Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Author Interview: Shelli Stevens

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls! Today we are lucky enough to have with us as the next Author Interview Victim the delightful Shelli Stevens, the author of several popular Samhain releases with a brand new novel, out TODAY from Kensington Aphrodisia, Take Me.

Welcome, Shelli! (Applause!)

When you got The Call (or The Email, as the case may be) offering to publish Take Me, what did you do to celebrate? My friend and fellow author, Lacy Danes, and I went to see Corteo a production of Cirque du Soleil, and we had dinner out at an Italian restaurant/wine bar place. It was a fabulous night.

You write for both Samhain & Kensington – one electronic and one traditional New York publisher. When you begin a new project do you have an idea which market you will be targeting with that book? At what point in your process do you decide which publisher is right for a book? I’d say most of the time when I start a project I know where I’m targeting it. I tend to write shorter for Samhain, or do multiple novellas (like my Chances Are series) that will be rolled into one print book. Though if a book doesn’t sell to a New York publisher because it doesn’t fit the market or such, I’m thrilled to be able to submit it to my editor at Samhain. I truly love both markets and don’t intend to quit either.

What is your favorite thing about being a writer and/or your favorite writing memory? I love that I get to fall in love every time I write a book. That I get a happily ever after. Because neither of those are a guarantee in the real world. Maybe that’s why I’m so unconcerned about being single .

What inspired you to write Take Me? I actually wrote Take Me to enter the Passionate Ink contest in the futuristic category. It was supposed to be a novella, but once I got going I realized it would be a single title. I’d never written a futuristic before and wanted the challenge. I had this idea in the back of my head, it was a little controversial and really pushing the lines. It reminded me of the stories I read in the 80’s somewhat. The capture fantasies. So I gave myself permission to just let go of my inhibitions and go for it, and write the book to see what happened. The gamble paid off! Not only did it win first place in the category of the contest, I sold it to Kensington and signed with my agent Laura Bradford.

You’ve written in a variety of heat levels. Is one your “home”? The one in which you feel most comfortable writing? How do you decide how hot you want to go? You know, I think I’m naturally a spicy writer, even though sometimes I fall on the more vanilla side of the erotic market. So it’s a good mix. I can move easily between erotic romance or standard romances and just be on the hotter side. I could probably even do scaled back love scenes if I decided to target a market that wanted that. I just enjoy the romance and storylines.

You have one of the best author taglines I’ve ever come across with I’m the author your mother warned you about. You’re obviously very good at the marketing side of writing. Do you enjoy that element of a writing career? Or view it more as a necessary evil? You are so sweet! Thank you! I actually enjoy the marketing side. Very much so. I think because I don’t even outright think of half the stuff I’m doing as marketing. Social Networking is a great way to get your name out there and talk to authors and readers alike. And I enjoy it. I’m a social person. I know people say they don’t have time to do the networking, but make the time. It’s so worth the friends and connections you’ll meet!

The incomparable Celeste Bradley describes her muse as “Edna--a sarcastic gravel-voiced barfly who occasionally disappears for weeks at a time with her Vin Diesel wannabe biker boyfriend.” Describe your muse. I actually do not believe in the muse. It sounds like a glamorous reason to procrastinate to me. LOL. If I waited around for a muse I’d never write a page. Though I know many people love the muse and swear by it, and I think it’s a fun idea.

Which authors are on your auto-buy list? Who do you love to read? Hmmm. There’s so many, so here’s a few. Cherry Adair, Karin Tabke, Lora Leigh, Jane Porter, Lori Foster, Pat White. Often I find people because of a genre I like. I love romantic suspense and historicals (though I’m not a regency fan, sadly).

What do you think is the most romantic moment ever from a book or movie? Ooh wow. My favorite romantic movie has got to be Love Actually. Mainly because it shows all the types of love. Even the type that breaks your heart. Such a beautiful movie! Not to mention I’ll always lust over Colin Firth.

What’s next for you? Great question! My agent has some proposals out and about and I’m waiting to hear back on those. All are hot romances, one is futuristic and the others are a series paranormal. Meanwhile I’m continuing to work on the books in hopes they do sell. Fingers crossed!


Check out Shelli's fabulous new release, Take Me - erotic, futuristic, and downright delicious.

Take Me
by Shelli Stevens
ISBN: 978-0758235282

After years as a slave to the pleasures of the powerful, Talia knows how to make a man mad with lust. But her pleasure counts for nothing—until a handsome, ruthless stranger appears. Ryder dares to look at her… to touch her… to awake in her a desire she’s never imagined. When he kidnaps her to learn her secrets, Talia vows not to let her passion take control. But soon she discovers that her captor’s intense gaze and searching hands can perform their own kind of interrogation, a sweet torture she finds impossible to resist…

Click HERE to read an excerpt! You can BUY online or find Take Me today at your local bookstore!
Thank you so much for sharing your release day excitement with us, Shelli! Best of luck with your sizzling New York debut!

7 comments:

Kaye Chambers said...

What a great interview!

"I'm the author your mother warned about." *grins*

Congratulations on release day and you bet your boots I'll be looking for your book at the afternoon bookstore trip today.

Kaye

Alexis Morgan said...

Shelli--

Congrats on your new release and continuing success! I hope your new book soars to the top of the charts!

Vivant said...

Shelli, congratulations on your new release!

I loved the interview and can't wait to get my hands on Take Me. I see a trip to a bookstore in my near future...

Shelli Stevens said...

Thanks for having me today, Vivi! And thanks everyone for the sweet comments!!

Hey, Alexis, happy release day to you as well!!

Natasha A. said...

Oh Shelli!! I love this!! I am going to have to get my bookstore to order it in for me!!

Rebecca J. Clark said...

Shelli-Congrats on the new release. It sounds like a fun and sexy book.

I, too, love your tag line. I wish marketing came easier for me. I guess being shy by nature doesn't help, eh?

Love Actually is one of my favorites, too. What was your favorite storyline in it? Mine is with Liam Neeson's character and his stepson. I laugh and cry with them every time. And the Laura Linney story...I just want to smack her when she makes her choice in the end. Hmm, I might have to drag the movie out and watch it again...

:)Becky

Shelli Stevens said...

Ah, thanks, Natasha! If you get it, you'll have to let me know what you think!

Rebecca, I loved the Colin Firth storyline. The Laura Linney one was so depressing! LOL. But I love that it's just another side of love.