Monday, January 20, 2014

Interview with Shannyn Schroeder

Please help my welcome Shannyn Schroeder to the blog today for an interview, and a spotlight on her book, Something to Prove!

Tell me about yourself, and your writing.

I’m a mom of 3, a part-time editor and a teacher. I write contemporary romance. Right now, I’m focusing on my O’Leary series. Each book follows one of the O’Leary siblings falling in love. The books all stand alone and can be read out of order.

How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?

I’ve been writing seriously for about 7 years (?). I’m really bad at keeping track of that kind of thing. Something to Prove is my third published book. All of my books are contemporary romances.

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?

When I first started writing, just to see if I could write a book, I wrote a romantic suspense. At the time, it was my genre of choice for reading, so in that respect, I chose to write what I knew. That book was a mess. I then wrote another romantic suspense, but I had learned a lot about the craft of writing, so even as I drafted, I knew something was wrong. The book wasn’t suspense-y enough. Unfortunately, I didn’t really know how to fix it. More Than This, the first O’Leary book, was the third book I wrote. Writing that book taught me that my voice is a contemporary romance voice. It’s where I belong. I might try my hand at some other genre, but I have no plans for it right now.

Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?

I’m a pantser. When I start a book, I take time to get to know the characters, but beyond that, I don’t really know what’s going to happen until I write it.

What is a typical writing day like for you?

I don’t have a typical writing day. I usually spend my mornings doing my day job stuff and then I take an hour or two in the afternoon to write. All of that kind of depends on whether I’m also teaching a class. If I am teaching, there’s prep work for class that I have to squeeze in while the kids are at school. Then the writing gets bumped to nighttime when the kids are in bed.

Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?

I love to read contemporary romance. I have so many favorite authors that are autobuys for me, I could never name them all, but Shannon Stacey, Ruthie Knox, Victoria Dahl, Jill Shalvis, Kate Meader, Louisa Edwards … I’m sure I’m forgetting a bunch.

What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?

The one thing that I would love to accomplish this coming year is actually setting a writing schedule or routine and really sticking to it. I have a bunch of deadlines and I need to set that schedule to meet them all. Other than that, right now, I’m really happy with my writing career. I love the way things are going.

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?

So many to choose from…I’d love to be able to go without sleep. I would get so much more done. But I guess that’s not really a paranormal ability. Super speed would be my next choice. That way, I could do all the boring stuff (like laundry and dishes) super fast in order to have more time for the fun stuff.

Tell us a little about your latest release.

Something to Prove is the third book in the O’Leary series, but each book stands alone. This is Colin O’Leary’s story. Colin is the oldest O’Leary sibling who has recently returned home. Colin has always been a bit of a screw up, but he’s changed and wants to build a life near his family. Elizabeth Brannigan comes to Chicago to investigate a bar her father owns. She decides that if she can turn this failing business around, her father will make her CEO of the family business. Both Colin and Elizabeth spend a lot of time feeling like they have to prove themselves. Colin and Elizabeth partner up and while their personalities clash, they’re able to build a great business and an even better relationship.

What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)

I love my Kindle (and all books, really) so that would probably be the top of the list. One-click buying power is addictive. My DVR would come in second because I’ve become totally spoiled by it. I love having a timer set for all the shows and never having to watch commercials.

Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?

I don’t think I could co-author with someone because I’m afraid I might make them nuts. I don’t have a regular routine for writing and I never plan things out, so my methods might make drive them to drink. That’s not to say I wouldn’t consider it. If someone has a similar process, it could work. I think Shannon Stacey or Bella Andre would be good options because we all write stories centered around big families.

What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?

Watching TV. Okay, maybe it’s not really a hobby, but it’s how I spend my time. I love my DVR and record so many shows each week, that I’ll probably never run out of things to watch. Besides watching TV, I also love to bake. Baking cookies relaxes me when I get stressed.

What is something you've always wanted to do, but haven't done yet. Why not?

I’d love to travel. I went to London when I graduated high school – a gift to myself. I wish I’d taken more time to travel before I had kids. Of course, now I don’t because I have 3 kids and traveling is expensive.

What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?

