By Stacy Mantle
For my first article with THE BIG THRILL, I had the good fortune to be assigned national best-selling author and 2012 Emma Award Finalist, Ms. Shelia M. Goss. She currently has fifteen books in print and is one of those talented authors who can create in nearly any genre. Goss has just released MONTANA’S WAY, published by Kensington Publishing Corp.
Although Shelia has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, her passion for writing has always been there. Shelia decided to pursue her life-long dream after being down-sized from a fortune 500 company. Besides writing fiction, Shelia is a freelance writer. She’s also an ESSENCE MAGAZINE bestselling author, the recipient of three Shades of Romance Magazine Readers Choice Multi-Cultural Awards and honored as a Literary Diva: The Top 100 Most Admired African American Women in Literature.
MONTANA’S WAY is the second book in a series about three sisters, and follows the success of SAVANNAH’S CURSE. In MONTANA’S WAY, Montana Blake and her sisters, Savannah and Asia, team up with security professional Troy Bridges to bring their father’s killer to justice. Along the way, Savannah and Troy fell in love, and Montana is overjoyed that the two are headed toward marriage. Suddenly, Savannah and Troy vanish…and a surveillance camera reveals they were abducted from their home. Troy’s partner, six-foot-two Sean Patterson, joins the sisters in a rescue operation. Sean has met Montana before, and he’s never been able to forget her. He’s not the settling-down kind, but Montana may get him to change his ways. Of course, that depends on whether they get out of it alive—because the kidnapping is only the first move in a vicious plot that endangers all of Dallas.
What kind of research did you do to prepare for writing a suspense, particularly as it relates to police procedural and investigation?
I read a lot about real life cases. I also watch a lot of documentaries based on true crimes. For a brief period, I worked for the highway patrol and got an inside view on how things worked in law enforcement.
Can you tell us how you developed your main character, Montana Blake?
Montana Blake is one of three sisters. She first appeared in my book SAVANNAH’S CURSE. She’s the middle child so I took issues that some middle children face and it helped develop Montana’s character.
This is the story of three sisters in search of their father’s killer. The series began with SAVANNAH’S CURSE, and MONTANA’S WAY follows the success of that novel. Can we expect a third book starring Asia?
Yes. Asia is the youngest of the three sisters. She’s a computer geek with a wild streak. She likes living life on the edge so the dangerous situations her and her sisters find themselves in feeds her adventurous nature. I will be working on writing Asia’s story this spring. I’ve already outlined it.
You have written in a variety of genres, including Christian Fiction, Women’s Fiction, YA and now Suspense. Do you find it difficult to switch between genres?
No, it’s not difficult for me to switch between genres. I only write one book at a time. I may outline or take notes as ideas come to me for books in another genre, but it doesn’t affect the story that I may be currently writing.
Will you be attending any writer’s conferences to promote MONTANA’S WAY?
I’m not scheduled for any writer’s conferences this year, but will be attending several events to promote it. I’ll be in Chicago, Virginia, Dallas, Baton Rouge and New Orleans. I usually post where I’ll be on my website.
What advice can you offer aspiring writers in the current publishing environment?
It is very important if you want to be a writer to WRITE. Get at least the first draft done and you’ll have something to work with. Also, do not let rejection deter you from pursuing a writing career. Use it as an opportunity to seek more knowledge (via books, workshops, conferences) that will help you improve your craft.
What are you working on now?
I am currently working on a family drama that also includes suspense. I’m also outlining a new YA suspense series.
Shelia M. Goss is a national best-selling author and screenwriter and has over fifteen books in print. She writes in multiple genres: Christian fiction, romance, suspense, and young adult. USA Today says, “Goss has an easy, flowing style with her prose…” She’s the recipient of several awards and honored as a Literary Diva: The Top 100 Most Admired African American Women in Literature.
To learn more about Sheila, visit her website.