Friday, December 9, 2011

Real by Shelley Malcom

 First-time author Shelley Malcolm announces the Second Edition of her non-fiction book, “Real,” now available in hardcover. Malcolm delivers a remarkable work of inspiration with 60 biographical stories, each illustrated by a captivating photo by professional photographer Terilee Dawn Ouimette. The stories are deeply revealing, while the photos are anonymous, focusing only on each subject’s hands. Research for the coffee table-style book was accomplished through a series of interviews and photo shoots, with subjects ranging from adolescent to elderly, from former gangster to humble homeless, international refugee to hero-housewife, from pro athlete to Hollywood celebrity.

Focusing on her subjects’ hands instead of their faces allows Malcolm’s subjects to share more freely about their lives, tragedies, hopes, dreams, loves, and toils. Ouimette displays an uncanny ability to capture each character’s essence on film by depicting one of more sets of hands at work, at play, giving or receiving help. The result shows the genius of the project, the use of anonymity displaying a greater level of intimacy and vulnerability than might have been possible by any other means.

Malcolm states that her inspiration for the book came from a dream with similar images, revealing the beauty in imperfections in a person’s hands. “The hand image is made beautiful by the life behind it,” she explains. “More anonymous than a face or even eyes which show identity and emotion, our hands portray our work, our affection, scars…even our mistakes.”

According to photographer Ouimette, “People can feel even more connected to photographs of hands than faces. There is a little bit of mystery to each one – allowing the reader to visually connect with the inspiring story.” Confronting the importance of status and beauty in our society, “Real” honestly unveils the life stories of remarkable individuals through moving images and stories that range from tragic to
hopeful to triumphant.

Originally published in March 2011, the book has been popular among widely diverse groups including youth and teens, women, parents and grandparents, men between the ages of 35 –65, craftsmen, surgeons, hand, massage and physical therapists and many others.

Each story in this book is a REAL inspiration.  When the book came in the mail my art enthusiastic teenage daughter made comment of it being so uck!  But then she opened the book and started reading the short one page stories and she was hooked so don't judge a book by its cover.  The stories are beautiful and the pictures make them become REAL when you know the story behind the hands. Hands aren't always attractive but the stories they can tell speak volumes if they could.  This is a good book to lay out on the coffee table and pick it up and read it when you just have 2-3 minutes of inspirational time.

You may want to check out the notecards that are available for purchase here

proceeds from Real go to various charities click here for more information concerning this

Link to buy the book

While “Real” is her first published book, Malcolm is no stranger to creative projects, as coowner and restorer of an historic chapel, La Perla del Mar in Shell Beach, CA, and a set designer for theater and film. Shelley Malcolm was named Pismo Beach’s Citizen of the Year in 2011 for her extensive contributions and involvement in the community. Proceeds from the book benefit the author’s favorite charities. Shelley Malcolm graduated from University of Southern California with a degree in dental hygiene. Shelley Malcolm resides in Shell Beach, California with her husband, Doug. Shelley has four adult children. Her interests include painting, drawing, sculpting, building, playing piano and other musical instruments, outdoor activities including hiking, ocean kayaking, running, water and snow-skiing, international travel, sewing, reading, writing and others. For more information, please visit or

Thank you so much for stopping by my site today, Shelley. Your book Real is gorgeous. What prompted you to start this project?

Inspiration from a dream of similar images, that revealed the beauty in imperfections... the hand image is made beautiful by the life behind it, and it is a body part that is impossible to enhance or fake.

Is that why you chose the hands to symbolize a life lived?

The hand is more anonymous than a face or even eyes which show identity and emotion. Also, they portray our work, our affection, our worry, scars, and even our mistakes...

What is unique about Real?

I believe the concept is unique, the layout is different, and it feels like reading a yearbook or
journal. It can easily serve as a devotional and it appeals to a widespread audience.

What do you hope the reader takes away after reading Real?

The simple pleasure of reading it, and more so, an appreciation of the beauty of authenticity of others or their own, and the "perfect plan of diversity". You can read more about this in my article on diversity located here. Pg. 35

With Christmas coming up, why would Real make a great gift for anyone on your gift list?

Real is artistically beautiful, gentle and inspiring, and can be enjoyed by men or women of all ages. It is easy for all to relate to and feel comfortable with. The subject matter feels familiar, even though it’s new, and readers always relate and have something to say about their hands or their story. Real stimulates memories and discussion and has even been used in several ways: a memorial, a devotional, as a hostess gift, and other gifts of course.

About the photographer:
Terilee Dawn Ouimette specializes in photographing weddings, families and newborns through her business, Terilee Dawn Photography. Ouimette’s love of photography began with a gift of her first camera at the age of eight. Her collaboration on the book “Real” with author Shelley Malcolm represents the first published book for both women. Terilee Dawn resides in Shell Beach, California with her  husband and the couple’s newborn son, Grayson. Ouimette’s hobbies include art, photography, crafting, reading, and travel. For more information about her work please visit

A copy of this book was provided for this tour by...
Join the Flock! LitFuse Publicity Group blogger



Donna McDine said...

Terrific review and interview. Truly inspiring.

Award-winning Children’s Author
The Golden Pathway Story book Blog

shelley said...

Thank you so much for the kind words and encouragement! Wishing you the best of the Christmas season. We are gathering tonight at a local venue in our village where several of the people featured in REAL's pages will be on hand to sign their photos! Feels like family! Blessings, Shelley