JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Shelia Lipsey, author of Beautiful Ugly
Envy Wilson, Layla Hobbs and Kacie Mayweather are three 30-year-old friends who rely heavily on one another for support in troubled times.
Layla fights the battle of obesity, coupled with low self esteem, but her melodious voice can soothe the savage beast. Who can fulfill her desire for love?
Envy is pretty and has a successful career, but she has her own dark and sordid secret that she refuses to share with anyone.
Kacie, born with cerebral palsy, has always felt the need to prove that she can get a man just like any “normal” woman. She has six children and five baby daddies but has never had a husband.
Through their trials, the three of them cling to each other. The circumstances they face will hopefully teach them how to cling to God.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write Beautiful Ugly?
Shelia Lipsey: Beautiful Ugly is actually my sixth book and fourth novel. I garner my inspiration to write from life itself. God places within my spirit life stories that ordinary people experience. Beautiful Ugly is one of those stories.
The idea of Beautiful Ugly comes from years of battling issues of low self-esteem and self-consciousness. It also derives from how the world distinguishes what is beautiful and what is ugly.
JP: What sets Beautiful Ugly apart from other novels in Christian fiction?
SL: What sets my book apart from other novels in the Christian fiction genre is that everything God does is unique. I am a unique individual. No one can do anything quite like me if God has directed me to do something.
There are similar stories/novels being written everyday. Most of them are probably great. The novels I write cannot be written by anyone else. I write perfect stories about imperfect people. The words I share, the stories I tell, the manner in which I tell them are divinely inspired and therefore that makes my stories one of a kind.
It does not mean that it is the only story that addresses a particular subject. But it does mean that whatever God assigns His children to do, and they are obedient to what He says to do, then they are assured that it will not return void.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to Beautiful Ugly getting out to the public?
SL: I am truly blessed. God opens so many doors for me. I have encountered people online, in person, at conferences, out and about and simply everywhere, who want to help me, who have read my novels, or who have seen my work online.
Todayâ€™s technology is another blessing because it enables me to reach literally thousands and thousands of people from my home. I also try to keep a pleasant, humble attitude. I try to treat people in the manner in which I want to be treated.
I also believe that by giving to others, sharing with others and helping others, that good will come back to me, and it has and does. I am so richly blessed to be at such a great point in my literary career. My books and my name as an author are traveling around the literary circuit, and there is a fan base that is constantly growing all because of Godâ€™s Favor over my life.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish Beautiful Ugly?
SL: My writing process is somewhat atypical, at least thatâ€™s what I believe. I write according to titles, and the stories are weaved around the title of my novel.
I pray before I write and ask God to give me the story that He wants me to share. My story develops, my characters come alive and Iâ€™m off and running at that point. It takes about three months for me to complete a novel.
JP: What’s next for Shelia Lipsey?
SL: My fifth novel will be released nationwide September 1, 2010. It is the sequel to the novel My Sonâ€™s Wife. The name of the novel is My Sonâ€™s Ex Wife. I also have two more manuscripts that I am presently working on.
I have a story in the anthology Bended Knees published by Hollygrove Publishing titled â€œAgainst the Grain.â€ I completed another short story for an anthology that will be released in the near future by His Pen Publishing.
Beautiful Ugly is a Black Pearls 2009 Top Shelf Award bestowed by Black Pearls Magazine (http://www.blackpearlsmagazine.com/) and the Sankofa Literary Society. My Sonâ€™s Wife won 2009 Shades of Romance (http://www.sormag.com/) Readers Choice Awards for Best Christian fiction, best cover, best Christian fiction author, best Christian Romance, Best Fiction.
My Sonâ€™s Wife also was one of Urban Reviews best reviewed books in 2009. Shelia E. Lipsey was named 2008 Author of the Year by Conversations Book Club. She was chosen to be the honoree at the first African American Literary Festival sponsored by Sistah Friends Book Club in October 2010 (http://www.sistahfriends.com/)
Shelia E. Lipsey is the founder of the non profit organization Living Your Dreams Now (http://www.livingyourdreamsnow.net/). She is president of the online book club for Urban Booksâ€™ Urban Christian authors (http://www.uchisglorybookclub.net/).
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