While living in Wyoming, Shelia became interested in The Oregon Trail. Both she and her artist/writer husband, Bud, had seen and read about much of the overland trail. Shelia created three frontier children, each with a storybook of their own--the first as a journal, the second as a collection of letters, and the last as a novella. The dolls and their computer-printed books sold in gift shops and craft galleries in Wyoming, Idaho, and California.With the local success of Shelia's dolls and books, she set out to write her first novel--a story based on her life, "Child of My Heart."
Today, we’re talking to Shelia about her book, Transmutare.
We’d like to know a little about your main character in your book Transmutare.
Please tell us what drives and motivates Shelli Segal and what does she do for a living?
Shelli is a third year medical student and she’s driven by her Orthodox upbringing and strong family ties.
What does Shelli mean to Gregoire when they first meet?
Shelli is the protagonist. Gregoire is the antagonist. Gregoire reinforces Shelli's sudden psychosis. (Shelli suffers from Alcohol Induced Psychosis after her favorite niece dies and her husband is suddenly sent to Prague just days after their wedding.)
Why did you choose the location and was it a real-life connection?
Shelli lives in Chapel Hill, NC but visits New Orleans when her psychosis begins. I set the story in the town where I live (Chapel Hill) but my protagonist develops her first symptoms of psychosis while participating in one of her best friend's weddings in New Orleans. Shelli makes friends there who only know her in her psychotic state.
Do you have a favorite scene that you can share?
From Chapter 13:
Some people put a conch shell to their ear to hear the ocean. Not me. The glorious sound of the crashing waves is ingrained in the totality of my consciousness. For six days I have been here at the condo in Wilmington with Zack. This is the only reality I know right now. This place makes sense, maybe because this beach holds my first memory. The condos were brand new then—three story structures built on stilts as close to the water as the building code allowed, twelve condos in each of four buildings. My father bought one on the north end, on the top floor with a balcony overlooking the vastness of the blue ocean with its majestic, ever changing surf. If there’s a paradise, it’s right here on Kure Beach.
My teenage sister and brother screeched with delight as they ran to the edge of the sea and dove into the tumultuous waves while I stood enchanted, mesmerized, unable to move, barely able to breathe. I knew I was standing on sacred ground. I was touched, moved to tears. Mama thought I was afraid but I wasn’t. I was home. Grounded. This place was mine. Every grain of fine sand, every shiny bubble in the surf, every coquina rock, every worn and broken shell belonged to me. Even the pelicans with their lofty callings and full gullets, even the snowy white seagulls that fought the wind to find their dinner—all of it, all of it was mine.
No one believes that I truly remember that day. It was then that the blue of the water blended with the blue of the sky. I bonded with that blue. I was eighteen months old. I’ve tried to remember what happened after that moment but my next recollection is years later..
As I watch the surf here at this place I call paradise, I’m trying to remember who I am and how, after twenty-five years of a blissfully happy, privileged life, I came to be so horribly sad.
What are you working on now? All the Voices in My Head
Blurb: Gloria Romano finds herself torn between her recently brain-damaged, dependent husband and her ex-college sweetheart. With children and friends pulling her in different directions she has to find her own path. How deep do marriage vows go?
A couple of quick questions so my readers can get to know you as an author:
What do you do to relax? Read and imagine\
Favorite spot: my garden
Cat or dog: 2 cats: Dodger and Q
Favorite drink: Tanqueray Martini
Favorite season: Spring
Hobbies/past time: photography, writing, walking
Favorite movie: Atonement
Favorite color: Pink
Favorite smell: Stargazed lily
Special words for your fans: I call myself an accidental writer. I was a nurse for 45 years and only began writing because I wanted to sell a collection of dolls from the Oregon Trail era. My gimmick: an historical fiction journal, a collection of letters, and a very short novella--one for each doll. Unfortunately for me The American Girl dolls and books were being created at the same time. But that small taste for writing spurred me on to write four novels. My motto: I'm not retired. I'm a writer!
Thank you Shelia for being a guest on my blog. Your book, Transmutare sounds amazing, especially after reading your favorite scene from Chapter 13. I can’t wait to start reading my copy. And, we’ll look forward to your WIP, All the Voices in My Head.