In this interview, Shelly shares her remarkable journey from an unexpected author to a thriving author coach fueled by her unwavering faith. Shelly’s path to becoming an author began with childhood journaling, where she documented her dreams, thoughts, and prayers. In 2015, she felt a divine calling to put these musings on paper, birthing her authorship journey with the publication of her first book in 2016.
Shelly’s story is one of resilience, grounded in her Christian beliefs. Her Christian upbringing and a powerful spiritual experience led her to become a dedicated writer of Christian inspiration. She aims to inspire her readers to trust in God’s ability to overcome life’s challenges, drawing from her own personal struggles and triumphs.
Beyond her writing, Shelly is a multi-faceted professional, balancing roles as an author, author coach, and proofreader. She emphasizes the importance of taking it one step at a time and relying on faith to guide her journey. She acknowledges her slow progress in some areas while recognizing that God will provide for her vision in due time.
Shelly’s recent accomplishment of earning an MBA in 2022 has positioned her for even greater success. Despite facing challenges in her business endeavors, she remains resolute in her belief that God will send the right people to support her growth.
As Shelly continues to make her mark in the literary world with self-published books and various roles, she anticipates a transformative 2024 for her venture, Pen.Paper.Publish. She envisions empowerment, merchandise, speaking engagements, new books, and educational courses, all contributing to her vision of a thriving movement.
Shelly encourages aspiring business owners not to be disheartened by slow days and emphasizes the importance of persistence. Her story exemplifies the profound impact of faith, determination, and the unwavering belief that God will expand one’s horizons.
Christina: What is your SwagHer? What makes Shelly, Shelly?
Shelly: My faith in God. My love for my children, family, and myself. My determination to do my best in all that I do. My intelligence, my shyness, and my sassy and bossy personality are all a part of my SwagHer.
Christina: Can you tell us about your journey and what inspired you to become an author and author coach?
Shelly: I never wanted to be an author. I also wanted to be a teacher. Yet, growing up and not knowing what journalling was, I used to journal my thoughts. Thoughts about what I wanted to be and do when I grew up. Thoughts about my self-esteem and being married. I wrote plays and messages to myself. I also wrote prayers regarding things happening in my life and how I needed God to help me. I also kept sermon notes from the church services that I attended. All of this was kept in about seven tablets from junior high to 2015. Then, in 2015, God told me that it was time to put it on paper, and that is how I became an author. My first book was published in 2016, and my 2nd in 2017. I became an author coach after I wrote my first book. People found out about me on Facebook, and from there, my business has been growing.
Christina: Your recent achievement of graduating with an MBA in 2022 is impressive. How has your business and writing benefited from this milestone?
Shelly: Business has been slow. My writing continues to grow. I know that God will send me the right team to pour into my business and help it prosper. God gave me this vision, and I know He will give me the provisions to keep it going.
Christina: You’ve self-published two books, God Spoke and I Listened and The Sheldra Series: An Unknown Love – Book One. What message do you hope readers take away from them?
Shelly: No matter what life throws at you, God can help you overcome!
Christina: In addition to being an author, you’re also a speaker, ghostwriter, book coach, and proofreader. Can you share some tips on how you are able to have all these roles and are still so successful?
Shelly: One day at a time. One step at a time. My main roles are author, author coach, and proofreader. God gave me 10 books to write when I first started in 2015. There are different stages of being almost done. I have a client who is putting books out faster than me. So he keeps me busy being an author, coach, and proofreader.
Christina: Faith plays a significant role in your writing. Could you tell us how your Christian beliefs influence your work, and how they inspire your readers?
Shelly: My deceased father was a pastor. My grandma was the church mother and pianist on my mother’s side. So, God has always been present on my paternal and maternal side. For me, there was no escaping. Growing up, we attended Bible Study, YPWW, Sunday School, and choir rehearsal. As an adult, I told myself I would not attend church whenever the doors opened. I would avoid church like the plague and go when I felt like it. Well, God had a different plan. He used my sister to get me to a church musical. I loved attending musicals but did not like listening to the preacher afterward. So I asked my sister if there would be preaching, and she said no. Well, there was, but the Word touched a part of me. Then, a friend of mine who is deceased had me go to a revival with her. It was a 3-night revival. I knew I would not be able to make the last night. So, on the 2nd night, the preacher said if you know you will not make it back for the 3rd night, then come up here for prayer. I did not want to go to the altar, but my friend made me. That night, I received the Holy Ghost and have been walking with God ever since. So, just like Jonah, I could not run from God’s plan.
I write Christian inspiration because I want my readers to see that God is real and can help them in this Christian walk. I share my struggles in my stories so that they can see that since He brought me out, He can bring them out.
Christina: What does 2024 hold for Pen.Paper.Publish?
Shelly: 2024 holds empowerment, T-shirt merchandise, speaking engagements, more books, and courses. It’s going to be a whole movement.
Christina: Is there anything else you would like to share?
Shelly: Being a business owner is not easy. There are going to be some slow days. Don’t let the slow days weigh you down. Keep showing up in your business. Keep nurturing your email list. Keep being visible on social media. All of it will pay off; just don’t give up. Vent, but don’t quit. God will enlarge your territory!
Connect with Shelly below:
Facebook: Shelly Lee