Shelley&Holden: A Writers Tale

Shelley and Holden

Shelley&Holden are a writing duo that have been close friends and co-writers since they met at university.

Previously, they helped each other on independent projects, but have now decided to join together to become a best-friend-book-writing team.

Since working together on Jacob Shelley’s PUT TITLE HERE, they have been working closely on other projects such as their first joint short story collection EVERYDAY WE LIE (release date tbc).

Want to know more? Go to www.facebook.com/shelleyandholden

Let’s meet the Shelley&Holden team…

Jacob Shelley

jacob shelley

Jacob Shelley is an undergraduate at Canterbury Christ Church University (Primary Education BA Hons).

 ‘Put Title Here’ is Jacob’s first book to be published, with several more ideas planned for the near future.

Jacob has been writing since he was fifteen years old, and now has finally decided to share his work with a wider audience of readers.

When Jacob is not studying for university or writing poetry and prose, he likes to pursue his other creative hobbies, namely making artwork and baking cakes and cookies.

Shelley and Holden one half

Melissa Holden

Melissa Holden author picture

Melissa Holden, BA is a graduate of Creative and Professional Writing BA Hons.

Melissa has been a professional writer since 2012, but has been writing creatively since a young age. As well as writing, Melissa supports self-publishing movement #IndieBooksBeSeen and helps unpublished authors learn about self-publishing and promotion.

She has self-published seven books to date and is working on several projects at the moment.

She likes tea, vintage things and cushions.

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Interview With An Author: Jacob Shelley

My good friend and fellow author Jacob Shelley is in the run up of releasing his first book, so I thought I’d swing by and have a chat! I’m currently sat with Jacob in our local library with a coffee in one hand and a pen in the other, so let’s get started shall we?!

Mel: So, let’s get down to business – what’s the book about exactly? Tell me in… hmm… 100 words or less!

Jacob: Basically, the book is a collection of all of the poems that I have written over the past four or five years. It tends to jump from theme to theme, as the poems were written with no direct intention, just whatever came to mind, or struck me with inspiration.

Mel: Okay, sounds good to me! PUT TITLE HERE is your first project; how are you finding the publishing process?

Jacob: Quite tricky really. The big publishing companies don’t always make it easy to get your work published, so I knew very little about what I was doing at the beginning of the self-publishing process. But with a little help and hard work, I was able to climb out the other side with a book in my hand.Put Title Here

Mel: You mention self-publishing… as an advocate of self-pub, I’m all for the indie approach, but was it an active choice for you or did you feel you HAD to self-publish because the “traditional publishers” make it so difficult?

Jacob: My decision was a bit of both really. I decided to self-publish partly because I knew it would be so difficult to actually get published with the traditional methods, but also I chose to self-publish because it was an appropriate method for me to get my work out and share with people, which was the whole point in the first place.

Mel: What made you decide to release a book now, and not just wait for when you were a bit older?

Jacob: I guess I felt ready, and that I had collected enough work to make a substantial book out of it. Not to mention the support I had from close friends to help jump start the process, and really push things along.

Mel: It’s no secret that I’ve been the one nudging you towards the publishing for a while now, but as a newly established indie author (get used to that term!), is there any lessons you’ve learned along the way that you’d like to share with my readers?

Jacob: I’ve learnt so much along this process, that it would be difficult to pick a few. But I think the main thing I learnt out of this is that patience is key. If the work doesn’t seem quite right, just be patient and keep working: it will get there eventually. That and resilience, as not everything will work first time.

Mel: I hear you might have a second project in the wings, care to give us a little info on what that might be?

Jacob: It’s in the early stages at the minute, so I don’t want to give too much away… but I am going to be working with a close friend of mine, who is also a young author/illustrator. I’m very excited to get started.

(THEN WE NEEDED MORE COFFEE…)

Mel: Cover art is one of the trickiest parts of indie books, because it’s so harshly judged. How did you get the idea for your cover art? Was it inspired by anything in particular or did it just come to you?

Jacob: The idea came to me actually whilst I was sorting things out for university. After discussing it further with friends, I developed the idea to the pin board. The jumble of items on the pin board represents the way the book is written – a train of thought flowing, seemingly unconnected in some ways, but connected in others. I stuck with the idea of primary colours to reflect the idea. These are base colours: and you can create anything from them, much like you can create anything with your mind.

Mel: Is there anything you wish you could change about your book now you’ve got some insight? Or are you happy with it the way it is? I know some people are never happy with their books (myself included) and are constantly changing and adapting even after publication.

Jacob: For now, I am really happy with what I have produced, and feel it lives up to my original ideas. As for the future, who knows? I might find a better design, or find some content to add or adapt, so I really can’t say.

Mel: It’s been great chatting with you Jacob and I can’t wait to read the book. Any final words of advice or insight before I go?

Jacob: Just take the process in your own time, and make sure to do everything carefully… it is too easy to make a mistake and not realise it until it’s too late.

Thanks so much Jacob for chatting with me!

Jacob’s links:

Coming Soon… Interview with Jacob Shelley

*SNEAK PEEK*

As some of you may know, I’ve been working very closely with up-and-coming author, Jacob Shelley on his debut project: PUT TITLE HERE (see link for more details) and it’s time I tell you a little bit about him and his beautiful book!

Put Title Here

SO, I am pleased to announce that in the run up to the the release of his poetry anthology (March 7 2015), I will be INTERVIEWING the lovely Jacob about all things weird, wonderful and writing.

Keep your eyes peeled for more sneak peeks on both mine and Jacob’s blogs!

2015: The Year Of The Author

2015 is not only the year of the Sheep (if you’re into all that Zodiac jazz) but it’s also the year of the author! Why? Because we’re going to make it so!

2015-new-year-card-with-red-sheep2

I am taking 2015 to become the author I always wanted to be, and once May rolls around I will be an official graduate in Creative and Professional Writing (BA Hons) which means I’ll be ready for some of my biggest projects yet! I have two big projects on the go in 2015 instead of several small ones, so I’m going to give you the inside scoop of what’s happening in Mel’s Year of the Author:

THE GODS PROJECT

If you’ve been following my blogs, then you’ll know I am using a base story from AFTER US to write my next novel: THE GODS PROJECT. It’s still in the baby stages of planning, and I will be taking a lot of time to really research and plan this project, (because it’s all about space and science…I have no idea what I’m doing…) so it may end up being published in 2016 instead (depends on how my personal and work life pans out!). But I promise I will be keeping you updated over the course of the year so keep an eye out for more info!

STEPPING STONES 

This is a collaborative project that will involve 10 authors, 10 themes, and a whole lot of love. It will include writers old and new, and some completely unknown! This project really is a labour of love, and is part of my way of giving back to the writing community. It’s still in the early stages (I still don’t have 10 confirmed authors) but I can confirm that Jacob Shelley is involved closely with the project, as are some of the AFTER US authors.

#INDIEBOOKSBESEEN

IndieBooksBeSeen

You all know that I’ve been working closely with #IndieBooksBeSeen and Mark Shaw to help create a bigger and better world for indie authors. But did you know that they’re expanding in 2015? Oh yes! They’ve got treasure hunts, booktubers, book teasers, and I LOVE INDIEBOOKS coming soon!

Check out the video below to find out more: 

Do you have any projects in the works? Let me know in the comments. Seriously – I’m interested. 🙂