Featured Interview With Zelle Andrews
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
My first endeavor at publishing was at the age of twelve. A short poem I wrote in middle school was selected to be published in the Tallahassee Democrat. Years later I found the yellowed newspaper clipping that my mother saved, when I was in the process of writing my first novel.
Paisley Memories started out as an idea that I wrote on a scrap piece of paper. Just notes at first, then it became a couple of chapters. It was my first Tallahassee Writers Association Conference that made me take my writing serious. The novel evolved over the next four years and found a home with Southern Yellow Pine Publishing.
I live near the Florida coast with my family. I’m a member of Tallahassee Writers Association. ‘Paisley Memories’ is my debut novel. ‘Dancing with Dandelions: The Beginning of Me’ is a the second novel in the Paisley Series. Both have won medals with the Florida Authors and Publishers Association. I’m currently working on the third novel in the Paisley series.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I honestly don’t recall a period when I didn’t love books. I’ve always had books scattered in my room as a child and even as an author. Growing up, if I wasn’t reading, I was writing in my diary. Yes, I was one of those children who wrote everything that happened at school. My diary is full of one-day-crushes, the excitement I felt making the cheerleading team in ninth grade, first dates, second dates…. I’ve pretty much always written, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that a story took root and wouldn’t let go until it was written. Thus, Paisley Memories was born.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
My favorite author changes all the time. At the moment ,I’ve fallen in love with Paula Brackston’s style of writing and how it captivates you. I love historical fiction, humor, romance, and fantasy. My daughter is the inspiration behind my writing. She forever my number one fan.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
I have two novels out at the moment.
Paisley Memories: The Beginning of Me is the first book in the Paisley series. It is about a young woman named Tess Cooper. She is seventeen, a high school drop-out, an orphan, and a single mom to a baby girl with Down syndrome. When her father died, she fled Brooksville, Alabama in a quest to find herself. Well, about a year later she found herself, in the deep-fried, southern town of Panacea, Florida, where her money runs out. A stranger, named Butterball, takes them in and gives Tess a job taking pictures at Wakulla Springs State Park and the annual Sopchoppy Worm Grunting Festival. Paisley is thriving on all the attention, but Tess weighs her options. Can she give her baby what she needs? Should she put down roots in this place where she has found friends? Or should she give Paisley up for adoption and head out on a life of her own?
Dancing with Dandelions: The Beginning of Us, the second book in the Paisley series, takes you forward about a decade. Tess Cooper has purchased her very first home. A beach-front fixer-upper in Panacea on the Gulf Coast of Florida. The life she desires for herself and Paisley, her twelve-year-old daughter with Down Syndrome, is within her grasp. She can taste the independence. Life should be smooth sailing, but when is Tess’s life ever easy?
In addition to renovating her home and Paisley competing in the Special Olympics, her once platonic relationship with Aaron McMasters is changing. But she isn’t sure if she wants it to. I mean, why mess up a good thing? Then his ex-wife comes to town. Aaron’s easy-going nature becomes edgy, short tempered, and his always dependable, yet annoying flirting, has stopped.
Tess focuses on making a new home for Paisley and herself and helps plan Butterball’s upcoming nuptials at Wakulla Springs. Weddings are beautiful, so why are the tears on Tess’s cheek not tears of joy? Should she tell Aaron how she feels or will he cast her aside and send her drifting in the wind like dandelion seeds?
I’m currently working on the third novel in the Paisley Series.
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