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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Interview:6x Golden Heart YA Finalist Shelley Coriell

Shelley Coriell
Entry Title, category, year:
6x GH Finalist

Twilight’s Children, Romantic Suspense, 2007
The Lost, Contemporary Single Title, 2008
The Broken, Romantic Suspense, 2009
bloom, Young Adult, 2010
Welcome Caller, This Is Chloe, Young Adult, 2010
The Lies that Bind, Young Adult, 2011

Were you the overall Winner that year? Call me the Susan Lucci of the RWA Golden Heart. Six back-to-back finals but never a win.

However, all ended happily ever after in my GH drama as this year
I accepted a shiny offer for one of my 2010 Golden Heart YA manuscripts from a major New York publisher.

Website and/or Blog Links:  www.shelleycoriell.com

Why did you decide to enter your manuscript in the GH Contest?
Putting on my pantyhose here: In terms of ROI (Return on Investment), the Golden Heart can’t be beat. For fifty bucks and a finalling entry, you get months of national exposure, unprecedented access to acquiring editors and agents (they seek you out at Nationals and on-line!), and a network of like-minded, caring, amazing writer buds.


Where were you and what were you doing when you got the GH call?
I learned about my first Golden Heart final in 2007 during the weekend of the Great Water Woes. On the second-to-last Friday in March, my youngest daughter heard a lovely tinkling sound cascading behind our kitchen refrigerator. I won’t bore you with details, but here are the highlights. Hardwood floor in three rooms buckled. Cabinets ruined. Emergency services called. Floor, wallboard, cabinets yanked out. MOLD! Frantic call to home owners’ insurance. Men in tool belts arrive and tear out the heart of my home.

By Sunday afternoon, I needed an escape, so for four hours I ignored the mold and chaos and lost myself in a good story
(The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger). Around dinnertime, I poked my nose out of my book and saw the blinking message light on the phone. Michelle Monkou, then RWA Region 1 Board Member, had called telling me about my GH final. In a twisted way, I was glad I got my first GH call during the weekend of my Great Water Woes, because it reminded me that while I am a writer, I am first a reader.

How has being a GH Finalist/Winner affected you as a writer?
When I jumped off a cliff in 2009 and stopped writing plot-driven romantic suspense and started writing character-driven young adult, I faced an onslaught of new fears and insecurities. I worried about my writing process, my brand, my relationship with my agent, and even my stories. My GH finals in YA hinted that jumping off the cliff *may* be a good thing. And as I mentioned, the GH placed me in community with other finalists who have made me a better writer and human being. I am beyond grateful for my Golden Heart comrades!

Shelley’s Question for Blog Readers: What is your favorite comfort read or author, the one you turn to when you need to escape mold and chaos?

BIO: Shelley Coriell writes stories about teens on the edge of love, life-changing moments, and a little bit of crazy. Her debut novel, Welcome Caller, This is Chloe, will be released in the Spring of 2012 by Amulet/Abrams Books. Shelley lives in Arizona with her family and the world’s neediest rescue Weimaraner. When she’s not writing, she bakes high-calorie, high-fat desserts and gives speeches and workshops about the joys and business of writing. You can find her online at www.shelleycoriell.com.

8 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

Some of Jennifer Cruise's earlier books "Welcome to Temptation". I love the earlier Nora Roberts books and have read a couple of them several times (Tea for Two, the Irish Trilogy and the Three Sisters Island come to mind).Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. Jo Beverly's books set in the Maloren World or her Rogues series are also great.

Shelley Coriell said...

LOVE Nora's Three Sisters books. Thanks for having us, Judith!

Sarah Raplee said...

I'd have to say Jenny Cruisie's books, including the ones with Bob Mayer. Or the Stephanie Plum books - anything funny.

Linda Lovely said...

For comfort, I like humor and/or a good romantic suspense. Jennifer Cruisie, Janet Evanovich, J.D. Robb.

So glad for your happy GH ending. I made the finals last year as well. The experience was one of the best of my writing life--even though I didn't win and have yet to sell that romantic suspense title, though I did sell a mystery. (I genre hop as well.) You're correct about meeting so many people. The Golden Heart opens many doors.

Shelley Coriell said...

Hi, Sarah. Laughter is a fine, fine thing. JC's BET ME is one of my faves. For sure-fire giggles, I always turn to Sophie Kinsella.

Shelley Coriell said...

Linda, we're kindred spirits. When I had three kids at home age three and below, I would escape with a meaty suspense. Dean Koontz and anything by Karen Rose had the power to make me forget about kidlet chaos. Congrats again on your sale! So many Unsinkables are doing great things.

B. A. Binns said...

Hey Shelly, here's one of your former crit partners loving your success.

My favorite "relaxing" read, beleive it or not, is a little hard-driving suspense from either Karen Rose or Tess Gerritsen. Yes, I relax by reading about people dying in all together aweful ways.

Tam Linsey said...

It's great to hear your persistence paid off!