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Thursday, 17 February 2011

Author Interview with Shiela Stewart


Raised on a rural farm in Saskatchewan, Shiela Stewart relied on her vivid imagination to fill her days.
Never did she realize that her need to tell a story would someday lead to becoming a published romance author. In the fall of two thousand and six, Shiela published her very first book and hasn't stopped since.

When not writing, Shiela spends time with the love of her life, William, and their three children. She has a strong affection for animals which is evident in the five cats, one dog, three turtles and ten fish she owns. Some of her passions aside from writing are drawing  and painting and proudly displays her artwork in murals in her home.

Her favorite time of day is sunset and loves to stargaze.

Tell us about Horsing Around in a few sentences.

Horsing Around is the first book in my Carnal Desires series.
Carnal Desires: We've got a match for all your sexual pleasures.
Sara Miller needs a real man. One who can give her what she desires in and out of the bed. So far, none have met her expectations. She’s hoping all that will change after submitting her application to Carnal Desire’s Web dating service.
The owner of several prize-winning horses, more money than he knows what to do with, Andy McDonald has it all. Except for the love a good woman. He’s sick of flighty bimbos wanting only his money and not satisfying his sexual desires. After a friend pressures him into looking on line for a woman, Andy gives in and submits his application.
Sex takes on a new twist when Sara and Andy get together and nothing is taboo.

How did you come to write this particular book?

I was tossing ideas around with a friend one day. I’d seen all these ads on TV and on the internet about dating services. Matching people with their souls mates, and I thought, “Well, that’s just great if they have a bunch of things in common, but what if they’re not sexually compatible.” And voila, Carnal Desires Dating service came about. Now all I needed was my first couple to partake in this new service. And boom! Sara Miller and Andy McDonald walked in the door and took up the challenge.

Where and when is your novel set and why did you make these specific choices?

It is actually set mostly in a hotel called The Desire Inn. I wanted a place for the couples to go that was neutral ground for them both, just in case the relationship didn’t work. So The Desire Inn was created. Mistress Bella is the owner and she interviews each client and matches them up with their sexually compatible mate. No personal information is given to the clients so neither knows where the other lives unless they decide to reveal it.

How can people buy your books?

To purchase Horsing Around or any of my other books, readers can go to the Breathless Press Website at www.breathlesspress.com or All Romance Ebooks at http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html

Beginning writers make many mistakes; what do you think is the most harmful?

Letting friends and family read their work. Most friends and family won’t tell you honestly what they think of the book, if there are errors, and so forth. The best thing a new writer can do is to join groups that help critique their work honestly. If you’re not ready to hear your story needs more work, then you’re not ready to become an author.

How much revision of your MS do you do before you send it off?

I usually go through the manuscript several times before submitting it to my critique partners. When I first sit down to write, I just let the words flow. Sure, I’m conscious of spelling and grammar but I don’t sweat the small stuff. When I go through it a second time, I catch spelling errors and grammar. The third time I go through it for plot inconsistencies. Then I ship it off to one of my critique partners and they go through it for all of the above.
Every publishing house will tell you to make sure you have gone through your MS thoroughly before submitting to them. One way to show you’re not worthy of publishing is to hand in a manuscript ripe with errors. So revise, revise, revise. J

To what extent do you think genre is useful in the publishing world?

Genre’s are always changing so it’s good to stay in the loop. A specific genre can boost the sales of you book tremendously. Example: When Seducing the Darkness, the first book in my Darkness series was released, it came out as Stephanie Meyers Twilight series was making a big splash. Seducing the Darkness was in the top five best selling dark paranormal romance on Fictionwise for two weeks running. I was in third place and Stephanie Meyers books took up the first, second and forth spots.
The vampire genre took a huge boost in sales and it was what most writers wrote about. It’s like riding a wave. Once you’re on it, you go with it.

How do you know where to begin any given story?

For me, the story starts itself, sometimes from a mere sentence. My first novel, Kidnapped, started out that way. I was sitting in my living room one day and the words, “Well wasn’t this a fine predicament she’d gotten herself into now. Won’t dear old daddy be thrilled when he finds out his only child was being held captive by a bunch of thugs.” Just popped into my head. From there the story unfurled.

Do you have support, either from family and friends or a writing group?

I have a very supportive family. My hubby is actually the one that pushed, not encouraged, pushed me to look into getting my work published. He did the research, got books on getting published and kept at me until I finally caved and started submitting my work. My children are thrilled to have a mother who is an author, though my middle son has a bit of a hard time with some of my more sexier books. It doesn’t help that his friends tease him (in a friendly manner) that his mother rights smut. LOL (he’s 16 by the way.)

As for other family. My sisters are very supportive. They even through a surprise party for me when my first book was published. One sister has bought every book I’ve published, and has told me that even though they aren’t all to her liking, she buys them because I wrote them. J

How long does it normally take you to write a book?

Normally? I’ve been told I’m anything but normal. LOL
I’ve cranked out a 60,000 word novel in a month. When a story comes to me, and it refuses to leave me alone until I get it all down on paper, I have no choice but to oblige. I’m fortunate not to have a day job so I can spend as much time writing as I like. Plus my kids are all older now so I don’t have little ones to take care of.

What single piece of advice would you give to writers still hoping to be published?

Be prepared for rejection but don’t let it stop your dreams.


What are you writing now?

Right now I’m revising the second novel in my Demon series. Awaken the Demon will be released in the spring and the second book in the series, Offer the Demon needs a lot of fine tuning.  The demon series is a tale of three generations of demons who happen to be the direct descendants of Satan.

 Do you have a website or a blog that readers can visit?

To learn all about me and my books, the readers can go to my website at www.shielasbooks.ca
And I share a blog with two friends and fellow authors called, BSB Hot Romances: http://bsbhotromance.blogspot.com/

Where do you write?

I spend my time on the sofa in my living room where I can crank up the stereo, watch the snow fall outside and create until my heart’s content. If I want to write while the family is home, I take my laptop to my bedroom, sit on my bed and create.

Thanks so much for this!

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