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Shayla Black/Shelley Bradley

  

 

What is your perfect writing atmosphere?

I love writing in my office when itís quiet in the house. I enjoy days that are either very sunny or thereís a gentle rain. I like knowing I have plenty of time in front of me and have the perfect music for the scene Iím working on. That saidÖthose days donít happen too often, so Iíve learned to write in a variety of environments. 

 

 Would you call yourself a "pantser" or a "plotter"?

Definitely a plotter. I NEVER write anything before I have the book completely plotted. In fact, I have a methodology Iíve used for years: storyboarding. Iím so sold on it that I teach a storyboarding class online once or twice a year. The system has been invaluable to me, and Iíve had other writers tell me that Iíve changed the way they write for the better, which makes me smile.

 

 What leads you to the characters write about and all the different sub-genres?

Characters appear in my head and start talking frequently. They tell me who they are, what their problem is, what they want, where they come from. The often come with a name as well. If not, as I start writing the character, they frequently cooperate and tell me what I want to know. Because Iím into people-watching, I tend to focus in on characters. I find characterization one of the easiest, most fun parts of writing. In fact, I often say that writing is one of the few occupations you can have and admit to hearing the voices in your head and not have the nice folks in white coats take you away.

 

 Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?

I got ďthe callĒ when I was at my day  job. Iíd just broken from a meeting and got a call on my cell phone. I was very excited, naturally. I was torn between calling my husband and calling the members of the critique group I had at that time. My husband took the decision from me as he happened to call just then. 

 

What character or couple would you love to bring to life, if you could & why?

That Iíve written? Iíd love to meet a few of the couples Iíve created: Rafe and Kerry from BOUND AND DETERMINED, Jack and Morgan from WICKED TIES, and Ice and Sabelle from my upcoming Doomsday Brethren novel, POSSESS ME AT MIDNIGHT. Iíd love to meet them all because these are characters I could have kept writing about and been happy. I also want to see their interaction at work. If itís anything like whatís in my head, it would be fascinating. Iíd also love to meet Mark from STRIP SEARCH because heís just hot to me. And Luc from DECADENT and the upcoming book DELICIOUS. I wanna understand whatís in that manís mindÖ

 

 What are some of your favorite things in life?

 Mexican food, time with my family, a good book, Guitar Hero, traveling, warm days, wireless Internet, music, hearing my cat purr. Iím sure there are more, but those are definitely some of the best.

 

If I followed you for a day, what would I see or experience?

Chaos! Every day, thereís something going in at my house. Iím juggling a lot between wife, mom, laundress, writer (of course). Iím often trying to sneak in computer time in front of TV (like now), answer emails while cooking. Iím reading my Blackberry at stop lights (I know, I knowÖdonít honk). I wash my face on speaker phone. Itís not uncommon that I turn on my computer as soon as I roll out of bed. There are books stacked all around the houseÖand I pick them up when I try to grab a free minute here or there. Very little set schedule other than, when family leaves in the morning, I get to work and see where the day leads me. I may stop writing at 3pm or midnight. Just depends.

 

Does music influence your writing?  If so, do you do sound tracks for your books?

Absolutely! Iím very audio driven. The right music will put me in the perfect mood to write and open my mind to possibilities for a given scene that I might not have otherwise thought of. I love nearly all kinds of music, and my husband has called me musically schizophrenic. For historical and some paranormal pieces, Iíve written to classical and new age. For contemporaries and erotics, I write to contemporary music, especially alternative rock. Lots of Hinder, Seether, Goo Goo Dolls, Lifehouse, Three Days Grace, etc. in my playlist.

 

 Some authors say they are open to bribes to drop hints Ė if you would be, what type of bribe would it be? (not saying that you are or anything)

Honesty, I think. If someone asks my opinion, I assume they want honesty. I want the same in return. Though homemade chocolate chip cookies run a close second.

 

What does the word "Romance" mean to you?

RomanceÖitís easy to talk about the long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners and flowers. And those are romantic. But there are a lot of ways to be romantic. Last year, my husband went to New York on business, and I accompanied him. One day, I had lunch with my agent. While we were eating, he went to Macyís to get me a coat because it was colder than expected. He was waiting for me in the park across the street from the restaurant when I emergedÖbut I didnít see him. My agent put me in a taxi and sent me back to my hotel, where I thought my hubby would be. Instead, he wanted to wait for me and talk to me. And I left him standing in the park in the cold, carrying my new coat. When I called him halfway back to the hotel and realized he was still in the park, I felt terrible. Thankfully, he just laughed. But his support meant the world to me, and for me thatís the best sort of romance of all.

 

 What do you currently have in the wings and what is just around the corner?

I have been SUPER busy lately. In March, I have the release of BOUND AND DETERMINED as Shayla Black and A PERFECT MATCH as Shelley Bradley. On September 29, Doomsday Brethren 2, SEDUCE ME IN SHADOW, will be released. Book 3, POSSESS ME AT MIDNIGHT, releases October 27. Look for a summer surprise about the Doomsday Brethren in eBook. I will also begin working in a few short weeks on the follow up to DECADENT. Itís all about Luc, and DELICIOUS will release March 2010. Thereís more beyond that. Stay tunedÖ

 

 How can a reader contact you and/or find out what you are doing?

Readers can visit my sites:

www.shaylablack.com

www.shelleybradley.com

www.doomsdaybrethren.com

Join my fun, free newsletter for the all the latest and greatest in one convenient email. Read my blog for more up-to-the-minute detailÖand the occasional contest. I like giving books away. 

 

 Anything else you would like to tell the readers?

 I think readers are incredibly special people and Iím so thrilled to share an instant passion with people everywhere. Iím not much of a TV watcher (though I confess a weakness for HGTV), but I know that when I meet a stranger, once they tell me theyíre a reader, we have something in common immediately.

For my readers, thank you so much for your encouragement and support.

 

     

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