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Shenda Paul


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 The desire to write took root some time during the childhood stories my parents read me.

 By my teenage years, I’d become a voracious reader. Austen, Du Maurier, the Brontës, and  Hardy fed my romantic soul, and books like To Kill a Mocking Bird and I Know Why The  Caged Bird sings sharpened my sense of justice. Those brilliant authors also stirred my  interest in the complexity of human nature.

 By then, I'd also been writing for a while. From my first childish tale about my cat, Timmy’s,  secret powers and talking ability, to my adolescent depictions of villains and heroes and  happily-ever-afters, and later fictional stories about historical characters and imagined  times and places, I continued to write.  Relationships took precedence for a time, and  though a demanding career made it almost impossible for many years, the desire to write  books remained. 


 It took decades for me to  overcome my insecurities and sharing my work. Enrolling in creative writing courses and having to read my work to  an entire class of fellow students boosted my confidence. Eventually, I took the plunge by  penning and publishing weekly installments of my first novel for an online audience.  In  writing Counsel, I set out to create a story of substance and disprove the misconception t  that romance novels are ‘fluff.’  Primarily, though, I wanted to write an absorbing tale with       characters readers care about–hopefully, long after finishing the last chapter.

  Publishing The Counsel  Series was a dream come true, and I’m incredibly thankful to that  community of online readers. They eased my self-doubt and kept me going through that  first novel. Their professed love for the characters inspired the other books in the series.  Also, their  championing made the leap into the precarious world of self-publishing far  less scary than it would otherwise have been. To them, a profound 'thank you' from the  bottom of my heart.

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