September, school starts back and the learning begins. We also have some great authors to learn about, like Shawna Moore who is with us today. Coffee Time Romance wants to take this time to extend a warm welcome to Ms. Moore. WELCOME! Ms. Moore will be talking about her latest book The Gypsy and the Jester and be telling us a little about herself.
Shawna, I would like to take this time to thank you for granting Coffee Time Romance this interview. I visited your website and you have a lovely shade of pink that sort of captures the reader when they enter. I must let you know that I read The Gypsy and the Jester and found it thoroughly charming. You are a gifted storyteller in your books.
What inspired you to create this delightful story?
Thank you for your kind words regarding my website and stories, Cherokee
While my husband and I were walking down Bourbon Street one evening, we stopped in a shop that sold various Mardi Gras masks and costumes. Hanging from one wall display were half-face masks fashioned from black and purple lace. These, to me, embodied the allure and mystery of the gypsy. In another section of the shop, I spotted a jester’s cap complete with small metal bells from which emanated the most enchanting jingle when touched. That evening, after our return from a tour and stroll down Bourbon Street, I started plotting the erotic romance that would become THE GYPSY AND THE JESTER. On the same vacation, we visited a New Age shop featuring a variety of herbs, oils and elixirs. Prior to our enjoying a delicious lunch at Bacco, I jotted more storyline and characters notes. Chloe’s and Mark’s story played in my mind as we enjoyed a riverboat cruise and throughout the rest of our romantic Crescent City getaway. Until several months before I submitted the story to Triskelion Publishing, those original notes remained in my desk drawer. One evening as we watched television together, a comment from my husband convinced me to write the story that achieved publication in June of 2006.
Was there a particular reason you chose the setting of New Orleans, besides the chemistry it adds to the storyline?
You’ve touched on the main reason I chose The Big Easy for the setting, but my choice also pays homage to my favorite city. No other city embodies good times, spicy cuisine; cool Jazz, and a throbbing pulse that keeps on beating 24/7 better than New Orleans. The spontaneity and eclecticism of New Orleans spurs my creativity.
The character of Chloe and Mark seem to leap from the pages. Did you have fun creating them?
Chloe shares my perseverance and love of life. She’s also not afraid to defend her opinions to the utmost. Despite the fact she’s confronted with skeptics and detractors, she stands strong and determined. Mark is a man whose main lesson is learning to trust a woman who is his mental and sexual match. Sometimes, I experiment with giving characters a variety of traits, beliefs and quirks before the right ones fall into place. Not so with Chloe and Mark. They came to mind fully “fleshed” out, even though they’re fictional characters. I was thrilled to bring them together on both a mental and physical level. When they broke down their reservations and defenses, I cheered their romantic commitment.
How long have you been writing, Shawna?
I’ve been writing since well before starting school. As an only child, I thrived on creating fictional worlds and characters and would perform skits for family and friends featuring woodland animals and mystical creatures. Becoming immersed in those fantasies was fulfilling and entertaining. In junior- and senior-high school, I served as Editor and Features Editor of the newspapers, and I won several writing competitions. Professionally, I’ve been writing full-time since January of 2001. Writing brings me immense satisfaction, and I cannot imagine myself ever trading this wonderful career for any other.
Is it difficult having more than one editor, or one publishing house to send submissions?
Not at all. I welcome variety and value working with multiple individuals in the publishing industry. They all have wisdom to impart, and small-press publishing has been a positive and rewarding experience for me. It was always my dream and intention of writing for more than one publisher.
Do you get along well with your publisher/editors?
Yes. All parties benefit by open communication. Mutual respect is another key to a good author-publisher relationship. If I have questions, I ask them, and I likewise answer any posed of me. Both sides can learn a lot about each other during the publishing process and from book to book. Keeping an open mind and being flexible helps. A willingness to do whatever is necessary during the editorial process benefits publishers, authors and readers. I’m quite content with the three small presses by whom I’m published. However, my sights are also focused on print publication by a major New York publisher.
What was your reaction when you got your first contract?
