Interview with Shannon West
Interview with Shannon West
Affaire de Coeur's
July Calendar Girl
Thank you Shannon for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us.
Where are you from?
Originally from Virginia, but I’ve lived in Georgia since maybe the first grade. We also have a home in the mountains of North Carolina that my husband built himself. We love it up there, and go as often as we can.
Married/In a relationship? Children? Pets?
Married, 4 children, 2 dogs and an adorable kitty.
Do you have another job other than writing?
Not now. I used to teach English.
What is your favorite place to eat?
I love steak and fried shrimp in almost equal measures, so any place that does either of them well is a place I would love.
If I came to your home and looked inside the refrigerator, what would I find?
Probably a lot of stuff I need to throw out, according to my daughter. Tonight, I have a lot of fruit too, which won’t last once my husband gets wind of it.
Where do you like to go when you want to run away?
The mountains. They’re so peaceful and beautiful. I wish I could live there full time.
Where is the farthest place you have traveled from home?
Europe. I have been to Europe several times—I guess I love Germany the most, though Switzerland is simply unbelievably gorgeous. I used to love Paris, but I had a bad experience there with a lost underground ticket and an overly zealous female gendarme and haven’t liked it as much since. Seriously, do I look like someone who would jump over the turnstile to board a subway train? Sigh…But the Eiffel tower at night is something I wouldn’t have wanted to miss and I do have fond memories of going up to the top at close to midnight with a significant other. Talk about romance!
Do you have a social/political cause you are passionate about?
LGBT rights. Especially for the young people. So many parents think they can throw their children away and it infuriates me. How dare they treat their children like this? They need to try and change their own sexuality since they think it’s so easy. (Sorry—stepping off soapbox now)
Do you have a critique partner?
Not really, though my long-suffering friend Susan has to listen to a lot of first drafts read to her over the phone.
Attending any conventions/conferences this year?
Yes—Rainbow Con in Tampa this month and then the UK Meet for LGBT authors in Bristol, England. Very excited about both of those.
What genres do you write and do you go by different Nom de Plumes?
No, just Shannon West. All MM, all the time, lol. I like shifter stories and BDSM and sometimes both of those combined.
What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Write every day. And read all the time in your genre, both to keep current and to improve your own writing style.
Tell us your latest news? Current projects?
I’ve started a collaboration on a new series with Victoria Sue, who writes MM BDSM and shifters. Her Pure series has done very well recently, along with her Sirius Wolves. We’re doing a series called Supremacy of Wolves, about a world in which the wolves rule. It’s been so much fun. The first one, Property of the Alpha came out this month too.
I’ve also started a non-fiction book about a true crime that happened in my area over thirty years ago. The story is really fascinating. One of the eyewitnesses contacted me and offered to tell me her memories of a double murder she witnessed when she was only seventeen years old. So chilling I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It took place on an estate called Corpsewood. Seriously! You can’t make this kind of thing up!
What were your 1-2 biggest learning experience(s) or surprise(s) throughout the publishing process?
How much editing there is! You go over and over and over it and there are still mistakes. It’s such a difficult process.
Easiest and hardest thing about writing?
There’s nothing easy about it. It’s all hard.
What inspired you to write your first book?
It was a MF about my grandmother, believe it or not. Not sweet romance—more sensual, I’d say. It was a story I heard when I was a little girl and it always fascinated me.
What ignites your creativity?
Just getting an idea for a story--sometimes they just fire up and demand to be written. Sometimes I hear a song and a bit of the lyric speaks to me.
Let's talk about the day to day creative process. Take us through a typical writing day for you.
I go to work at around 8 am and work until about 1 or 2 o’clock on a typical day. I write better in the mornings, I think. I try never to stop unless I have at least 2000 words, though I try for more.
Is your writing area/office organized or strategically placed chaos?
It’s fairly organized—a bit of clutter.
Do you listen to music while you write or do you need complete silence?
Silence! Or I keel you!!
What author would you like to meet and have a cozy lunch with?
Josh Lanyon! LOVE his books. I just think he would be super nice too.
Name one actor/actress you would love to get naughty with? (If you were free to do so)
Just one?? Johnny Depp—so sexy. Or Jamie from Outlander. Or Captain Jack Randall. Oh my God, love them both.
Any life experiences tangled in the storylines?
Not really. All imagination, I guess, though I have traveled pretty extensively and have had some interesting experiences. I’m sure I draw on that, at least subconsciously.
What books do you have on your favorites shelf?
ALL of Josh Lanyon’s books, Rhys Ford, Harper Fox, Alexis Hall, L.B. Gregg, Abigail Roux.
What book are you reading now?
Murder and Mayhem by Rhys Ford
What do you like to read/favorite genre?
I like it all, really. I love mysteries and suspense. I also love fantasies and the MM historicals and Sci-Fi and just everything MM. It’s by far my favorite genre. I do love a happy ending though! A book has to end well to reel me in. There’s enough tragedy in life without me having to read about it. I read for escape and pleasure, not to cry my eyes out. (Though I love a good cry if all ends well)
Any new authors who have caught your interest?
I just discovered Alexis Hall and love his books so much. But I don’t think he’s new—just new to me. The aforementioned Victoria Sue is a fairly new author. I love her take on Doms and subs, and she reminds me a bit of Kim Dare, another favorite. Lila Bruce is another new author, who writes FF. I edited one of them for her. So funny and original and totally different from MM, but I loved it. Very talented girl.
Visit Shannon's website
Double Cross coming soon (mid-July)
Read an excerpt of Double Cross