Jen: This week we welcome Shiela Stewart who was able to fill in when another author canceled her promo. Thank you Shiela, will you please share a short bio with us?
Shiela: Raised on a rural farm in Saskatchewan, Shiela Stewart relied on her vivid imagination to fill her days. Never did she realize that her need to tell a story would someday lead to becoming a published romance author. In the fall of two thousand and six, Shiela published her very first book and hasn’t stopped since.
When not writing, Shiela spends time with the love of her life, William and their three children. She has a strong affection for animals which is evident in the five cats, one dog, three turtles and ten fish she owns. Some of her passions aside from writing are drawing and painting and proudly displays her artwork in murals in her home.
Her favorite time of day is sunset and loves to stargaze.
Jen: Tell us about Seducing the Darkness and where it’s available.
Shiela: Seducing the Darkness is the first book in my Darkness series. It’s a tale of good and evil vampires fighting for control of Jacob’s Cove, a fictional city. Originally it was a standalone but after my editor read it she suggested I try and turn it into a series. Never one to turn down a challenge, I said yes and got busy thinking of how to keep it going. It didn’t take long for me to come up with ideas abd before I knew it, I had eight books in the series.
An outcast by her kind, Trinity Ford has learned how to live on her own. And it isn’t easy doing so, considering she is a Vampire.
Once a fragile girl, taken by a powerful vampire prince, Trinity had relied on Basil for support. But finding him in the arms of another woman was more than she could take. On her own, she has decided to protect her city from the predators of her kind that prey on the innocent. Another tough thing to do when you’re heart is broken. She’s had to learn fast, how to be tough, how to survive, how to stay alive. And she’s doing a pretty damn good job of it. Until Basil walks back into her life.
Basil Hawthorn has been the reigning prince of vampires since banishing his father to the Realm of Darkness decades earlier. When his father comes to him in a dream, threatening Trinity’s life, he knows the only way to save her is to push her away. Doing so is not easy, especially when she is the only woman he will ever love.
Rumors in the underworld talk of raising the vampire King and blotting out the sun. Basil knows that if his father rises, he will be put to death for his betrayal. Trinity knows that if the King returns, no human would ever be safe again. Despite the betrayal and the threat, neither can stay away from the other. But can the two work together to stop the Ritual before the King is resurrected?
Or will the darkness capture them both?
Seducing the Darkness can be found at Breathless Press: www.breathlesspress.com
Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Shiela: I’ve always had a vivid imagination and loved telling stories to friends and family. I guess the first time I put those ideas to paper was in my early teens. I found writing an escape from teen age angst and stress but I never thought I was good enough to be a published author. As I grew my stories became more and more in-depth. I would have vivid dreams that I would incorporate into stories and once again, I used them as an escape. My husband worked out of town all the time and I was alone to raise my three kids. When they went to bed, it was my time and I wrote like a mad woman. Thanks to my pushy hubby, who insisted I had what it took to be a published author, I began submitting my work. After several rejections I was about to give up when I joined a writing contest and though I came in second, it was the boost I needed to submit more. My first book, Kidnapped, was published in 2007 and I haven’t stopped since.
Jen: How does your family feel about your career?
Shiela: My husband is my biggest supporter. He is always bragging about me to everyone he meets including total strangers. He’s always promoting my work. My children of course also brag to their friends, coworkers and teachers. Two of my sisters are my biggest fans and have practically every book I have published.
Jen: Describe your writing in three words.
Shiela: Sexy, Suspenseful and Eclectic.
Jen: What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?
Shiela: I love creating individuals and have them find their way to each other and build a relationship that will last forever. There is enough unhappiness in the world. It’s nice to pick up a romance novel and fall in love with the characters and forget about your trouble if only for a few chapters.
Jen: How do you pick the character’s names?
