Coffee Time Romance has the pleasure of speaking to bestselling author, Shiela Stewart. It is so good to see you. The readers are anxious to hear about your Awaken the Demon series, and any future works you have in prosarangress. Why not get comfortable in the huge recliner while we begin our interview.
Before we begin, let me say, congrats to your cover art win. I believe you designed the covers for your Darkness series and Tempting the Darkness came in second in the Affaire du Couer art cover contest.
Shiela: Thank you so much for having me here today and thank you for the congrats. I was surprised and honored when my publisher asked if she could submit Tempting to the contest. It’s the first of my covers to be submitted so it was even more exciting when it came in second.
Do you like to begin your mornings writing after you wake?
I get more inspiration at night. My brain doesn’t function well enough when I get up. J However, if I have a dream or nightmare I think would make a good story, I’ll jot it down then work on it in the afternoon.
What inspired you to write this series?
The inspiration came from a nightmare. I rarely have pleasant dreams and sometimes one of them clings so tightly to me, I have to write them down. As was the case with ATD. I tamed the dream down a great deal, took out a lot of the violence and added romance to it. ATD has been originally just one book. But as the story began to bloom, a sequel popped into my head.
I submitted Awaken the Demon in a contest, my first step into publishing, and came in second. The problem was, it didn’t have a HEA ending, which is a problem in a romance novel. Despite only coming in second, the publisher convinced me to change it up, add a HEA, which meant I had to scrap the second book, which didn’t blend with the new ATD.
After altering it, I had no thought to add a second book. I was a little bumbed about scraping the first sequel. It wasn’t until the book was released did a thought come to me. Why not create a story about the Hero and Heroine’s daughter and her displeasure at having to collect souls for Satan. Then, writing that one, I added an ending that led to the next book, Conquer the Demon.
There are three versions of Awaken the Demon. The other two were good, they just didn’t capture me the way the original did.
When writing, do you often put yourself in the middle of the characters?
I’m not as brave as my characters. Getting between demons, vampires and other paranormal creatures doesn’t really sound like a good idea.
While you are composing is there something that you always like to have with you, like a favorite drink, fragrant candles burning, soft music playing, etc.?
Yes, music, the harder the better. The strong beats fuel my creativity. I feed off the energy of the music. I had just bought a dance album and on it was a song called O Fortuna I started playing it and sat down to write when this song played. It struck me so deeply that I played it every time I sat down to write ATD. Here is a link to the song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNWpZ-Y_KvU
How would you describe your work area when penning your stories?
I used to work at my computer desk, but I got so immersed in the story that I’d forget the time and before I knew it, my kids would come home after school and I’d forgotten to eat lunch. My hubby bought me a laptop and since then I mostly write in my living room, in my recliner. I have a notebook on a side table along with my iced tea. Often my cat’s try to help me write, but it rarely works out.
Do you prefer to start with an outline when you write or just go with the flow?
More often than not I just go with the flow. The stories are usually so intense that I don’t have time to outline it.
Can you tell us about any future books that are upcoming?
I currently have two releases. The third book in the Demon series, Conquer the Demon, and the seventh book in my darkness series, Consuming the Darkness. The last book in the Darkness series, Surviving the Darkness, will be released sometime in the spring.
What draws you to buying a novel, the author, the title, or the synopsis?
All of the above. LOL If a cover catches my eye I’ll check it out. From there, it’s the synopsis that gets me interested.
If someone gave you a vacation trip, to anywhere, where would you like to vacation?
There are two places. Scotland I have always wanted to visit their castles.
Is there a certain movie or song that you could watch or listen to repeatedly?
Movie: I could watch House on Haunted Hill every day if I could.
I’d like to add TV to the question. I have a serious addiction to Supernatural. I have watched and rewatched the series probably twenty times or more. For those who don’t know the series, it’s a paranormal series involving two absolutely hunky men hunting down ghosts, vampires, werewolves, etc.. Check it and maybe you’ll become as addicted as I am. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmKLq1InbQc
If you could meet any writer, or actor, whom would you choose to spend a day with?
Per the above, the actors of Supernatural, Jensen Ackles and Jared Padeleki. I have met one of the characters from the series, Roweena (Ruth Connell) who plays a witch on the series.
Are there any thoughts that you would like to leave with your readers?
Don’t be afraid to take that first leap, because you never know where it will lead to. And never give up. If it is truly what you want, what you desire, fight for it and keep plugging at it.
Shiela, thank you for spending the morning with us. We look forward to all the fabulous books that you give us to read.
Thank you Cherokee for having me here today.
Places to purchase: https://www.amazon.com/Shiela-Stewart/e/B002BLN95E