WELCOME EVERYONE to a very special LoveCats DownUnder post. We’re welcoming new LoveCat Shannon Curtis to the fold!
But as always in life, there’s a give and take here. Sadly we’re saying goodbye to long term LoveCat Yvonne Lindsay who’s been active here while writing so many terrific books for Harlequin Desire. We’re sorry to see you go into the wild, Yvonne, but we know the time is right for you. We’ll hope to hear from you in the future when you have time.
Now to our newest Cat. Shannon lives in Sydney and is published in suspense, thrillers, paranormals and contemporary romance – what a spread. Her books have been finalists for Favourite Romantic Suspense every year from 2011 to 2016, as well as Favourite Continuing Romance Series, with the Australian Romance Readers' Association. Her work has consistently received four-star reviews from RT Book Reviews, and in 2016 she won the Australian Romance Readers' Favourite Paranormal Romance Award!
As we’re welcoming Shannon, and giving away some mammoth prizes too (more on that below) we thought it only right to begin with an interview so you learn more about our newest LoveCat.
How long have you been writing?
I actually penned my first ‘novella’ when I was fifteen. Alas, that will never see the light of day. I started writing in earnest when I was home on maternity leave with my first baby. I tried to write children’s books, but realised after the birth of my second baby that romance fiction was where my heart really was, and so in 2007 celebrated my first short story release. It took me another four years to get my first full length novel published.
What part of the writing process do you enjoy most?
I am a plotter. I love plotting, and structure, and any other anal-retentive preparation you can think of. I will spend a lot of time figuring out just how to best torture my characters. Mwhahahahaha! I tried to ‘write by the seat of my pants’ once, and it was the most uncomfortable, frightening writing experience. I prefer to spend a lot of time thinking up pitfalls and twists for my stories. J
I would have to say the books I wrote for The Bold and The Beautiful franchise were amongst the most difficult and challenging. Prior to that, I wrote romantic suspense, and I was under strict instructions not to kill off anyone in these novels. No crime, no violence. No bombs, guns or poisons, etc. For the first time I had to remove the suspense element from a novel, and solely focus on teasing out the nuances of a developing relationship. To say it was emotionally draining is an understatement. I understand, now, that authors who write those books on a regular basis pretty much open up a vein and bleed out their story. It’s a really personal, emotional journey to write that type of novel, and my utmost respect to those who do it.
Can you recall the first category romance you read? Is there a book (romance or otherwise) that made you want to become a writer?
My first category romance was definitely a Betty Neels book (I think the title was ‘The Girl with the Green Eyes.’ My mother LOVED Betty Neels, and I’d ‘borrow’ (creep in and remove, read, then creep in and return) the books from beneath her bed. She would receive a little parcel of books each month, and I’m not sure who was more excited when they arrived. Then I was introduced to Robyn Donald novels, via a schoolmate (yes, we’d open the book to THOSE pages and gasp and giggle over lunch). I would have to say, though, that Johanna Lindsey, Julie Garwood, Jayne Ann Krentz and ‘Amanda Quick’ can be blamed for my desire to become a writer. I was introduced to their books in my late teenage years, and I was HOOKED. So we can blame them. J
What category romance are you hoping to read next?
I hear Kandy Shepherd has yet ANOTHER book out (Conveniently Wed to the Greek, due out May 2017), so looking forward to that one, and Their One Night Baby, by Carol Marinelli, due out in April 2017.
Do you share your life with anyone furred, feathered or scaled? If so we’d love to hear about them.
Yes, I do. We have a cat who I believe is just a tad psycho with me, but just fine with my daughter. Her name is Lily Rose, and she has cattitude. I also have a groodle (golden retriever x poodle), who needs to be shorn every 8 weeks or so, and who has the sweetest disposition, generally keeps me company while I write, and displays the appropriate level of caution around the cat. My dog’s name is Whiskey – on account that when we got her as a pup she had a beautiful whiskey-coloured coat. She’s sweet company. Okay, so I’m definitely a dog person, but that’s because our cat is a shrew. And she scares me.
Finally, can you share one fact about yourself we might not already know.
I used to do martial arts. Two disciplines; ninjutsu and karate. My darling heart husband and I used to spar in the backyard with sparring mitts. Until one of us was knocked unconscious. The crazy things you do for love… (note: I was not the unconscious one). Then life got very busy, and now we prefer to sit and watch a good action flick.
We're so pleased to have you with the LoveCats!
So excited to be here, and thank you all so much!
Please feel free to leave a comment here to welcome Shannon.
Can you also please mention if you live in Australia? You’ll find out why in a moment.
All those who comment on our party post will go in the draw to win one of three prizes!
2 winners (from anywhere in the world!) will EACH win:
· Michelle Douglas’s April paperback release ‘The Spanish Tycoon’s Takeover’,
· Annie West’s April paperback release ‘The Desert King’s Captive Bride’,
· Kandy Shepherd’s May paperback release ‘Conveniently Wed to the Greek’,
· Amy Andrew’s paperback release ‘Playing by Her Rules’,
· Bronwyn’s Jameson’s recent retro duo paperback (which includes another Michelle Douglas story),
· Stefanie Little’s paperback release ‘Mr Dangerously Sexy,
· A backlist paperback of your choice from Melanie Milburne,
· Louisa George’s ebook ‘Something Borrowed’,
· Jennifer St George’s ebook ‘Wild For You’,
· Ally Blake’s ebook ‘Kiss Me Quick’,
· Helen Lacey’s paperback ‘Married to the Mom-to-Be’, and
· Sue MacKay’s paperback ‘Resisting Her Army Doc Rival’.
How is that for some amazing reading? PLUS
1 winner (who must be in Australia) will win a fabulous bundle of category books courtesy of Harlequin Mills and Boon Australia!
The three winners will be announced in the ‘Sunday Smooch’ post on Sunday 9 March. That gives you over a week to comment and to share with your friends who love romance. Don’t forget to check back on the 9th to see if you’ve won!