Could you please start by telling us a little about yourself?
You know what they say about curiosity and the cat.but if you still want to know, read below. I live in the south with my husband and munchkin, juggling the many roles in life: writer, mother, wife and all around laundress. In my "free" time, I'm a reality TV junkie, enjoy reading, obsessively studying all things Harry Potter, doing step aerobics, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.
I write sizzling contemporary, erotic, and historical romances and have won or placed in over a dozen writing contests, including Romance Writer of America's Golden Heart, Passionate Ink's Passionate Plume, Colorado Romance Writers Awards of Excellence, and the National Readers' Choice Awards. With previous releases, Romantic Times has awarded me a Top Pick and a KISS Hero award. I enjoy taking risks and tackling new challenges with every book, as well as writing emotionally-based relationships and hot love scenes from the heart.
If you could be one of your characters - Who would you be? And why?
You know, that's hard to answer. Each character calls to a different part of me. Of all my heroines, I am most like Nikki from STRIP SEARCH, but I identify with each character on some level, which is what makes them so exciting to write.
What's your favorite genre to read?
Contemporary erotic romance and paranormal romance. I can't pick because I enjoy them both. However, I read a lot of things-historicals, non-fiction, fantasy. I just depends on my mood.
Who or what influences you when you write?
Always the characters and the music I find to fit the story. Most every story has a "soundtrack" that inspires me and helps set the mood of the book. When the story is channeled, the characters just tell me their story.
What do you do on a typical writing day?
There is no typical day. Some days, I'm more successful than others, since I still work a full-time job and have a little munchkin. I manage by compartmentalizing time. There's work time, family time and writing time. I try to avoid cross-over as much as possible. It divides my day into 3 distinct activities and enables me to mentally focus on what's in front of me.
When you have writer's block how do you break free?
I don't really believe in writer's block. Sorry to say, I think it's a term people use for different reasons that have little to do with actually being blocked. By planning and plotting my stories in advance, I know where they're going and this keeps me from stopping to ask "what's next?" If I stall along the way, it's either about me or something is wrong with the plot. I'm either tired or sick, or I've made an error when I laid out the book. When writing my first Shayla Black book, WICKED TIES, I was stuck for a week and I couldn't figure it out. Then I realized it was because I had the flu and I just felt lousy. As soon as I felt better, the book picked up smoothly again. Sometimes, I'm hoping a character will follow the master plan I have for the book, but they won't. Then it becomes a negotiation. Or rather, I wait for the character to tell me what s/he is willing to do. Then I work on it from there. But it doesn't usually take long.
Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books?
A Shelley Bradley novella called WATCH ME will be a e-published by Samhain on July 10, then printed in an anthology called SNEAK PEEK, which I'll share with Jaci Burton. That released January 2008. Here's a blurb for my story:
Shanna York was set to achieve her glittering ballroom dreams and become a dance champion-until her dance partner gets tangled up in scandal and blackmail. With the clock ticking and all her ambitions at stake, the last thing she needs is the gorgeous owner of a sex club tempting her with the forbidden. Or maybe that's the very thing she needs.
Alejandro Diaz has sizzled for Shanna since he set eyes on her months ago. Her repeated rebuffs will make her surrender that much sweeter. She's ambitious and driven.but so is he. When she asks for his assistance to ensnare a voyeuristic blackmailer with a video fetish, he doesn't hesitate to help her stage a bedroom trap. But neither is prepared to face scorching, endless passion, the blackmailer's real identity-or the undeniable love that grows between them.
THE LADY AND THE DRAGON, my very first published book, will be re-released as an e-book from Samhain on May 8. Here's the blurb:
A Runaway Heiress
Lady Christina Delafield was as bold as she was beautiful. When her overbearing grandfather threatened to tame her in a Swiss finishing school, Christina stowed away on the first ship leaving London harbor, determined to make her own way in life. But the mysterious captain of the Dragon's Lair was a seductive reason to relinquish her independence-and embrace desire. A Gentleman Pirate
Drexell Cain had lived for four years as the merciless Black Dragon, the scourge of the seas. Bent on rescuing his brother from the British Navy, Drex would do anything to return him to his wife and son in Louisiana-even kidnap the Lord Admiral's granddaughter for ransom. A lovely blonde stowaway was an unexpected complication, until he discovered her real identity-and her passionate claim on his lonely heart.
My next Shayla Black book, DECADENT, will be released from Berkley on October 2. Here's the 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.
Please tell us what you have planned next?
I am just starting work on what I hope will be a paranormal series under the Shayla Black name called the Doomsday Brethren. Pocket Books has purchased the first book, and it releases September 2008. Here's a blurb about the series:
In today's world of technology, science and logic, few people realize that magic lives and breathes-and walks on two legs-among mortals. Or that magickind possesses a weapon that can hurt, heal, comfort, destroy, grant fantasies, bring peace. Or, in the hands of someone terrible and strong enough to call forth its power, the weapon can bring about Doomsday. Created during the days of the Round Table, it resurfaces in modern-day London and is sought by a wizard of evil brilliance with one goal: dominion over human and magical worlds alike. Only a band of wizards, enemies who must learn to become friends and accept love, can save the world from destruction.
Watch for more information at www.doomsdaybrethren.com.
Who is your perfect hero? And why?
The answer to that really depends on my mood. Fictional heroes speak to me in different ways. If you mean real people, history provides us with so many examples, it's hard to pick one. Certainly, the men and women of our military are among my heroes, as well as teachers and police officers. They all have such positive impacts on our society.
What do you do for inspiration?
Read, listen to music, hang out with other writers. I'm a social creature. :)
Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet?
I'm writing my first paranormal now, and I'm very excited. *I think* that's the last genre that interests me that I haven't yet tried. But I won't swear to that.
Do deadlines help or hinder your muse?
Neither. When I have a deadline, I work at the necessary pace. I'm disciplined about it. I believe in setting a pace and staying on course.
When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step.
I first submitted in May of 1998 at the urging of my critique group at the time. I had a completed manuscript, and a new line was opening at Kensington. I thought, "why not?" Within 2 weeks, they bought the book!
What would you like to tell your readers?
Thank you for supporting your favorite authors by buying their books and sending such lovely emails. The support of fans has meant a lot to me and enabled me to keep writing during some really difficult times. Just 1 email from someone who enjoyed one of my books can really change my whole outlook on a day or week. You have no idea how powerful it can be.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best: Write what you love. Well, that and put your butt in the chair and write.
The worst: Every writer should vomit out the book before editing a word. That doesn't work for me. My process is more methodical. I'm not a personal fan of vomiting, anyway. :)
Do you outline your books or just start writing?
I thoroughly pre-plot my books and write a detailed synopsis. In fact, I'm teaching a storyboarding class May 14 for the Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. There's a little space left and information can be found on the appearances section of my website. This is a great way to lay out your books in advance and find the flaws before you write them. It also helps with revisions, to see where you might have gone awry.
Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you?
Not a group, per se. I have different readers and plotting partners I use at different times for various reason. Some are good at plotting and the overall feel of the book, so I'll have them read when I'm still in the early chapters. Other are good with typos and awkward sentences. Those people read for me later in the process, when I'm closer to turning in a book.
What was your first published work and when was it published?
The Lady and The Dragon was originally released in January 1999. It's been out of print for years and will be re-released from Samhain on May 8, 2007. You can view the book trailer on my MySpace page at www.myspace.com/shelleybradley or at www.youtube.com/naughtynikkid
What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group?
My blog, which is accessible from both of my websites (Shelley and Shayla), MySpace, or e-mail me via the contact form on my website.
How can readers find out more about you and your books?