The best and the worst with Shirley Wells and a giveaway

First, I must thank the lovely Ivy for inviting me. I love this blog and it’s always a thrill to be here! Thank you, Ivy.

Thank you for taking the time to visit..

Second, I’ll remind you to read on for the chance to win a book…

And now I want to tell you about the best and worst things about being an author. A couple of weeks ago, an aspiring novelist asked me about this. She followed up by saying somewhat wistfully, “I don’t suppose there is a bad part.”

Well, yes, there is. The worst part for me is having a deadline date scrawled in red ink in my diary and seeing it get ever closer. I’ve never yet been late turning a book in but I’ve spent many a sleepless night wondering how I’ll manage to get it written in time. The brilliant Douglas Adams, author of the wonderful The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, once said: “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” That was Douglas Adams though. He sold millions of books and, therefore, his publishers could humour him. They had little choice. I have to meet my deadlines and it’s not easy with only the blank screen of a computer for company.

There are plenty of best parts, of course. There’s being able to bring a story to life, getting to know a new cast of characters, and seeing a wonderful, eye-catching cover put on the story. For me, though, the very best part is talking to readers. I’m a Brit and when I first started writing, my books were in print and most of my sales came from the UK. Sometimes, I’d talk at libraries or similar places and meet, on a good night if I didn’t clash with X-Factor, forty people. These days, I have a US as well as a UK publisher and my work is available digitally. If I want to talk to readers, I have my website, blogs, Facebook, Twitter – the options seem endless. When I take a break from writing, I can sit with a coffee and talk to readers and fellow writers. What’s more, I don’t even have to change out of my dog-walking clothes. I love it!

There’s no better feeling than seeing a letter from a reader who’s loved one of my books dropping into my Inbox. It makes all the panicking in front of that blank screen worthwhile.

So if you want to make a writer’s day, send them an email saying how much you’ve enjoyed their latest book! Believe me, they’ll love you for it.

I said there was a free book up for grabs, right? Well, there’s a choice. The winner can choose a digital copy of my latest Dylan Scott mystery, DYING ART, released November 12.


Portrait of a mystery


Dylan Scott vowed never to return to the dreary town of Dawson’s Clough. But one visit from a beautiful ex-lover and he’s back in Lancashire, investigating a possible murder. The police think Prue Murphy died during a burglary gone wrong, but her sister isn’t so sure–and neither is Dylan. After all, the killer overlooked the only valuable thing in Prue’s flat.

So who could have wanted the quirky young woman dead, and why? Dylan’s search for answers takes him to France, where he discovers Prue’s family didn’t know her as well as they thought they did. And the more he digs, the more secrets he unearths–secrets someone would kill to keep buried…




Or the winner can choose a print or digital copy of my 2013 EPIC’s eBook Award Finalist book, SILENT WITNESS, the third in my Dylan Scott series.


After his ex-wife bled to death in a bathtub covered in his fingerprints, the case against Aleksander Kaminski seemed open and shut. Though sentenced to life in prison, he swears he’s innocent, a claim supported by his current wife.

Private investigator Dylan Scott finds himself drawn back to dreary Lancashire in a search for justice. The evidence against Kaminski is damning, but having been unjustly jailed himself, Dylan is compelled to pursue the case; if there’s even a small chance the man is innocent, he has to help. The other obvious suspect–the victim’s second husband–has a watertight alibi. But Dylan has a strong hunch that as usual, there’s more going on than meets the eye in Dawson’s Clough.

The deeper Dylan digs, the more secrets he unearths. The question remains: If Kaminski didn’t murder his childhood sweetheart, who did?



All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me the best and/or worst parts of your daily routine. I’m a writer, you see, which means I’m really, really nosy.

Thanks again for having me, Ivy!


Shirley was born and raised in the Cotswolds, where her headmaster wrote on her school report–Shirley is content to dream her life away. Years later–as an adult living in Cyprus–it dawned on her that this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing and that fellow dreamers, in the guise of fiction writers, had been getting away with it for centuries. She’s now settled in Lancashire, where the Pennines provide the inspiration and setting for her popular mystery novels. And she’s still content to dream her life away.

You can chat to Shirley on her website, her blog , on Facebook  or Twitter .


This Post Has 11 Comments

  1. The worse part is about 7:00 because I am coming down from the Go, Go, Go of my day which starts at 4:45. I usually can take a 20 minutes power nap and then I am good until bed time.

  2. The best part of my day is cuddling up in my comfy chair & reading a good book…..the worst is when I have to chase my 17 year old diabetic cat & inject him 2X a day with insulin; we both dread that-but he’s a great pet!
    Thanks Miss Ivy & Shirley for a chance to win a great book!

  3. With a retired husband best and worst parts of the day have less structure. Best times include sharing a coffee together for our elevenses. Worst times include seeing rejection emails appear in my work inbox but these days no two days are the same.

  4. 4.45, Yvette? Oh, I feel for you. I’d have to be in bed by 7 pm. 🙂

    I’m with you on reading a good book, Barb. Luxury, isn’t it? As for the cat, I sympathize. Our cat is 15 and getting tablets down his throat is difficult enough. Thank goodness he doesn’t need insulin. I’d be more likely to inject myself than him. 🙂

    Rosalind, I love your best times. Such a simple luxury to share a mid-morning coffee. Oh rejections are horrid things. They put a dampener on the whole day – or week. Maybe the acceptances outnumber the rejections!

  5. The worst is trying to sleep through hubs snoring. The best is getting up and going to the basement to lift weights in the still of the night.

  6. Oh, Viki, I am so with you on the snoring. My OH wakes up (eventually) black and blue but even my hardest kicks won’t stop him snoring. 🙂

  7. The worst is hearing the HORRIBLE alarm at 6am. The best would be mid-morning. I’m hitting my stride by then.

  8. My alarm sounds at 6.40am, Mary, so I have the luxury of an extra 40 minutes over you. And I still struggle to drag myself out of bed. I use my iPhone and I’ve tried to find a cheerful little tune for an alarm. Guess what, there isn’t one. Everything sounds evil at that hour. 🙂

  9. I’d say the best part of my day is morning coffee before anyone else is awake, closely followed by the moment my head first hits the pillow at the end of a particularly long day. The worst has to be dragging teens out of bed, lasting until the car doors close in front of their respective schools.

  10. Sally, I remember trying to drag my teen out of bed. Virtually impossible. 🙂 As for the morning coffee, I am so with you on that. The best start to the day.

  11. And the winner is (*drum roll*) Rosalind Adam. If you let me know whether you’d prefer a digital copy of Dying Art or a print/or digital copy of Silent Witness, I’ll get your prize off to you, Rosalind. Congratulations!

    Thanks for dropping by, everyone!

    And a huge thank you again to the lovely Ivy for letting me invade her space. 🙂

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