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Author Interview

Shelby Wolfinger

I have loved to write my whole life, but I am just now becoming serious about it. I have not published anything yet, but I hope to have a book published soon.

Story: The Stitches


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What is the best writing advice you've ever heard?
The best piece of advice I've ever heard is to not worry about selling the story I wrote, but to worry about writing a story that can sell itself.
When you start a new story do you prepare an outline in advance or do you just jump right in?
I jump right in. I love the surprise of not knowing what will happen next. It gives me an in-the-moment perspective. I'm in the mindset of my readers; I know how they feel and what they think. I couldn’t experience this if I knew what happened next.
How do you deal with writing criticism, apart from just ignoring it?
Criticism scares me, but I’ve learned to think about the comments and apply them to my stories. I know there are always things that I can improve upon within my stories, and I am always open to other people’s opinions and insights.
America's Next Author has been running for almost 8 weeks. If you could re-submit now, would you change anything about your story?
I am a perfectionist; I literally had to tear myself away from my story in order to submit it on time. However, I would never change it. I'm poud of what I wrote, and I really hope that other people like it too.



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I am glad I finally found a story worthy of a review. some of them are really bad and I didn't want to leave any negative reviews so I didn't leave any. I believe the teen age group would find this story appealing. I can see this turning into a series with a little work. I am going to have my son read this story and give you his feedback as a young teen who also enjoys reading. Good job!

willie B

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This author grabbed your attention from the beginning and held it throughout the whole story. It was facinating.


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Hi Shelby I think the plot for this is fascinating and will make a great novel, probably popular with Twilight readership! Can I suggest that much of it, ie the dislocated shoulder, could really come to life if you told it as it happened instead of in retrospect. Also where you have put 'I remembered my father telling me stories' I could almost imagine it, but want to have a more vivid picture, how old was she, how were they sitting? was is just the one time, or over and over, was he trying to warn her, or was it just an anecdote, i think you could bring this to life to make a very compelling picture! Truly intriguing plot, good luck with the writing career!!!!!

sharon m

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I really liked reading this book. I like your writing and hope you write many more. I will look for your name.

Allen T

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A lot of reading for a short story. It was very easy to read and kept my interest. Best of luck!


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A friend of mine recommend that I read this book because it is the type that I read and I am an avid reader. I loved this book. I like the way it flowed from start to finish. I liked how the character evolved from the beginning of the story to the end. I also liked how the story left the opening for a full length novel or many many mores short stories. My e-mail is - send me an e-mail with any additional stories you have.


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nice piece of work, good plot. Scary though.


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One of my friends read this story and told me about it. I decided to read it and was pleasently surprised. I found the storyline to be unique and very original. I have not read another story quite like this one. I loved the concept of the crystals and the curse. There was a lot of ground covered for a short story. I loved the character's development. I could see Diana's character really emerge into a very strong dependent person. I still love the fact that you were able to develop a new breed of creature which leaves many additional stories to explore. This is something I would pick up off the shelf and buy. Please don't give up and keep writing. I can't wait to see what you will create next. You should have a website. Please remember The Stitches. I fell that creating an actual novel out of this short story would be a good career move.


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I am just clicking randomly on stories to read and selected yours. To be honest, I tend not to read stories like this. I thought I would just read a couple of lines and not be able to finish. But I have to say that I was surprised and very happy I selected your story. Your story kept me entertained and I enjoyed reading it. Keep up the good work. I am tweeting to all my friends to read it. I hope they enjoy it as much as I did and I hope they leave comments.


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This story was creepy, intense and mind blowing. I absolutely loved that you put in the rituals and I loved that you used Laviathan. I could sense the life and death situation, and I loved how I could see a distinct change in Diana's character as the story progressed.

Ernie Barns

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Hello young writer, I would like to say that I found your book peculiar (in a good way) and easy to read. The whole suspense attribute and all of the twists truly captured my interests as well as propelled me through the story. It seemed to go so quickly that before I knew it it was over! I wish the story had been longer and perhaps delved into more about the other towns members that had been afflicted by the curse. Will there be more to this, such as another short story? I would absolutely love to know more.

Tom Pawn

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I was a little iffy about this story. At first I did not want to read it but I am glad I did. The Story was original and very intense. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


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I love the imagination of this author. I do not know how you came up with this storyline. I like the way the character transitions throughout the story. You did a good job on development and no errors - a pleasure to read

Denise Richards

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Hello miss young author! I found your story breathtaking and I loved your use of description, though it may have been a little much in some spots. It really made me feel that I was a part of the book in there with the characters! Well done, you have a bright future ahead of you!


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I personally find your writing style attractive to a very large crowd of people, the teen and young adult group. Your writing style is not at all childish considering who this book is aimed at. This book would easily inspire and ensnare many teens who like to understand and feel connected to what they read. I also felt that the story flowed rather well and the idea was very original which also helped to draw me in. @old lady: Do not just down vote somebodies story simply because she writes at the age she is, focusing on an audience that is much younger then yourself. Please consider having a more open mind about stories that are not aimed at people such as yourself, though I still feel that it would definately appeal to many many other people of your age. I am older as well, and I find that many stories made for people that are 'older' have much worse content, are too common, or are even written much more poorly than this young aspiring author.

Lori Paris

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You are DEFINITELY a future published author! So here's what I think....for me, it was almost painful to read this story because of the adolescent language....but it's not your fault I'm an old lady! Well 44 to you is really old I'm sure! You are definitely on the right track with your writing and I can see a real future for you. Keep at it! You will hone your voice as a writer in time. You are probably really sick of hearing that but.....unfortunately sometimes annoying things to hear are said in truth to help YOU get better. For your age, which I can only guess, this is a VERY valiant effort...and the fact that you want criticism is amazing! Don't be afraid of can only help you in the long run. Okay so now it's your turn to rip the old lady apart....actually I would like a younger set of eyes to look at my story, Sins of the Mother. I hope you like it...but be honest because I can't get better without it too. You should be very proud of yourself.

Rose Burke

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Great imagination! Love the descriptions and the concept. Overall a great read! If you get a chance check out my story This Girl and a Bartender, thanks!

Summer Beth

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This was an interesting read, I like the concept of feeding off peoples souls and the crystal parts of the story were creepy. Great work!


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I have always been a fan of fantasy, thriller types of stories. This one really kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time without being too over the top. Everything was expressed well, and I feel as though the brutality was shown through the writing in a way that showed simply that there was no other choice as well as using a curse as a way to save an already cursed town. Amazing story, very well done Ms. Wolfinger.

Susan Gale Wickes

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An interesting story idea and a well-woven tale. I enjoyed the twists and turns along the way. I hope my story can compete. Good job!


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It was a relief to read a story that was not full of spelling and grammatical errors. Thank you for taking the time to care about the condition of your work before showing it to others. I thought it was an interesting story, but I would not have understood it without your preface.


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This book was heartwarming and very thrilling. It kept me guessing at every turn! Do you have anything else out there that I can read? I love your style.


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Great story, leaves the reader always guessing what will happen next. Totally unlike anything I've read before. Great descriptions.


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The author shows great imagination and an attention to detail. She allows the reader to feel what the character is feeling through a strong descriptive narrative. I am looking forward to reading more from this author and I would be interested in hearing more details of Diana's travels as a Stitch.

Matt W

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I was very surprised at how good this story was. Very well written, and such a page-turner. Very imaginative! I want more!

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December 18th, 2012
The winner of America's Next Author 2012 has been announced! [...]
December 7th, 2012
Questions and answers about the Battle Round. [...]
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