About Me

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A writer by predilection, an aunt by blessing and a friend by choice, Shelley has spent many years journaling before sitting down to draft her first novel. She has a B.A. in English discourse and is currently working on her third romantic-suspense, the title of which will be announced soon pending publication. Shelley is a member of the Romance Writers of America as well as her RWA state chapter of the Maryland Romance Writers.
"I love story-telling. It's a way to live an experience through the eyes of a character." - Shelley N. Greene

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Hi, everyone! Welcome to week eight of the Summer Love Blog Tour!

The countdown is on until the debut of my first novel, THE FIRE WALKERS, available where books are sold July 1st, 2014.

There’s only TWO WEEKS left, I’m in awe.

And to celebrate, I’m giving you the inside scoop on how my romantic suspense novel came to be.

Last week we got to meet my fireball hero, Aidan. Tough on the outside, and all heart within, you know it takes a special girl to win this arson detective’s love.

With my astrological theme in place, and my fire hero finally speaking to me, my next step was to work on my heroine. The first chapter of the story struck fast, a good fire omen, with chapter two keeping pace as Aidan allowed me to follow him around. 

And Aidan doesn’t dawdle. That’s one of the many things I like about him. True to fire form, he goes for what he wants and quick.

So I found myself at the beginning of chapter three with one problem.

My heroine still didn’t have a name.

Throughout chapter one (her third-person subjective perspective), I marked her name with a bold H for “heroine” while I got the creative surge down, so I could go back and fix it later.

It was an unexpected hurdle because my fire heroine had been clear to me from the beginning, I knew her. Open minded, a bit overly-optimistic, she was my happy-go-lucky, bouncy Sagittarius girl. I could see her thoughts and mannerisms in my head lucidly, right down to the red tint of her auburn hair. Heck, her point of view was what got the story going in the first place.

Typically I can iron out a name pretty fast, especially with all the data I had on her, but for some reason, my fire girl’s moniker kept eluding me. I would see her face in my mind and bounced names around, trying to find one that felt right, but none of them seem to stick. Weeks passed and I found myself stuck in the middle of chapter three with a nameless heroine. The conundrum smacked of irony because a person’s name is tied to their ego, and one’s ego is a fire concept, for sure.

Aries are ruled by Mars, the planet of action and energy. They are driven leaders, the personification of a strong sense of self.

Leos are ruled by the sun, which represents royalty, actors, and the glamorous. They almost always have a great head of hair (a Leo theme), and a bold sense of style. They are natural kings and queens, born to be in the spotlight. In THE FIRE WALKERS, Sophie is my Leo lady. 

One of my favorite lines describing her is:

“Sophie passed through the spotlight without so much as a squint, unfazed by the blast of illumination.”  -          THE FIRE WALKERS,  Shelley N. Greene ©

As a daughter and sister to women with Leo planets, I can tell you there’s a special warmth to the affection of Leo. And they can get self-righteous when angry. The Sun rules pride, and any slight on their reputation can set them off. A fuming Leo can literally turn their nose up as if you are beneath them. 

You see here that theme of ego popping up again, but I’ll tell you the secret: 

Make them laugh. Nothing smooths the ruffled feathers of a regal Leo more than a good, tasteful joke.

And there is no better jokester than a Sagittarius. Sags have a satire wit about them that stems from the honest way they view the world. It’s kind of blunt how they point out the incongruities in life, and instead of being disturbed by it, they find it all absurdly funny. 

Ruled by Jupiter, Sagittarians are expansive. They see the big picture, and they draw luck to themselves by creative visualization. Blindly optimistic, they always envision a good outcome. Even if they fail and land flat on their butt, they dust off, see the good in the “lesson” they learned, and try again.

That revelation confirmed an inkling I’d been having about my fire girl.

She had to be weak in fire, like me. While Aidan had had his fire dimmed, she was trying to build hers in the first place. He'd be walking towards her from the strong side of the fire spectrum, while she'd be starting with a candle’s flame that needed, with his help, to be stoked into a blaze. Her sign, Sagittarius.

