By Dwight Hobbes
Shelley Halima, brilliantly gifted novelist (Blinding Mirror, Los Morenos, Azucar Moreno), has turned ingeniously astute entrepreneur with her flourishing company Indie Gypsy (www.indiegypsy.com).
Blinding Mirror(Indie Gypsy Publications), lyrically crafted, is a dark foray into just how ruthless one can be when it comes to clawing one’s way out of a ghetto as far into a fabulously moneyed life as one’s wiles determinedly can realize. Oliva Magdalena Delgado, born to the brutal, penniless household of a whorish mother and her slob of a man, catches a break that she shrewdly turns in a windfall. However, in escaping her environment to climb the proverbial ladder, Oliva pays an inevitable price.
Inexorably, she effects the transition from a hopeful young woman to a heartless, conniving female capable of damned near anything to not first survive, then relentlessly prevail.
Los Morenos, while not as tight as Blinding Mirror or Azucar Moreno, rings with the light-hearted laughter of an aspiring actor’s misadventures as she traverses the magical land of L.A. Azucar Moreno, Halima’s hilarious yet heartbreaking debut deftly renders blue-collar reality universal. Wondrously colorful characters culled from the world of workaday grit leave you laughing all over yourself while having to shed a tear or two.
Halima capitalized on surging momentum, segued from prevailing as a literary upstart to launching a primed, audience-ready online presence. First things first, she’d decided that placing her novels with publishers — the groundswell success of Azucar Moreno completely withstanding — wasn’t how she wanted go. So, Blinding Mirror came out under Halima’s imprint. And sold well.
The book’s now available at, among other mainstream outlets, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords.com and Amazon.com. Doing brisk business. Self-sufficiency got good to her, spurring a profitable cottage industry. Indie Gypsy sensibly heeds a popular call, handsomely — image, indeed, is all on the Internet — with airtight visuals, content smartly designed to lure one into departing with dollar for, in particular, sharp t-shirts with sayings that leave you rocked to your socks. Including a chuckalicious one about “Sexy Nerd.”
Newest at Indie Gypsy Publications: IGP accept submissions to the forthcoming anthology, Stories in the Key of Erotica, through June 15. Guidelines per the website: Subject matter must pertain to “…where the worlds of music and erotica come together in sensual harmony. It can be a story about a musician, producer, singer or even music teacher, as long as music plays a part in the story. We’re looking for strong characters and storylines not just sex scenes. GLBT stories are welcome.” No rape or incest scenarios.
Email to [email protected] Include a brief synopsis and bio. For land mail: Indie Gypsy, Attn: Submissions, P.O. Box 51100, Livonia, MI 48151. Stories should be double-spaced, one-inch margins, 3,000-8,000 words. “Simultaneous submissions are fine, but please let us know if your story has been accepted elsewhere.”
Hardly a stretch to say Shelley Halima has, to quote the old saw, come a long way, baby. Deservedly.
Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.