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May 2018: Debut Novel Inspiration
~ Shirley McCoy ~

CTR asked:
QUESTION: What inspired you to write your debut novel?

Shirley McCoy said:
From the very beginning of my life, from my first memories, I have always loved words, speaking them, reading them and writing them. I have enjoyed writing since I was eleven years old and from that time on it has been an important part of my life, particularly my creative life. At that time, I wrote short excerpts inspired by my favorite authors, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Madeline L’Engle. Shortly after college, I wrote several screenplays that remain unpublished. In 2010 I decided to write a novel after discussing writing with a library patron (I have worked at some of the best libraries in Louisiana).

After that conversation, which was the final catalyst I needed, I gave serious consideration to the idea of writing a novel. I had been toying with the idea for a while and already knew I wanted to switch from screenplays to novels, in part because the self-publishing industry was booming. I felt it would be easier to get my work seen if that work were a novel rather than a screenplay. With the technology available, I was aware I could easily communicate with publishers and submit my work. I could also easily self-publish via various formats such as Amazon. It seemed to me that the time was right.

With that decision made, all I needed was an idea. I read a very good piece of advice that I have never forgotten, ‘Write the book you want to read.’ There were very few romance novels about genies or Jinn at the time and so I decided to write one. Over the next three years, I wrote what ended up being two full-length paranormal romance novels, The Smoke and the Flame and its sequel The Wind and the Fire.

Since I was very young, I have always enjoyed telling stories and using my imagination to create them. Storytelling is such an important element of our culture and the wider human experience and I have always wanted to be a vital part of that. There is something about a good story that can tell us more about ourselves and show us who we really are in a way that is unlike anything else. It can also take us out of ourselves and give us a respite from our daily lives. This inspired me to write my first novel and all the ones thereafter.


The Smoke and the Flame (The Flame and the Fire 1) by Shirley McCoy cover

The Smoke and the Flame (The Flame and the Fire 1)

[Paranormal Romance, MF]

In The Smoke and the Flame, Colleen O’Banyon longs for love and adventure until she encounters Darius McLinnin, one of the fabled race called the Jinn. In each other’s arms they find all the passion, all the love their hearts desire. But there is a ring, ancient and powerful, and only it can control the Jinn. As the ruler of the Jinn and their kingdom, Kaf, Darius is sworn to keep his people safe from it. Willing to protect the man she loves and guard his kingdom with her life, Colleen vows to aid him. Alaster, an evil sorcerer, will stop at nothing to make the ring and Kaf his. The battle begins in The Smoke and the Flame.

Available in Ebook:



More Authors Dish about their debut novel inspiration.

– Read the authors of Day One:
– Read the authors of Day Two:

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