Shiela: Most often I use a baby namer but there are times when certain shows or movies have influenced me enough to use their names. As is the case with Basil Hawthorn and Trinity Ford from Seducing the Darkness. I took the heroes name from Basil Rathbone, who played Sherlock Holmes. I always thought his name sounded so classy, so sexy, strong yet sophisticated. So I changed Rathbone to Hawthorn and viola! As for Trinity. I took her name from the Matrix. I love the name, Trinity. It’s a strong, unusual name, much like my heroine.
Jen: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Shiela: Oh definitely. While I’m deep into a story they are as big a part of me as I am them. I feel what they feel. They are always with me, even when I’m not writing. And yes, there have been a few times that my characters have haunted my dreams. That is usually the time I get out of bed and continue to write. I think it’s their way of saying, “Hey, I have something important to say so get busy”.
Jen: Is there a genre that you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from and why?
Shiela: I’ve written quite a few different genres from Paranormal, Contemporary, Historical, Suspense and so on that there really didn’t much left for me to write. I like to dip my toes into almost anything. The one genre I doubt I will ever attempt to write is same sex. I doubt very much I could do it justice.
Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?
Shiela: If you’re talking another author, that would be without a doubt, Nora Roberts. I read V.C. Andrews book in my teens but I never felt a connection to them or the characters. But the very first Nora Roberts book I read I was hooked and I knew that was what I was meant to do. I didn’t write sweet sensual romances like the ones you see in a Harlequin romance. My stories had a bite to them, intrigue, a story that made the reader cling to the book and never want to put it down. Just like Nora Roberts.
Jen: If Seducing the Darkness was made into a movie, which actors would you choose to play the hero and heroine?
Shiela: Oh I would love for Robert Downey Jr. to play Basil. He has that dark sexy attitude as well as stunning good looks that would work perfectly for Basil. I wonder if he would consider playing a vampire?
As for Trinity. I picture Eliza Dushku in her roll. She has the right body type, the right facial features and that kick ass attitude. But she also has the sweet vulnerable side that would work perfectly for Trinity. Of course, Eliza would have to dye her hair blood red, but I’m sure she wouldn’t mind it for the part of a vampire queen.
Jen: Do you do anything special to celebrate a sale, new contract, or release?
Shiela: I did with my very first contract. I went out for dinner with my hubby and celebrated. But since that very first contract, I’ve had back to back releases that if I were to celebrate each and everyone one o them I would be flat broke and drunk all the time. LOL But I do have on-line celebrations with my newsletter followers as well as on all my groups and blogs.
Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Sheila: “You write smut?”
Jen: What do you do in your free time?
Shiela: Free time? What’s that? Seriously, I have been so crazy busy this past year I rarely have time to breathe. But I do take the odd evening to sit and watch TV with my hubby or long walks in the park or seeing movies.
Jen: What’s next for you?
Shiela: More Darkness. All eight of the Darkness books will be released once a week, beginning August 21st and carrying on for eight weeks. Aside from that, I have been working on a paranormal story involving an agency that investigates the strange and unusual. I’ve also been reworking a series I wrote many years ago. The Demon series is a not your ordinary romance. It’s a series that involves the great grandson of Satan and his quest to find the perfect woman and awaken the demon inside of her. Book two is about their child and her destiny to work for Satan, collecting souls, but hating it and wanting a normal non-demon life. The third installment is of her son who was given the talent to sing and play guitar from Satan and later suspects he might be the son of Satan as well. Intrigued?
Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Shiela: I can be found on my website at www.shielasbooks.ca
Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Shiela: I would love to know what genre of books the readers are reading now. Also, if you read a bad book from an author, will you try their other work or pass on ever reading them again?
I would like say thank you to Jen for this wonderful interview. I had a ball and some of the questions had me really thinking.
Jen: Thank you Shiela for stepping in this week. Readers, one lucky commenter will win an ecopy of Seducing the Darkness. To enter the drawing, leave a comment and include your email address in the comment. If you’d prefer not to leave you email, after you comment, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. The winner will be chosen on Sunday, September 6.