Monday, June 11, 2007
Welcome to “Up Close & Personal.” For every interview I will be introducing a literary personality discussing her views and insights, as well as upcoming literary events around the world.
Today’s interview is with Jill Shalvis, she writes exciting and thrilling suspense-filled romance. She’s the USA TODAY best-selling, award-winning author of over three dozen novels. She’s been on the Waldenbooks Bestsellers list, the Barnes and Noble Top 100, the Amazon bestsellers list, and also Ingram’s.
She’s a Rita Award nominee, a three-time National Reader’s Choice Award winner, and has been nominated for Romantic Times’s Career Achievement Award in Romantic Comedy, Best Duets and Best Temptation.
Ms. Shalvis also writes as Jill Sheldon.
EI: Would you share some early insight into who you were as a teenager with your readers? What were you like as a teen? Please tell us more about Jill Shalvis -- the woman behind the author.
JS: I was the bookworm. My nose was always buried in a book, even way back then.
EI: Do you express your inner self in your writing or do the personas you create exist only in your imagination?
JS: It’s all imagination. Since I’m quiet and rather unadventurous, I like to create the type of people I’ve always envied.
EI: What is your response to the public perception that writers’ creative insight and energy is frequently the product of personal conflict?
JS: I think there’s definitely a grain of truth to that!
EI: What would you like to say to writers who are reading this interview and wondering if they can keep creating, if they are good enough, if their voices and visions matter enough to share?
JS: You have to dream it to live it. And then you have to work at it. Hard. Anything is possible, you just have to want it bad enough to make it happen for yourself.
EI: Many writers describe themselves as "character" or "plot" writers. Which are you? And what do you find to be the hardest part of writing?
JS: Character, all the way. That’s the easy part for me. The plot, the logic, that always kills me.
EI: Are you armed with notebook and pen at all the times? Do you always carry your laptop or PDA with you to write?
JS: Yes I’m always armed with paper, always. I also always have my laptop on me, because I never know when the muse is going to strike ...
EI: Do you let anyone read your manuscript, before you send it to your editor or agent?
JS: Rarely ever. I’m funny about that, I can’t handle someone reading a rough draft of a book. I don’t want anyone looking at it before it’s done.
EI: Was there anyone who really influenced you to become a writer?
JS: All the authors whose books I’d been reading for years and years before I tried my hand at writing.
EI: Now let’s shift gears here for a second... Can you share with us some of the challenges you faced to publish your first novel?” Is there anything about you that you would do differently, knowing what you do now?
JS: I was blessedly ignorant writing my first novel. I knew very little about the business and didn’t worry about getting it published. That turned out to be for the best!
EI: What was the inspiration for your latest novel ‘Smart & Sexy?’ What is your response to the public perception about your creative insight with your book?
JS: I wanted to write a series about three bestfriends from childhood, three guys who’d pulled themselves out of the gutter to make something of themselves. I have no idea what the public perception is about my books, I really just write to please myself. If I please the readers while I’m at it, then that’s icing on the cake for me.
EI: How much of Noah Fisher & Bailey Sinclair is planned out in your head? How do you know where you will go next with their characters? What was your biggest challenge in creating them?
JS: Shayne’s story comes next, and then Brody. All adventurous sexy suspenses. My biggest challenge in creating them, is now letting them go ...
EI: How did you develop these characters? Did you work them out in advance, or did they evolve as you wrote the story?
JS: I had them sketched in my head but they evolved as I wrote them, definitely.
EI: What is a typical work day schedule when you are in full writing mode? Would you tell us a little about your process for editing, revising, and novel development? How long did it take you to write ‘SMART AND SEXY’ including the time it took to research the book?
JS: I write while the kids are at school, I rush through a first draft. Then I go back and in subsequent drafts add the heart and soul. It took me about three months to write SMART AND SEXY.
EI: What about writing for Romance’s fiction appealed to you?
JS: Everything, the to die for heroes, the happily ever after ... What isn’t there to love about that?
EI: Do you feel more pressure, feel insecurities or are you able to separate all that from your own creative process?
JS: There’s always pressure, always insecurities, but I find eating cookies, lots of them, helps.
EI: Now... tell us what is the premise of your next book ‘Shadow Hawk ’ which I understand will be published by Harlequin in June? Can you give us a sneak peek?
JS: Shadow Hawk is out now, and it’s about a DEA agent framed by someone he trusted, and now he has to trust yet again in order to save his own life.
EI: What's next for your fans?
JS: The Trouble With Paradise, coming in October. It’s Lost meets Survivor meets Giligan’s Island ... With a love story of course.
EI: Ms. Shalvis, thank you for contributing to my blog. It has been a pleasure for me to get to know you, and your work a little better. Would you like to end your interview with a writing tip or advice for young aspiring writers?
JS: Don’t EVER give up!!
To learn more about Jill Shalvis, please visit her at:
Posted by E. I. Johnson at 7:21 PM