I wish I could sing or dance. I have no rhythm and can’t carry a tune. No that any of that stops me from singing and dancing when I’m home with my kids (much to their dismay)

Favorite color? purple

Weather: Hot or cold? HOT (don’t know why I live in Chicago)

Favorite place to read? bed

Favorite non-alcoholic drink. Diet coke

If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?
I would love to go to Australia. I’ve always wanted to go. It’s on my bucket list. But I’d also like to go back to London and travel to Ireland and Scotland from there. Basically, I’d like to go all over. And really, why not if money isn’t holding me back?   

Something to Prove   
The O’Learys
By: Shannyn Schroeder
Releasing January 2014

Two ambitious people team up to prove themselves to their families—and find there may be more to their partnership than just business…
Elizabeth Brannigan is determined to show her father she’s capable of running the family business. Saving his struggling Chicago bar seems like the perfect project. But she’ll need a little help dealing with the rough crowd. Who better to assist her than the handsome co-owner of a thriving Irish pub? Of course, with so much work to do, there are bound to be a few late nights…
Colin O’Leary’s father passed away before he could prove to him that he wasn’t a screw-up. Now he wants to show his brother he’s responsible enough to own a bar of his own—and Elizabeth may be able to help him. But when their professional aspirations clash, tempers—and passions—flare. Are they mature enough to mix business with pleasure—or will they have to choose between the two?

Buy Links:

Author Info  
Shannyn is a former English teacher, who now works as a part-time editor while raising her three kids.
Even though she wrote from high school through college (mostly poetry), she’d never considered a career as an author. Writing fell by the wayside as she focused her energy on creating lesson plans and new and fabulous ways to torment her teen students. One group in particular dubbed her “The Torture Master,” a title she carried into motherhood.
After the birth of baby number two, Shannyn resigned from teaching and fell in love with reading romance novels. She read so many books so quickly that her husband teased, “If you’re going to read so many damn books, why don’t you just write one?”
So she did.
That first book is safely buried on her hard drive, but the process set Shannyn on the path to where she is today—agented with a debut ebook coming out with Kensington in late 2012.
She is recovering from her Diet Coke addiction, fears putting her foot in her mouth on social media, and has a renewed appreciation for the bad girls of the world.

Author Links

I'd also planned to share a review today, but even for a speed reader, when getting sick hits, and its fast, even I can't keep up with reading. So, I'll have to post a review separate from this post. 

Excerpt  – Elizabeth and Colin have spent the morning making plans for their bar. It’s been rough and they’ve butted heads multiple times. Elizabeth attempts to smooth things over.

Maybe she’d invite Colin to lunch. She had to be able to work with him. He hadn’t done anything to make her think he wasn’t trustworthy. He’d done nothing wrong. In fact, he’d come up with some good ideas.
She grabbed her purse and headed back into the bar. He stiffened at the sight of her. Oh, yeah, this was going well. “We missed lunch. I thought maybe you might want to grab something to eat before we have to meet with people.”
His shoulders relaxed and his mouth quirked. “Is that an invitation?”
“Yes. I’m sorry I snapped at you.”
“That’s all?”
What else did he want? She raised her brows, waiting for an explanation.
“No ‘thank you’?”
“Why should I thank you for doing your job?”
He walked around the bar and stood much too close for her comfort. “I think you owe me a thank-you for rescuing you from the biker.”
She rolled her eyes. “You did not rescue me. I handled myself fine.”
His smile broadened. “From where I stood, he was about to handle you.”
I didn’t ask for your help.”
What would you have done if I wasn’t here?”
She debated telling him that the door wouldn’t have been open. The clientele of this establishment made her uneasy, but she wasn’t about to give him that fuel. “I would’ve called the police.”
Wrong choice. You need me more than you thought, Legs.” He walked past her toward the door.
What did you call me?”
Legs.” He tilted his head and his gaze ran down the length of her. “As in you’re all leg.”
My name is Elizabeth.”
He smiled, and her heart jumped. A smile should not have that effect.
He continued, oblivious to her condition. “Anyway, if you’d made that call to the cops, he would’ve gone into a rage. You have to be able to read people.”
That’s why I hired you. So we’re back to you just doing your job and no thanks are necessary.” She turned to the door with her car keys in hand. His laugh echoed in the empty bar behind her and she couldn’t hold her smile back.

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