Monday, May 4, 2009

An Interview with Shirley A. Roe - AllBooks Review

CB: You are an author, writer, editor, and reviewer with a remarkable portfolio. I’d like to begin this interview with a little background information first. Briefly tell us a little bit about Shirley Roe, the person: where did you grow up, siblings, family, etc.

SR: Thank you Cindy. I was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and lived in southern Ontario during my childhood, with my parents and two brothers. My husband, Jim and I still live in a suburb of Toronto. We have three children and 6 grandchildren. Jim and I spend half the year in Florida and travel to Scotland at least once a year. We love to travel and I am always researching for a new story.

CB: Your first novel, Of Dreams and Nightmares, was published by PublishAmerica. As a former PA author, can you tell us a little about your experience in working with that company and any advice you might have for other authors still trying to get that first manuscript published. How has that worked out for you?

SR: Unfortunately my experience with PA was not to my satisfaction and I cancelled my contract after 4 years. The seven year contract was restrictive and costly to get out of. The company does not promote their authors and the cost of buying books at the author’s price is very high. My second and third books were published by independent publishers and I am currently working with RealTime Publishing, whom I am very impressed with.

CB: You are the Managing Editor of award winning AllBooks Review. How did the review site come about and what services do you offer, other than book reviews?

SR: In 2000, as an author myself, I saw a great need for reviewers for POD books. I started Allbooks Review for this reason and the company has grown dramatically in the past 9 years. AllBooks Review now reviews POD, eBook and traditional books from authors all over the globe. We offer advertising, promotion, editing, synopsis writing and guest speaker engagements. The Allbooks Review blog site is now a stop for Virtual Book tours. Our newsletter is read and appreciated by thousands of readers. Allbooks now has 27 excellent reviewers, from all walks of life.

CB: Your reviews are furnished to libraries by a Book Review Index, which is a CD. Can you briefly describe this idea’s origination and do you find it helps in getting authors’ books into the libraries nationally?

SR: The CD idea originated with Midwest Reviews who I work with. James Cox, founder of Midwest, would be happy to answer this question.

CB: Briefly describe your published works:

SR: I have three historical fictions published. Of Dreams and Nightmares is the story of Martha Whittaker, an English woman who travels to America and becomes a pioneer in the wilds of Wyoming Territory. Her story describes the trials and tribulations faced by these brave and formidable people. The Whittaker Family Reunion picks up Martha’s family twenty years later in St. Louis. The family is reuniting; however a mysterious stranger arrives, threatening both their safety and their sanity. A Call to Faith and Freedom is the story of the invasion of the Scottish Highlands in the 6th Century. It is a romance, adventure and historically accurate tale of the life of the Celts and Druids.

CB: Where might we buy them and do you offer signed copies?

SR: Signed copies can be purchased directly from me through my website: or Books are sold on,, Borders, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million and most bookstores.

CB: On each published work, how did you come by the ideas for the story plots and does your family influence your writings in any way?

SR: I am a historical fiction fan. The idea for A Call to Faith and Freedom stems from my many visits to Scotland and all of the historical sites there. Martha Whittaker was a character that I invented during a writing class. She haunted me and I was compelled to write her story.

CB: You recently joined forces with and RealTime Publishing, which is owned and managed by Richie O’Brien. Can you briefly tell us about this partnership and what it means to aspiring authors hoping to be published?

SR: I am very pleased to be associated with Mr. O’Brien and RealTime Publishing. I personally published The Whittaker Family Reunion with RealTime in both eBook and printed format. The service was very reasonable and Mr. O’Brien’s personal touch is a much-appreciated asset. As an author, I found publishers are often unavailable and uncooperative; this is not the case with RealTime. AllBooks Review provides the acquisition service and editing service to RealTime and I would highly recommend this company to both new and previously published authors. The rate for set up is one of the most reasonable on the web today and the end product is high quality. The eBookSale works hard to promote their books on many sites and distribution outlets.

