I was married forty-two years when my husband Bob passed away from cancer. We were both saved as young children and raised in the same church. We started dating in our early twenties and were later married in 1961 in our lovely small church in Willowdale, Ontario.
God gave us three wonderful children, two sons and a daughter, in the next eight years. I have seven wonderful grandchildren, five of them married now, and three great-grandsons. I have two amazing step-grandsons, one married with four lovely children. I have been specially blessed with every one of them and love them dearly.
My first position was a girl Friday for a department store buyer, and this included many interesting jobs, one of them doing display work and modelling for fashion shows, which I loved. Later I went to work for the Telegram Publishing Company for several years. I started by taking death notices and then went on to the women’s page. I left when I got married and moved away.
I then wrote for the local newspaper in Richmond Hill, writing everything from the gossip column to religious items. I began speaking in churches. I wrote special stories for adult Christmas and Easter plays, and they were used very successfully.
My heart was always full of imagination, for I had longed to write ever since I was young. My husband worked for IBM, and over the years we moved so many times that unfortunately much of my writing became lost. For a writer, the invention of home computers was a wonder.
I continued writing, though, and only after my husband’s bout with cancer and his passing did I have time to take it seriously. I then began to write novels. I have written several mystery books—all exciting, with a touch of laughter, and once and in a while a tear. They are about ordinary people who get into interesting predicaments. Ghosts of the Past & Murder will be my first published book.
My other passion is painting with oils. There is a part of me in every bit of paint that goes on the canvas. I am partial to water and streams, and trees and nature, as God has put it all together in perfection. My paintings have been very successful. I am so thankful to God, for what talent I have comes from Him.
Q: Where do you get your characters’ names from?
A: From my telephone book. I love to use last names as first names. Cameron, Benson, Carrington, etc. I also love biblical names.
Q: Are any of your characters drawn from real life?
A: Yes, but none based especially on people I know. It could be someone I see on the street, someone who catches my interest, or people in general who have something special that I find intriguing.
Q: How do you choose the settings in your books?
A: Most take place in communities where I have lived or stayed for some time. I do sometimes change the names so as not to upset people who may live there. And yet I love to read books where I recognize the places and street names.
Q: Why do you love to write?
A: I’m not sure how to explain my love for writing. I’ve always had a great imagination, and writing allows me a chance to use it. As fast as one idea comes to mind, a second is always there. The act of writing somehow releases emotion that is waiting inside me to be released.
Q: Do you have any plans for your next book?
A: I have several already written, yet I never stop. I just finished The Unknown Heir and Murder, and I have now started A Light in the Window and Murder. As long as Word Alive Press is interested in my writing, I hope these books will be published.
Q: What inspired you to write your first novel?
A: I have always been a very busy person, and writing has been a way for me to forget my troubles and relax. It takes my mind to places I could only dream of. After my husband passed away, I decided to put together my many of pages of writing into my first novel.
Q: How has your publishing experience been?
A: I both wanted to laugh and cry. Back in college, my English Writing professor would say, “Publishers want to kill your babies.” I thought that was a strange thing to say! But now I’ve became aware of what he meant. The editor suggested so many helpful changes. In my publishing coordinator, I found a wonderful lady who had so much patience with me. She was amazing. I have to admit, publishing was a whole new experience. All in all it has been wonderful and I am still learning.
Shirley Gloster is widowed with two sons, one daughter, and several grandchildren. Alongside her husband, Shirley and the family have moved many times, and her stories all take place in the different communities where they have lived. Shirley has worked as a newspaper reporter, written Sunday school curricula, and penned both Christmas and Easter plays. After her husband’s passing, she began work on a series of mystery novels, all of which contain surprise endings, a little romance, a laugh or two, and moments that will cause readers to shed a tear. In her spare time, she paints landscapes.