Meet The Author Monday – Shaen Layle

monday

Happy Monday!

Each Monday I would like to take some time to get to know some of our favorite authors. My hope is that this will help readers connect with the authors.

Today I would like to introduce you to: Shaen Mehl!

I recently found Shaen and have been enjoying her books since! I’m really looking forward to getting to know her more!

new profile pic unfiltered

 

Author bio:

I’m a USA Today Bestselling author who writes inspirational cozy mystery from my home in the Midwest, where I live with my artist husband, Danny, our two rambunctious, but adorable, little boys, and our shelter pup, Violet. Trained as a literary novelist and with a decade of librarianship under my belt, I love discussing all things bookish with my readers on my website and on social media.

 

To help us get to know her, I have given her some questions and here are her responses:

 

Q: How long have you been writing?

A: So long that I don’t even remember a time when I wasn’t, lol! I started making up stories when I was really young, and as soon as I could hold a pencil, I began writing them down. I wrote throughout my school days and even got my Bachelors in Creative Writing. It wasn’t until my thirties, though, that I really started pursuing publication. I’ve been blessed to have steady work the last few years.

 

Q: What are you currently working on?

A: I have a couple of projects in the pipeline right now. I just finished a new cozy mystery for Guideposts’ Savannah Secrets series, and I’m in the process of editing another mystery in their Miracles and Mysteries of Mercy Hospital series (set in Charleston, SC- such a gorgeous city!). I just started brainstorming ideas for a second book in the Mercy Hospital series, as well as one in a new series, Secrets from Grandma’s Attic, which will be set in my home state of Missouri. If I get time before the end of the year, I also have a few personal writing projects in the queue: a concept for a cozy mystery series, a women’s fiction novel, and a bubbly contemporary romance 🙂

 

Q: What are some of your writing must haves? (Drink, snack, supplies, etc.)

A: I’m sure a lot of writers deal with this, but I have a lot of nervous energy when I write. I think it has something to do with writing action scenes while being glued to a desk chair! I try to have lots of healthy snack options around my house, so I don’t nosh on chocolate all day. It sounds like a weird combination, but cucumbers and pretzels are a great snack. I also try to keep a water bottle on my desk, so I remember to stay hydrated, and of course, I usually have a cup of hot tea nearby. Lady Grey is my favorite, but I also like mint. As far as supplies, my desk is pretty Spartan. I concentrate better when my work space is minimal, though I do keep my glasses (reading and blue light), pens and markers, a brainstorming notebook, headphones, my laptop, and a few cards from dear friends and family members nearby.

 

Q: What is your favorite time period to write about? Or read about?

A: I don’t write a lot of historical fiction, though I am certainly dipping my toes into historical waters with the time-slip elements of Guideposts’ stories. I love reading about life in the Edwardian period, though, as well as anything focusing on the 1950s. The mid-twentieth-century was such a unique time, full of optimism for the future but also remembrance of the challenging and recent war-torn past. Like any time period, it had its dark side, but overall, I find the aesthetic and issues of that time to be really interesting and something not a lot of people have explored yet in historical fiction. 

 

Q: What are some of your favorite books?

A: Oh, my, this is a tougher question than the ‘fictional character’ one! That’s like asking who my favorite child is! Can you ever just pick one?! I like a lot of different books for a lot of different reasons. If pressed to choose, I adore Lisa Wingate’s Talk of the Town. She combines humor and drama so seamlessly in that story that it’s a joy to read. I’m also a big fan of her bestselling novel, Before We Were Yours. Amanda Dykes’ Whose Waves These Are uses language in such a lovely, lyrical way… the only other book I’ve read that I’ve enjoyed lyrically as much as hers is Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping. I’ll also read anything by Janine Rosche, Elizabeth Byler Younts, Nicole Deese, or Denise Hunter… and I’m pretty sure I could keep going!

 

Q: If you could spend a day with one fictional character, who would you pick and what would you do?

A: That is such a tough question to answer! There are so many fictional characters I’d love to spend time with, but if I had to choose, I’d pick Jo March from Little Women. I’m not much of a tomboy, so I don’t think we’d have that in common, but I’m sure we’d bond over reading and writing. Also, it would be fantastic to spend time with the March sisters and Laurie. I’m an only child, so I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of having a sibling!

 

I have saved my favorite question for last!

Q: What would you like readers to take away from your books?

A: One thing I hope readers take away from my books is that God is always there for us if we seek him with our whole heart. He will never leave us or forsake us, and no matter what problem we face- loss of a loved one, disappointment at unmet expectations, etc.-, God is there for us and offers us hope in every circumstance.

 

To connect with Shaen, please click on any of the following links: her website, newsletter, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

 

I’m also featuring her newest release, Secondhand Chances. I can’t wait to read it! You can get your copy here

Secondhand Chances full cover from website

About the book:

As the much-anticipated date approaches for the double wedding of Elizabeth to John and Mary to Bill, the Classen sisters are trying their best to get everything just right. While Martha deals with the picky wedding cake baker, who just can’t seem to make up her mind, the sisters receive a flurry of incoming mail. To their delight, most of it consists of congratulations and RSVPs for the wedding ceremony. However, one letter in a bright red envelope stands out…an anonymous poison pen letter demanding that the sisters vacate their home and store immediately. At first, the sisters think they are the sole targets of the letter writer, but as the days pass, they soon discover they aren’t the only ones in Bird-in-Hand who have been receiving hostile mail. In the flurry of trying to uncover the anonymous letter writer, old suspicions are raised and long held grudges are unearthed. Can the Classen sisters solve their latest mystery before two of them say “I do”?

 

Thank you Shaen for your time! Please leave some love in the comments!

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