CB: You write in several genres. Is there one in particular you enjoy more than the others?

SR: My favorite is definitely historical fiction.

CB: I see that you and your husband like to travel to research information for your works. Do you have the story idea in your head and then travel to get the information needed, or do you travel and come up with your ideas then?

SR: A little of both, A Call to Faith and Freedom definitely came to me during a trip to Scotland. I am currently working on a novel based in southern Alaska and I am planning a trip there this summer.

CB: Briefly tell us a little about your affiliations:

SR: As mentioned I am affiliated with RealTime Publishing. I promote Brenda Novak’s auction for Diabetes every year. I have been a judge for Tweener Ministries Young Writers contests. I work with the ABC Ottawa Take Off Program and Emily Jane Hills Orford. This program offers bright, gifted children a chance to connect with talented, skilled adults eager to share their interests and passions for a particular subject.

AllBooks Review signed the Business Ethics Pledge with I am a member of Shadow Forest Writers, Author’s Guild, Books and Authors, and several other writing groups. I write a syndicated column for American Chronicles. Personally, as a member of World Wildlife Federation, I support many environmental sites and sources.

CB: AllBooks Review has been twice awarded 101 Best Websites For Writers by Writer’s Digest. That’s quite an accomplishment! Can you tell us a little about the staff behind the site and their contributions leading up to such a prestigious award?

SR: My reviewers and staff are the best. Over the years we have grown to offer more services and review many different genres and formats. AllBooks Review prides itself on conscientious service. Lisa Haselton is one of the best editors in the business. I am thrilled to have her on staff. Bob Medak is an excellent marketing manager. He manages our blogs, Twitter, WordPress, Facebook, etc. with ease. Email inquiries are answered quickly, reviews are completed in 30 days, ads are prepared and posted in a reasonable time and service is what we are about. We are here to serve and it is our pleasure. Allbooks Review has received thousands of testimonials over the years and we thank every one of our authors for their kind words. Readers will find AllBooks Reviews on several book jackets and in author promotional materials.

CB: AllBooks Review is also international. Who can submit to your site for a review and what information should they know prior to submission?

SR: All authors worldwide can submit. Our reviews are in English. Submission guidelines are available by emailing through the site or directly: We do not accept unsolicited works; please contact us before sending your book.

CB: What project are you working on now?

SR: I am currently finishing the final book in the Martha Whittaker series, Return to Whittakerville. It will be published in summer 2009 by RealTime Publishing, in both eBook and printed format. Once that is complete, I have two other historical fiction novels to complete. One based on the Tlingit tribe of Northern British Columbia/Alaska and the other is set in Ireland in the 1700’s.

CB: Do you write any series of books and if not, have you ever considered doing a series?

SR: Yes, the Martha Whittaker Story is a series: Of Dreams and Nightmares, The Whittaker Family Reunion and finally Return to Whittakerville.

CB: You are an editor. But who edits for you?

SR: I use my AllBooks Review editor, Lisa Haselton. I value her opinion highly.

CB: Why should authors consult with a proofreader and an editor? Can you explain the benefits to their writing careers?

SR: Every author should have their work edited professionally. Most publishers of reputation will not publish a book with typos, grammatical errors, etc. The book reflects upon the author and the publisher, and every author should put forward their best work. As a reviewer, I see many books that would have been greatly improved and more saleable if edited before publishing.

CB: What websites can we visit to learn more about you, your books and your review services?

SR: You can visit: and for more information.

CB: Shirley, I want to thank you for joining us here at Writer’s Block this month. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you better. Is there anything else you would like to tell the readers that I may not have covered in this interview?

SR: I appreciate all of the readers that have purchased my books and encourage anyone that has not to do so. Martha Whittaker’s story appeals to readers of all ages. AllBooks Review is here to serve upcoming authors; we offer an excellent author promo package for less than $50. Contact us today.

CB: How may we contact you?

SR: Visit the AllBooks site: or email me at or

Cindy, I thank you for this interview and appreciate your time.


