Today we are visiting with middle grade author, Shaylene King. Shaylene is here to talk about her book and her work. Let’s welcome Shaylene to Strands of Thought.
Kai: Shaylene let’s start with you telling us about yourself.
Shaylene: I’m the founder of The Mean Girl Extinction Project an anti-bully organization providing workshops and assemblies to help cultivate kindness in girl world. I also speak at schools across the country and internationally teaching the nation’s leading student led bully prevention program called Safe School Ambassadors. I’m married with two grown children, (will be a grandma this summer) and living in Tennessee, sailing the uncharted waters of empty nesting.
Kai: Wow, what wonderful work you’re doing! And congratulations on becoming a grandma. Can you tell us about your book?
Shaylene: Liberty Lane and the One-Girl Rebelution is the first book in a series. It’s a modern-day retelling of the biblical story of Esther but creatively re-imagined for a younger generation. Where the real story of Esther from the bible can be summarized as a beauty contest to be crowned queen, Liberty Lane and the One-Girl Rebelution is about a reality singing contest called the Royal Crown where Liberty Lane will be competing to be crowned the winner. It’s chock full of mishaps, misfortunes, capers and clowning.
Kai: That sounds fun. What inspired you to write Liberty Lane and the One-Girl Rebelution?
Shaylene: I LOVE reading modern retellings of fairytales. I’ve probably read them all, lol. One night I was reading a bible story to my kids when they were younger, and I remember thinking it kind of read like a fairytale. That’s when I had my lightbulb moment. How fun would it be to combine my love of modern retellings of fairytales with my love of bible stories! That’s what inspired Liberty Lane and the One-Girl Rebelution. I’m working on book two now which is the modern retelling of David and Goliath.
Kai: Okay, now it’s time for our readers to get to know a little about the writer behind the books. Please give us your top three answers to the following:
Shaylene: Top 3 moments in your writer life
1. Getting my first copy of Liberty Lane and the One-Girl Rebelution in the mail; the dream was finally a reality!
2. Seeing my book’s cover and illustrations for the first time.
3. Getting my first review on Amazon.
Top 3 special reader moments
1. When a reader sent me a picture with them holding my book they purchased. It was amazing to see what I’d written for the reader finally in their hands.
2. The first fan mail letter I got from a reader! It was so encouraging.
3. When readers engage with the fan page I created specifically for readers of Liberty Lane and the One-Girl Rebelution.
Top 3 personal mantras or inspiration phrases
1. “I will speak to my mountains” reminder I can do hard things.
2. “I will feel the fear and move anyways” I won’t let fear keep me from trying
3. “If someone isn’t smiling, I will give them mine.” Be mindful of others, let them know, I see you.
Kai: Thank you, Shaylene, for stopping in today and sharing Liberty Lane and the One-Girl Rebelution with us. Happy writing!