Author Features

MEET: Shanora Williams author of “The Wife Before”

Shanora began self-publishing in 2012 and first landed on the NYT bestseller list when she was 19.

Last Updated on May 18, 2023 by BiblioLifestyle

Shanora Williams - The Wife Before
The Wife Before by Shanora Williams

What was the last book that you read that you’d now recommend?

An Honest Lie by Tarryn Fisher. Super twisty and super good.

Have you read any classics lately that you were reading for the first time?

I haven’t recently, but I am still waiting on my chance to read Rebecca.

Do you re-read books? And if yes, what was your last re-read?

I don’t re-read often.

What are your go-to genres?

Thriller, Suspense, and sometimes a little realistic-ish fantasy. (Is there a genre for that?)

What is your favorite childhood book?

Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See was my all-time favorite!

What books are on your bedside table right now?

The Wife Before (by me – I keep it there just to admire the cover.)

A Bible.

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (even though I read that months ago and loved it!)

Do you bookmark or dogear your page in a book?


What is your ideal reading setting?

It can be complete chaos. Just as long as no one talks to me while I’m reading or tries to have a convo, I’m good.

Tell us about your favorite indie bookstore?

Urban Reader Bookstore is located near me. I went once and can’t wait to return. There is a great selection of diverse books there.

Urban Reader Bookstore

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

In 7th grade, I ended up getting into a fight with someone on my bus because they’d been bothering me for weeks and I suppose I was fed up with her. (I had a lot of pent-up anger/frustration as well. Just a moody teen with everyday issues). Well, it wasn’t like me to get into fights and my school staff knew it. I remember very clearly the assistant principal asking me why I’d retaliated and I couldn’t say the words because I was too emotional at the moment, so instead, she made me write her a letter explaining. My letter revealed so much to her that she accepted it with grace and I didn’t get suspended. She simply switched buses. I realized then that I could write whatever I’m feeling better than I can say it, and that in itself is powerful.

What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

Going to be honest, I had to google this because I had no idea what it meant. LOL. I’ve gone to Las Vegas recently and I plan on writing a story set there. (not sure what genre yet though.)

Where do you get most of your writing and editing done?

Definitely at home.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

I’m energized when I’m invested in a story. I’m exhausted when I go through the rewrite process and try to figure out what to keep and get rid of, enhance, etc.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Oh — too many. I want to say there are well over 15 of them.

Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

I do. When I first started writing and read reviews, I sobbed my poor little heart out. My husband will tell you I soaked the pillows daily with tears. But as years have passed, reading the constructive reviews and even some of the thorough bad reviews has only strengthened me. I’ve grown much thicker skin so they don’t really bother me anymore. No two people will ever absorb a story the same way, but it’s nice to know the areas where I lack and where I can strengthen myself.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

My answer is: Always keep going, no matter what. Focus on yourself, and keep going.

When you’re not reading or writing, what are you doing?

So, I’ve gotten into candle-making during my free time. That’s been fun. LOL. I launch them with my sister on Etsy under The Homebody Collection!

What are your three favorite things right now?

My family, chocolate chip cookies, and books.

Your favorite travel destination and why?

Hmm… there are many places I haven’t seen that I’m sure would make great experiences so I can’t exactly list a favorite yet.

What’s your favorite meal and go-to drink order?

Oh my gosh – don’t get me started on food! Panera Bread has a chipotle and avocado melt sandwich that I LOVE! I get that with an agave lemonade and a brownie and I’m one happy girl.

meet author Shanora Williams

What six people, living or dead, would you invite to dinner a party?

Jordan Peele, Rihanna, Childish Gambino, Snoop Dogg, Maya Angelou, Dermot Kennedy.

If a movie was made of your life, what genre would it be, who would play you?

It would most likely be a dramedy! I’m not sure who would play me…maybe Keke Palmer! I like her realness and sass.

What’s the last TV show or movie you watched that was really good?

Fresh on Hulu. Such a different vibe, but it kept me hooked!

You have to sing karaoke; what song do you pick?

Diamonds by Rihanna.

If you were being taken to a deserted island and could only bring one book, what would it be?

Would an anthology of a bunch of books count??

The Wife Before by Shanora Williams, The Perfect Ruin by Shanora Williams

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