Sheleila R. D’Paiva was born in Mumbai, India in 1988, and migrated with her family to Perth, Australia in 1992. She attended Curtin University to obtain her degree in commerce, where a semester abroad in Wilmington, North Carolina, had her wanting to see more. After she graduated, she worked in accountancy only to find herself counting down the days until her next adventure. It wasn’t until Sheleila quit her well respected job to travel and work abroad that she delved into the world of writing, blogging about how she travelled on a budget. Her experiences throughout this trip, and difficulties she encountered or witnessed, inspired her first novel, STRAYED LOVE – the story of a woman who craved more in life, and her journey of finding it.
Can you give us an overview of what you do?
I work full time as an analyst for the bank, and spend the rest of my time writing novels that revolve around travel.
What inspired you to start this venture?
My writing originally began as a blog to track my journey as I left Perth to travel around the world. Being an accountant, I never really cultivated this creative side of mine and found how much I loved to write. As I tracked my journey, it evolved into showing people how I was able to travel at low costs, mostly because I always heard people wanted to travel but didn’t have the money. As I reflected on why I was writing my blog, and my own journey, I wanted to take it a step further and explore all the different emotions and experiences we have to face – not just by leaving home to travel – but taking a leap of faith and pursuing things outside of societies 9-5 ‘norm’.
Tell us about the book?
“Strayed Love” follows Kate’s journey as she starts questioning her daily routine and ends up leaving her hometown to travel to Iceland, England, Scotland and Hawaii. The novel delves into societies expectations, relationships and self belief – the good, and the bad.
Do you have any advice for people wanting to write a book?
Procrastination will always be the killer of dreams. If you need a little perspective, listen to “The War of Art” – Steven Pressfield.
What was your initial marketing strategy and how has it changed (if at all)?
Initially, I was just going to upload it to Amazon and hope for the best. The closer I got to it being finished, the more I wanted to have it out in the public and looked for a weekend market to have it at – alas, they were all closing for winter. An add popped up for the Every Woman Expo, so I decided to do it then – over 3 days. Since then, it’s been collecting emails and getting more followers for my blog to create more awareness for when the sequel is released.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Unfortunately (for the bank), not working as an analyst. I will have the flexibility to travel and continue writing novels that inspire others to do the same.
What is your favourite thing to do when you’re not writing?
I love to travel, so besides that, definitely meeting new people and hearing their stories – everyone has something special and unique to share.
Where is the one place you would like to travel to that you haven’t visited yet?
This changes on a daily basis, but right now it’s Mauritius.