Wednesday, October 10, 2007
DECADENT Is On the Bookshelves!
Fabulous romance writer Shayla Black has a new release. She's visiting to tell us about it.
MR: Shayla, thanks for coming. Tell us about your latest release.
SB: Decadent is a contemporary erotic ménage romance released by Berkley HEAT. If you read Wicked Ties and wanted to know more about Deke, this is all about him. Here’s a blurb:
Two men are better than one…
How can a virgin seeking happily-ever-after with a hot pop star who has a penchant for threesomes win her fantasy man? Kimber Edgington desperately needs a plan to convince Jesse McCall, who’s been her friend and secret crush since they spent a summer together as teenagers, that they are meant for each other. But all the tabloid stories about his sexual escapades make her feel oh-so inadequate.
Determined to prove she’s woman enough for Jesse, Kimber turns to bodyguard Deke Trenton for sexual education. Bold and brash, Deke warns Kimber that playing with him is playing with fire. But he can’t bear to imagine the innocent beauty in someone else’s arms. So Deke and his super-sexy friend, Luc, take Kimber under their wings and dangerously close to the edge of ecstasy. Though she’s saved herself for Jesse, Kimber soon learns, he’s not the man adept at stoking her aching, endless need. That’s Deke, and he can’t resist when Kimber begs for more–-and more…
MR: What was it about this book and these characters that made you want to write it?
SB: I adore erotic romances about ménage relationships. Most focus on how the ménage unfolds, not why. After appearing in my first book, Wicked Ties, Deke compelled me to explore this fascinating question.
In Decadent, the threesome hooks up for hugely different reasons: Kimber to get an education, Luc for a cause that will break your heart, and Deke because he just couldn’t say no to Kimber any more. They join in combustive desire, melt the layers around one another's hearts, and reveal their shocking secrets. Will they realize too late that what they want isn’t what they need?
Decadent contains really hot sex, but it’s also a poignant romance with a happy ending. I hope readers will take this journey with me and give Decadent a chance!
MR: You write under two names. Why is that?
SB: My contemporary romances as Shelley Bradley are always one man/one woman books. Definitely sexy, usually with some adventure and humor involved. Shayla Black's books are darker, more tense, and anything goes. I didn’t want readers used to lighter, more traditional romance from me to assume that books like Wicked Ties and Decadent would have similar content. This was intended to help readers delineate.
MR: What do you know now about publishing that you didn’t know before you became published?
SB: Wow, that’s a broad question. The simple answer is: everything. When you’re unpublished, you tend to focus very heavily on your craft. And you should. Sometimes, however, that leaves the new author a bit unprepared to deal with the realities of sell-ins and sell-throughs, renewals, royalties, self-promotion, distributers, wholesalers… I could go on, but suffice it to say that many things about this business you just can’t really know until you have to go through them.
MR: Talk about your writing process. Are you a plotter or a more organic writer?
SB: Both. I’m going to suggest that you can plot and still be an “organic” writer. I’m not a pantser (i.e., writing by the seat of my pants). I definitely plot 90% of the book in advance. But as I’m writing, things sometimes change. Not big things usually, but enough to keep me amused. As I like to tell people, freeing my brain up by knowing the plot in advance allows me to focus on dialogue, emotion, transitions and wordsmithing as I’m writing, rather than wandering around the story, trying to figure out where I should be.
The plot process, however, comes from really KNOWING your characters and being able to insert them into the situation you’ve devised. If you know these people well, then the plot will unfold for you in advance. It’s just like the “organic” process, except I don’t have to write the characters in order to know them. They just come to me, which allows me to see the story before I get there, rather than while crafting it.
MR: Did you do anything on the way to becoming published that you would change today?
SB: No. I learned a lot about writing and craft, the writing community, etc. I made a lot of good friends…some I didn’t get to keep, but some I did. I pursued relentlessly and kept trying for 7 years until someone finally said yes!
MR: What are you working on now?
SB: My first paranormal romance for Pocket Books called Tempt Me With Darkness. It will hit shelves September 2008. I’m hoping it will be the first in a series of books about a magical warrior society called the Doomsday Brethren. I’ve got a placeholder site for these books at www.doomsdaybrethren.com. Come by and take a peek! I’m very excited about this book. It’s a dark, sometimes funny look at a world that’s adult Harry Potter meets Heroes with a whole lotta sexy going on. I’m having such a blast with this group of magical British bad boys!
MR: Ohhh, I'll look forward to that series. How do you maintain balance between your writing life and the rest of your life?
SB: Every day is a new day, and you just fit in what you can. I have rhythms I like to get into. Certain times of the day and evening are reserved for certain activities. That way, I squeeze in a little bit of every area of responsibility. I also try to devise a little bit of down time every now and then, too. But basically, it’s living by the principle that work comes before play—-most of the time.
MR: Thanks for visiting us, Shayla. I got my copy of Decadent the day it was released. And you're right. It's a hot, hot read with terrific characters.
SB: Thanks for the interview!
You can buy a copy of Shelley Bradley/Shayla Black's Decadent here.