2009 - My daily grind was one of those soul sucking endeavors that made me consider the unthinkable. I was well insured - and oddly enough - this did not help my mental state. If you throw a golden safety net under a mans family, just in case he falls off the high wire of life, he might be a little less careful with his footing on a down day. Given a wild hair, he may even feel at liberty to bounce up and down on the damn thing. Why the hell not? The unrelenting force of obligation, love and duty to family dulled by a dash of depression and a monthly $42 direct withdrawal to an insurer.
A creature of passion with no outlet is in a bad way.
And I was.
There came a day, like any other day, that I opened my computer to do some work. I brought up a blank page.. then sat there and stared at it like a good worker drone. Instead of starting a new spreadsheet or beginning a new customer list, I began to write. I wrote from morning till evening, the first thirty three pages of Believing Magic coming to life that day. I had no experience to draw from other than being well read, what grace a BA could grant me, combined with a soul deep need to escape my day to day 'life'. I simply pulled the trigger and let the bullet follow it's own course without any idea how incredibly far it would travel. The cleche makes me cringe to see in text that I've written, but the story wrote itself - with yours truly being the first to read it there on my screen. And so I found writing. Did it save my life? I don't know. But I do know that I would not trade what I gained for what I have given up as I wrote. That time I spent, those many hours and countless late nights - no - I do not want them back. They are exactly where I want them. I wrote the first five books from 2009 to 2011, then other books for another two years before moving to publish. The editors, designers, artists - Ugh - THE PROCESS! A few thousand dollars, gladly spent. It had to be done. The idea that my head and heart might be the only place where these stories and these people lived was a sickening thought. They deserve a bigger life. 'They', being my friends in Amen Hale (the Believing Magic Series) and those I've met and made inside other books that I've had the pleasure to write.
As for my current state of mind, I'm doing quite well. I now have a place to put my passion.
As for me, the author... what to share in a Bio?
There was almost nothing to share. Or nothing real anyway. I gave serious consideration to using a pen name for fear that the trappings of a real life, no matter who's, might color reader perceptions in some way. I considered using the name, Calvin Lynard Pyle. If you've read the books and met him there in Amen Hale, then you understand how that choice (had I made it) could fit. What else I can say about Shane W. Shelton? Here are some facts which I am reluctant to share, but feel obligated to do so. I believe any bio worth reading must share some revelations of the authors private life, especially those that connect to the books in tangible ways. So, here it goes.
WARNING. If you have not read the books, I'd advise you to proceed with caution as there are some very minor spoilers ahead. Personally, I despise spoilers of any kind. Proceed at your own best judgement.
Settings for the Story:
The books are set in Jacksonville, Florida, where I was born, and a range of other places where I have lived and visited personally. Places that are a part of my life. The Trailer Park off Beach Boulevard in the book actually exists, along with it's ramshackle guard gate, though it bears a different name. The mansion by the river, there are many that would fit the description lining the banks of the St. Johns River. The Hospital Sky makes her escape from - yes - it's there too, off San Pablo road, though it's name has been changed, it's there. The unfortunately named Vietnamese Restaurant 'Pha King Noodles' - subsequently renamed in a recent relocation to P.K. Noodles, also real. Real, and named correctly in both instances. The graveyard in North Carolina perched on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains overlooking the Tennessee Valley, all too real, and quite a sight to behold with it's view. YES, overgrown and neglected and existing exactly as described in the book - or so it was when last I visited. My father and little sister and other family I do not know and have never met in life lie there, resting in the earth, waiting for me to join them if the place is even around when I die. It may be totally reclaimed by nature by now, I've not been there in ten years. If so, the ashes will do just fine scattered between the other stones and graves.
While not an A student in high school I did well. After graduation I attended a conservative, evangelical Bible college and earned a BA in Church Ministries. Greek, Hebrew, Advanced Theology. I enjoyed my education, and was active in church for many years. I confess that I no longer am. I do not regret that part of my life or what it gave me, or what I gave in return. I kept secular jobs and never went into the ministry. I do value the education I gained. I would not be 'me' without it. I believe there is a certain mysterious beauty in how all the various parts of a life add up to make the whole of an individual. We each have our life experiences. Horrors and triumphs. Joys and challenges. Loves and losses. These moments accumulate over time and combine in an inexplicable chemical reaction within our soul making us into the people we are. My formation was uniquely 'my own', with whatever catalysts I added to the mix intentionally blending with the day to day incidental exposure of those passing by on their own journey, events of the world (shit happens), mixed with the intentional and sometimes malicious contamination of others. It all adds up. In the end. I am what I am. And you are what you are. But what wondrous process!
My home is half a mile from the ocean. Some days when the wind is right, and always before a tropical storm, I can smell the surf as I stand outside my front door. I have a good life. I'm in sales, and I'm happy in my current position and enjoy my work. At night and on weekends I continue to write, and enjoy time with my family. Book six, Devil's Tithe, is better than half done and should be available for pre order soon. I have two other books out now - Midori and Beyond The Edge - and six other books that are being edited/prepped for release. Cinderella, Cinderella I'm considering making into a graphic novel, so it may take some time - and money. Frank Dobbs - wow, what a wild book! Action adventure/fantasy. I had someone in the business who saw an early version ask about making it into a movie. Flattering, but I'm jaded. Perhaps it's a side effect of my trade, but unless there is ink on a contract - there is no spoon.
I thank you for your interest in my books, and in me. It is my hope and most sincere wish that you will enjoy the books and that my friends in Amen Hale will in some way - add - to what makes you 'YOU'. In that way, reading a book is similar to drinking an absolutely unknown beverage. Some books you take a small taste of and quickly set to the side with a grimace. Others you may drink to the end but are nothing but water in their content and therefore make little impact on the overall function of the system. They are forgotten. And then there are books that have pieces and parts or 'people' that catch and hold and affect the whole forever. As an avid reader - I do not fear letting the books I drink in change me if they possess by depth of story the magic to do so. So be it. In that lies my final thought, and hope.