We’ve got Shayla Black in the house today. Woot!!! We are so excited to have her with us and to be giving away a copy of Tempt Me With Darkness.
In case you missed it on Monday, you can read an excerpt here. Just scroll down the page.
Before we start with the interview I must confess. I totally put the wrong information for the surprise. I was so excited (and at the day job) that I just typed and squeed (inside my head, remember day job) like a fan girl. Which I am.
Shayla is giving away one ARC of Seduce Me In Shadow (people, I don’t even have this) and one pdf of the first three chapters. OMG, does she ROCK or what!!!
Okay, now back to what you all came here to read.
Here’s Shayla (and me):
Vicki: How did you get started writing and have you always written paranormal?
Shayla: I actually started in 1999 writing historical romances as Shelley Bradley. From there, I morphed into contemporary romances. I very much enjoyed them, but then discovered erotic and paranormal romances, which I dearly love. So here I am today…
Vicki: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Shayla: Very much a plotter. In fact, I give storyboarding classes both online and in person from time to time, which allows writers to “see” the flow of their plot, sub-plots, character arc, etc. in a more visual manner than a synopsis. I wouldn’t write a book without a storyboard, particularly a suspense or one of my complex Doomsday Brethren books.
Vicki: You’re not only an amazing writer, a wife, and mom, but you also write for three lines. How do you manage to do it all?
Shayla: Thank you. I’m not sure I always manage to do it all. Currently, I’m about 6 weeks behind schedule, but everything comes down to priorities. I confess to being something of a workaholic, but I do find small pockets of time each day to take care of necessary stuff, be with family, and just relax. We’ve been spending a lot of time in the pool, playing Rock Band 2/Guitar Hero, and watching some favorite shows. I also try to read at least one book a week and am always mentoring a person or two.
My work schedule is fairly regimented: Monday – Friday, 7:30am – 6pm, then 9pm-11pm (sometimes later). During those hours, I try to write at least 10-12 pages and answer emails. The rest of the time is devoted to family. Weekends are different. I try to get pages in, but I don’t always succeed. I think the key is managing is to have goals and figure out how long it takes you to achieve those goals. Then set aside the necessary time without excuses. That may require sacrifices, but if you’re really serious, it’s worth it.
Vicki: Can you tell us how you came up with the Brethren Series idea or was it originally a single book that turned into a series?
Shayla: Vicki, RT Bookclub recently asked me that same question. I’ve written my answer, along with and excerpt of my next Doomsday Brethren release, for some exclusive bonus web content here. Please check it out. I’ve also chatted just a bit about future installments in the series.
Vicki: What’s your favorite part of the job?
Shayla: I worked in Corporate America for 18 years, so I very much appreciate my flexible schedule, the very casual dress code, and the fact everything I do contributes to a my business, and not someone else’s. But the best part of my job is creating characters and worlds to provide enjoyment for readers who want to escape or be a part of something different or identify with someone else’s situation. I love giving readers an experience. It’s not always easy. I wish words just flowed every day, but working through a book and being satisfied with the product when you type “The End” is the best feeling ever.
Vicki: With the release of Fated coming up and the novella of Seduce Me In Shadow do you have anything planned for the future of the Brethren series that you can share?
Shayla: In Fated, you’ll meet a handful of new characters, including twin wizards, who have been magickind’s playboys for decades. All that changes when one of them embraces the human barmaid he’s been lusting after. But will a family curse and danger keep them apart? You’ll also meet a wizard grieving Auropha MacKinnett, the first casualty of evil Mathias’s return in TEMPT ME WITH DARKNESS. He’ll join the Doomsday Brethren in SEDUCE ME IN SHADOW. Also in the book there’s more about Lucan and Anka. Shock continues to be…well, Shock. Bram encounters an unknown danger he can’t outrun that may do him in. But the core of the book is about Lucan’s brother, Caden, and human paranormal tabloid journalist, Sydney, who knows far more about the magical war and the Doomsday Brethren than she should. When she receives the Doomsday Diary as a birthday gift, Caden finds that getting it back and shutting her up aren’t as simple as it sounds.
