Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Welcome to Stephanie Tyler's guest blog
Welcome Ms. Stephanie Tyler to Love Romances and More, thank you for joining us.
Thanks so much for inviting me!
Did you always want to become a writer?
Absolutely. I was seeing movies of my stories in my head from a very young age and wrote my first short story when I was around seven. I was always daydreaming up storylines and characters and I’m just thrilled I’m able to have my dream job as my career.
What is the most, and the least interesting fact about writing?
This is a really good question – and I’m not sure about the least interesting – probably that it’s hard work, even though I really love it. I think people might prefer to think the stories flow effortlessly all the time. I would prefer that as well.
Most interesting? Well, I get paid to make things up! How much more fun can a job get?
How did you celebrate your first release? What was it like to see your book in a bookstore? Do you have a special ritual for celebrating a book release?
I don’t know if I celebrated, per se…I know I was so excited and it was really cool to see the books on the shelves. It’s an amazing feeling to know that you’re actually in a store – and it’s humbling to see the company you’re surrounded with. I don’t have any special rituals, but I’m really trying to get better about celebrating the milestones surrounding a book and its release. It’s really easy to write and send and sigh and move on to the next book without congratulating yourself for actually finishing a book.
How did your family react to fact that you write romance novels? Have your family read your book?
My immediate family is very cool with it. But most of them (excluding my husband) haven’t read them, which is okay with me! They buy it anyway to support me, which is very cool. I find that most people who know me and read my books end up saying things like, you made me blush, etc. I’ve never had a problem with separating book from author (because hey, they’re not autobiographies) but hey, I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable.
Most authors are also avid readers. Is this the case with you? If so, who are some of your favorites? Have any influenced your writing?
Voracious reader – I used to leave the library as a kid with a HUGE pile of books and need a new pile less than a week later. My favorites are Suzanne Brockmann, Cherry Adair, Tami Hoag, Larissa Ione, Sherrilyn Kenyon, JR Ward, Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner and lots of non-fiction (biographies in particular.)
Do you feel each of your characters live with you as you write? Do their lives sometimes take over a part of your life? Can you name an example? Do you have living role models for your characters?
My characters absolutely live with me – and take over – usually long before I write about them. Jake (Hard to Hold) and his brothers have honestly lived with me since I was about ten years old…it’s just taken me this long to feel as if I could do their stories justice.
Where do you get the inspirations for your books?
Usually, the hero will just kind of ‘walk on,’ if that makes sense. So I’ll know a lot about him already – the rest begins to fill in from various places. For instance, I pay particular attention to snippets of dialogue I might hear on TV – it’s a whole synchronicity thing that happens when I’m working on a manuscript – I can get different bits of inspiration from everywhere.
Do you find it difficult at times to write love scenes?
Sometimes they’re incredibly easy and other times, when they’re tough, it’s usually because I can’t figure out why they’re having sex at that point – because it’s not always about just a simple case of lust. Usually, it’s about getting to the emotions behind the act that make a fully fleshed (and effective) love scene, if that makes sense. So yes, a good love scene shouldn’t just be about the sex – it’s a scene that pulls double duty.
Do you have a problem with deadlines and have you ever suffered a writers block?
I’ve definitely had to juggle deadlines, because at one point I was writing Blazes, my own Single titles and the Sydney Croft books. Now, I try to schedule so there’s enough time, but you’re always doing a million things at once. I just try my hardest and if I think I’m going to need more time, I ask! My editor’s never said no – most editors would rather know ahead of time and most of the time, they can accommodate easily. As for writer’s block – for me, when I ‘can’t’ write – I’m usually procrastinating for a reason – fear, maybe, or maybe the book’s just not ready to spill onto the page yet. But it’s usually a block about a specific book, not writing in general.
Do you prefer stand-alone books or series (As a reader or a writer) ?
I honestly like both as a reader. As a writer, I’m a trilogy kind of girl – anything longer than that seems daunting to me in terms of keeping track of the world and the characters. My mind seems to work in trilogies.
