NATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR, ENTERTAINMENT INTERVIEWER
Disilgold: What can you tell the Disilgold community about yourself that will explain why Disilgold has sought you for a perSOULnalized interview?
Shelia Goss: I'm usually the one interviewing folks, so I'm honored to be on the other end. I'm an entertainment writer as well as an author. As an author, I have successfully published several books. My books have been on several bestsellers list such as the Essence Magazine and Dallas Morning News lists. I am a Literary Diva. I'm listed in Heather Covington's Literary Divas: The Top 100+ Most Admired African American Women in Literature. My latest book My Invisible Husband will be re_released in December 2006 by Urban Books/Kensington and Roses are thorns, Violets are true will be released in 2007. For more information, feel free to visit my website at www.sheliagoss.com . Disilgold: What is your latest book about?
Shelia: My Invisible Husband is the tale of one woman’s desperate attempt to stop the age_old question posed to all women at some point in their lives: So when are you getting married? To appease her family and friends, 34_year_old Nicolette Montana fakes a Las Vegas wedding. How she handles her web of deceit makes for a dramatic and sometimes comical story.
Disilgold: How long did it take you to complete your book?
Shelia: It took me 30 days to write the first draft.
Disilgold: What were the happiest moments you have experienced while writing your latest book?
Shelia: I get excited anytime I can take the story idea that's in my head and bring it to life on paper.
Disilgold: Describe your writing style?
Shelia: A theme hits me. The title comes and then I usually do a character chart for each main character. I don't do outlines; however when a story idea comes to me, I go write a few sentences or a short paragraph about it on a spreadsheet as a reminder. Once I know the characters inside out, the story pretty much writes itself, because I allow the characters to tell their story.
Disilgold: How did you develop your writing style?
Shelia: Through trial and error.
Disilgold: Do you have a favorite author of all time or someone who inspired you to achieve your goals as a writer?
Shelia: I have too many "favorite" authors to list. However, I will say that meeting Maya Angelou when I was a freshman in high school is what set it all in motion. Her passion for words inspired me to write.
Disilgold: Where do you see yourself as a writer ten years from now?
Shelia: I hope to continue to put out "stories with a twist." I also want my novels adapted to film as well as have a few produced screenplays under my belt.
Disilgold: What marketing tips can you provide to new authors?
Shelia: Don't be afraid to think out of the box. Find something unique about your book and capitalize on it. Invest in taking a marketing class such as Guerilla marketing or you can do a google search and find articles on proven marketing methods.
Disilgold: What other projects are you working on?
Shelia: I have a couple of stories I'm working on. As a freelance writer, I'm constantly querying for story placements for my articles and celebrity interviews. I also have a few online and print publications I contribute to on a regular basis. Recently, I just added entertainment editor for Hope for Women magazine (www.hopeforwomenmag.org) to my list of duties.
Disilgold: What are your top ten favorite books right now?
Shelia: Hmm...this is hard. I've read so many that I like...I'll list the ones that easily come to mind.
A Sin and a Shame by Victoria Christopher Murray
Don't Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings by Tyler Perry
Spiritual Lessons for My Sisters by Natasha Munson
So You Call Yourself a Man by Carl Weber
I Know I've Been Changed by ReShonda Tate Billingsley.
Shine: A Physical, Emotional and Spiritual Journey to Finding Love by Star Jones Reynolds
My Life Is All I Have by V Anthony Rivers
Pretty Evil by Lexi Davis
Changing Faces by Kimberla Lawson Roby
What's Done in the Dark by Gloria Mallette
Disilgold: When do you write and for how long?
Shelia: I'm a morning person, so I will get up early and I will write for at least 6 hours a day when I'm working on a novel.
Disilgold: Do you have a favorite location for writing?
Shelia: Yes, my computer in my room.
Disilgold: What method did you use to write or organize your book?
Shelia: I do my character chart and after I know the characters like the back of my hand, I sit behind the computer and type away.