Vicki: Whose journey was it harder to write, Marrok’s or Olivia’s? And can I just add I love Marrok.
Shayla: Thanks! I loved Marrok, too. Sometimes uber-alpha…and sometimes adorably clueless. His journey was harder for me to write, both because he had the most to overcome and because he was such a recluse. I’m a total people person, so that level of isolation boggled my mind. Getting him to not only tolerate magickind, but agree to help them, was a feat. But getting him to fall for his enemy’s great-granddaughter and admit to her and himself that he truly loved her was altogether more challenging.
Vicki: Can you tell us a little about your upcoming release?
Shayla: Actually, there are 3! Fated and SEDUCE ME IN SHADOW, which you’ve already mentioned, plus Doomsday Brethren 3, POSSESS ME AT MIDNIGHT releases in November.
Here are the blurbs for both:
SEDUCE ME IN SHADOW
When a villainous wizard escapes from exile, the devastatingly sexy Doomsday Brethren must defend all magickind in the spellbinding second book in bestselling author Shayla Black’s seductive new paranormal series.
Ex-Marine Caden MacTavish has shunned his magical heritage all his life, but he will do anything to heal his desperately ill brother, a Doomsday Brethren warrior in mourning for his missing mate. Posing as a photographer, Caden must convince firecracker tabloid reporter Sydney Blair to reveal the source of her recent exposé on a supernatural power clash. Unfortunately, keeping his hands off the sizzling redhead proves as hard as getting them onto the potent and mystical Doomsday Diary he discovers at her bedside. A bloody rebellion led by an evil, power-hungry wizard is imminent. If Sydney divulges the book’s existence, she will jeopardize magickind’s most deeply guarded secrets and become the ruthless wizard’s number one target. Caden has never trusted magic’s cruel and dangerous powers, but he will protect Sydney with his life and magic—even if it means risking his heart.
POSSESS ME AT MIDNIGHT
An apocalypse approaches in the new novel from bestselling author Shayla Black’s electrifying Doomsday Brethren series, as a magical warrior and a spirited witch ignite a smoldering passion that could destroy them both.
As a mysterious dark cloud drains the life of her beloved brother, Doomsday Brethren leader Bram, Sabelle Rion can think of little else. Still, every time she meets Ice Rykard’s intense green gaze, her body aches with need for the sexy warrior. Their attraction is explosive, incredible—and forbidden. As dangerous as he is unpredictable, Ice is her brother’s sworn enemy. But as Bram weakens, a more sinister force is gaining power. Evil Mathias and his ruthless Anarki army are on a bloodthirsty hunt for the Doomsday Diary. Sabelle must guard the potent book with her life—and Ice vows to protect the beautiful witch with his. Duty demands that Sabelle deny her lover’s fiery call of possession and mate with a man who can sway the magical Council against the impending rebellion. With the fate of magickind hanging in the balance, will she forsake the burning desires she can’t ignore or turn her back on her people for the courageous man she can’t resist?
I have to say that I’m totally thrilled to advance existing storylines, introduce new ones, and share three totally different relationships with everyone. I love them all, but Sabelle and Ice have an extra special place in my heart. Ice may be my favorite hero of all I’ve ever written…
Vicki: If you weren’t an author and could be anything you wanted to be, what would it be and why?
Shayla: If a life of indolence is out of the question (LOL), I’d love to be a book editor. I love reading, and I really enjoy shaping books into the best they can be. I’ve been writing and dissecting books for so long, that it’s second nature.
Vicki: Any advice for those of us who are aspiring writers and parting words for our readers?
Shayla: Do NOT quit. It’s not always the most talented who make it, but the most dedicated. I ran across a roster from one of my chapters, dated 1992. Of the 115 people on the register, only 3 are still chapter members. I can think of a handful of people who have simply chosen not to rejoin but are still writing, but even then…10 out of 115? Some published but quit, most never published and quit. Point is, they quit. I’m too damn stubborn for that. J
Vicki: Did I say we are super excited to have you here. Okay, so I did, but really, it’s been fabulous. Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting with us.