"On Small Town Girl, there are songs about going out having a good time. There are slower songs about getting your heart broken. It's a very intimate album--a song on there for everyone." ~ Kellie Pickler
Shelia Goss: How long have you been singing?
: I've always been singing. Music has always been a passion of mine. I always knew that this was what I wanted to do with my life, but had to figure out how to get to this point. When I auditioned for American Idol I had no idea that I would make it as far as I did. I made it to the top 6 and toured the country with the top 10, so it's been very exciting.
Shelia: Has everyone always been supportive?
There were some people who thought it was impossible to do. Some people told me I needed to go to school for something because I was living in a fantasy world. I knew I wouldn't be happy unless I was doing something I wanted to do.
Shelia: Regardless of what other people say, sometimes you have to follow your dreams.
I have to live with the decisions that I make. My grandfather went with me to the auditions. There was between 8500 to 10,000 other people there. It was very intimidating, but my grandfather said, "Kellie, what do you have to lose?"
I'm so glad I stuck in there. Sometimes your dreams are all you have and you should never doubt yourself. I think you should always go for your dreams. You can let the people who say you'll never make it, make you stronger
Shelia: Have you ever considered motivational speaking?
Absolutely. I used to speak in schools before I made it on Idol. I would give testimonial speeches. There are different things I've overcome in life.
I love to be a witness to other people. With the exposure I've gotten from Idol, I can have a bigger effect on people now.
Shelia: If you could compare yourself to other singers, who would it be and why?
I don't really compare myself to anyone else. I think being different makes you who you are. I don't want to be someone else. If I had to be compared to anyone, I would want to be compared to Dolly Parton. She's my Idol. I really admire her. She's an incredible singer, songwriter, performer and has the best personality. She can act. She's the whole package. I think years later, people will look at me and see some of her in me. I hope to follow in her footsteps.
Shelia: Have you met her yet?
Not yet, but hopefully I will. I've always wanted to write with her.
Shelia: When someone picks up your CD, what should they expect?
It's going to be like an open book in my life. I put a piece of my life in every song. It's very personal and honest. American Idol showcased some of my life but there are so much they didn't show. I co-wrote five of the songs--including Red High Heels. The songs are very personal to me.
Shelia: What's been one of the hardest obstacles you've faced recently?
Every since Idol, everything has been easy for me. There's a lot of hard work and dedication, time and preparation for putting an album together, but it's been all worth it. I'm having fun. I can't really complain about anything.
Shelia: Since American Idol, your life has been at a fast pace. How do you juggle your professional and personal life?
A few family members or friends might drive or fly out here to Nashville. This is my life now. Right now I'm paying my dues as a new country artist. I see my family when I can. They know this is my lifelong passion and dream. They are very supportive of me.
Shelia: Do you still keep in contact with other American Idol contestants?
Yes. We're all busy working on our own projects. We text each other and speak regularly.
Shelia: Do you plan on doing any acting -- like your idol Dolly Parton?
Absolutely. I've always been interested in TV and film; however right now I'm focusing on my album and establishing myself as a country artist. It's something I would look into doing in the future.
Shelia M Goss is an entertainment writer and National Bestselling author of My Invisible Husband and Roses are thorns, Violets are true. For a full bio, go to www.sheliagoss.com.