Shannyn Schroeder, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Let's talk about your book, A Good Time.
Genre: Contemporary romance
Cover artist: The Killion Group
Length: 291 pages
Heat rating: R
Tagline: He's got game, but can she play for keeps?
A passionate free spirit and a sweet-talking playboy sound like a match made in heaven—until life gets in the way of all the fun and games...
Indy Adams values her freedom above all else. She works hard to support herself, moonlighting as a waitress while she fights for her first big sale in the Chicago real estate market. The last thing she needs is to be tied down, so she doesn't think twice about declining her philandering boyfriend's marriage proposal. Besides, she just landed a new client, a wealthy lothario—exactly the kind of guy who would understand her no-strings approach...
Handsome, rich, and charitable, most women jump at the chance to even talk to video game developer Griffin Walker, let alone date him. So he can't understand why Indy wants nothing more than a few steamy nights together. Despite his romantic track record, Griffin longs for real love—complete with a home and family—and he wants it with Indy. But a blessing in disguise may lead them both to a life they never expected, and give Griffin a chance to show Indy that it's okay to want more than a good time...
Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-good-time-shannyn-schroeder/1114794299?ean=9781601830081
What are your main characters' names, ages, and occupations?
Indy (Independence) Adams – 35, real estate agent, waitress, interior decorator
Griffin Walker – 35, video game developer, CEO Walker Industries
If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
If I could change one thing about my fist book, it would actually be a bunch of little changes. Although I read through that book many, many times, both before Kensington acquired it and after, once I was in the final proofing stage, I was still finding words and phrases that I wanted to change. It might be a word that I used multiple times too close together or a sentence that just reads awkwardly aloud. Overall, I love the book, but it's those little nagging things that drive me nuts.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love drafting. Drafting is sitting down to get words on the page for the first time. My characters are new and talkative in my head and I love spending time with them. I'm not much of a plotter. I have some specific scenes in my head before I start to write and I try to know my characters well, but during drafting, it's all about letting them go wherever they want. I don't worry about story structure or beautiful language. I just write as it comes.
If you could give the younger version of yourself advice what would it be?
I would tell my younger self not to stop writing. I wrote as a teenager and straight through college. All of my electives in college went to creative writing courses. But when I became a teacher, my energy went there and I stopped writing. I'd never seriously considered a writing career. Back then, the stable paycheck was more important.
No matter what the future me might say, that wouldn't have changed, but if I had kept writing, I probably would've launched my writing career much earlier than I did. I didn't start writing again until my youngest started preschool. Then I needed to learn about the publishing business while I honed my craft.
A big part of me wishes I'd never walked away from my first love.
What is your work ethic when it comes to writing?
For me, writing is a job, and I try to write every day, but I'm also a realist. There are some days when it's not going to happen. I try to accept that. I set goals for myself and break those goals down into manageable steps.
For instance, my next book is due at the end of October. When the summer started, I hadn't done anything other than think about my characters. I want the draft done by the end of the summer, so I have time to set it aside before revising. That means I have to write about 1500 words a day, 5 days a week.
There are some days that I don't feel like writing, but I'll still open the laptop and look at the book. Sometimes an idea will flow, other times I have nothing. But come the end of the week, when I look at my word count total, I will make myself write something, anything to meet that goal because I can always go back and fix words as long as they're on the page.
Do things your family or friends do ever end up in a book?
I use situations, not people that I know in my books. I never base characters on people I know, although I might use a trait from someone. Situations and stories from friends are things I love. Since I've been married for 17 years, I haven't dated for a really long time. I rely on my single friends to share their dating stories. When I'm done laughing, the next words out of my mouth are always, "That is so going in a book." I can't think of a specific example that I've used (they do tend to change to suit my characters), but I have a list of possibilities.
What are some jobs you've done before (or while) you were a writer?
I worked at a hot dog stand to put myself through high school and college. After college, I jumped right into teaching, where I stayed for 10 years before having kids and staying home to raise them. At that time, I also helped my husband get his construction company off the ground and became the office end of the business. When my youngest started preschool, in addition to starting my writing, I worked as an editor at a couple of small epubs and at an education company. I'm still working for the education company because I love the job (steady paycheck and flexible hours). I also teach a few college-level academic writing courses a year for a local school.
Which of your books would you recommend to someone who doesn't normally read your genre, and why?
My go-to recommendation for contemporary romance is Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. If I can add more, I tend to offer authors instead of titles: Julie James, Victoria Dahl, Ruthie Knox, and Jill Shalvis all exemplify what the genre is all about.
What do you think is the future of traditional publishing?
I think the future of traditional publishing is going to be in ebooks. I signed with eKensington, which is Kensington's digital first line. I read a lot of ebooks, but I still do buy some paper. I think there will always be the lure of seeing my name on the shelf at a bookstore, but since most bookstores are gone...
I talked with some bestselling authors while at RT, and I was surprised to find that the vast majority of their sales were digital. I thought having Bestselling Author after their names came from being in print, but it wasn't. I think readers have determined that digital is the place to be and traditional publishing needs to find a way to make it profitable for everyone.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
I love Christmas. First, I love to bake and my best friend and I do an all-day baking session and give cookies away. Everyone loves Christmas cookies. But my favorite part is Christmas morning, watching my kids get excited over everything. It doesn't matter how big or small the gift, their faces light up.
What good book have you read recently?
I read all the time. It's how I unwind before going to sleep, so choosing just one book is hard. I'm currently reading It Had to Be You by Jill Shalvis. I love the Lucky Harbor series. Before that, I read Sultry with a Twist by Macy Beckett, which I had sitting on my Kindle for some time. I liked it so much, I immediately downloaded the next in the series.
What do you like to do when you're bored?
I read a book or watch TV when I'm bored. I buy lots of books for my Kindle when they're on sale, so I always have something new to read. I also have my DVR set to record an obscene number of TV shows. I love to get lost in the lives of characters whether it's on the screen or on the page.
Please underline which statement is more like you:
"I am a vacation spa because I am laid back and relaxed."
"I am a ten-countries in ten-days tour vacation, because I do things as fast as possible."
Please complete the sentences
I love pizza with pepperoni.
I'm always ready for something to throw a wrench into my plans (3 kids =chaos).
When I'm alone, I like to stay in bed and read (which never happens since I have 3 kids).
You'd never be able to tell, but I love Disney movies. I started collecting them before I had kids.
If I had a halo it would be mostly shiny, but it would sit a little crooked over my head.
If I could quit all my other jobs I'd love to write all day, every day.
I can never fall asleep quickly because I have a hard time turning off my brain.
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