Author Shirley Roe spends time between Ontario, Canada and north Florida. Her first novel, Of Dreams and Nightmares was released in 2004. A freelance writer and Managing Editor of Allbooks Reviews, her diverse writing skills have been rewarded with several awards for both poetry and business articles. Her business expertise stems from her career in the business administration/ accounting business that she has owned and operated for several years in Ontario, Canada. Shirley says that writing is her passion and Martha McGuire is just the first of many intriguing characters that we will be introduced to over the next few years.

We were introduced to the Whittaker family in Of Dreams and Nightmares..

The Whittaker Family Reunion takes readers back to 1881 and the family is reunited once again. Martha and Jeremy await the arrival of their two sons, Abraham from Mississippi and Ezekiel, from England. The third son Isaac lives near St. Louis and is anxious to see his brothers again. Daughter Anna is spoiled and nothing but trouble. Abraham arrives with a woman, much to the family’s surprise. Ezekiel makes a narrow escape in England. Will the reunion be a happy one? Who will leave St. Louis in disgrace? Will Martha get to spend time with her entire family before tragedy strikes? The reunion is shadowed by another man, one seeking revenge; will he get what he wants? Will he kill one or all of them?


From their website…

Shirley A. Roe, Managing Editor

Shirley Roe is an author and Managing Editor for Allbooks Review. As a freelance writer, she spends time between Canada and the USA. Her published work, including inspirational articles and award winning poetry, has appeared in magazines, anthologies and daily newspapers. She writes a syndicated column for 21 news outlets in North America including World News. Winner of the Editor’s Choice Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry for 2002 and 2004 as well as recipient of the Freelance Writing Org. Int. first place award in 2003 for Business Articles, she excels in several genres. Allbooks Review website has been chosen one of 101 Best Websites for Writers two years in a row by Writer’s Digest Magazine. Shirley is a regular reviewer for Foreword Magazine, Midwest Reviews, Mystique Books, Poetic Voices and several other prestigious review publications and sites. Her reviews are included in an interactive CD, “Book Review Index”, which is distributed to libraries, corporate and academic sources. She speaks to Literary Guilds and Writer’s clubs on a regular basis. As a member of Ryze Business Network she has contact with people of many industries and interests. Shirley is also a member of the Board of Directors of Bookconnectors. As a judge for Tweener Time international Chapter Book Competition and an active member of Alliance for Children’s Enrichment, Shirley pursues her interests in World literacy for children and teens.

Shirley’s first novel, Of Dreams and Nightmares was released in the fall of 2004. It is published by Publish America under ISBN: 1-4137-4337-4. Shirley’s second historical fiction, A Call to Faith and Freedom was released by Grizzly Bookz Publishing in 2005; both are available on as well as bookstores. The Whittaker Family Reunion, a sequel to Of Dreams and Nightmares was released Oct. 2008. Shirley is currently working on the third book in this series as well as two more historical fiction novels. She also collaborated with children’s author, Dawn Beaumont Lane on a story book, Fairy Glade and Other Enchanting Tales. Shirley is receiving international acclaim as an author and readers are captivated by her characters and in-depth research that bring the novels to life. Shirley and her husband enjoy traveling and every trip is research for the next story.

Allbooks reviews books from North America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, France, Ireland, South Korea, China and Great Britain as well as several other International countries. Allbooks Reviews is listed in several prestigious Reviewer databases. Member of: Freelance Writing Organization International and Reviewers International Organization, Mystique Books as well as Author’s Den and Ryze Networking. Also member of: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and several otherblogging and networking sites.

You will find Allbooks Reviews on several book covers, book jackets, and included in the promo packages of many up and coming authors. We work with a number of publishers providing good honest reviews for covers, promo packages and advertising. A good review from Allbooks will help you sell your book.

We are now affiliated with RealTime Publishing and can help you with your POD publishing and e-book publishing needs.

No comments:

Post a Comment