The lovely Jill Shalvis is here today to be
tortured interviewed by us. I read her blog every day and I have to tell you - she's hilarious. I've also read several of her novels and find her fictional writing to be just as engaging as her blog is. We're honored to have her on the blog and hope you'll give her a warm welcome.
Questions about the writing...
Book Binge: Can you tell us a bit about your first sale? What was it like getting that phone call?
Jill Shalvis: First sale call came ten years ago. I had my little one on the big girl pottie and she was yelling “wipe me!” as I tried to have a grown up discussion with my editor. Talk about humility. But the call changed my life. Now I get paid for the little voices in my head. I think that means I get to be eccentric instead of crazy.
BB: Did you always want to be a writer, or was it something you just feel into?
JS: I was a journalism major in college, so on some level I always knew. However it took me ten years to figure out I was born for fiction, not nonfiction. Plain and simple, I just like to make stuff up.
BB: What’s your favorite thing about writing?
JS: I get to wear sweats and bunny slippers to work. Oh, and I get to work on my couch or on my deck or at the lake’s edge. My choice. Sure beats wearing mascara every day.
BB: Do you plot out your stories? Or just fly by the seat of your pants when writing?
JS: Both. Okay, that’s a lie. I fly by the seat of my pants but I wish I plotted.
BB: How do you choose names for your characters?
JS: I collect names that appeal to me on little scraps of paper in my purse, and when it comes time to start a new book, I empty out the purse and draw a scrap.
BB: How much research do you have to do for an average novel?
JS: Depends on the book. For the Wilder Adventures, not too much since I live in the wild Sierras and do or have done all the adventures I write about. It’s all in my back yard. But for my mass market series coming out for Berkley next summer, with big, athletic sexy baseball heroes? Oh boy. Tons of research there! I got to interview baseball cuties and go to games and invade their spaces. Lots of fun.
BB: How many current projects are you working on? What do you have in store for us in the near future?
JS: I’m writing that outdoor adventure series for Brava, the baseball series for Berkley, and also firefighter for Blaze. Ouch. My head hurts thinking about it!
BB: Why Firefighters? Is there a special reason you chose to write about them, or just because?
JS: I just think they’re innately heroic, relevant to our society today, and pretty darn sexy.
H: But what about the cops? They're so underrated..
BB: Which is easier for you to write, category or single title? Why?
JS: Neither. They’re different, and I love being able to switch off, but it’s all darn hard work if you’re asking. Send cookies.
BB: What book of yours would you recommend to a first time reader of your work?
JS: Oh boy. That’s a little like asking which kid is my favorite. I guess if you wanted romantic comedy and a little mystery, I’d say GET A CLUE, or THE TROUBLE WITH PARADISE. If you wanted just plain sexy, with a hint of suspense, I’d say the sexy series for Brava, SMART AND SEXY, STRONG AND SEXY, SUPERB AND SEXY. If you wanted short and hot, go for the Blaze firefighters, FLASHPOINT and FLASHBACK.
Book Binge: Can you tell us about your current WIP? Can we see an excerpt?
Jill Shalvis: I’ve just finished INSTANT ATTRACTION, Brava 2/09, the first in a series of three wild, alpha heroes, brothers who run an outdoor adventure/expedition company. The first brother, Cam Wilder, has come back after a year of personal hell . . .
Katie had been working for Wilder Adventures for a week now, the best week in recent memory. Up until right this second when a shadowy outline of a man appeared in her room. Like the newly brave woman she was, she threw the covers over her head and hoped he hadn’t seen her.
“Hey,” he said, blowing that hope all to hell.
His voice was low and husky, sounding just as surprised as she, and with a deep breath, she lurched upright to a seated position on the bed and reached out for her handy dandy baseball bat before remembering she hadn’t brought it with her. Instead, her hands connected with her glasses and they went flying.
Which might just have been a blessing in disguise, because now she wouldn’t be able to witness her own death.
But then the tall shadow bent and scooped up her glasses and . . .
Handed them to her.
A considerate bad guy?
She jammed the frames on her face and focused in the dim light coming from the living room lamp. He stood at the foot of the bed frowning right back at her, hands on his hips.
He didn’t look like an ax murderer, which was good, very good, but at over six feet of impressive, rangy, solid-looking muscle, he didn’t exactly look like a harmless Tooth Fairy either.
“Why are you in my bed?” he asked warily, as if maybe he’d put her there but couldn’t quite remember.
He had a black duffle bag slung over a shoulder. Light brown hair stuck out from the edges of his knit ski cap to curl around his neck. Sharp green eyes were leveled on hers, steady and calm but irritated as he opened his denim jacket.
If he was an ax murderer, he was quite possibly the most attractive one she’d ever seen.
Questions about stuff other than the writing...
BB: What are you reading right now?
JS: Nora Robert’s Tribute.
BB: What is your favorite book?
JS: Not fair. I have two bookshelves full of my favorites. I could no more pick one than tell you what my favorite cookie is.
BB: What’s on your playlist on your iPod right now?
JS: Oh boy. It’s quite a list, but here’s a few, The Fray, Linkin Park, Pink, The Calling, Gavin Rossdale, Finger Eleven, Kid Rock, Life house, Matchbox Twenty, Colbie Caillat, John Mayer, Leona Lewis, Papa Roach, One Republic, O.A.R. …
BB: What is your favorite color?
JS: Blue, red, green, purple-- okay, let’s make this easy. All of them.
BB: What's your biggest weakness?
JS: Cookies, cakes, and pies.
BB: If you could be anywhere right now, where would it be?
JS: I live in paradise so I can’t complain. I’m pretty much right where I want to be. Well, on the NYT list would be good . . .
Now for the really important questions...
BB: Don't you think Rowena would make a GREAT name for a character? =P
JS: You’re right. The name is going on a scrap piece of paper and in my purse right this minute.
BB: Don't you want to name your next heroine Rowena?
JS: Keep a watch out . . .
BB: Are you going to name your next heroine Rowena
JS: Buy my books and see
And the most important question of all...
BB: The next time you see Luke Wilson out on the hiking trail, are you going to tell him to call Holly?
JS: Right after I tell him to call me. Luke? Have your people get in touch with my people . . .
Jill, thanks so much for answering all our questions (or sort of answering them, as the case may be).
Readers, want to know more about Jill? She'll be in and out today, so leave a comment and she may say hello or answer any questions you might have.
Also, go check out her blog. I'm telling you, it's worth adding to your daily read list.
**CONTEST ALERT** Jill has graciously offered two books from her backlist to give away. Leave a comment on this post before noon on Friday, September 12th and you just might win one! Don't be shy, say hello!
Also, be sure to check back later today, because we just might have something else to give away.... Share this post!