You also write together with Larissa Ione under the pen name Sydney Croft, is it easy or hard for you to work with another author? I imagine that it can be sometimes quite difficult.
I’m sure it can be difficult if it’s not with the right person. Honestly, writing with Larissa is much easier than writing on my own. We’ve just always clicked, both as friends and as co-authors. And it’s really exciting passing the scenes back and forth – there’s a great energy there. Larissa always likens it to watching our characters fall in love, because, even if I know the basics of the scene she’s writing, there’s always something in there that surprises me and my character. It’s a very cool process.
What inspired you to write about military heroes?
My daughter is special needs, and in the first year of her life she had more major surgeries than I can count. And my husband used to say, she’s so tough – she could be the first female SEAL. I’d started writing again after she was born, but when he said that, I was like, hmmm – and I started to research Navy SEALs. From there, everything fell into place.
If you could change places with one character from your book, who would it be and why?
Oh, great question, especially since most of my characters go to hell and back. Um, in that case, none of them?
Actually, I think I’d pick any of my heroines – I think they’re all pretty brave and don’t back down from danger.
What is your favourite book from the books that you have written so far? Who are your favourite hero and heroine, and why?
Most special – Jake and Isabelle from Hard to Hold. All 3 brothers from the trilogy are so special to me, but there was just something…magic…in writing Jake’s book.
Would you like to give another genre a try?
I’d never say never! I wouldn’t mind giving women’s fiction or a nice, juicy saga a try, but I’m lucky in that I’ve gotten to do both RS and Erotica and Paranormal.
Which book was the hardest to write and which the easiest?
The hardest book to write (so far) was Nick’s book, Too Hot to Hold (Book 2 of the SEAL trilogy.) I knew what I wanted to do – and there was so much to fit in and it was big and complicated and it just started to sprawl. Don’t get me wrong – sprawl is a really GOOD thing for an author – but it’s hard to get a handle on. My editor should get extra cookies for helping me through that one.
If you could choose of your books for a movie, which one would it be and who would you as the cast?
Oh, that’s a good one! I’m thinking…maybe…the entire Hold trilogy! And I think any movie producers who see this should contact me immediately.
For the cast – that’s really hard – I don’t ever picture real people or celebrities in place of my characters, so that’s a hard one. But I’m thinking more along the lines of a young Viggo Mortenson than say, a pretty boy, if that makes sense.
If you could travel through time to visit a special time period or famous person, what or who would it be and why?
I think I’d like to go to the future, because I live for spoilers and I always say that I’m too impatient for instant gratification.
Do you listen to music while you are writing and if so what music is it?
I absolutely do! I create a soundtrack for each book. You can see (and sample, if you have iTunes) the soundtrack for Hard to Hold and other books on my website. Mostly, I like classic rock – the louder the better (AC/DC, Motley Crue, STP, etc) but I also love Macy Gray and some rap. I listen to pretty much everything, depending on my mood.
Big congrats to your latest release, Hard to Hold, can you please tell us something about the book?
Hard to Hold is the first book in my Navy SEAL trilogy – the books are being released back to back (Dec 2009, Jan 2010 (Too Hot to Hold) and Feb 2010 (Hold on Tight) and they revolve around three brothers by adoption who are all SEALs. The first book is about Jake Hansen, who rescues Dr Isabelle Markham from Africa, where she’s been beaten and left for dead. Obviously, Jake and Isabelle share a very strong bond from the beginning, but they’ve both got lots of emotional baggage, complicated by the fact that Isabelle’s still in danger.
You can read almost the full prologue of the book here
Are you working on anything right now, and can you tell us a teaser about these projects?
Right now, I’m just finishing small revisions Cam’s book (Lie With Me) and I’m working on Zane’s book (Promises in the Dark) and they’re tentatively scheduled for a back to back release in Fall 2010. You’ll meet Cam in Chris’s book, although that’s really the only connection – I like to think of these next two books as a spinoff rather than a continuation. But Lie With Me and Promises in the Dark are definitely connected. As for a teaser about Lie With Me…well, let’s just say that Cam wasn’t supposed to fall for the daughter of the man he hates.