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Songwriter draws inspiration from books she reads

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Getting a chance to leave the Bay Area is a treat for Shelby Lanterman.

Songwriter Shelby Lanterman is touring in support of her debut album, "Paper Thin."

Songwriter Shelby Lanterman is touring in support of her debut album, “Paper Thin.”

“I’m known in the area, and it’s great,” she says during a recent phone interview. “But I enjoy getting out across the country and performing. I like to play to new audiences and see their reaction to my music. It’s thrilling.”

Lanterman, who’s based in the San Francisco Bay Area, recently released her debut full-length album, “Paper Thin.”

After the album was released in September, she embarked on a nationwide tour in support of it.

“I went to almost every state,” she says. “I’ve also developed quite a good following in New Mexico.”

Lanterman will perform two shows – one in Rio Rancho and one in Roswell.

As far as the album goes, Lanterman says she has an unconventional way of writing.

“I don’t draw from personal experiences,” she says. “I am a huge bookworm. My songs come from the books I read. I develop the stories in my head, and the songs almost play out like movies. It’s interesting to me, and it’s really comfortable.”

Lanterman said that after she recorded the songs for the album, she did little editing of them.

“I wanted it to showcase the way I sing it live,” she says. “I didn’t want all the bells and whistles done after. I wanted it to be pure and simple. The songs represent me, and I’m very happy for that.”

Lanterman’s road in music has had a few bends in it.

She began singing as a child in youth choirs and enjoyed performing on stage.

“I wanted to be an actress,” she says.

That was until she was 12 years old and picked up the guitar. Her course quickly changed, though she would still be on stage.

“When I learned to play a complete song is when I was certain I would be a musician,” she says. “I thought to myself, ‘You can do this.’ ”

Although her album has been out less than six months, Lanterman has already written seven tracks for her next album.

“I like to keep busy,” she says with a laugh. “This is my job, and I want to keep moving forward. I want to travel all over and perform my music. I’m living my dream right now.”