Shelle Sumners

Read more about Shelle Sumners.

Interview By: Tamazon

Date: October 30, 2012

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Current Release: Grace Grows

Grace Barnum has a carefully crafted life plan. Tyler Wilkie is wrecking it, with his warm eyes, sweet smile, and the devastating songs he leaves on her doorstep.

What have you had to give up to pursue your writing career?

Unfortunately, I've had to give up voracious, nonstop reading, to have time to work on my own stories. I read for fun when I can, but my "to-read" list is now ridiculously long and it's a very guilty pleasure, if I take the time to sink into a book.

What are you working on?

I am finishing up a Southern gothic novel about love, family, and ghosts. I also have a "spin-off" of Grace Grows in progress, about Tyler Wilkie's wild, beautiful, perhaps-slightly-mad sister, Beck.

What is your ultimate writing goal?

A book a year? That would be the ultimate. Yikes. Better get to work. :)

Do you have a comfort food? What is it?

Ice cream. Something like triple chocolate, with chunks of chocolate fudge in it. And maybe some chocolate sauce on top. And chocolate sprinkles. And whipped cream.

Where is your favorite place to write?

In my office, at my desk. Boring, but efficient. :)

What career fields have you worked in?

Acting/waitressing. Editing. Educational writing. Bookselling. Temping. Church program administration. Fast food (high school). Oh, and I was a Child Wrangler for a Broadway show.

What are your plans for the next year? Any books you are looking forward to?

A) Enjoy the debut of Grace Grows!

B) Finish novel 2

C) Make huge progress on novel 3

D) Get a new couch. Will probably try to do that this weekend, actually.

E) New books? Now you're reminding me of my insurmountable to-read pile and stressing me out. LOL

How was your road to publication?

Unconventional. I didn't start writing until I was thirty, and I wrote screenplays for a few years, then segued to novels. I gave my Grace Grows manuscript to a friend to read, and she passed it along to a friend in New York who knows many people in publishing. That lady introduced me to my agent. My agent and I worked together for a few months to refine the manuscript, and then she quickly sold it to St. Martin's Press. I am very, very lucky.

If you could time travel, where would you travel to and why?

Do I really have to time travel? I really like having deodorant, antibiotics, and feminine hygiene products. Oh, all right. Send me back to 18th century Scotland through a stone circle. Why? Hello....? Have you read Outlander?

I hope Night Owl readers enjoy Grace Grows. It's unusual--a novel with a soundtrack. The songs are part of the story, as songs that Tyler Wilkie writes for Grace Barnum. (My husband Lee Morgan wrote and performs the songs on the soundtrack and truly, they are amazing.)

Thanks so much for having me!

Shelle - (I love to hear from readers and can be reached at