Author Interview: Shay Stone
A funny thing happened on the way to the Facebook forum...
Or, you know, whatever...but still, I met this awesome new author and somehow managed to convince her to do an interview with me.
Well, now you get to benefit from it!!! And I'm so stinking excited to introduce you to Contemporary Romance Author:
Why did you first start writing?
I was in a car accident that left me unable to read or look at a compute, so naturally I became a writer (haha).
What was the inspiration for your first book?
I wanted something positive to come out of my accident. I attended a very popular pain clinic. On the last day, they asked me to speak because they were impressed with the way I handled my chronic pain. Two of the staff pulled me aside and told me I needed to write a book, so I did. My first 2 books were self-help and the first one dealt with chronic pain.
Did you ever consider traditional/indie publishing? Was there a reason you chose the way you did to go about publishing your works? Do you have any insights for future authors trying to make the same choice?
Yes, I was traditionally published. I had originally offered my book for free online because I just wanted to help people. I had a publisher see it and ask me to pull it down because they wanted to publish it. My latest book I self-published because my publisher was closing. So far I like the freedom of self-publishing. I can do giveaways and don’t need approval for things. I wasn’t with one of the Big 5 publishers, so I didn’t get the push I may have gotten simply because my publisher was small and didn’t have the reach.
How many books do you have published now?
3, although possibly 4 depending when this is published
Do you have any books in the works at the moment?
Any advice you’d offer up-and-comers looking to find their place in the literary world?
Don’t give up. It’s hard work and there is a lot to learn, but if it’s your passion, it’s worth it. Edit! Edit! And the edit again! And know that not everyone is going to like your book. Everyone has different taste. Some people may give you a1 –star because you swear in your books or a scene rubs them the wrong way. Negative reviews are going to happen. Don’t let that stop you. Find your audience.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Focusing. Some days I’m so focused I can write 16 hours straight and not even realize it. Other days, I’m like a squirrel that gets sidetracked by anything shiny. I also have some incredibly high maintenance puppies that constantly try to get my attention and want to be loved on whenever I’m trying to write. haha
Do you hand write or do everything on your computer?
What is your least favorite part of the writing / publishing process?
Trying to figure out how to get your name out there. It doesn’t matter how great your story is if you can’t get people to read it. And I don’t know why, but I am terrified to contact bloggers. Seriously, I get crazy anxiety over it.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Writing is the truest form of creativity. It’s the one creative outlet that is totally dependent on you and your imagination. You use your mind to create a story that would never exist without you. Most other creative outlets require tools. When you’re a writer, you could tell a story, people may look at you like you’re nuts if you just started doing it on the street, but the point is, you could do it.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Well that didn’t go as planned.
How would you best classify your writing? So, I always say I write Fantasy romance, with a way capital F there, lol. If you were trying to describe your books to someone, how best would you describe what you write?
Sexy contemporary romance with some suspense. My books are the sweet, sugary romance type. There is drama, angst, hot sex scenes, and a lot of emotion. If I had to compare them to anyone, I’d say they are a cross between Bared to You by Sylvia Day and Big little Lies or Girl on the Train.
How do you handle writing both books and blogs and Facebook posts and so on and so forth and ad naseum!? Lol. Okay, I’m looking for help, lol, how do you manage your time so well?
I scream, and complain a lot about being overwhelmed, and contemplate developing a drinking habit. Haha I do at least one thing every day to help my writing career. That said, I also set one day aside where I don’t write or do anything writing related. By the next day, I’m usually itching to write.
Why not a full novel? Why a novella/short story?
Haven’t written one, but I’m considering it as a freebie thank you to my fans.
Can you tell me a bit about your series?
The Fame Series is about Colin and Alexandra, and surprise, surprise, their Rise to Fame (that’s the title of the first book). Alexandra (Alex) ropes Colin into starring with her in a play after he scares off her lead man. He agrees, seeing it as a way to get close to her. He soon discovers she is the daughter of the man that tried to ruin his life. While they are contending with that, on opening night of the play, they get discovered by Richard Steed, the most-sought after and powerful agent in Hollywood. It soon becomes clear, Richard’s interest lie in more than just Alex’s talent. He develops a dangerous obsession and is hell-bent on tearing them apart. My editor has said, and I quote: “I think I hate Richard more than most fictional characters ever, and that's saying something! He's right up there with Abigail from The Crucible and Umbridge and Snape from Harry Potter. Pure revulsion when I think of him!” I have people constantly saying they l want to castrate him and love how bad he is.
Did you always plan on writing a series or were you surprised to continue to write it after the first book was done?
My book started out as 1 book but I wanted to write the whole story and that ended up equaling two books. I plan on writing more where the characters will pop up in other stories. You won’t have to have read the first books to follow along with the next ones, but the reader will see the characters they love popping up occasionally so they don’t have to say good-bye to them forever.
It always amazes me the vast range that romance authors cover, from hot and steamy to soft and sultry. Where do you find yourself on the sexy radar? And why do you find yourself there? A lot of what we write is based on personal values and I think it’s really important to be able to talk about them because that’s part of what makes us writers.
I grew up in a house where sex was considered bad or dirty. I think that is part of why I write/include hot sex scenes. I want women to embrace their sexuality without embarrassment or shame. If my books help women to come out of their shell, be vocal about what they want, or more adventuress, than I’ve done my job. I hope my books and scenes make them feel sexy and confident. My books are NOT all about sex. Remove the sex scenes from my book and you still have a solid storyline. But I think the sex helps people understand the connection between the characters – there is a great deal of trust and love that is conveyed when my couples have sex.
If you could choose one author to sit down and have a cup of tea with, and yes, it has to be tea here, who would it be?
First off, I love tea. I’m a total tea girl. I’d probably sit down with Dave Barry (because I think he’d be a hoot) or Tiffany Reisz or Sylvia Day.
If any one of your novels was to become a movie or a TV show and you got the chance to work with the casting director for it, do you know who you would want to play your characters or who your inspiration for those characters were when you were writing your novel?