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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Interview with Author Shannyn Schroeder and Giveaway

Today I would like to welcome author Shannyn Schroeder to RFTC. Shannyn is celebrating the recent release of her book More than This and has stopped by to answer a few questions. Please give Shannyn a warm welcome.

Shannyn Schroeder is a former English teacher, who now works as a part-time editor while raising her three kids.

Even though she wrote from high school through college (mostly poetry), she’d never considered a career as an author. Writing fell by the wayside as she focused her energy on creating lesson plans and new and fabulous ways to torment her teen students. One group in particular dubbed her “The Torture Master,” a title she carried into motherhood.

After the birth of baby number two, Shannyn resigned from teaching and fell in love with reading romance novels. She read so many books so quickly that her husband teased, “If you’re going to read so many damn books, why don’t you just write one?”

So she did.

That first book is safely buried on her hard drive, but the process set Shannyn on the path to professional author. She came to reading romance later than many, but lives for the happy ending because real life can be depressing. She writes contemporary romance because she enjoys the adventure of new love.

In her spare time, she loves to bake cookies and watches far too much TV, especially cop shows. She is recovering from her Diet Coke addiction, fears putting her foot in her mouth on social media, and has a renewed appreciation for the bad girls of the world.

Places to find Shannon:
| Site | Twitter |

First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
I live in a Chicago suburb with my 3 kids, husband, and dog. I’m a former English teacher (although I do occasionally teach some college-level writing classes). I didn’t read romance until after staying home with the kids (had to keep my sanity somehow). I bake to relax and I watch way too much TV. Having a DVR has increased the amount of TV I watch because I’m less selective than I used to be about trying out new shows. But I justify it by saying I save time by eliminating commercials.

Did you always want to be a writer?
When I was about 10 I had the idea that writing would be fun and I walked around with a clipboard full of looseleaf, writing all summer. Although I continued to write when I got into high school and college, being an author never crossed my mind. I wanted something that would give me a steady pay check, so I became a teacher. The writing bug didn’t get me until I stopped teaching to stay at home with the kids and discovered romance.

What kind of writer are you? Panster or Plotter?

I’m a total pantser. I’ve tried various methods for outlining because the English teacher in me loves outlines. But every time I try, I can’t write. I’ve found that I need to just put my butt in the chair and write. Often, a lot of what I type ends up being cut, but the journey is always fun.

Where do your ideas come from?
I get ideas everywhere. From books, movies, people on the street. It starts with a little nugget, an interesting concept for a character and then I let my mind toy with it until a person develops.

A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
For movie buffs – The Back Up Plan meets The Bucket List

The nonmovie version – A lonely teacher tackles a list of summer adventures before getting pregnant, but she falls for the sexy bartender who acts as her wingman

What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
I read a variety of genres. I read contemporary romance more than anything, but I think that’s mostly because I had my fill of romantic suspense when I first came to romance. I read some paranormals, but I have to admit to being vampired out. I like deep emotional, angsty reads as well as light, fun reads.

Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
I love so many books, choosing 1 is impossible. My favorite book from childhood would have to be either To Kill a Mockingbird or Catcher in the Rye. They both made a huge impact on me. They’re part of the reason I decided to become an English teacher. As far as romance goes, I have many that are favorites, but Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie would definitely be near the top.

What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write?
Highly emotional scenes are hard for me to write. This could be anything from an argument to a sex scene. If it’s emotionally charged, I tend to cheat on the first draft and just write what happens and then fix it during revisions. When something terrifies one of my characters, it’s difficult to get into his or her head because I feel that emotion. It’s also hard to make it translate into words.

If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
  • JD Salinger – because I love his work (everything, although Holden will always have a special place in my heart). Also, I want to know why he was such a recluse and why he stopped writing (or at least publishing).
  • Jennifer Crusie – because I think she is wicked smart when it comes to storytelling. She’s a master of craft. It would be great to just listen to her talk about stories. Plus, I think she’s funny.
  • Nora Roberts – because she’s proven she has staying power. She’s built a huge readership under two names and I’d love to learn whatever advice she could offer since I’m just starting out.

Last question, are you working on anything right now?
I turned in book 2 to my editor, which should be out this summer. The hero and heroine in book 2 are Ryan’s friend Griffin and Quinn’s sister Indy. I’ve drafted Ryan’s brother Colin’s story and I have a couple of other books I’m working on in various stages of drafting and revising.

