Feeding Hills author publishes new book, ‘Absence of Will’

June 1, 2018 | Jordan Houston

Feeding Hills author?Shellie L. Spencer recently published his new novel, “Absence of Will.”
Reminder Publications submitted photo.

AGAWAM – Author and feeding Hills resident Shellie L. Spencer published a new novel, “Absence of Will,” in March with the Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc.

The fiction storyline chronicles the curiosity of an ambitious archeologist, which eventually inspires her to embark on a quest in search of an ancient grave. According to the book, the grave is believed to contain a “priceless” artifact that has been undiscoverable for many years. Readers must learn about why the artifact was supposed to remain hidden.

Reminder Publications conducted a short question-and-answer style interview with Spencer to learn more his background and new novel.

The following is an edited interview:

Reminder Publications: Aside from writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? Tell me about yourself:

Spencer: Originally, I’m from Schenectady, NY. I’ve been living here in Agawam since 1988. I graduated from Central High School in Springfield and went to Holyoke Community College to graduate with a degree in Graphic Art. I didn’t take any writing courses in college, but I always liked to create stories. In writing, you can do or be whatever you want to be. That’s also the same with drawing, I like to put stories behind things with drawing. I have a graphics shop in Feeding Hills, called Raw Face Graphics and Art.

Reminder Publications: In your own words, how would you describe a brief summary of the book?

Spencer: Well, we all have the choice to do what we want. When we have negative thoughts in our head, we have the choice to act or not act on those thoughts. The book is about an evil soul that enters the body and makes you act on any negative thought you may have. So, if you’re frustrated and you have your kid in your arms and they won’t stop crying. You might think, ‘What if I slam it on the ground?’” With the evil soul, you would do it even if you didn’t want to. As I was saying, in the book, you have no control over free will. It’s about people having negative thoughts. The two main characters have to figure out how to stop this evil source. It’s basically about trying to point out to people that thoughts become your actions, so watch what you think and you will probably do better with your life.

Reminder Publications: What was your inspiration for the novel?

Spencer: Sometimes, I have little negative thoughts here and there – and, we all do. Sometimes we’re going through tough times. So, I was thinking, maybe if you keep more of a positive mind-frame, it would make things easier for you to be less stressed. If you’re always thinking about how everything is out of control, it can make you anxious. If you can find the good in everything that happens, it might help. So that’s how I was inspired to write this book. The main character is a very humble man and he learned how to control his thoughts after he lost his wife. Her death made him negative, and he didn’t want to believe in God. Eventually, he trained himself to only have positive thoughts and not have negative thoughts. The book has even helped me to think more clearly and realize that most situations aren’t the end of the world.

Reminder Publications: Is this a first effort for you, or have you written other books?

Spencer: This was the first book I ever wrote, but I have 11 others that haven’t been published. I will be working on a second one to come out in a few months. The only other book I had published was called “Ruins of Faith”’ but it is no longer available. Hopefully it will be coming out again, but under a better publisher.

Reminder Publications: How long was the process from the time you came up with the storyline for “Absence of Will,” to its actual publication?

Spencer: It was pretty rocky at first because I came out with the book eight years ago – maybe a little longer than that. I had it published with a publisher that basically writ me off, so I ended up cancelling the contract before they could do anything. So, for a few years, I didn’t trust any publishers and went through a couple different stages. Finally it was published in March with Dorrance.

Reminder Publications: What was the most challenging part about creating this book?

Spencer: The most challenging this for me, personally, was publishing. You never know who you’re dealing with. People are always out there trying to rip you off. Reminder?Publications: What was the most rewarding aspect? Spencer: Nothing felt more rewarding than seeing it done and actually having it available in stores. It was also rewarding to get feedback from people who read the book. So far, the feedback has been good – but, that could easily be biased because its only been from people that I know.

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