Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Shannon Richard to HJ!
Hi Shannon, welcome to HJ!
What would you say are the defining characteristics of your novels?
Funny/Sassy – I love to laugh and to make others laugh. I hope that readers will find just a little bit of humor in the books.
Romance/Love – I do love my Happily Ever Afters, so a good love story is always at the top of my list, either to read in a book or watch in a movie. I hope to give readers that warm and fuzzy feeling.
Friendship/Loyalty – There are a handful of not so great people in Mirabelle. There is the gossip columnists, Bethelda Grimshaw, who tries her hardest to rip people apart. Chad Sharp and his two little goons do their best to get under people’s skin. And Missy Lee is just a confrontation in heels. But there are also a lot of good people in Mirabelle, and the friendships between Jax, Brendan, and Shep, and then Grace, Mel, Harper, and Paige, are so strong. They are all so much more than friends, they’re family.
5 best things about being a writer?
1. Getting to share my stories. There’s just something about seeing my characters on the page that makes me so happy. They’re real to me, and always have been, but now they’re real to others as well.
2. Having a legitimate reason for the stories and conversations that are constantly going on in my head. I’m not as crazy as I thought…well, at least not when it comes to this.
3. Reading other romance novels is a legitimate source for research.
4. Creating swoon worthy men.
5. Having an outlet. When I finally started writing, it opened up so many things in my life. It made it so much better, brighter, more fulfilling. It’s my passion, and I can’t even imagine turning back.
If you were a heroine in a book, your character would be – The girl next door, the damsel in distress, Kick-butt take charge heroine or the aloof ice queen and why?
I feel like I’d be a mix of the girl next door and the damsel in distress. Though I really hate being helpless, and when it comes to issues with my car (which there have been many) I’m totally jinxed and I don’t have a mechanic bone in my body. I wish I had more of the kick-butt take charge attitude, maybe that’s why I always admire characters that do.
Let’s talk about your newest release: Undeniable
If you had to summarize the book for the readers here…
Grace has been in love with Jaxson Anderson since she was six years old, and Jax has been denying his true feelings for Grace for a long time now. He’s stopped looking at her as his best friend’s little sister and his resolve on the matter of keeping her at arms length begins to melt after their first kiss. Jax finally stops pushing Grace away, and all of her dreams appear to be coming true as they start their relationship. But the fairy tale doesn’t last long as a town secret about Grace surfaces, not to mention Jax has his own demons to battle. Will Jax prove to be the White Knight that Grace has always believed him to be?
Please tell us about the characters in your book.
In Undone (the first book in the series), I write a scene at the beach where Jax and Grace get into an argument. It was then that I realized they were going to be together.
Grace was actually the very first character that I’d created from Mirabelle. Her story was very different originally, but now I don’t have any idea how she could’ve been with anyone besides Jax. Grace is tiny and sassy and she’s so completely in love with Jax, and always has been.
Jax is a very stubborn red head, and though he’s difficult (or stupid) when it comes to Grace at the beginning, he always has this overwhelming need to protect her. At the end of the day she’s his in every way that matters.
What scene did you have the most fun writing? Why?
I really liked writing the first love scene between Jax and Grace. There is a lot of anticipation there, especially with their interactions in the first book. And I just love how determined Jax is, how sure he is that he has to have her right then and there.
Jax wanted Grace, plain and simple. It was just that easy.
He was so tired of watching her walk away from him. So tired of not having what he wanted. So tired of not being with her. He was done letting his life pass him by without Grace in it. He had to have her, and he had to have her now.
He got to the front door and knocked hard.
Once, twice, three times.
Grace opened the door and frowned at him from the other side. “Jax?” she said, confused.
“I’m your person, Grace. Me, not anyone else,” he said, stepping into her apartment.
She looked up at him startled as he closed the door behind him and locked it. And then he grabbed her and pushed her up against the wall. She gasped before his mouth landed hard on hers, his hands grabbing onto the wet fabric of her jeans. Her arms wrapped around his neck, her fingers digging into his wet hair and holding him in place as she opened her mouth to his. His hands traveled up under her shirt, his fingers wrapping around her bare sides.
He was eating at her mouth, and she seemed to be on the exact same page as him, because she was trying to consume him as well.
He moved his hands to the hem of her shirt and slowly started to peel the wet fabric from her skin as he moved it up, up, up. His mouth broke from hers as he pulled the material over her head and threw it to the floor.
“Jax,” Grace said, grabbing his face before his mouth could land on hers again. “I swear, if you have any thoughts in your head about walking out that door tonight after spouting some stupid theory that you aren’t good enough—”
He shut her up by sealing his mouth over hers. He brought his hands up to her breasts and squeezed gently. She moaned deep in her throat and grabbed his shoulders, her fingernails digging into his skin.
He moved his mouth to her ear, grazing her earlobe with his teeth. “I’m not going anywhere, Grace,” he whispered. “Wel
l, at least not anywhere farther than your bed.”
What scene was the hardest to write? Why?
The hardest scene to write was definitely when they break up. When Jax denies loving Grace, she is totally and completely broken by it. I put her in so much pain that it hurt me. And I wanted to be so mad at Jax, and I was for what he did to Grace, but he’s so lost in that moment that I hurt for him as well. I was a mess emotionally when I wrote it.
“I love you.” Grace wasn’t sure why at that moment she decided to open her mouth and say it, but she had. She couldn’t stop herself.
Jax’s hand stilled at her ear where he was tucking her hair back. The openness that had been in his eyes a second ago was gone, like a door had slammed shut.
“I…can’t,” Jax whispered.
Everything in Grace fell away in that instant. She’d thought she’d already survived the bombshell of the night. But was she ever wrong. Jax had just blown her life wide open with those two words.
“Can’t what? Can’t love me?” She couldn’t breathe. Her lungs hurt and her head was spinning.
“Grace,” he said, shaking his head.
He didn’t love her.
Who would you cast in the role of your characters if your book was optioned for a movie?
Okay, so I know that Ryan Reynolds is not a red head, and Jax is, so this poses a bit of a problem as he is who I picture for the character. But just work with me. There was a little while during the writing of Undeniable that I was watching The Proposal on repeat, so Ryan Reynolds was fresh in my mind. Jax has a long, lean, and muscular body, which Ryan Reynolds has (in spades). And he’s just nice to look at.
As for Grace, I picture Carey Mulligan (even though I might be more than a little bit jealous of the fact that she’s married to Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons) or Aimee Teegarden from Friday Night Lights. I had a Friday Night Lights binge last fall and Ms. Teegarden has many Grace-like qualities.
What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned for 2013 into 2014?
Unstoppable, which is Bennett and Mel’s story and is the third in the Country Roads series, will be out on December 3, 2013. I’m currently working on Shep and Hannah’s story, titled Unforgettable. It was inspired my Eric Church’s “Springsteen”. Readers get a hint of Shep’s story in earlier books, but Hannah is the girl that got away thirteen years ago, and he still isn’t over her.
Where can readers get in touch with you?
There is a contact form on my website www.shannonrichard.net