My first contract arrived the day before our eighth wedding anniversary. It was for SAINTS AND SINNERS with Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. When I opened the e-mail, I was alone at the time, but my reaction likely carried outside the walls of our home. It was a joy defying description, but it was also a wake-up call that I was merely beginning my publishing journey. An author cannot revel in the first contract too long. He or she must tuck the achievement away in the heart and focus on writing more books, strengthening writing skills, and committing a certain amount of time each week for the writing process. Our stories will never see the light of publishing day if we don’t type those words onto the fictional page.
Do you have any other upcoming releases that you would like to share with us today?
LIFE IMITATING ART, a contemporary erotic romance/suspense/BDSM might be available from Venus Press by the time this interview goes live. It involves a Manhattan gallery owner who’s pitted against a sociopath with a bizarre agenda. Freedom of expression has two lives hanging in the balance. As well, I’ve a short story pending release with Venus Press, SADDLE OPTIONAL, for those who love fulfilling cowboy fantasies.
How long does it normally take you to finish a novel?
It depends on the novel. For a single-title novel (90-100K), I can complete the first draft in less than six weeks. For a category-length romance, it takes me around three weeks for the first draft. That said, I always have more than one draft of any given manuscript. Thus, the layering and polishing process can take another several weeks once the completed project has been allowed to languish for a certain period of time. I prefer letting some time elapse between the completion of the first draft and the self-editing process.
Do you have any stories that you would love to make into sequels?
There is one contemporary women’s fiction novel with romantic elements (100K) that I’ve roughly plotted as having the potential for four books. However, I’ll see what happens once this novel is acquired by a publisher and what their vision is regarding a limited series.
How do you spend your time relaxing?
I love reading romance and women’s fiction. During the spring and summer, I enjoy taking long walks around our neighborhood. Shopping (especially for shoes) and traveling are two of my other favorite pastimes. When my real-life hero is home, I delight in spending time with him.
What does your writing space look like?
Lots of paperwork, plotting sheets, whiteboards, scene slips, character notes, stationery supplies…but everything is in the proper place. I can’t tolerate chaotic workspaces. Order is important to me, much as advance plotting is to my novel writing. If everything is organized, I don’t have to waste time searching for things and can devote that precious time to my writing, researching, editing, and promotion.
Just for fun: What is your favorite secret indulgence?
Hmmm…once I divulge the details it won’t be a secret anymore <G> But I love treating myself to a spa day at home. I assemble all of my favorite bath products on a hot pink satin cloth which I place atop a gorgeous silver tray. On a separate tray I arrange some imported dark chocolate squares and a mini ice bucket filled with a bottle of sparkling water. These trays are placed on a small table in our master bathroom, and I allow only a bit of natural sunlight through the blinds. While lounging in the bath, I apply a fango mud facial mask. After a sumptuous soak in the fragrant suds, and a rinsing of the mask, I give myself a pedicure and manicure. This experience is my closest indulgence to pure bliss, unless my real-life hero’s around to heighten the experience J
Is there anything else that you would love to share with your readers?
While a good part of my day is spent writing, editing, researching and/or promoting, I love chatting with and hearing from readers. Their opinions and feedback matter to me, and I encourage them to contact me via my website at http://www.grant-moore.com or via my author e-mail address at email@example.com
Writing is a passion I love sharing with others. My dream is to still be writing romance and women’s fiction when I’m 100 J Live life to the fullest. Love and cherish your friends, family and real-life hero. Remain true to your goals. Never lose sight of them. May your wildest dreams become reality!
Readers of women’s fiction and erotic romance are welcome to subscribe to my newsletter at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Giveaways are hosted, and subscribers receive updates of my latest publishing news and fiction releases.
Shawna, thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to be with us today. Thank you, Cherokee, for the pleasure of conducting this interview with Coffee Time Romance. Anyone interested in reading more about Shawna and her fabulous books, please visit her website http://www.grant-moore.com or
http://www.grant-moore.com/shawna/gypjes.html to read more about her enchanting works. It has been a pleasure Shawna, and I wish you the best with your writing.
FABULOUS, Another fantastic interview with one of our favorite authors.
Coffee Time wants to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Moore for chatting with us today, Thank You!