AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: RILEY SHANE
Today we’re picking new author Riley Shane’s brain…
Tell us a little about Two-Man Advantage.
When Professor Nathan Troy walks into his cabin and finds a naked man in his bed, he figures his one-man vacation to snowy Lake Tahoe can’t get any worse. It’s not that Nate doesn’t appreciate the view…he’d just prefer he knew the man in question.
Kyle Harper has come to Lake Tahoe to escape the memories of his former life — one where he was a star hockey player until a career-ending injury shattered his dreams forever. All Kyle wants is peace, and he certainly isn’t going to get it with a prickly, stubborn man waking him up, insisting that Kyle is in his cabin.
An accidental double-booking and a wary compromise puts the two in close quarters. Attraction heats things up, but Nate’s not about to let his libido lead him into making the mistake of getting involved with his unexpected roommate. Kyle, however, seems determined to get under his skin at every turn. Both men soon learn that they can’t outrun desire. But lust is easy; it’s opening their hearts that’s hard. Each will have to let go of the past before they can take advantage of the future the two of them could have together.
What inspired you to write Two-Man Advantage?
I was talking about hockey with a friend of mine when Kyle pretty much slammed his way into my brain and refused to get out. What could I do but give him a man who can go toe-to-toe with him?
After that, it was Kyle and Nate themselves that inspired me. Both needed a situation and a person who would just knock them off their feet. It was such a thrill to watch them come to life – to bring each other to life – on the page. They just fit one another on every level and what could I, the author, do but type fast and keep up with my men?
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I always have a general idea of how a story will start, key points that will happen in the middle, and how it will finish. But as for detailed plotting? Generally only for the beginning. Otherwise I get too caught up in what I think *should* happen when my characters might take me in another direction. And they frequently do. The Taste of Magick, for example, turned out to be a completely different story from what I originally set out to write.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I love romance, so for me it was always clear that if I were to write, it’d be what I love to read. I’ve been reading romance for more than half my lifetime and it never gets old. You can go anywhere and do pretty much anything in the romance genre. I love that freedom and the wealth of ideas it engenders. Plus, I’m just a sucker for happily ever after.
As for the subgenres I write – paranormal, contemporary, and male/male…that’s generally dictated by my characters. They tell me who they are: – gay, straight, bi, human hockey player, architect warlock, et cetera. I enjoy variety and I’ll write whatever subgenre of romance my characters take me to.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
Kyle from Two-Man Advantage (and I’ll never hear the end of it from him now that I’ve said that). He’s bold, he’s sexy, and he doesn’t hold back. I love his passion and I love it more now that it’s directed at Nate, his hero and the keeper of my sanity when it comes to all things Kyle.
A close second is Jason from The Taste of Magick. He’s flawed as hell and has an almost obsessive hatred of fun-sized Snickers bars, but he can be remarkably sweet when he puts his mind to it and Travis brings out the best in him.
Really, looking at this, Nate and Travis should be my favorites. Kyle and Jason make me nuts.
Do you have a character that you look back on now and don’t like?
No, but I’m biased
In all honesty, if I don’t like a character it’s because I’m working on his or her story. When I’m writing, I tend to get cranky with at least one of my protagonists and they get pissy right back. But that’s all contained in the confines of my brain.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Not really. The closest I’ve gotten is with Landon, the hero of my current WIP. He and I share the same black thumb when it comes to plants. Not being able to keep a cactus alive? Been there, done that. It was tragic.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Forcing myself to just sit down and work on one story. I constantly want to bounce from one book to the next, which doesn’t let me get into a writing rhythm. Plus, four partially-finished manuscripts do not a submission make.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
When I was a child, I wanted to be a marine biologist. I threw out the idea because I’m afraid of sharks.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
More geeky than guilty. I love shopping at Think Geek, but sometimes I have to remind myself that I don’t actually need a sonic screwdriver or a Spaceballs t-shirt.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
A quiet house. I can’t work with noise or people interrupting me.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
It doesn’t influence my writing, but I walk around listening to music while I’m plotting a story or working out a character problem. I don’t pay attention to what I’m listening to when I’m plotting, though, so if there’s any musical influence, I’m not consciously aware of it.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I was at home when the contract came through for Two-Man Advantage. I don’t remember who I told first. The whole experience is a bit fuzzy in retrospect. I remember that it didn’t feel real at the time.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
If you still have one of those pesky day jobs what is it?
I’m an editor.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
Right now I’m working on three stories. The first is In the Penalty Box, book two in my Seattle Marauders series. In the Penalty Box is a male/male contemporary romance, featuring Gregory Samson, one of the Marauders’ defensemen, and Landon Quinn. Since Samson is good friends with Kyle, you can be sure that Kyle and Nate will be showing up
The second is a male/male contemporary romance titled Chasing Alex. If you love cowboys, Chasing Alex has two
The third story I’m working on right now is Dreams of Desire, a male/female paranormal romance novella. Anyone want a sexy werewolf hero? My heroine is ready to auction him off at the moment (she’ll come around).
Waiting in the wings are a few other projects, some of which I’m keeping a lid on at the moment, others you can find on my coming soon page (http://www.rileyshane.com/coming-soon/).
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
Luckily, no one’s said that to me yet. If anyone did, I’d ask them if they had ever read a romance novel. As long as the people aren’t close-minded, then it’s an opportunity to expand their reading horizons. Maybe they’ll still decide the genre isn’t for them, but chances are they won’t dismiss it so easily. At least, in theory that’s my approach. In reality, I there’s a good chance I’d smile while attempting to access some untapped mental ability that would make the naysayers’ toes explode. It’s a coin toss.
Where can readers find you?
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And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
White chocolate…which technically isn’t chocolate, I know.