreek. I’m looking forward to the challenge.

And, of course, I plan to use my busy schedule as the reason I still haven’t emptied the other half of the dishwasher. I’m sure my husband won’t mind. Too much.

Thanks for letting me visit!


Catch all of Shelley's available novels and my reviews (Click the Label Shelley Shepard Gray to find my reviews and click the photos to see more about the novels).  

Hidden (Sisters of the Heart, Book 1)Wanted (Sisters of the Heart, Book 2)Forgiven (Sisters of the Heart, Book 3)Winter's Awakening: Seasons of Sugarcreek, Book OneSpring's Renewal: Seasons of Sugarcreek, Book Two

Come back tomorrow to find my review of her latest release Winter's Awakening

4 comments and creative thoughts:

Carmen7351 said...

I'm just upgrading my list of novels, so this is very timely! I didn't realize you had two Amish series. Will have to keep them straight! Thanks for your interview.

Shelley Shepard Gray said...

Thanks, Carmen! I hope you will like the new series. My favorite character in the whole series is 9 year old Anson. You'll have to let me know what you thought of him!

Leslie E said...

Just finished Winter's Awakening and all I can say is WOW!! You did it again Shelley! I didn't want it too end! LOVED IT!!!

Julie J. said...

This is a great post Margaret! I've enjoyed learning more about Shelley's Creative Madness! I'm so glad to know that I'm not the only one who multitasks as much as Shelley does!

I just finished Winter's Awakening this past weekend. My review will be posted on Feb. 22.

Thanks to Margaret and Shelley for such a fun post!

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