‘Before I could ever read a book, I could tell a story:’ Truckee author Jill Shalvis releases newest novel ‘Love for Beginners’
Fumbling through a folder filled with scraps from a notebook, magazine articles, and other random bits of paper, Truckee author Jill Shalvis finds a folded napkin from a local restaurant.
On it is scrawled an idea gleaned from overhearing a conversation between the couple at the table next to her. It’s the perfect setup to begin weaving her next novel around.
“I get my inspiration from everywhere — from TV, from movies, from other books, from real life,” said Shalvis, whose newest book “Love for Beginners” was released last week. “I’ll read the back of a cereal box. Ideas can come from anywhere.”
Shalvis, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and two-time RITA winner, has now authored more than 100 books and sold more than 15 million copies since the early 2000s. Her love for story telling, however, goes back as far as she can remember.
“Before I could ever read a book, I could tell a story,” she said.
Shalvis grew up in Los Angeles, and then moved to Truckee more than two decades ago, using the mountain town and its people to draw inspiration for her stories, which she pumps out at a rate of about two per year.
As someone who finds it hard to sit still, Shalvis said she has no dedicated writing space, and instead seeks the outdoors to help meet her daily word goals. She used to put out around five books per year, but today the work requires more research and time as she weaves longer, more complex narratives that often merge genres like romance, comedy, mystery, and others.
“It’s not really any genre that I can put my finger on,” said Shalvis on her recent novels. “Sometimes it’s a mystery, sometimes suspense, sometimes it’s funny.”
Her latest effort, “Love for Beginners” is part of her Wildstone Series of novels, which are standalone works set in the same fictional town. The story follows a woman, who wakes up from a coma and has to start her life over after finding out her best friend and fiancé have fallen in love and that she’s lost her job.
“I always wondered what would happen if you got to a certain age … and what would happen if you had to start your life completely over — everything, your love life, your work life, every bit of your life. If you had to start completely over, would you do it the same or would you make different choices?”
While sales and reviews may cause some authors stress when their books are released, Shalvis said she’s already deep into her next novel. And with deadlines looming, she has little time to worry about the book that most recently hit shelves.
“Having deadlines helps because I don’t have time to obsess about a book release and if people are going to buy it,” she said.
“That kind of allows me not to stress about a book release.”
Shalvis said each novel takes roughly five months to write, and that she’s about midway through her next story.
“Love for Beginners” is currently available for purchase in print, digital, and audio forms.
For more information on Shalvis and her works, visit http://www.jillshalvis.com.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-550-2643
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The 4th annual Tahoe Brewfest is set for Saturday, Sept 25, with all proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe.