Welcome author Shelley Wilson to the blog! Her latest novel, The Last Princess, releases today, but it’s not only her book’s birthday – it’s also Shelley’s 50th birthday, so it’s a double celebration! Just take a look at that stunning cover. And who doesn’t like a good Viking tale?
Shelley is an English multi-genre author. She has written nine young adult/middle-grade supernatural, fantasy, and historical novels, a children’s meditation book, and six motivational self-help titles for adults.
She is a proud single mum of three and lives in the West Midlands, UK. Shelley loves travelling in her VW camper searching for stories. She also enjoys paddle boarding, Tudor and Viking history, supporting Leeds United, and obsessing over to-do lists!
Her latest book, The Last Princess, is out on 24th May 2022, published by BHC Press Books.
What is your writing process like? Are you more of a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a plotter! For years I operated in the pantser zone and wondered why I never finished anything I started, and then I took part in my first NaNoWriMo and read how outlining helped other writers.
I thoroughly enjoy the process of plotting and planning while still leaving plenty of wiggle room for those unexpected plot twists, and my writing output has increased. Instead of filling notebooks with ideas that never see the light of day, I now write and finish my books. The Last Princess is my sixteenth published title and I have a duology waiting in the wings for release dates.
Plotting has been instrumental in my productivity.
Have you ever travelled as research for your books?
Since buying my camper van I’ve been all over England, Scotland, and Wales searching for stories and researching for my books. It’s one of my favourite perks of being an author.
The Last Princess is set in Northumberland in the UK, so I took a couple of trips up to Bamburgh, Lindisfarne, and Alnmouth to get a feel for the area. It’s a beautiful part of the country and I loved using this setting in my book. It’s also partly set in Hedeby (now part of Germany), but due to a global pandemic, I had to do that research online!
The duology I recently completed is set in Whitby, North Yorkshire and I had a fun week exploring the area as part of that research.
Standing in the same spot your character stands is a special moment and I love reading back over specific scenes as I can almost smell the sea air and hear the waves.
Are any of your characters similar to you or anyone you know?
All my main characters are young girls who lack confidence but learn to believe in themselves and find inner strength. Yes, I guess they are similar to me. They are what I wished I’d been like at sixteen or seventeen. I was well into my forties before I found my courage!
I watch my daughter and her friends and marvel at how switched on they are. These girls know their own minds, support and empower one another, and don’t stand any nonsense. I want my characters to be like them. They also navigate worry, anxiety, and the usual coming-of-age pitfalls, but they deal with it much better than I ever did at their age.
The antagonists are a culmination of all the playground and office bullies I’ve had the misfortune of meeting over the years. The saying ‘be careful or you’ll end up in my novel’ is so true!
I think all authors are influenced by the people they meet in life whether the experiences were good or bad.
If you could spend a day with one of your characters who would it be?
Solveig! She is a shield maiden who trains Edith to fight in a Viking army. I had a clear image of what she looked like in my mind and found myself smiling whenever I wrote her scenes. Solveig has an ‘I don’t care’ attitude but deep down she is fiercely loyal to her friends.
There is a back story that shows the reader why Solveig is so closed off, but you do get to see her true warmth and humour. She would be a fascinating character to spend the day with.
Do you celebrate when your books are published?
I am a nightmare when it comes to celebrating. A few years ago I was on a radio show where the host asked me what I’d done on publication day and my answer was ‘a big grocery shop!’ We giggled about it off the air and she made me promise to at least buy myself a bunch of flowers.
Publication day of The Last Princess is going to be very different though as it’s also my 50th birthday. I’m not sure which I’m most excited about, to be honest, but there will definitely be cake!
I am getting better at celebrating my successes these days and look forward to holding a copy of my book in one hand and a mocktail in the other. I’ll be sure to share a photo on social media as proof.
The Last Princess, is out on 24th May 2022, published by BHC Press Books.
The Last Princess Blurb
Northumbria, 866 AD
Edith still has much to learn about the art of ruling a kingdom, but when her family is murdered, she’s faced with the challenge of staying alive.
As a young woman in Anglo-Saxon England, Edith finds it hard to be heard above the Eldermen who are ripping the kingdom to pieces, but nothing can prepare her for the arrival of the pirates and the Vikings. Torn from her homeland and sold into slavery, she’s determined to survive at any cost.
Finding allies in the unexpected and enemies closer to home, Edith clings to her dream of returning home one day to reclaim her throne and to exact revenge on those who harmed her family.
BUY your copy of The Last Princess
BHC Press – https://www.bhcpress.com/Books_Wilson_The_Last_Princess.html
Barnes & Noble
Connect with Shelley:
Author website: https://shelleywilsonauthor.com/
Early Praise for The Last Princess:
“This fast-paced historical novel builds on an obscure Anglo-Saxon king’s life to tell an empowering tale of a girl’s journey to fully embrace a new world, a new culture…as she grows into her own as a warrior. Edith’s fierce and often violent quest for revenge is juxtaposed with lovely, life-affirming moments of friendship and love in an engaging first-person narrative.” – Kirkus Reviews
“I LOVED this quick fantasy read. I can’t wait to share with my students once I get a copy.” – Dawn, Teacher & Goodreads Reviewer
“WOW! I don’t know exactly what I was expecting, but this wasn’t it! This story is absolutely amazing.” – Rebecca, Goodreads Reviewer