Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Blog Tour: Somewhere Between Black and White (Shelly Hickman)

Romance, humor, family drama, with a touch of Buddhism. Sound interesting?
When approaching life's problems, Sophie sees in black and white. That is, when they're someone else's problems. So when it comes to her sister, Sophie is sure she has all the answers, and offers them without hesitation. If only her sister would listen.
Then, through a series of chance encounters, she meets Sam, who is witty, kind, and downright unflappable. Sophie has the overwhelming sense that she's known him before, and as a relationship builds between them, odd visions invade her mind. Though she tries to dismiss them, their persistence will not allow it.
As someone who is quick to judge others, she is intrigued by Sam's ability to accept people as they are. She begins to see him as a role model, but try as she may, his accepting nature is difficult to emulate.
Will Sophie ever be able to put her hasty judgments aside and realize not every problem has a simple solution?

Author Bio:

Living in Las Vegas since she was two, Shelly Hickman has witnessed many changes in the city over the years. She graduated from UNLV with a Bachelor of Art in 1990, and in her early twenties worked as an illustrator for a contractor for the Nevada Test Site. In the mid-90s, she returned to school to earn her Masters degree in Elementary Education. She now teaches computer applications and multimedia at a middle school in Las Vegas. She loves to write about people, examining their flaws, their humor, spirituality, and personal growth. Shelly lives with her husband, two children, and their dog, Frankie.

Connect with Shelly!

Twitter: @shellyhickman

Buy the Book!

1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

I would like to write books that remind us to be a little gentler with each other. One thing we all have in common is that we make mistakes. I have certainly made my share in life. It’s difficult to forgive or be compassionate when someone has done us wrongly, and let’s face it, at times there may be no good reason for the unkindness of another except that he or she is thoughtless, inconsiderate. But my guess is that most of the time, if we had the opportunity to see things through another’s eyes, we wouldn’t view them as harshly. 

2. Who is your favorite character in the book?

My favorite character is most definitely Sam. He has the outlook I strive to maintain and his feathers aren’t easily ruffled. He tends to take things in stride and can look at things objectively most of the time.

3. Which came first, the title or the novel?

Oh, I had such a hard time coming up with a title for this book! Because I wanted it to be slice of life, but also touch on ideas about how we view each other, how the heck do you come up with a name for that? So the novel came first.

4. What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

One of my favorites is when Sophie and Sam are giving her ninety-four-year-old aunt, Doris, a ride home from Christmas dinner, and Doris begins sharing details of her sex life when she was young. I guess I’m partial to it because the scene is based on a real conversation I had with my aunt when she’d had a few too many beers, and the memory will haunt me forever. (I tease.)

5. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

You will not please everyone. There will always be those who don’t care for what I write, but as long as there are some who do, that’s the most I can ask for.

6. What do you like most about the cover of the book?

I like the use of color, or lack of it, to help convey the theme. Both characters are shown in grey, but Sam is shown in many shades, while Sophie’s colors are more extreme and contrasted, conveying the difference in their personalities.

7. What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2013?

I don’t really follow certain authors or book series, and honestly, I’ve never been much of a novel reader, even though I like to write fiction. I have been reading more novels this past year than I have in a very long time, but I tend to gravitate toward non-fiction, authors like Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Dalai Lama, etc.

8. What was your favorite book in 2012?

I really enjoyed Wonder by R.J. Palacio. As a teacher, I see how unkind kids can be, and I loved how Palacio lets us inside this boy’s mind and heart to see what it feels like to be an outsider. I wish every child could read it.

9. What’s up next for you?

I have such a hard time summarizing works in progress. Probably because I’m the type of writer who starts with characters, first and foremost, then I let them dictate how to build the story.

I’ve always noticed how in movies and TV that we often see average looking men with really beautiful women, but we rarely see it the other way around. I’m writing about a character who is basically a plain Jane, but finds herself the love interest of an extremely attractive man and she doesn’t know how to handle it. Along the way, I’ll also try to incorporate themes I mentioned in the beginning of this interview. 

10. Is there anything that you would like to add?

Of course I would like to thank you, Beth, for having me on your blog and coming up with such interesting questions. Typically, I don’t enjoy answering questions about the writing process because they’re difficult for me, but you’ve made it relatively painless.

I would also like to tell readers of either of my two books that I would love to hear from you. Not everyone is comfortable writing reviews, but I have included my email address at the end of my books, so if you would ever like to drop me a line with questions, comments, suggestions, or even gripes of what you feel I could have done better, I welcome your thoughts. It will only help me grow as a writer. Thank you!

Tour Schedule

July 2- The YA Bookshelf – Novel Spotlight

July 3 - Storm Goddess Book Reviews – Review & Q&A

July 5 – Chick Lit Plus – Review

July 9 – Curling Up With a Good Book – Q&A

July 10- Chick Lit Club Connect – Guest Post

July 11- Everything Books & Authors – Excerpt

July 15 – Defining Women’s Evolution in Discovery Blog – Review & Excerpt

July 16 – Bit My Book – Review & Q&A

July 17 – Keep Calm and Blog On – Review

July 18 – Regina May Ross – Review & Guest Post

July 19 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review, Guest Post & Excerpt

July 22- Wise Words – Guest Post 

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