Jen: I really enjoy the Doomsday Brethren series! It seems like forever since we've heard from these guys. Can you give us a little hint about what we can expect in Embrace Me at Dawn?
Shayla: More of everything! More adventure, more heat, more eye-popping moments. As I’ve been writing this book, I’ve said, “OMG, did that REALLY just happen?” more than once. I’m super excited about how this book has been shaping up.
Jen: I know Anka is supposed to be with Lucan, but will poor Shock ever find his own happiness? (Clearly, I am convinced he is one of the good guys.)
Shayla: Shock definitely has a story to tell…eventually.
Jen: When we get to Bram's book, will we get the backstory we missed on him and his mysterious mate?
Shayla: Yes! In fact, you’ll get a little bit about her in EMBRACE ME AT DAWN. There’s a lot there that the reader—and Bram himself—doesn’t know.
Jen: Can you tell us a little about Project Alpha?
Shayla: Not too much, as I haven’t started writing yet. But they will be very sexy romantic suspenses about a very different breed of soldier facing a whole lot of danger to both the world and their hearts.
Jen: You write so many different kinds of romance books, with varying degrees of heat and sexual adventure. Do you have a favorite kind of book to write? Stand-alones, series, spicy, romantic?
Shayla: No, I really just write what’s capturing my imagination. Contractually, I have to write books in a certain order, but I made the decision to write each of these books because they grabbed me and made me smile or cry or clap or squirm in my chair. I can’t write something I’m not excited about.
Jen: At what point in your career did you finally feel like you'd "made it" as an author?
Shayla: I wouldn’t say that I really feel that I’ve “made it” even now. My job is to sit in front of my computer every day and type out the stories in my head. I truly enjoy the interaction on my Facebook fan page and the role play pages for both the Doomsday Brethren and Wicked Lovers series. Hitting the New York Times was a definite thrill. But I’m always aware that my job isn’t really about what I’ve written in the past, but what I’m going to write now and tomorrow. I simply think in terms of maintaining good work habits and hopefully more readers finding me so that my career can grow.
Jen: I'm sure you get a lot of feedback from your fans. What effect does fan response have on you personally and as a writer?
Shayla: Some emails from fans have touched me deeply. I’ve been told that I’ve saved relationships and helped people through personally difficult times. People have written to tell me that they’ve discovered things about themselves by reading my books or that they’ve found a deeper connect with their partner by reading my books together with them. I’ve had hate mail, love mail, and prison mail. People have told me what I’ve done right and wrong, in their estimation. In all cases, I figure that if I made the reader feel something, I did my job. I used to let negativity bother me, but the truth really is, not every book or every author is for every person. Every author has themes and characters that resonate for them. Some readers will understand them and others won’t. Frankly, there’s a book and an author for every reader out there. It may or may not be me. I accept that. The best thing I can do for the readers who do like what I write is to continue to be me and minimize the distractions. Trying to cater to readers for whom I’m just not their cup of tea is a waste of everyone’s time..
Shayla: I love opportunities to connect with readers. Many writers are introverts, but I’m a people person, and I take many chances every year to meet readers and just have fun. Attending conferences like this are a great way to meet new people you’ll instantly have something in common with: love of books!
Jen: What are looking forward to most about AAD in NOLA this summer?
Shayla: The people, the parties, and the fun! It will be my first time to AAD, and I’m planning to make the most of it.
Jen: Thank you so very much for visiting the blog! I can't wait to meet in New Orleans!
Shayla: Thanks for much for having me here. I’m looking forward to meeting in New Orleans, too.
To learn more about Shayla Black you can visit her website or follow her on Twitter.