Hi, Zelle. Welcome to Writers4Higher!
Tell me about yourself. Your book(s), your life, your inspiration.
I was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida, and married my high school sweetheart. We lived briefly in Mountain Home, Idaho, on the Air Force Base. Our children, Sarah and Dylan, were born there. The thought of our children growing up and not knowing our families, except through phone calls, pulled us back home. Shortly after my daughter was born I tossed around the idea of writing a novel, but life got in the way and raising my children took priority. It wasn’t until twenty plus years later that I was sitting at work one day and the bug bit me again. I kept my notes and writing to myself for a while. I didn’t even tell my husband, until one day while we were cleaning the kitchen he ran across a scrap piece of paper that I had written the beginning of chapter one on. I whispered in embarrassment that I was writing a story. He was more excited about it than I was and has been supportive all the way. It took three years to write my debut novel “Paisley Memories”. It is about a young teenager who is raising a child with Down syndrome by herself. With only her wits, and a little bit of money, she lives like a gypsy with her daughter, Paisley. She comes to the realization that she either needs to put roots down and raise her daughter the best she can, or find a family who can give her daughter much more stability than she thinks she can provide. My daughter also has Down syndrome and was the inspiration for my story.
Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?
I hope that my writing endeavors take me everywhere! I plan on a sequel to “Paisley Memories”, which takes place in Panacea, Florida. But I also have other story ideas. One story takes place in Massachusetts. I’m excited about the prospect of traveling north. That is what makes this career amazing. You have an opportunity to meet interesting people, learn about different cultures, and travel locally or abroad depending on the setting of your story. I also see it as a career to completely become consumed with when I retire from the state. Only my creative ideas will show where it will take me.
How do you use your talents/time to help others?
I am part of two critique groups. We bounce ideas off each other through emails, in addition to monthly meetings. We critique the material that we are working on and share ideas. As a writer you can easily get discouraged and think that your story isn’t going anywhere. We inspire and keep each other on track. I am also starting a Free Little Library house in Crawfordville, Florida, near a local walking park. It is a means to promote literacy throughout the community. If you want a book, take one. If you have one to share, leave one. It is a great way for the community to share their books with each other if they aren’t able to afford to purchase them, but love to read. My husband will be putting his handyman skills to work very soon. Wish me luck!
Where to find Zelle Andrews:
Twitter - @maryleigh1967
Facebook – www.facebook.com/ZelleAndrews
Thank you for sharing with us, Zelle. Best of luck with your library and your writing!
Southern fiction author and blogmaster