Shannon Stacey is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author. She lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and riding her four-wheeler. She prefers writing to laundry, however, and considers herself lucky she got to be an author when she grew up. Visit her here.
NAW- Tell us about your book, Taken with You. How did you get the idea for it? How difficult is it penning down a book series?
As the eighth book in the series, I think Taken With You just grew naturally from the previous books. Hailey, the heroine, had been in several past books as the town’s librarian and a friend of the previous heroines. And due to changes in the town as the series progressed, I realized they would need more law enforcement, which brought Matt (a game warden) to town. I knew immediately they’d be perfect for each other (even if they didn’t know it right away.)
NAW- How long did you take to finish the book? How do you decide the titles of your books?
I’m not sure exactly how long it took me to finish the book. It’s not something I really keep track of because some books just take longer to write than others. As for titles, I usually come up with a “working title”, and then my editor and the marketing department decide if it’s a good one or not. If not we, as a team, brainstorm together and come up with a title we all like. Some I’ve gotten to keep, Taken With You being one, but many get changed.
NAW- Tell us about the character of Hailey Genest. How did you develop the character?
Hailey started out as a secondary character in All He Ever Needed. She was the librarian in the fictional town of Whitford, Maine, and a friend of the heroine. She was so fun to write and started getting a little more page time as the books went on, and readers let me know they wanted her to live happily ever after, too. At the beginning of Taken With You, she has seen several of her friends find true love and it’s time for her to find her own.
NAW- Tell us about your publishing journey.
I had wanted to be an author since I was a child, and the dream specifically became romance author when I was a teenager. I wrote some really awful romances in my younger days, but finally reached a point where I thought they were good enough to submit. The rejection letters suggested otherwise. Then I got married and had a child and then another, and writing became something I snuck into spare moments as the dream died. Then I found the online romance community and started writing and submitting seriously again. In 2005, I was offered my first contract and in 2011, I landed on the New York Times list for the first time.
NAW- Tell us about your other works.
Besides my Kowalski series, I enjoy writing Christmas novellas and my fourth, Her Holiday Man, will release November 3rd. I also have a popular action romance series, the Devlin Group. The fourth book in that series, No Place To Hide, released in August.
NAW- Tell us about yourself. What do you do when you are not writing?
Obviously, I love to reaad, and I also watch too much television. But our favorite family activity is four-wheeling. We have a camp in northern NH and from May through October, we ATV as much as possible. But once snowmobiling season starts, my husband does the riding and I hibernate with my books and television.
NAW- Please name your favourite writers. Are there any who you’d like to name as an inspiration?
I have so many favorite writers, and it often depends on my mood. Julie James, Jill Shalvis, Sarah Morgan are perennial favorites. I find Nora Roberts very inspiring, not only because she’s an incredible writer, but because she has an amazing work ethic. And Jaci Burton is not only one of my favorite authors, but she inspires me by being my best friend and celebrating my successes, but also giving me a kick in the pants when I need one.
NAW-What are you currently reading?
I just started reading Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh, who is another author whose talent is awe-inspiring. She also happens to be a wonderful person, which is a bonus.
NAW- What will you be working on next?
I have two new series launching in 2015. The Boys of Fall series is about three men who return to their hometown to help save the high school football team and opens with Under The Lights in June 2015. The second series will take place in Boston, but we’re still nailing down the final details. Thank you so much for the opportunity to talk about my books!