Guest Author: Sheila Roberts

I was at a Harlequin author signing event in Reno in May this year with today's guest, and she really impressed me with her friendliness and vibrancy. In fact, a member of the Harlequin team told me that to watch this special lady at a signing event was quite incredible because she connected with each and every one of her readers in a very positive way , and each reader left feeling the author's warmth.

My guest began writing in 1989 after having owned a singing telegram company and having played in a band. She is now a hugely successful author of women's fiction and romance. I'm delighted to be able to welcome bestselling American author, Sheila Roberts (also writing contemporary and historical novels as Sheila Rabe) to today's quick author quizzing blogspot.  

Welcome Sheila, and thank you so much for joining me today.
Can you tell us about your most recent release and whether it held any particular challenges for you? 

My newest release Welcome to Moonlight Harbor begins a new series, set at my happy place: the beach. The biggest challenge was coming up for a name for my fictional town, which is based on the fun beach town of Ocean Shores, Washington. I wanted to name it Paradise Shores but that didn't fly with the marketing department, so it became a group effort to come up with names for the town, with everyone from the people in marketing and my editor to my literary agent's interns all ringing in with ideas. And let me tell you, some of those suggestions had me pulling out my hair. I began to think my poor town would never get a name. In addition to coming up with something romantic and charming, we also had to avoid names that other authors had used for their towns - that let out using words such as Bay and Beach. My husband actually helped me with naming my town, suggesting Harbor after I'd come up with Moonlight, and I'm very happy with that collaboration. 

Well done, Mr Roberts!
Of all your stories, “Unexpected Journey”, in which you tell of your journey following your diagnosis of uterine cancer is, for me, my favourite. I had no idea that this form of cancer was so common and it certainly isn’t a cancer that receives a lot of press coverage in Australia. You’ve done an incredible job and highlighted this cancer for so many women. Was it the most difficult book you’ve had to write?

Actually, it wasn't. Yes, the journey itself was difficult at times, but I didn't have to think of things like plot and character development. I simply wrote down what I was feeling and shared Bible verses that helped me through the process. Of all the books I've ever written, it's the one I'm most glad I wrote, mainly because I have fond hopes that it will help other women who are coping with difficult challenges. I'm sure a book on dealing with cancer sounds like a downer, but I'm hoping readers will also enjoy the lighter moments, like when I tried to catch my wig on fire. Ah, yes, there's always something to laugh about.

I can't imagine anyone reading "Unexpected Journey" and not drawing strength from it.

Two of your stories have been made into movies (“The Nine Lives of Christmas” a Hallmark movie and “On Strike for Christmas” a Lifetime Network movie), were you able to have any input into the production/script of those movies and how amazing did it feel to see your characters come to life? 

Those were such fun experiences! I didn't have any input however - my stories became someone else's brain baby to raise. And, while the movies aren't exactly like the books, I think they're still fun. My husband and I got to visit the set of "Nine Lives" and were even allowed a cameo appearance. I know Dancing with the Stars will be calling any day now.

I hope to see you dancing away!!
What’s next for you as an author?
More books in this new series. And, oh, how I'd love another movie deal.

Now, there's something very intriguing about your past...How did you come to own a singing telegram company?

It all started when I went to sing happy birthday to a friend at work. She and her co-worker got inspired and convinced me we should form a singing telegram company. They handled the business end and I handled writing the songs, performing and, as we grew, hiring other singers. Dressed in my top hat and tails, I serenaded everyone from the country singer Roy Clark to Mickey Mouse when he came to Seattle on a destroyer for one of Disney's many anniversary celebrations. That was a fun business. Like they say, there's no business like show business... unless it's the writing business!

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to be on the blog and I hope many more of your stories are made into movies.

Thank you so much for inviting me to join you! Best wishes to you for much success and happiness, Alyssa.

You can find out more about Sheila and her many titles at: 

I hope you'll join me for the next Quick Author Quizzing on July 21st as I welcome Carole Mortimer to the blogspot. Until then, Happy Reading!

Alyssa J . Montgomery

About the Blogger:
Alyssa J. Montgomery is an Australian contemporary romance author who is published by Escape Publishing (Harlequin Enterprises, Australia). She also 
writes medieval romance as Alyssa James,


  1. Sheila sounds like a fun person to hang out with Alyssa.

    1. Absolutely! She's a very positive, upbeat person who exudes warmth! I'm sure anyone who has met her will agree. I hope, if you haven't already read one of her titles, you'll have a chance to do so.


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