Name? Shea Berkley
My kids call me "Hey, lady."
My husband calls me "Woman, where's my supper?"
I think I've been kidnapped, but the authorities assure me this really is my family.
Where are you? At this moment in time I'm in my loft typing away at revisions that for some odd reason my editor is insistent I do. I don't get it. She bought the book. Why would she want me to change the perfection that it is?
Okay, tongue out of cheek. (maybe not all the way, but mostly) I live in the Northern Hemisphere in a little place called the United States of America in an obscure state, New Mexico which most Americans don't even know is part of the United States.
I kid you not. I live with said aforementioned husband (aka my sugar daddy). Against our country's wishes we've produced five children whose sole mission in their collective lives is to make me insane. They just haven't realized I was crazy enough to marry their father ... so HA! on them.
|Stunning New Mexico landscape|
I loved the stunning landscape, particularly around Albuquerque (and of course, a hop, skip and a jump away in Arizona is the Grand Canyon)!
|The Grand Canyon, AZ|
What genres do you write? I started out writing nonfiction and then got the bug to write fiction. My first foray was in historical romantic fiction. I lived in England at the time and was just soaking in the history so it seemed like a no brainer. Over 200,000 words later and a sweetly worded rejection from Avon, "You've got to be kidding me this is seriously way, way, way too long."
I switched to contemporary romantic fiction and finaled for the first time in the Golden Heart® contest. It was fun, but I realized I was not romantically inclined enough to write straight romance, so I then turned to writing Fiction with Romantic Elements and finaled in my second Golden Heart® contest. Fun again. Then I decided, because I read so many Young Adult stories (yeah, I've got a Peter Pan complex) I'd try my hand at writing YA and I finaled for the third time in the Golden Heart® contest. Super fun.
Between all that, I wrote a story called TORREIN: AGE OF FEAR, a epic coming of age fantasy. For a long time the market for epic fantasy was dead. Then my agent found an amazing publisher that loved my story and bought it. TORREIN: AGE OF FEAR will be released November 2011 with Variance Publishing. Super fabulous fun!!!
Who are my favorite authors? Oh, I'm a fickle girl. I usually fall into a mad crush with the one I'm reading. Suzanne Collins is spectacular.
Then there's Sharon Sala. Bernard Cornwell. Dean Koontz. Darynda Jones. Melissa Marr. Lisa Gardner. Jordan Dane. Susan E. Phillips. Lesley Kagen. Sarah Addison Allen. Holly Black.
See? I could go on and on and on...
Hmm, I don't think you're fickle at all, Shea! It looks like most writers recognise and love a good story, doesn't matter who wrote the book. So it's logical our tastes and favorites will change over time!
What inspired you to write romance? I read, a lot. I've always loved romance. People love to be in love or find love or remember love or defend love. But we're playing by the truth game today, well sort of. Not everything I'm telling you is strictly 100 proof truth, but a lot of it is. You figure out what's real and what isn't. (big, fat grin)
But what I'm about to tell you is true. I'm not much of a romantic. I love romance, but I can't seem to be romantic. I'm more interested in playing and making out than being romantic, so when I sit down, I have to force myself to think in a way that is in direct opposition to how I view life. But I get points for trying, and sometimes I actually pull a miracle from my sweet ... ahem ... gluteous area and please my agent with a romantic scene.
Who's your agent? I have a dream of an agent, Laurie McLean for the wonderful Larson and Pomada Literary Agency. She's got my back. Love her dearly.
Ohh, Laurie was one of the agents I had on my top ten list! Good on you for snaffling her, she sounds like a gem!
What's the best thing about going to conference? Hands down, meeting other writers. It's a geekfest of talking story, structure, character and motivation. I get all blushy and my heart speeds up when I think about it. Sadly, I won't be attending the 2011 RWA conference in New York, but I wish I were. (sniffle, sigh)
And lastly, finish these statements...
My greatest strength as a writer is...umm, I don't know. I've never thought about it. Seriously, I don't want to think about it. If I know, I might freak myself out because I'll know I can always do better and then I might freeze up and then, well, I'd be an unhappy, woman sitting in the corner sucking my thumb and rubbing my blankie against my cheek.
A sexy hero needs...to act confident, look good and make me laugh, then make me cry, then make me want to know more after I read The End.
My latest WIP is about...I can't tell you, but I can say it's a Young Adult novel that my agent is soo excited about she's getting a little demanding, which is a good thing even though it makes me crazy at times.
When I write I like to...have copious amounts of coke. The soft drink not the narcotic. I also eat chocolate. Every day. That's right. I'm an unhealthy writer. What of it? Seriously, if I didn't do kickboxing everyday, I'd be enormous. Other than those two things, I like to snuggle my feet under my dog and pray she doesn't pass gas. Don't judge her. She has tummy issues.
My best writing milestone to date is...signing a contract was pretty dang awesome, gotta say. But my biggest writing milestone is convincing my husband that if I got a "real" job, I'd probably only get fired for doing something inappropriate ... like singing to a customer, or shouting out BINGO just cause, or pretending to be pregnant and that I'm going into labor. (I sorta, kinda, mighta done all those things before). That he agreed made me a tad annoyed that he'd think I was that juvenile, but then I realized he'd said I could stay home and write. Booya! I win!
Shea's latest YA is THE MARKED SON and will be released from Entangled Publishing in August 2011.
If you'd like to learn more about her, she has a gorgeous website with more information about her and her books.