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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

TAKE TEN: Our Interview with Author Shelley Seale

TAKE TEN: Author Shelley Seale

Author Shelley Seale is using her love of travel to not only find enjoyment across the world but also bring attention to problems that she sees taking place along the way. A native of Dallas, Texas, she has written a powerful book called THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE (Invisible Children of India). Conversations Book Club chose the book as its Book of the Month for August 2009 (see www.thebestbookclub.info.) The author took out time from her busy schedule to talk with us about the project, the role of her family in her life and what she hopes you get from learning of her research.

Shelley, first of all, congrats on the release of your book THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE (Invisible Children of India). It is a powerful read. Before we get into the book and the message you send the world through it, I want to talk a little about you. When did you first realize you had a love of writing?
I have read since I can remember, and my love of stories and reading is what evolved naturally into my own desire to create stories. I loved writing since I was a kid – as a child I used to go to my grandmother's nursing home and listen to resident's stories, and then I would go home and make little books about their stories. Kind of dorky, but I really always loved to write.

When it comes to books, is that something your family was into as well or just yourself?
No one in my family is nearly as much of a bookworm as I am. But when I was little, I was the first child and also the first grandchild on both sides of the family. So I got a lot of undivided attention in my first few years, and my mom and both sets of grandparents read to me a LOT. So really, that was what created my love of reading. It was an incredible gift.

Since I mentioned your family, Shelley, I guess this is as good a place as any to ask about your soft spot for children, especially those who seem to be less fortunate. Why do you think you are interested in making a difference in their lives when so many would just turn the other way?
Yes, again I think that this originally stemmed from my family. When I was in junior high school my parents became foster parents, and we began taking babies into our home who were being put up for adoption. Through the years more than fifty children lived in our home. In fact, when I was a senior in high school my parents adopted my little sister Katie, who had been one of the foster children with us. So the knowledge that not all children had loving homes or parents was known to me from an early age, and I grew up being interested in children's rights and advocacy. Besides these children in India that the book is about, I have also volunteered here at home through the years with Child Protective Services, teen mentoring centers, and CASA which provides advocates for children removed from their homes due to abuse. And both of my sisters work today for non-profits as well; one for a foster agency and one for Planned Parenthood.

To read the entire interview, visit this link: http://tinyurl.com/lmgk8k. Shelley Seale will be our guest on Conversations LIVE! Radio this Friday (August 28, 2009) @ 12p.m. CST (1p.m. EST/10a.m. PT). Listen to the interview at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/conversationslive.

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