Studio Feature: Shelby Bach
Shelby Bach is living her happily ever after. Since second grade, Shelby dreamed about becoming a writer. She wrote about princesses rescuing kingdoms, aliens taking over the world, rock bands with secret pasts, and unicorns that could turn into humans. “By the time I was 20,” the Portland, Oregon-based writer says, “I’d written seven books, which I now call my ‘practice’ novels.”
She calls them practice novels because she’s learned a lot since then. Like, in order to write good dialogue, a writer needs to be a good listener. And she discovered how important editing is to the writing process. “In college, one professor taught me that to really make my writing shine, I needed to read every single page out loud and take out all the words and sentences that weren’t necessary.”
On The Studio, Shelby shows you how to “retell” a fairy tale. Her book series, The Ever Afters, is full of them. “They’re all a little different than the versions you grew up reading,” she explains. “For one thing, these fairy tales take place in the modern world, where princesses, dragons, and magic swords are hard to find. Stories like these—taking an older version of a story and making it a little different—are usually called retellings.” Don’t miss Shelby’s five steps for re-imagining your fairy tale, find out why she tells stories, and how she became the writer she is today.