Priscilla B Shuler started writing at 75 and is the 89-year-old author of 7 full-length masterpieces. 6 of which are bestselling, 2 are award-winning, and 1 even got a seal of excellence for its raving perfect review ratings. This article is a follow-through on a previously-published BREW post – Meet our Author: Priscilla B Shuler.

BREW Question: Did you love reading books when you were little? Why or why not?

Author’s Response: Understand that, back in 1936-38 (between my 4th and 6th year), our family was ill-prepared to offer me books of any ilk. I barely knew what a book was. It wasn’t until after I was introduced to Dick and Jane readers in the first or second grade that I realized there was another world besides my own.

BREW Question: At what age did you start reading books? What were your best memories of that time?

Author’s Response: My father’s Aunt Inez Bemis (Grandmother Brannon’s wealthy sister, a widow, that took my older sister-Victoria to raise after I was born in 1932) came from Florida to Georgia to visit our family when I was around 6-7. Bearing gifts for my brother Forest and me, I received an Ocarina and a beautiful, colorful hard-backed “A Child’s Garden of Verses” book. I am yet to recall the first two poems I memorized from that gift. I kept it until it literally fell to pieces.

BREW Question: What was the first book you loved reading? Why?

Author’s Response: Consider the above statement about the beautiful gift book from my great aunt as being my first loved book. The dearth of books accessible to me was a matter of fact.

Being the object of concern by my bipolar father, my life was dominated by his wishes. Never allowed freedom (except for my blessed hours in classrooms) I devised many ways to keep myself out of his sight. ‘The Furtive Child’ became my self-imposed moniker and I spent as much time outside or hiding in my closet playing with paper dolls, as was possible.
Reading was never one of my strong suits.

 Once in high school I found I had a love of literature and reading the ‘must reads’ for my classes, I enjoyed the classics most. (Dickens, Shakespeare, Poe, etc.). Am guessing that we were steered only in the classic books’ direction to peruse and produce our ‘book reports’.  
Poe was about as brutal as we got, Dickens gave me insight into mans’ inhumanity to man, and Shakespeare opened the nether world of intrigue.

In 1960 – 63, we were stationed in France and God provided our household with a full time maid 5 days a week. It was there that I discovered the Base Library. Reading became an obsession with me, and I devoured books. For the life of me, I cannot recall any particular genre that ‘spoke’ to me, but I DID find a real escape and joy of the written word. With a husband and four children I was succoured with books, and blessed beyond measure to have a wonderful, faithful maid. My baby girl’s first words were French and all the children became proficient in the language. We immersed ourselves into the culture and because we embraced France, she embraced our family.

BREW Question: When did you first think about writing your first book? Why?

Author’s Response: Through our years of Army service, I – of necessity – wrote hundreds of letters to family and friends. Through these efforts I had some inkling that I enjoyed composing records of our joys and sorrows, as well as our adventures. Maybe this was the catalyst that proved to me that I (one day in the future) could really write something worthwhile.

Upon retirement and that proverbial ’empty nest’, at age 75 I decided to put pen to paper. I quickly wrote THE  HUNTER, a short story based upon our eldest son’s initial adventure with his uncles for an all night foray into the Wateree River Swamp in search of racoons. I ‘gave’ it to a publishing organization and they put together a very passable little book. Our family were all very happy with the effort and I bought enough copies to present them with their own edition. Since I figured I was now ready to ‘write the big one’ I penned out TWO CAN PLAY. While I was in the midst of this, I took a writing course from Longridge Writers Group and made the mistake of signing up for learning to compose short stories and articles. But I stayed the course and my instructor – best-selling author – Debora Simmons, gave me the assignment of writing a short story of an implausible situation to become feasible. I told her my idea of TWO CAN PLAY and she suggested I use ‘another woman’ to become the spider to draw the philandering husband into her trap. I wrote the story per her suggestion and made a very passable grade (although they don’t use any sort of grading system) on the attempt.

However, once I finished the course, I expanded Two Can Play. I returned to my original premise of using the devious wife to transform herself into the femme fatale to lure her unsuspecting husband into her sexual web so strong that he couldn’t extricate himself and he’d ultimately provide the divorce she was seeking.

BREW Question: What was the greatest obstacle you’ve encountered when you were writing your book? What made you overcome it?

Author’s Response: I believe the greatest obstacle I’m continuing to overcome must be finding the time UNINTERRUPTED to work. I believe wives and mothers have the greatest, most important jobs ever doled out to civilized man. We find ourselves to be the ‘go to’ for every situation rising out of the union between husband and wife, progeny and families, in-laws and outlaws, etc… Someone was once heard to say, “If you need something done, ask the busiest person you know.” I seriously doubt such snags will ever be overcome. Nor would I want to. I NEED my family as much – probably more, than they need me.

BREW Question: What pieces of advice can you give aspiring authors? What worked for you?

Author’s Response: I’m a poor one to look to for advice. But since you ask; in a word – persist. That’s it. Just keep on keeping on. Dedicate yourself to persistence! One can do what one desires to do… making up one’s mind is paramount and then persisting.

BREW Question: Who are the authors or books that had the greatest influence on your own writing? Why?

Author’s Response: Since I write my own style and from my own world views and experiences, I really cannot pin down any author, writing strategy, or etc., hence… let’s suppose that every book I’ve ever read, every conversation ever spoken, every interaction with my fellow beings (animals included) are to be held responsible for the content as well as the fashion in which I ultimately produce my books.

BREW Question: What are your future writing plans? What can readers further expect from you?

Author’s Response: Currently I’ve got several ‘irons in the fire’. AN ENCOUNTER is holding its breath in my computer along with MY MEMOIR, an ANTHOLOGY and an INTRIGUING IDEA  for a new book. Let’s hope our Heavenly Father God gives me strength and enough time to accomplish my desires.

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6 thoughts on “Author Interview: Priscilla B Shuler”
  1. […] Read Priscilla’s BREW Interview Visit Priscilla’s Website Our Author’s Book: “Kuimba” on Amazon Our Author’s Book: “Favored” on Amazon Our Author’s Book: “Rat” on Amazon Our Author’s Book: “The Medallion” on Amazon Our Author’s Book: “Two Can Play” on Amazon Our Author’s Book: “Daddy Jack’s Place” on Amazon Our Author’s Book: “The Hunter” on Amazon […]

  2. I think your memoir will be a fascinating read, since you’re not only a talented writer but have seen the world change immensely. I wonder what your opinions on those changes are. And you’re right, homemakers and especially mothers get no rest. I sometimes feel like we have invisible, 24/7 jobs. I can’t possibly fathom how you gathered uninterrupted time to write. It’s admirable.

    1. Thank you for your kind observations. Know we each live according to how we are programmed as children plus our DNA from the very beginning. Being ‘free agents’ awards us the ability to chart our own course no matter our surrounding circumstances. Never negate any success by failing to live up to that success and overcome whatever obstacles sprout in our path… ever careful to never mistreat others along the way. Lift fellow travelers when/wherever possible. Sending you, Dear Heart, my love.