had the chance to chat with a talented author. So, without
further delay letís hear from the talented
Shelley Bradley/Shayla Black
Did you always know
that you wanted to be a writer? Did you have other plans for when
you grew up?
didnít know what I wanted to do, but it wasnít writing. In fact, I
grew up disliking reading. I know now that itís because Iím not
visually oriented and had to train my brain to read smoothly. I also
didnít really enjoy the books the schools had us read. It wasnít
until I discovered romances that I really started devouring books.
That happened my first semester in college. Iíve been a romance fan
Why do write under
two namesÖShelley Bradley and Shayla Black? Do you find it
difficult to balance the two?
No. Shelley writes sexy, adventurous romances
between a man and a woman that capture both heart and a little sense
of humor, like recent Samhain release A Perfect Match. Shayla, on
the other hand, is dark and somewhere between sexy and erotic
(depending on the book). Shayla books delve deeper into charactersí
psyches. My May 28 Elloraís Cave release DANGEROUS BOYS AND THEIR
TOY fits in that description. Itís a mťnage romance thatís all about
character. Thereís lots of sex, of course, but itís more than a
boinkfest. Shayla books also frequently stage bigger plots. My
upcoming paranormal romance, TEMPT ME WITH DARKNESS, comes out
August 26 and is the first in the Doomsday Brethren series.
Seriously huge plot with tons of character. Thereís a lot going on
in these books! The books penned under either name are just
different parts of me.
Tell us some of
your favoritesÖfoods, books, authors, movies, music, television, and
any others you would like to share.
Mexican food. I love the spice!
Oh, so many I donít know where to start! Favorite books include
LADY, The Bound Hearts series by Lora Leigh, The Matrix of Destiny
series by Dara Joy, TRIPLE PLAY by Rhyannon Byrd, The Black Dagger
Brotherhood books by JR Ward, MIDNIGHT MAN by Lisa Marie Rice,
FANTASY FIX by Christine Warren. I also have lots of Lisa Kleypas on
my keeper shelf. I know thereís
Movies: Sense & Sensibility, The Holiday, While You Were Sleeping,
JFK, Dangerous Liaisons, Speed, Bridget Jonesí
Diary, French Kiss, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban,
Strictly Ballroom, The Hunt For Red October.
TV: American Idol, Moonlight (very furious CBS cancelled it!),
Heroes, Dancing With The Stars. I try not to watch too much TV. Gets
in the way of finishing books!
musically schizophrenic! I tend toward alternative and rock, if I
had to pick genres. Iím
really enjoying bands like The Goo Goo Dolls, One Republic, Daughtry,
Hinder, Linkin Park, Three Days Grace, David Cook (yeah!)
You write in
several genres, do you have a favorite? Is there something that you
would like to try?
written in historical, contemporary, erotic and now paranormal.
I love something about each. Ideas come, depending on my mood and
inspiring me at the moment. Characters come to me in certain time
periods, places, and tones. When the book I write next is my choice,
I select whatever is eating me up the most inside at that moment.
Frequently, I must follow my deadlines, but itís
all good because every book I pitch, sell and write has special
meaning to me. I think now that Iíve
written in all the genres that interest me...but Iíll
never say never to trying something new.
Tell us what makes
have a few months? Iím a pretty complicated girlóat least my family
tells me that. I guess if I had to sum it up, Iím motivated by both
emotion and excellence. I have a passion for the stories and
characters I convey, and I am relentless about trying to write the
best book possible. Readers who use their time and hard-earned money
to purchase one of my books deserve to be entertained, so itís
always my goal to make them feel satisfied with their purchase. Itís
true that you canít please all readers all the time, but I always
believe that if you try your best, youíre more likely to please more
people. Other than that, I work hard, play hard and commit
Do you have a
writing schedule that you follow? Do you have a perfect writing
donít have a set schedule. I grab a lot of times around other
commitments. Iím more of a morning person than a night one, so when
I can write during my peak hours, I do. I enjoy the days when Iím
alone and the house is quiet. I can get very in the story and be
very productive. I donít need a perfect environment. I do need
music. Iím very auditory, and music helps me channel my creativity.
I also need a phone. I think out loud, and several of my friends
know Iíd be paralyzed without an occasional ear to bend. Other than
that, big screen, ergonomic chair, and Iím good.
