Wahoo! I’m glad you’re here.
What better way to take you through the “About” page then give you a history of how this whole site started. Right?
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My Early History:
I am from Asheville, NC and am a proud Southern gal. I love this country, great food, music and I wake up happy.
I come from a broken home. After my parents divorced when I was three, I went to live with my bio dad, his new wife and her two kids. I had instant family with an older brother and sister that I loved!
My dad was not the greatest though and we all lived through some tough times filled with domestic violence and child sexual abuse.
I was removed from the home with my step-sister when I was eight and she was three. We went into a foster care home since my dad had fought for and won full custody. It wasn’t just a simple “move me back to Mama’s house” since she had to go through the court process too. Yuk.
I moved back with my mom when I was eight and began my creative life!
I was a mime at the mall. Yes, I was a mime and quite good at it too!
My mom encouraged me to channel my feelings and creativity into writing and boy did I. I entered and won many writing contests and excelled in school.
Mom had a habit of getting married so we moved quite a bit and after one trip across the country via North Carolina, South Carolina, and one brief stint in Missouri, we ended up in California.
Mom had my astrology chart done then – I was fourteen. The astrologer told us that modeling would be very lucrative for me. So we went to open calls.
I got signed immediately by Nina Blanchard in LA, who loved my look, just hated my teeth. As luck aka life would have it, I was in a car accident that paid for braces (since we didn’t have money for them) and bam – I had beautiful straight teeth.
My career in fashion began. My first modeling job was in Seventeen Magazine.
I moved from Los Angeles to New York City at the age of seventeen, then lived in Paris and Milan.
I was a fit model in New York for Bill Blass and loved working with him.
I moved to Paris at 19 and traveled Europe modeling, with Paris as my base.
While living in Paris I began writing a book called Tumbleweeds about my adventures with my mom and her marriages.
I lived in Milan, Italy where I worked for designers like Giorgio Armani and graced the pages of many Italian fashion magazines. I also fell in love with Italian food.
After getting a ‘book’ together as they say in fashion, I returned to New York and became a catalog queen.
I have worn polyester in all the major catalogs from Bloomingdales to Target, and had a blast doing it.
While still in NY, I bridged into acting at twenty-one and booked the lead in Gavin O’Connor’s first film, Comfortably Numb.
Gavin read the book I had written in Paris and wanted to make a movie out of it. We worked together on the screenplay. I wrote the female parts and we worked on most of the male parts.
My first novel was then turned into the film Tumbleweeds.
The movie won the filmmaker’s trophy at the Sundance Film Festival and brought the lead actress, Janet McTeer, an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe win.
I moved back to Los Angeles in 1996 to pursue acting and writing.
I was hired to write screenplays and teleplays for Showtime, Sony Classics and Canal + and am very proud to have received outstanding reviews for my adaptation of Kaye Gibbon’s novel Charms for the Easy Life for Showtime starring Gena Rowlands and Mimi Rogers.
…The real charm here isn’t the rabbit’s food but the work of Angela Shelton, who turned the historic novel by Kaye Gibbons into a witty and engaging teleplay filled with sparkle, the right amount of sentimentality and some truly memorable performances. Hollywood Reporter
Then all hell broke loose…
Searching for Angela Shelton
At the time I was going on meetings, pitching other movies and was asked if I had any ideas for a documentary…
That’s when the multi-award winning documentary Searching for Angela Shelton, was born that led to appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, 48 Hours Investigates, NPR, Lifetime Television and the cover of the New York Times.
I was NOT expecting where that film led me.
I thought it was going to be funny and I’d do a quick practice in directing so I could come home and get to work on my darker comedies.
Well… little did I know that making that movie would change my life forever.
I wrote the full story in Finding Angela Shelton, Recovered: a true story of triumph after abuse, neglect and violence about how making the documentary changed my life forever.
Cliff Notes version: I was interviewing women across the country and making that daunting task a tad easier by only talking to women who shared my name. I asked them the broad questions of Who are you? Where did you come from? and Where are you going?
What I was not expecting to learn was that 70% of the women I interviewed had been victims of child sexual abuse, rape and/or domestic violence.
Then the story of my dad came up and we shared more. THEN I called an Angela Shelton who was tracking sexual predators and lived in the SAME town as my bio dad. Talk about a wha wha what??
As my crew and I got closer and closer to that Angela – my cameraman pointed out that we would be arriving on Father’s Day. Yep, we arrived on Father’s Day to my bio-dad’s town to talk to a woman who shared my name who was tracking sexual predators.
As I writer – I couldn’t write that!
So on a Sunday, as my dad was leaving for church, I confronted him on camera (with the other Angela in the RV in her bullet-proof vest) and what I got was – a whole lot of nothing. It was the other Angela Sheltons who inspired me the most and altered my life’s course – or set it on course depending on how you look at it!
