Wednesday, January 18, 2017

OIBF Key Note Speaker: BJ Sheldon


I am so excited to welcome author BJ Sheldon to Reading For Fun. She will be attending OIBF and be a key note speaker on October 19-22, 2017 in Springfield, MO. I have been lucky enough to meet her in Nashville and I can’t wait to see her again at OIBF.

Hello BJ and welcome! I thought we would begin with your Be Ceaseless movement. Could you please tell us a little bit about it and what inspired you to start it? 
Over a year ago, one of my daughters told me that the song “Keep on Keepin’ On” by Travie McCoy (featuring Brendon Urie) reminded her of me. When I asked why, she said it was because no matter what I’ve been through in my life, I always landed on my feet and kept pushing forward. Without getting into everything that’s happened to me over the years, let’s just say I was fairly certain that my girls thought I was a failure. As it turns out, they thought the complete opposite instead. At that moment #BeCeaseless was born. I have a Facebook page where I post motivational quotes to inspire people who may be going through a rough time. I post positive memes on Instagram using the hashtag #BeCeaseless to encourage others. I even tattooed the word “Ceaseless” on my right forearm as a constant reminder that I can do anything I put my mind to. On those days where I’m feeling down or there are circumstances that are beyond my control, I just have to remind myself that nothing is permanent except for death.


You currently have 4 books out, of those books which one are you most proud of and why?  
I guess the one I’m most proud of is my last one, “Hear the Crickets: Book One of The Gibborim Series”. It’s darker than my previous trilogy, and I’m extremely proud of how it turned out. With each book I’ve written, I tackled topics that got a bit darker and/or harder, but this new series allows me to tackle something completely new – when evil is performed with the belief that it’s the right thing to do. All of the research I did for it gave it an authentic feel. It involves the ancient Book of Enoch and the story behind why God cast some of his angels from Heaven. I took those stories and put a modern, fictitious spin on it. And the story gave me the basis for the remaining 2 books in the trilogy which I’m currently working on as we speak.

Do you have a favorite quote from one of your books? If so, could you share it with us and explain why? 
 I do, as a matter of fact. It’s from Hear the Crickets. The reason it’s my favorite and why it resonates with me so much is because it’s the exact way I feel about my own better half, my husband of 12 years. When we were dating, I wasn’t always willing to open myself up for fear of being hurt again. I also know that I’m not the easiest person to be married to, but he handles it like a pro. I can’t imagine living my life without him and not sure where I’d be today if he hadn’t broke through that barrier. 

“I wanted to tell him that I’d never felt like that before. That he’d somehow gotten past my armored exterior and softened my heart. I wanted to tell him how I’d fallen for him, and I didn’t know how I was going to continue on after he was gone.” – Skyy, “Hear the Crickets”




Are you currently working on another book, if so can you share a little something about it? Is it YA, NA, Adult? What genre? 
I am currently working on book 2 of The Gibborim Series. In fact, I am about 3 or 4 chapters from completing the first draft. Then it’s on to revisions, rewrites, and edits. The best way to explain the series is Buffy Summers meets the movie Legion…without the vampires. It’s a supernatural thriller with a paranormal romance twist. It involves angels, demons, an immortal girl with suicidal tendencies who has a bit of a mouth on her. In fact, she isn’t the most likable character, but I’m having a blast watching her grow and mature as the story progresses. Once this trilogy is completed, however, I hope to begin work on a new standalone. It most likely will either be a fantasy about a girl who discovers an alternate world filled with witches, magic, and evil or a paranormal romantic comedy about a fairy tale gone wrong.
~~Now for a little FuN!~~

Who is your favorite author? Do you have a favorite book that you come back to time and time again? 
My favorite author (currently) is Hugh Howie of the “Wool” series. His writing is interesting and his stories are unique and edge-of-your-seat fabulous. But the book I come back to time and again is “To Kill A Mockingbird”. I get lost in it every time and probably re-read it every few years.

Twilight or Harry Potter? 
Harry Potter…Always.

If you could go to one place, where would you go and why? 
New Zealand. Absolutely, one hundred percent, New Zealand – because after watching all of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings movies, I can’t imagine going anywhere else. From what I’ve seen and everything I’ve read, it is probably one of the most breathtaking places on earth. And if I go, I’m not just going for a few days or a week. I’d probably stay there for a month with the real possibility that I may never want to come back.

What hobbies do you have that you do to unwind and relax? 
I like to read and watch Netflix. My current binge-watch-worthy show on Netflix right now is the British detective show, “Midsomer Murders”. I used to do a lot of DIY projects with furniture, but I haven’t had much time for that with all of the writing that I’ve been doing, but I’m hoping to get back to it sometime soon.

Would you please share something quirky about yourself that most people wouldn’t know? 
I am a huge nerd and love my fandoms. Supernatural, Walking Dead, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek, BBC’s Sherlock, Doctor Who. And those are just a few! I also love DC Comic Books, my current favorite being the Cyborg Rebirth. When people first meet me, they don’t peg me for a super-geek, but they quickly learn it probably isn’t a good idea to bring up something nerdy with me since I’ll chew their ear off for hours if they let me.

One last question…it needs to be a good one…

Who is your favorite celebrity hunk? What do you find so smexy about him? 
Without a doubt, one hundred and ten percent, and with every fiber of my being it has to be unequivocally (drum roll please)…Benedict Cumberbatch. It could be the well-tailored suits or his British accent that does it for me. It could be his wavy hair or soldering eyes, as well. It could even be how his looks have grown on me the past few years to the point that I now find him one of the most handsome men in the world. But in reality, it goes far beyond that. My affection for the man goes beyond the mere physical or external attributes that he possesses. He’s funny, never takes himself seriously (look up the video on YouTube where he can’t say the word “penguins”), he is passionate about causes he believes in and isn’t shy about voicing them, and his acting talent is far and above most actors out there today. He can do comedy, dramas, suspense, and even Shakespeare. He can play a scientist, a detective, a cross dresser, and a superhero and can morph completely into those characters and be completely believable in each role. In the end, he could stand in nothing but a paper bag and read the phone book, and I’d buy that movie. Without a doubt.

Thank you so much for taking time from your busy schedule to share your thoughts and work with us. I can’t wait to see you at OIBF!!



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