What was the best
piece of advice you received when you were starting out? Do you
have any advice for aspiring writers?
give up. Tenacity is 90% of this business. Keep writing. Keep
submitting. The minute you stop knocking on doors is the minute you
lose all chance of selling. And it may be clichť, but read, read,
assume that what you like to read most is immediately what suits
your voice. Try a few different things and see what feels good to
you. Remember, your voice is what an editor is looking for. Tell the
story that only you can tell.
Do you enjoy
hearing from your readers and what is the best way to contact you?
Absolutely! I ADORE reader mail! Readers can contact me via the
contact form on my website:
also have a MySpace, which is
I also participate daily in general, fun discussions with the Wicked
Writers. To subscribe, send an email to
I also love to hear from readers who visit my blog. Iím always
giving away lots of goodies and excerpts there.
Some of your books
are connected. Do you enjoy writing connected stories? As a reader,
I know that I love them.
connected stories most. I put so much into my characters that I
canít walk away from them. For instance, Wicked Ties introduced
readers to our main characters, Jack and Morgan. It also introduced
Deke, and I heard from a ton of people who wanted his book. Decadent
released last OctoberÖand now people are clamoring for Luc. Even
characters Iíve introduced believing they are two-liner throwaway
characters received requests from readers. Sometimes they haunt me.
I try to oblige them as much as possible. The Doomsday Brethren
series is even more like this. Iíve created a group of guys that
amaze and thrill me. I canít wait to share them with readers!
How do you promote
not great at it, to be honest. I like posting online and doing
online chats because it gets me closest to interacting with readers.
Iím a people person, so anytime I can directly talk with people, Iím
happy. I also have a blog, a monthly newsletter and my Wicked
Writers chat group. I do a few ads here and there, but Iíve relied a
lot on word of mouth. I hear from readers frequently that a friend
recommended me to themóand thatís great. I would ten times rather
spend my time writing than doing ads. Iím just not pushy that way.
How would you spend
a perfect day if you could do anything at all?
my family. Dinner and movies on a warm spring day are great. If I
could work in a pedicure and a facial and still have some time to
write and spend a little time by the pool with a frozen drink in
hand and cool tunes blastingÖahhh!
When writing, do
you plan your story out before you start writing or do they develop
as you write?
extremely structured. My time to write is limited, so I plan as much
as possible in advance. That way, when I do get my time to write, I
stumble around and write stuff I can't
use. I dive immediately into the story and go. That's
not to say that minor events and my characters donít
occasionally rewrite the story in spots for me, but the overlying
premise, major events, and the charactersí
journeys tend to stay as I planned them. Iím
able to roll with the small changes, and they usually make for a
better book. The system works for me, but I know itís
not for everyone.
What do you think
is the most unusual thing about you?
husband tells me Iím just not your everyday person. My brain is
working ALL THE TIME. I sometimes suffer from insomnia because I
canít turn it off. I also met my hubby for the first time while
wearing a clown suit and carrying balloons. (We both worked at an
amusement park.) Itís pretty hard to top that for an odd first meetÖ
What does your
family think of your writing? Are they your biggest fans?
immediate family is totally on board. Iíve been writing since before
I got married. My munchkin has never known mommy who doesnít write.
My extended family is a bit bemused. I come from a long line of
achievers. In my family there are 2 CEOs, an Army general, a Mensa
member, a Harvard MBA, a Grammy winnerÖ Itís tough to compete in my
family. I think theyíre happy for me. Confused about when Iím going
to write the next Great American Novel, the kind that wins
Pulitzers, but Iím totally happy doing what Iím doing now. And
thatís good enough for them.
Is there anything
else you would like to share with us? Current or upcoming releases?
busy year for me and next year is shaping up to be more of the same.
Iím really excited about everything thatís going on. Hereís a quick
DANGEROUS BOYS AND THEIR TOY ~ Elloraís Cave ~ May 28
ME WITH DARKNESS ~ Pocket ~ Doomsday Brethren 1 ~ August 26
ME IN SHADOW ~ Pocket ~ Doomsday Brethren 2 ~ Oct. 2009
POSSESS ME AT MIDNIGHT ~ Pocket ~ Doomsday Brethren 3 ~ Nov. 2009
DELICIOUS (Info on Lucís book!) is coming soon. Will be a 2010
release, I think.
PEFECT MATCH ~ Samhain ~ May 13
LADY AND THE DRAGON (print) ~ Samhain ~ Sept. 30
PEEK Anthology (print) ~ Samhain ~ January 2009
AND DETERMINED (reissue) ~
~ March 2009
SEARCH (reissue) ~ August 2009
DANGEROUS LITTLE SECRET ~ Samhain ~ TBD 2010