Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Interview with Sally Shields, author of The Daughter-in-Law Rules and publicity specialist

Hi all. For a change of pace, I've interviewed my friend Sally, a local author and publicity specialist. I even designed the header on her blog so take a look. Sally wrote a self-help book called The Daughter-in-law Rules and it went on to become an Amazon best-seller. You can visit Sally on her blog at >

Q: What is the concept behind the DIL Rules and how did you arrive at that name?

Sally Shields: The Daughter-in-Law Rules is based on the 7th spiritual law of success, which is: the quickest way to get what you want is to help others get what they want. By that I mean, be a loving, kind-hearted, sensitive person, and the world will reflect that back to you, even in the form of your mother-in-law! I loved that book The Rules: Time Tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right. I patterned the Daughter-in-Law Rules on that book.

Q: What motivated you to write the DIL Rules?

SS: Like a lot of women, I got married and got a mother-in-law. But after a couple of years, I was left scratching my head, thinking, where is the manual for this?!!! I wrote to the ladies that wrote the bestselling book The Rules, and told them that since they helped all these women meet and marry the men of their dreams, they then needed to provide some advice on how to get along with the other woman in their man's life—his mom! These two authors told me it was the best idea they'd ever heard. I honestly just wanted some advice on the topic! "You should write it," they said. At first I thought they were crazy since the last thing I'd written was a term paper in high school English class! But, the gears started turning in my mind. So I started to jot down all the troublesome incidents that would pop into my head in regards to my MIL, and came up with a rule and a solution to deal with each and every one. When I put a few of these rules into practice (and saw that they actually worked) I thought maybe I could help save other young wives years of needless contention!

SS:Q: Have you published any other work that you've written?

SS: I have three music books; Modern Jazz Piano (Hal Leonard, 2004), The Pianist’s Jammin’ Handbook and A Baker’s Dozen: 13 Jazz Etudes for the Intermediate Sight-Reader. I've also written The Collaborator Rules: 101 Surefire Ways to Stay Friends with Your Co-Author as well as a poetry book called "A Pond Beneath the Moon.” And I’m currently working on two other books; The Million Dollar Author Club and Naturally Thin or Discipline? Insider Secrets of the Super-Slim.

Q: What makes you unique as an author?

SS:I am very focused on solving a problem in a very short period of time. I don't mind telling people what to do or how they should do it. Here's the Rule. Now do it. Sometimes people tell me that they don't want to do these rules because it seems like too much work. Then I give them the Dr. Phil answer which is, "Well, how's THAT workin' for ya?!!" These rules are problem-solution oriented so give them a try!

Q: What inspires your work?

SS: I love being creative and just coming up with stuff that I think will help people, or bring humor to a situation, while at the same time solving my own life's problems! My vision is now to create more harmony among mothers and daughters-in-law around the world while at the same time raising money for breast cancer. I am currently working with The Breast Cancer Research Foundation on a unique fundraising idea with Estee Lauder, who also supports breast cancer.

Q: Has your book been featured in any national publications or on television?

SS: Yes! I've been in Star Magazine, Girlfriendz, For the Bride, and Obvious Magazine. I've appeared twice on the nationally syndicated The Daily Buzz, Fox & Friends, Rachel Ray, Tyra Banks,, as well as having appeared on Martha Stewart Whole Living Radio . As well, The DIL Rules was recommended as Book of the Week by Dr. Laura Schelssinger.

Q: Are you self-published or through a publishing house?

SS: I started off self-publishing with Outskirts Press, a print on demand company, but have re-released The DIL Rules under my own imprint, Safflower Publishing Inc. with a new cover, subtitle, foreword, interior design and illustrations, and am working on a DIL Rules board game and calendar.

Q: Who or what personally inspires you to push forth with your career?

SS: I've been a musician ever since I was a kid, and I just get a lot of energy from performing, speaking, being out there in the media and expressing my ideas in my unique way fuels and motivates me forward.

Q: Have your book sales been positively/negatively affected by the financial changes in the country and if so how you come up with ways to divert from it (if negative)?

SS: I notice that the more radio and TV appearances I do, I can keep the sales up. It seems to be more about continually letting people know about the book that makes more of a difference than the financial state of affairs. It would be fun to compare current sales to what it will be like when Obama whips this country back in shape eventually! :-)

Q: Do you have any events coming up that people should know about or book tours?

SS: As I have 2 small kids, I have been doing virtual book tours from home and doing national radio tours via telephone. I do some local book signings here in New York, and I speak at various events such as the ASJA, and the Catholic Writers Event asks me to speak at their events. I also do a weekly radio show called Blurb! that is a book contest for authors. For more information on how authors can apply to be on the show, check out As well, the head of the African Women’s Business Network has purchased the foreign rights to the DIL Rules and she has invited me over to speak in Lagos Nigeria sometime in 2010.

Q: What advice would you have for young entrepreneurs and authors?

SS: I would say keep it fun, because otherwise all those hours you put in wouldn't make any sense! And remember that there are only two elements that you need to succeed in any endeavor: a passion for your topic and a sincere desire to help people.

Q: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

SS: I see myself with my own reality show, as a Daughter-in-Law Rules seminar leader, a speaker at Bridal events, fundraiser and spokesperson for Breast Cancer fundraising, and continuing to partner with corporations such as Macys, David's Bridal 1-800-flowers, Estee Lauder, and Martha Stewart Weddings.

Q: Any final words of wisdom?

SS: Never give up on your dreams. You don't have to know the how, but focus on the why. Don't set limits and reach for the sky. Do positive affirmations morning and evening, and you will see your thoughts transform into things. You can manifest your desires by focusing on the things that you want. Don't give up because it takes a while for the universe to prepare the meal that you've ordered, but know that it is in the oven back there so make sure you don't leave the restaurant!

Thanks, Sally, for joining us today and for the great information. Readers, here's your chance to get some personal advice from Sally—about getting along with your daughter-in-law, marketing your own book, living your dream. Just click on the "comment" line below and let us hear from you.


  1. I just love the great interviews on this blog! Thanks Lisa - again...

    And thank you Sally for your insights

  2. You're welcome, Christine. More to come!

  3. Resonating thoughts, Sally. Especially the daily affirmations and keeping the dream alive.

  4. Saw your note on FB Sally and wanted to stop by and say Hi and nice job on the interview both of you!

  5. Wow awesome interview!

    Lisa, I have nominated you for a blog award!

  6. GREAT "novel" idea. :-) Thanks for another interesting interview, lis!

  7. Great interview!! Thanks for stopping by Book Dreaming. ;-)

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