August 30: Please welcome Shirley Wells

I “met” Shirley Wells online soon after I started blogging. She’s a wonderful writer and a wonderful human being. She was kind enough to spend some time here, talking about her newest release, DEAD SILENT. Welcome, Shirley!


I had plenty of vague ideas for my second Dylan Scott mystery, but none that yelled “Write me, NOW!” until, one day, I was sitting outside a city centre cafe enjoying a coffee and some rare sunshine. Opposite the cafe, a girl in her early twenties was sitting on a wall by the fountain and she was eating the biggest cake I have ever seen. Real cholesterol-laden cream oozed from it. Jealous? Me? You bet. She was disgustingly slim (I only have to look at cream to pile on the pounds) with long, curling red hair. Still eating her cake, she spoke to someone on her phone. She was laughing and she glowed with happiness and vitality. At her feet, a small, scruffy and obviously much-loved dog waited for crumbs.

I looked away, distracted by something else. When I looked back a few seconds later to see if she’d finished that cake, or maybe needed a bit of help with it, she’d gone. Vanished. I had a good view of streets leading off the square in several directions but there was no sign of her or her little dog.

She had vanished off the face of the earth.

Of course, people don’t really vanish, do they? They might be taken away, they might run from their demons, they might be murdered and sent to the bottom of a lake … but they don’t vanish.

That girl became the inspiration for my second Dylan Scott mystery, DEAD SILENT. I wonder how many novels have been published thanks to a writer’s longing for a wickedly, calorie-heavy cake.

If you’re curious, this is from the back cover:

Ten months ago, Samantha Hunt set off for work… and was never seen again.

Despite the statistics of cold cases, Dylan Scott wants to believe the young woman’s alive – and not just because her father, his client, is desperate to find his missing daughter before he dies of cancer. By all accounts Sam was a lovely girl, devoted to her younger stepsisters, well-liked at her work, in love with her boyfriend.

But as usual not everything is as it seems in sleepy Dawson’s Clough. Sam’s boyfriend has a violent past. She may have been having an affair with her boss. And Dylan can’t shake the feeling that her stepfather is hiding something. Meanwhile, someone is trying to scare Dylan off the case.

Who wanted to silence Sam, and why? The truth turns out to be worse than anyone expected…

Having had several hundred short stories, ten serials and ten novels published, Shirley Wells is finally getting the hang of this writing lark. She’s lived in Orkney, Cyprus and the Cotswolds, and now lives in Lancashire, UK, where the Pennines, with their abundance of great places to hide bodies, provide the inspiration for her popular mystery novels. She shares her home with her husband, two dogs, two cats and any other stray animals that fancy being pampered.

For more information, visit her website, follow her on Twitter or find her on Facebook.

Her latest Dylan Scott mystery, DEAD SILENT, is available from Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and all good e-book retailers.

Published in: on August 30, 2011 at 6:27 am  Comments (10)  
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  1. Shirley, thanks so much for being here today! I can’t wait to read the book!

  2. What a fun story idea! I love those times when a thought, sight, or sound inspires the story. I heard a news report that reported a family’s death – all but one person. That niggled at me until I wrote the story.

  3. Devon, thanks so much for inviting me!

    Lori, that’s exactly it. The thoughts niggle away until we’re forced to write the story.

  4. It’s always interesting to learn where an author gets ideas for their books. Thanks for sharing!

  5. bookmom, thanks for stopping by!

  6. Sounds like a great read and thanks for proving that the biggest ideas can come from the smallest of every day nuggets.

  7. What happened was that for every calorie she eats, she apparently loses a pound. So actually, if you looked real close there would have been a really tiny red head still sitting in the seat. 🙂

    Great premise, Miss Shirl!

  8. Colin, hi. That’s what I love about writing. I can spend days messing around with ideas that refuse to grow into a story I love, and yet see a simple street scene and not be able to rest until I’ve written the book.

  9. Maureen, I dream of a cake like that. 🙂

  10. Thanks for stopping by, everyone. And once again, Devon, thank you so much for having me, and for your lovely warm welcome!

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