shelley-officialWhat is your favorite part about the writing process?

Besides typing THE END? 🙂 I think my favorite part is the creative work that comes before I even type “Chapter One.” I’m an outliner, so I need to know in advance where the story will go, even if I never look at the outline again once I get to work. But coming up with that outline gives me a special rush—a creative tingle—that tells me I’m on the right track for the book. I draw maps of my locations to nail down the logistics of where my large cast of characters are and how I get them to where they need to be. I have a Pinterest board for costumes, characters, and locations that I can refer to if I need to add description. I use the late Blake Snyder’s beat sheet from his book Save the Cat! to map out the structure of the story and to avoid the sagging middle. Then, once the outline is completed, I can start on Chapter One and, at a thousand words a day, write straight through to those two words.

What are you most looking forward to on the Cruising Writers Writing Retreat?

Being with my tribe in a lovely location. I can’t think of anything more fun than experiencing something new with a group of writers—because everyone knows that we see the world differently, and anything can spark a story idea.

What are you currently working on?

I’m just releasing A Gentleman of Means, the eighth book in my Magnificent Devices steampunk series, which I thought was going to be the end of the series, but which apparently is not! Next up is a Christmas novella set in the same world that I’ve been invited to put in an anthology. I just nailed down the basics of its plot last night while I was making risotto. There I was, stirring rice with one hand and scribbling notes on the back of an envelope with the other!

Most importantly – are you more of a beach bum or a shore excursion / adventurer?

I’m totally a shore excursion type. I have rosacea, so lying on a beach would be downright dangerous for me. I’ll sally forth into the tropics armed with my wide-brimmed hat and my sunblock, on the lookout for story ideas!

Thanks Shelley! Look forward to exploring the tropics with you on the December 13th Cruising Writers Writing Retreat!!

More about Shelley Adina…

RITA Award® winning author and Christy finalist Shelley Adina wrote her first novel when she was 13. It was rejected by the literary publisher to whom she sent it, but he did say she knew how to tell a story. That was enough to keep her going through the rest of her adolescence, a career, a move to another country, a B.A. in Literature, an M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction, and countless manuscript pages.

Shelley is a world traveler who loves to imagine what might have been. Between books, Shelley loves playing the piano and Celtic harp, making period costumes, and spoiling her flock of rescued chickens.  Her Magnificent Devices series has recently become an Amazon bestseller.

You can find her at