Author Shelley Szajner is a member of the South Jersey Writers' Group
Writer of Mystical Fantasy and Adventure Stories
Story: The Feathered Messenger
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m so glad that I never grew up! Life is much more fun with imagination in the driver’s seat. I still climb trees, use a boogie board to ride the ocean waves, and in the winter, take my sled for a glorious ride on a snow-covered hill. I am an artist as well as a writer, and I love to paint, draw, or create anything that inspires me—usually fantasy, animals, or nature. I’m also an Intuitive Symbolist, which is someone who understands the signs and symbols that appear in life, especially in dreams. I’ve dreamt all my life and still do. With a hot cup of Earl Grey tea in my hand, I will gladly discuss the cosmos, or the dream that you had last night, or the meaning behind the synchronistic events that happen in our lives via the signs and symbols coming from the Universe that guide us every day. Hint: If you happen to notice an ant crossing your path, it's telling you to be patient about something. If you see a hawk, pay attention to messages coming your way. And it it's a skunk--run! I know that I would, but skunk Medicine isn't that bad at all. It has to do with your reputation, and if you respect yourself, you will create a powerful and honored one.
What got you interested in writing and when did you start?
When I read The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy by Tolkien at the age of 12, I loved those stories so much that I wished I had a magical device that could teleport me into that fantastical world. The written word is a powerful force, and from then on, I’ve wanted to write my own stories that people love to read.
What type of stories do you enjoy writing?
I enjoy writing mystical fantasy, romance, or anecdotal stories, especially anything with a metaphysical or paranormal theme to it. I also like writing children’s books, mostly for middle grade, but also picture books. I’m an illustrator as well.
Where do you get your inspiration for your stories?
Why did you pick this particular story for our anthology?
It was such an incredible story about my life that I had to write it. I wanted to share what happens when a long-held secret is revealed, along with the surprising discoveries that eventually lead to a reunion.
What advice can you give to our readers who are interested in writing and getting their book published?
Employ the three P’s: Practice, Patience, and Persistence. These three qualities are required if you ever want to make it in the publishing world. Take workshops, classes, or get a writing mentor. Learning the craft is essential! You cannot get published until you have this down, and it can take a while as there is much to learn. Read other writers in your genre as well.
Is it important for new writers to join a writer’s group and why?
Yes indeed! Writer’s groups are a great resource for networking and provide much needed support for fledgling writers, which is very important when starting out. It’s also a place to get some critiquing done of your work and learn the do’s and don’ts of the craft of writing.
Thank you so much for sharing your time and advice with us. Dear readers, you can find Shelley at www.shelleyszajner.com.
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