Lady in Red – Amanda L. V. Shalaby

1. Introduce yourself, please (name you write under). Is this a pen or personal name? Why did you make the choice to write under that name? 

My name is Amanda L. V. Shalaby and I am the author of the historical romance, Rhianna. I decided to write under my personal name for multiple reasons, but mostly because this particular novel was… well… so very personal!  It is inspired and dedicated to my grandmother, Catherine M. Fisher, and I just couldn’t see writing this story for her as an alter ego.
2. Let’s get the details out of the way: Single, married, divorced, widowed? Parent? Living where?
I have been married for 7 years to my wonderful husband, Matt.  We have three furry “kids”: Two Shih Tzu dogs, Huntley Rochester & Isabella Jane (yes, those middle names are after Jane Eyre), and a Persian cat named Sebastian. We live just outside of New York City.

3. What’s your secret passion?
Actually, for a long time, writing was my secret passion.  I spent years writing whole novels for myself and never shared them with anyone. I was always very private about my writing, but I’m glad that I came around and decided to start sharing my stories with others.

4. What’s the first creative writing you remember doing outside a class?
When I was 14-years-old, I had this fantastic dream about a world in the vein of Narnia.  I woke up the next morning determined to write it down as a YA short story. I realized then that I was not very good at writing short stories.  My first full-length novel was born.
5. Why do you write romance novels?
I never intended to write romance, actually.  It is only because of my grandmother’s life-long desire to write a historical romance that I began to write one for her. Now, I see the light!
6. What else do you write?
I think I’ve written a novel in pretty much every genre. I finally found a common theme, though – I really love researching different time periods. Not single story I’ve ever written has been from the same time period.
7. What did you cut from your book that felt like severing a body part?
Rhianna was very long.  To cut it down, a couple of chapters were axed detailing events in her childhood. The really important back story was worked in to the current version, though, and I’m really glad to say I like it better than the original!
8. The best part about my writing life is:
I think the best part about my writing life is I can easily entertain myself! Long line at the DMV?  Sitting around all day for jury duty?  Long plane flights? No problem!
9. The worst part about my writing life is:
Definitely, the worst part about my writing life is not having enough time to write.

10. Give us a hint about what the next book’s like.
I feel a very strong connection to the families in Rhianna, and I’ve begun working on a sequel that follows them through the next several years after Rhianna ends.  I’m really excited about it!  If you want to know more, I’ll be regularly updating my blog amandalvshalaby.wordpress.com or look me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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14 Comments

  1. Congratulations Amanda!
    I totally agree, being a writer means you are never alone nor bored,

  2. So nice to “officially” meet you, Amanda!!

  3. Love that you wrote your book for your grandmother. Look forward to reading it.

  4. Thanks for sharing your ‘secret’ with us – can’t wait to read Rhianna!

  5. Congratulations, Amanda!! So glad you’re secret passion isn’t a secret anymore!!

  6. Wonderful to get to know you, Amanda. I love many genres as well,but have a definite fondness for historicals. Rhianna sounds like a great story!

  7. Thanks for all the nice comments, everyone! So glad to be a part of Crimson Romance & to be surrounded by so many amazing authors!

  8. Hi Amanda, Such an impressive interview! I admire that you are so prolific and dedicated. Very happy that you are sharing your work!

  9. I think it’s so wonderful that the book you wrote Rhianna for your grandmother will be published! Congratulations.

  10. Hi Amanda. I love that you wrote your story for your grandmother. Mine is dedicated to my grandmother, a librarian who got me hooked on reading as a kid. Hopefully they are up in heaven bragging to everyone at the library about us. 🙂 P.S. You have the best headshot. So professional but also personal.

    • Hi Lisa, thank you so much! We had some pretty special grandmothers, didn’t we? 🙂 I do look forward to one day getting her reaction!


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