Life After Searching…
After I got back to LA and was editing the film (I went through two editors before trashing both films and editing the whole thing from scratch myself) I faced so many hurdles during that whole process that I could write a book – WAIT – I did. I wrote about all of it in Finding Angela Shelton.
As I was editing the documentary, facing my own past as a victim of abuse, meeting 1000s of others who were victims too – I booked an acting job.
To date it is my most favorite job I’ve ever had because it has all the elements I LOVE – comedy, helping kids and making people aware of issues while being down right entertaining. I also won an Emmy for it. Sweet!
Traveling and Teaching
I had met way too many survivors and was far too inspired by people who had moved through all that crap and were living happily that I could not sit in LA and write screenplays about a whole lot of nothing.
So I went on the road, meeting more people in the trauma and recovery movement and traveled the world speaking to various audiences about the epidemic of abuse.
I spoke in Congress, universities, military bases, high schools, elementary schools, community centers, conferences and seminars nationwide and abroad.
During those years I was determined to heal all my own crap so I went and found every possible healing technique I could find and tried it.
I began sharing ways I had personally moved on and those shares ended up helping thousands of people find their paths to healing.
My humor did not leave me either. In the beginning of my LA days I used humor to hide a lot. But after “Searching” (there is life before Searching and life after Searching), I use humor to heal.
Workbooks and Programs:
Using what I had learned while on the road, along with my writing background, I created the Healing Workbook which became more popular than the documentary.
Seeing how many male survivors there are in the world, I made sure to create one for both genders to give some much needed respect to the men who go through all that crap too.
Back to Writing:
One of my lifelong dreams was to live in a barn house in the country and write books while being married to my true love with little ones and a bunch of critters like goats, chickens and dogs running around. I am Southern, ya know…
Well lo and behold, as Facebook would have it, I was reconnected with my first love from when we were 15 in San Diego. (he refuses to be on FB, but our mutual friend was).
He had left California (too many cars and taxes) and moved to the country on the east coast. I never thought I’d leave LA, but fell back in love and had the opportunity to fulfill my dreams – bonus – so I asked my writing manager if I might as well die in Hollywood if I left the city. She assured me that Skype was a meeting savior. So, I packed up and moved back to the mountain range I was born in.
To fulfill my dream of a book series, I began The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton - a fantasy series about magical hats with a bonus vocabulary builder.
I believe kids are WAY smarter than many adults give them credit for and I want to challenge their minds instead of dumbing them down.
Tilda Pinkerton is filled with lots of life lessons and is written to expand the heart, mind and vocabulary. It even has gorgeous footnotes throughout the book (I know – Footnotes!) with wild and rare words to totally twist up your tongue.
It is written for precocious 9-12 year olds and the biggest buyers are women 50 and up!
For Younger Readers:
After years of helping people who work in trauma and recovery, I wanted to branch out and help teachers too.
So, I wrote a series of Tilda Pinkerton chapter books for younger readers (K-3) following the same character once she gets to Earth.
The smaller book series has an interactive smart board friendly website to go along with it for teachers to use in their classrooms.
Folkmanis puppets sponsored the books so there will be 344 puppet videos to teach the definitions of the larger words.
The bigger books tell the stories of where Tilda Pinkerton came from and how she got to Earth.
The smaller books follow her once she makes it to Earth.
My mom kept sending me the funniest (and I mean HILARIOUS) emails so I published them in a book – Emails from My Mom, too Funny Not to Forward. They are a hoot, especially when you read them out loud in your best Southern accent. Check out her blog.
I still have that original book I wrote in Paris, Tumbleweeds, that the movie was based on. I put it down after we make the movie because frankly, I was sick of talking about my mom and wanted to give her a break. I’ve had so many requests for it, I may slide it to the center of my desk.
I have some books about my modeling days too. They cover stories like the time I was almost kidnapped in Casablanca. My life could be a series, I tell ya. So, I’m writing them!
MOVIES and TV SHOWS:
After being hired all those years ago in Hollywood (life before Searching) I am back to writing scripts for the big and small screens. I promise I will update my list about it – Sign Up for my personal updates!
I have books under a different name coming out too. Why a pseudonym? Well, I have a few stories (from modeling days) that are pretty gosh darn naughty, tell-all and very snarky. I would not really be appropriate for Angela Shelton to be on those books AND on the Tilda Pinkerton series.
So, my healing work and my children’s book are all clean (although I do sayStop Raping Kids, Go F Yourself on stage!), while my other books are for my mature lady friends!
True to my mission, there are valuable lessons in the stories about how to avoid psychos, protect yourself and be empowered.
Want to know about them? Shhhhh (go here).
I blog about ways to live happily ever after, no matter what you’ve been through.
I love inspiring people and I’m always working on some kind of project and writing a book or script.
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