Originally from Annandale, Virginia, Shelley Stout resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she enjoys spending time with her two grown sons. She also enjoys volunteering at a local homeless shelter. Shelley is a contributing writer for local and regional magazines, and her award-winning fiction has appeared in anthologies, The Storyteller Magazine and online at WordRiot. Each of her books is available for the Kindle for only $2.99. Here's Shelley:
After nearly a decade, writing has become a huge part of my life. I've been continually busy, either writing, revising, editing, submitting, or promoting/marketing my work. I also have a full-time job, so I frequently wish I could spend more time on writerly activities!
My first novel, (Radium Halos) was released in July 2009 as an ebook from Girlebooks.com. In October 2009, it was released in print from Librifiles Publishing, the sister site of Girlebooks. I've had several book signings, where I've met many wonderful people-- readers and other authors. I've also visited several book clubs-- some via Skype. I enjoy speaking with my readers and learn so much from them and from other authors.
Radium Halos is historical fiction. It is based on the true story of the Radium Dial painters-- young women factory workers in the 1920s who were exposed to radiation while painting watch and clock dials with radium paint. These innocent young women were taught by their supervisors to dip their brush into the paint and then between their lips for a sharper point. In the process, they were swallowing small amounts of the radioactive paint. This scenario happens in companies even today, where employees are merely following instructions from someone higher in authority. In this particular case, the Radium Dial Company denied any wrongdoing. Their focus was on production, not on worker safety.
Many people have asked me where I got the idea for Radium Halos. In the late 1980s, I watched a documentary on the Discovery Channel, called “Radium City.” I was stunned and horrified, but at the same time, the story of these young women fascinated me, because I had never heard of it. The documentary was phenomenal – it presented a great deal of information about what the young women went through. Every so often, I would think of it, but it wasn’t until about four years ago that I decided the time was right: I needed to write a novel based on this true event, because so many people were unaware of it.
Radium Halos has received praise from various sources. I have included reviews below:
Batt Humphreys, former senior producer for CBS News and author of Dead Weight
"Shelley Stout debuts with a novel of characters as compelling as the true story it covers. Like a good reporter, she follows the facts. In this case she not only uncovers a story little known, but more importantly she reveals in her characters, the humanity of a tragic tale."
The Historical Novel Review
"At turns humorous, feisty, and heartrendingly childlike, [main character] Helen’s narrative voice is powerfully blunt."
Red Adept's Kindle Book Review Blog
"Five stars......this was a novel to tug at the heart."
Comcast.net News: Badeau P.O.V.
"Stout’s strong storytelling skills and clever use of humor make this a novel that just won’t stay closed."
"While the subject matter is intense, the tone of the novel is surprisingly light. Thanks is due to [main character] Helen who adds humor through her naive and bluntly honest outlook."
What's up next? Shelley has just completed her newest ebook. It's a romantic comedy, entitled "Celebrities for Breakfast." It's getting 5-star reviews at Amazon and is available for just $2.99.