Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Author Interview - ‎Sheila Mary Belshaw

Shah Fazli
Sheila Mary Belshaw, We are so pleased to have you back on our show. What do we expect to hear from you about your love of writing, after producing two best sellers such as Pinpoint and Count to Ten, now where do you go from here, what is the third, or even the fourth? Tell us please what is going on in your head in terms of writing right now, are you creating the characters, are you putting together the story, or are you just finished with your next book, please tell us all the new things about your writing?

Sheila Mary Belshaw It's great pleasure to be back on your show, Shah, and thanks for talking
to me again. I'm wondering if you noticed that a couple of weeks ago Taylor Street Books published a long/short story of mine, or a short novella if
you like, called 'Eldorado'. This stand-alone story has been nudging me for several years to be completed. I started scribbling it when we were living
in Ghana, a country that had an enormous effect on me. I was obsessed by
the fact that the priceless rain forests were being plundered, and witnessed daily the gigantic logs of wood being trundled through the village down to
the coast to be shipped all over the world. This was not only causing irreparable deforestation, and still is, but had the knock-on effect of destroying precious plants that can normally only thrive under the canopy of the jungles, thus robbing the world of possible cures for otherwise incurable diseases. Living in a gold mining town gave the story the other side of its conflicting theme.

The book I'm working on at the moment is possibly the one that is closest
to my heart. Like all novels 'Dance to a Tangled Web' is inspired by a kaleidoscope of stimuli, not least of which is my own life-long love of ballet, and in particular the best loved romantic classical ballet of all times - Giselle. The plot is very loosely based on the story of this ballet but
also on the theme of Giselle, which is 'forgiveness'. Having been a dancer myself in my youth, and having been forced by my parents to make ballet my secondary career, this deprivation also plays a part in my protagonist's character. Recently while in Cape Town I had the privilege of being invited to attend rehearsals for Giselle by the Cape Town City Ballet, at my old ballet school. And watching close-up every move and motivation of the two leading dancers has added greatly to my understanding of my own leading
characters. I suppose this novel will fall into the 'romance' category, as Amazon doesn't seem to have a niche for the 'romantic novel', but it could also fall into the 'women's fiction' category, particularly since the other main
thread in the novel depicts the failure of IVF treatment for a married couple who desperately want another child, and the devastating consequences of this failure. It is also influenced by the life-threatening illness my youngest
son had, which I describe in detail in 'Count to Ten', and lastly it
touches on the frailty of both men and women when they have the misfortune - or the fortune - to meet the right person in the wrong place, and at the wrong time. The 'tangled web' of the title comes from the intricate web woven by
the triangle of the three main characters - two women and a man - into an inextricable entanglement from which there is no escape.

As I am extremely busy editing for Taylor Street Books, a job I absolutely adore, my own time for writing is very limited. But even though I am not always able to work on the novel, I am always thinking about it, discovering new things about the characters, devising new ways of solving problems, creating in my head dialogue which I can hear clearly and have to jot down straight away in the notebook I always carry with me.

I don't think I'm alone in having not just one novel lying in wait, but several. My thirty-three years in the wonderful central African country of Zambia has armed me with a treasure trove of ideas, and at least two of my forthcoming novels will be set in Zambia. Having almost always lived a
somewhat nomadic life, (married to a mining engineer) my third home - Menorca - has also provided me with untold riches, an absolute gift to a novelist, and even the beautiful tropical island of Mahe in the Seychelles, where we
lived for only a few months, is the source of inspiration for one of them.

This is one of the most wonderful aspects of being a novelist; the list of
the books you are writing, and are going to write and want to write enab
les you to go on forever, with never an end to your life in sight. With never a thought of stopping. With excitement at every step of the way. We are
indeed a lucky breed.

In a message dated 06/08/2012 20:25:23 Romance Daylight Time,

Shah Fazli Thank you Sheila, enjoyed this interview, hope to have you on our show soon. It's always a pleasure.

Shah Fazli Visit -- http://shahsightshop.blogspot.de/search?q=count+to+ten

ShahSight Literary Book Shop: Search results for count to tenshahsights


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