When a lonely teacher teams up with a handsome bartender for some outrageous acts, they both get more than they bargained for…

Learning her ex-husband is going to be a father, Quinn Adams is determined to have a baby of her own—without the partnership of a man. But her sister and friends believe she needs to focus on herself first, and step out of her comfort zone by completing a list of adventures. Challenge number one is to go on five dates within two weeks. After a few disastrous attempts, Quinn’s ready to give up—until sexy bartender Ryan O’Leary offers his assistance.

Ryan has always been the dependable one in his family, often at his expense. But lately, he’s been longing for a life—and a woman—of his own. The woman he has in mind is Quinn. Though it seems all she wants is friendship, Ryan can’t ignore the explosive chemistry he feels between them. In the hopes of becoming closer, Ryan offers to help out with Quinn’s list. But when she asks him for a serious favor, he’s afraid it will jeopardize his chance to become more than friends.

Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
She tugged her hand away and crossed her arms. Her eyes darted, as if keeping contact was a battle. Her voice lowered a fraction. “You don’t know how hard it is to find a normal date.”

“What makes you think that?” He pushed his palm against the wall next to her head and caught the soft, powdery scent of her perfume. Did it make him an ass that while she talked about dating other men, his thoughts focused on kissing her again?

She shifted and tucked her hair behind her ear. When she looked up again, her face had returned to the usual polite, impassive front. “Come on. I’m in here often enough to see you with all kinds of women. I’m not judging you, but you can’t compare picking the flavor of the week to dating.”

He didn’t address her comments. She was right—he liked women who required nothing from him but a good time. It wasn’t a concept she’d understand. She’d definitely require more. He hadn’t attempted anything more serious since Cassie. “So what’s your plan? Cast a wide net and see what you catch?”

She shrugged. “Indy said it’s all about numbers. I spent a bunch of money to join the stupid dating site. They guarantee I’ll meet someone special. It’s in my best interest to keep trying. Besides, I try to weed out the worst of the bunch.”

His burst of laughter made her jump, so he placed a hand on her shoulder. “Sweetheart, if you think you’re weeding out the bad ones, your radar is broken.”

Her lips pulled back, but it wasn’t quite a smile. “I was born without radar.”

Check out whats up for grabs.

Up For Grabs:

To Enter:
  • Please leave a meaningful comment/question for Shannyn.
  • Please leave your email address along with your comment to be entered. 
  • Giveaway ends January 11th.
Good Luck =)


  1. Thanks for hosting me today. I'll check in throughout the day to answer any questions

  2. Hi, you're a new author for me. Congrats on your recent release. The excerpt sounds awesome and I will add the book to my TBR stack :)

  3. Congrats to Shannyn on the new release! Sounds fantastic :) Thanks for sharing!

  4. Congrats on the new release. This looks actually like my type of read. Loved the blurb and excerpt and can't wait to find out what happens. Thanks for the chance to win.
    Is this going to be a stand-alone or are you going to turn it into a series? Seems like her two friends could have their own books/HEA's. Just saying.
    christinebails at yahoo dot com

    1. hi Christine,

      It can stan alone, but will be part of the O'Leary series. Book 2 (A Good Time) will be out this summer and stars Indy (Quinn's sister) and Griffin (Ryan's best friend). I have plans for the other O'Leary siblings, but each title can be read without having read the others.

  5. To Kill a Mockingbird or Catcher in the Rye are both awesome choices for favorite picks :) I think those stuck with me from childhood as well.

    Your book looks amazing by the way! Love the cover!

    lilypondreads at gmail dot com

  6. Hi Lily, I think those books work because they really hit hard, but I haven't gone back to reread Catcher in the Rye since I was a teen. I'm afraid it won't hold the same appeal to the adult me.


  7. Sounds like a great read!! Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  8. I enjoyed the interview. That would be a nice dinner.


  9. This sounds like a really good story. I love the thought of her friends coming up with a list for her, to try to get her out of her shell. I could have used a list like that when I was younger, lol. Thanks so much for the giveaway chance.
    manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

    1. I could've definitely used a list like that too. Thanks

  10. You are a new author for me and I am interested in reading some of your stories. This one looks great!

    susanmplatt AT hotmail DOT com

  11. I really enjoyed the interview with Shannyn. The book sounds like it is going to be so good and I'm looking forward to reading it! Best wishes and continued success!

    Christine S
    cms72023 at gmail dot com

  12. You said you were working on book 2, how many books will be in this series?
    BTW, this book sounds awesome!