Shelby Londyn-Heath writes from her life’s view point.
She has been a writer since she first learned how to put letters onto paper. She lives in a world of my own making, trekking to make-believe lands where she meets with kings and queens to draw up treaties and bring back rare jewels. She has travelled around the world a hundred times. Fast forward to real life . . . what an eye-opener. It was tougher than she imagined. She needed to process the pain of growing up.
When and why did you start writing?
I wrote in a journal throughout my teens and terrible twenties. I used my journal to sort through inner conflicts and to close my experimental short stories and poetry. I also used my journal to keep track of dreams and to write down observations about people and places. It was good training for me and I did it daily for years, but I never took my writing seriously. Maybe I was too restless, too shy to open my inner world to others, or too stubborn. Who knows? Then one day I ripped up my journals. By doing so, I felt a tremendous loss, like losing a best friend, but I also felt free. I began to write with a vision of sharing my literary endeavours with the world. I wanted to reveal life as I saw it ─ combined with life as I thought it should be.
What inspires your writing?
I am inspired by stories of other people. I find stories abounding everywhere. I have heard stories on planes, buses, while waiting in lines, and at work. I am amazed at the amount of people who have overcome hardships too hard to imagine. I was on the bus once with a young man who was blind. He lost his sight in a motorcycle accident. His heart was overflowing with joy as he told me all the great things he gained by losing his eyesight. He had become closer to his family which meant everything to him. He had gained a greater appreciation and a sense of inner freedom he never knew before.
What has been your worst moment as a writer?
I had an extremely close publication deadline looming over me. As I was getting close to it, my mother ended up in the emergency room. I brought her home and a week later, she was back in the emergency room again. Two weeks after that, I suddenly had to look for a new home with a sick mother. I was missing my publication deadline. One day I thought to myself, I can’t do this book. I have nothing left in me. I can’t think. I can’t see the pages anymore. I am dried up, finished. I’m done because I quit.
I felt like I was exploding inside. My dream of publication crashed around me. I think that was the worst writing day of my life. I decided to let my book go because I had to put my mother’s wellbeing first, and to hell with everything else. I knew I couldn’t write until I got her healed and situated in a new home. I decided to stop trying to make the publication deadline that day, I decided to let go of the worry, and to stop thinking about the years it took to get my book published. I had a more important job in front of me.
The good news is my mother is better and we live in a place she loves. We are on three acres, and she gardens every day. Also, as you know, my book is published.
Do you have any writing rituals to get you in the mood for writing?
The most powerful ritual I have found is to sit in silence and open myself to the flow of the universe. Ideas move like a river in that place, and forgotten stories and memories appear from the foggy shores.
If you could, what would you go back and tell yourself as a writer starting out?
What do you believe makes for great writing?
I think all great writing addresses the human condition and truths that weave throughout humanity. It is only by seeing our truths, sometimes painfully, sometimes joyfully, of what we are now, versus what we can be, that we rise to our greatest selves.
How do you measure success as a writer?
I measure success as a writer by how my readers are impacted. If they are touched in any way, if they want to change something: an institution, a society, or themselves─then I have succeeded as a writer. I believe good writers pushes readers into the future, to a place of greater possibilities.
What’s your biggest fear as a writer?
The same fear I have in life, rejection and being misunderstood. I don’t like to hurt people, and yet, there is always pain underlying written truth, because it is a call to action. I would be the first person to tell you that I don’t want to give up my comfort zone.
Describe your latest book to our readers
My book The Twilight Tsunami is a novel about social workers who go into the field every day and risk their lives to save children. My main character is a man named Grey who falls apart on the job. His co-worker, who is salivating for a higher position, sees his vulnerability and plots to steal his seniority. The ugly drama that unfolds, after she does something brutal to Grey and drives him to despair, is what drives the novel, because it affects the other social workers, families and children,
What would you like readers to take away from your writing?
I hope all readers who come away from my book are touched by possibilities of greater, happier lives, and a more compassionate world.
Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Yes, do not let anyone tell you what to do with your life. If you were born, a writer, then you must write. Nothing else will satisfy you. Be bold. Boldness opens new dimensions.
by Shelby Londyn-Heath
Grey and his co-workers find themselves in dangerous situations every day at work. Their social services jobs require them to confront irate parents who are on drugs or who are mentally unbalanced. Grey is a long-time social worker, one who is not afraid to snatch newborn babies from glazed-eyed mothers or grab abused children out of classrooms, to place them in foster care. But something happens to Grey, something he cannot put into words as he struggles to cope. When a new co-worker enters the department, she secretly devises ways to force Grey out of his job. He senses her ploy and his stress intensifies. He grows increasingly head-strong and defiant, but he fails to stop her from delivering the final crush in an unexpected, malevolent manner To challenge his co-worker, Grey must find his inner truth and his co-worker’s “Achilles Heel” in order to rise up to conquer her. One of them must be transformed or destroyed.