Disilgold: What three words best describe your writing style?
Shelia: Simple, complex, routine.
Disilgold: What other hobbies do you pursue when you aren't writing?
Shelia: I honestly don't have any hobbies, unless you want to count reading. I am an avid reader. Reading and listening to music is how I unwind.
Disilgold: Are there any hidden jewels or talents that you possess that many of your readers may not know?
Shelia: I have an engineering degree.
Disilgold: Where can folks buy your latest book?
Shelia: My Invisible Husband will be released in December 2006 by Urban Books/Kensington and you should be able to pre-order the book online (not sure of the exact date yet though) or get it at your local book store in December.
Disilgold: Where can folks meet you?
Shelia: When my book is released, I plan on going on tour. Readers can check my website at www.sheliagoss.com or sign up for my newsletter to find out when.
Disilgold: What have been some of your toughest obstacles as a writer?
Shelia: Before being signed to Urban Books/Kensington, my toughest obstacle was meeting the demands for the book and getting it into the readers hands.
Disilgold: This section of our interview requires brief responses. Are you ready to" Get PerSOULnal" Interview?
Shelia: I'm ready.
The "Get PerSOULnal" Interview
Disilgold: What time do you awake normally every morning?
Shelia: If I go to bed early, it's 6:00 a.m. If I go to bed after midnight, 7:30 a.m.
Disilgold: What is your writing fuel in the morning?
Shelia: A shower and a cold glass of orange juice.
Disilgold: What early morning rituals have you followed for many years?
Shelia: I don't have a ritual but I do like to make sure my desk area is clean before starting.
Disilgold: What are your favorite foods to snack on while writing?
Shelia: Fruit...especially grapes or strawberries.
Disilgold: Do you watch television or listen to the radio when you're writing, and if so, what do you watch or listen too mostly?
Shelia: It depends. Sometimes I like it to be completely quiet. Other times, I'll have one of my favorite CDs playing in the background. I'm also known to have "The View" or "The Young and the Restless" playing in the background.
Disilgold: What is your favorite book of all time?
Shelia: Without a doubt, the Bible.
Disilgold: What is your favorite magazine of all time?
Shelia: I've been a reader of Essence magazine since I was in junior high school. Jolie is becoming one of my favorite magazines too.
Disilgold: Do you have an exercise regimen to suggest for busy writers?
Shelia: Do it first thing in the morning. It's a great way to jumpstart your day.
Disilgold: What is your everyday outfit?
Shelia: Comfortable pair of slacks/skirt and shirt
Disilgold: What is your pet peeve?
Shelia: People who lie to me for no reason. I can handle the truth.
Disilgold: If you could inspire a child, what would you say?
Shelia: You can be whatever you desire to be.
Disilgold: What is your favorite motto?
Shelia: To live is to love. To love is to live.
Disilgold: What is your favorite time to put your writing pen down and rest?
Shelia: In the afternoon...anywhere between the hours of 2 pm - 4 pm.
Disilgold: Have you traveled anywhere besides your hometown and if so, where?
Shelia: Yes. I've lived in various places other than my hometown. I only recently moved back after being gone for about 15 years. I've been to Jamaica, Bahamas, Mexico, Cayman Islands and a few other places in between. I've traveled all over the U.S. (Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago, NYC, DC, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, The Carolinas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, and the list goes on & on).
Disilgold: Where is your dream vacation?
Shelia: I would love to go back to either Paradise Island, Bahamas or the Cayman Islands.
Disilgold: What do you particularly like about the literary world today?
Shelia: I like the fact that readers now have choices. If we want to see characters that look like us, act like us, talk like us, we can now pick and choose which books we want to pick up-instead of having to wait once a year for that one author to release a book.
Disilgold: If you could leave one word of advice to people in general, what would it be?
Shelia: Shower love on the people that you care about so once they're gone, you will have no regrets.
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