The Sag symbol is a centaur; half man, half horse. (Horse farm anyone?)

Jupiter/Sagittarius themes include: luck, gambling, horses, higher learning, publication, the law and long journeys. Sag restlessness has power enough to level buildings. They climb the walls until the resistance gives way. They’re a bit clumsy, too. It’s as if their enthusiasm trips them up. They fall going upstairs.

Astrological Sidenote: Anytime I’m rushing (fire theme) I tend to knock my head (Aries area of the body) on stationary objects. Unconscious actions will point to where you should be paying attention. It’s weird.

In my own chart I have a strong Jupiter influence, and I think that’s why I related to my heroine in several ways. Jupiter energy is limitless, open; it has no boundaries. My fire heroine believes that everything will work out if she just keeps trying, she never gives up. She doesn’t like to be fenced in and the risks she takes aren’t practical, they’re spontaneous. True to Sag nature, she fails to see the forest from the trees, even with the danger encroaching in on her.

And with all these beautiful nuances in her character, I couldn’t find a fitting name. I felt like she deserved something unique.

Aidan had been Aidan from day one, and lucky for me (ßJupiter Reference) his name means “Little Fire.” Or just “fire” because no one calls him little.

My fictional horse-hero, too. I’ll give you his deets next week, he’s something else. Another horse at the farm is even named after one of Jupiter’s moons. And yet I remained stumped with the name of the most important character in the book.

For weeks I listened to music and browsed pictures to try to find inspiration.

I wanted something simple, sanguine, and natural.

Lisa? No.  

Jennifer?  Close, but no cigar.   

Amy?  She doesn’t look an Amy…

The music helped the scenes in my head develop as the heroine’s personality haunted me. I wrote each night and went to work each day with girl names rolling around my brain. I’d meet people and analyze their name to try to get a starting point.

That week it so happened that I was needed to serve customers on a drive-thru intercom where one of the speakers kept having technical problems. When I’d greet the person I’d say, “Hi, my name is Shelley” to which I got “Hi, Kelly” in reply.

The first day it didn’t bother me that much, but by day three the phonetic misunderstanding started to bug me. As a firm believer in road signs from the Universe, I should have realized it that moment, but I was too blind to see it. As Friday rolled around I was super busy greeting and running the speakers, when three people back-to-back said “Okay, Kelly.” 

Hand on the corded neck of the microphone, eyes glaring a hole through the tempered glass, I mentally squashed the urge to get back on the horn and enunciate the fact that “My name is Shelley, not Kelly.”

But before my finger reached the green talk button the discovery two-by-four whacked me between the eyes.

Kelly. KELLY. What in the heck does the name Kelly mean?!

I rushed home that night and looked it up.  It means Witty.

I grinned. My fire girl is witty. And positive and loyal and sincere. And her laughter is like sunlight. She’s a Kelly.

The Universe had been trying to tell me that all along. Even the music I’d been listening to was by an artist of the same name.

I pulled up my manuscript and did a find and replace. Reading through it, I felt a great relief. It sounded right when Aidan said it, when I channeled her thoughts.

I continued writing, and I got chills when Kelly walked into Keegan’s stall for the first time. Like planets aligning, the energies and the names matched up:

“‘I’m Kelly. I’m here with your dinner.’ The words came out the way she intended: gentle, comforting. In response the horse went motionless as a sculpture, the flare of his nostrils the only sign of life emanating from him.”

-         THE FIRE WALKERS,  Shelley N. Greene ©

Action and impulse are fire themes, and I knew that I was on the right track. When Kelly meets her horse, her kindred spirit, the connection comes with an impact.

Fire attracts fire.  

Next Week:  Think I can’t pack any more attitude into one story?
    Hoofed, hungry, and four-legged - MEET KEEGAN

See you then! 



  1. Glad you finally found a name for her! It's tough when one doesn't automatically come to you.

  2. How about Jillian-Jill for short?

    Carol Rubright

    1. That's a pretty name! I finally figured out Kelly for this heroine, but I'll keep Jill in mind for the future. Thanks, Carol. :0)