AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: SHELLI STEVENS
Author Shelli Stevens has stepped into the Bunny realm for an interview…
What is your most current work out?
My most recent book is Negligee Behavior from Carina Press.
Tell us a little about Negligee Behavior.
I had so much fun with this book. My heroine is a (reluctant) heiress to a lingerie company, who runs out on her wedding and jumps on the back of a motorcycle driven by a hot guy. Chaos and romance ensues. There’s a lot of humor. I’m not sure what inspired the book…maybe a recent trip to Vegas/Henderson where my cousin is a children’s’ librarian. I got to know the town a little and thought it’d be fun to write a book set there.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I generally have a good idea of the skeleton of the book. Some books I plot out with the help of my plotting group The Cherry Plotters (we get our name because Cherry Adair is uber awesome and we use her house to plot!). But if it’s a short story or novella I tend to just pants it with a bare bones idea, or a scene in mind.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I write many genres of romance. My favorite is contemporary, but sometimes with humor or suspense or both. I’m not sure what drove me to write it, I guess because I like writing modern people. People that I’d be hanging out with on a Friday night (well if I wasn’t home with the kid, ya know). And I like writing an alpha hero, because they’re such a fun fantasy. I’ve also sold my book Savage Hunger to Samhain, which should come out in 2012. It’s a paranormal shifter book (hopefully series!). I really like exploring different romance genres.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
I do. He doesn’t have a book yet, though. It’s my Brit – Sebastian, whom you meet in Negligee Behavior. I think I had so much fun with him because he’s a bit of a loose cannon. I’m hoping he’ll get a book! Though I’m betting he’ll be a challenge to write.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
Well, probably Bernadette from Bad Girls Do. That was really my only book that’s blatantly erotic and is more Happy For Now ending. It’s my least romantic book, and my heroine was unapologetically ‘bad’. She was also a lot of fun to right, but different. Again, something I tried writing, but probably wouldn’t write again.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
Of course! How could I not? Life is so inspiring. People are so inspiring. I’m not sure there’s ever been any one person in general who’s inspired someone. Or wait! In Tempting Adam I have a petite blonde Spanish teacher as the heroine. And I totally confess I had a petite blonde Spanish teacher in high school (who I think really did get asked to prom because she looked so young. Or maybe that was a rumor). So she was inspiration in a book, somewhat. Physically at least.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
Hmm. Probably actually writing and fighting the insecurity. Ignoring the bad reviews.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
That I’ve never been in love before. I’ve been close to it, maybe the baby stages of love, but not full blow would-die-for-you love. That’s probably another reason why I write romance novels, because writing those let’s me fall in love again and again.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Hmm. Maybe watching Power Rangers Samurai and Big Time Rush with my first grade daughter. I want to be the pink Power Ranger.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
There’s nothing I really ‘need’. I’m awfully fond of my Starbucks coffee though.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Rarely does a song or playlist influence my books. It all depends on my mood that day. But I will say the book Command and Control was written almost strictly to Hammerhead by The Offspring.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Honestly, I never imagine actors playing my characters. I mean, I sometimes imagine it as a movie, but rarely think of who’d play someone. I think my editor said she envisioned Sandra Bullock as my heroine in Negligee Behavior though. On the movie note, I think this book would be a super fun movie and the one I could most envision being turned into one
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I was at home. I think the question is, who didn’t I tell? I shouted it from the rooftops!
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
I was 11. It was a Harlequin Presents I snuck off my mother’s bookshelf. My eyes were like half-dollars the entire time I read it. I loved it. I read every other romance novel on that shelf and then signed up for the Harlequin bookclub, or whatever it was then (somehow, without my parents’ permission!).
What is your favorite genre to read if you have time?
I love all genres, though I confess to loving historical romances. Especially medieval and other earlier historical time periods.
If you still have one of those pesky day jobs what is it?
No day job! YAY! Writing IS my day job.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
Well, I’m writing a couple of proposals. Both for a follow up to my Carina book Negligee Behavior (my British bartender is begging for a book!), and to my shifter book Savage Hunger, which is a paranormal I have coming out with Samhain in 2012.
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”.
I don’t get that as much anymore. People tend to be super supportive. When I do get it, it’s usually from an author who doesn’t write romance, and then my reaction is generally very polite. Explaining that I do very well and I write romances because they make me happy.
And for the silly side – What is your favorite type of chocolate?
I like dark chocolate. My fave right now is Theo’s Fig, Fennel, and Almond dark chocolate bar.