Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sharla Lovelace

Tell Me Your Story Tuesday


I am so excited to have Sharla with us again. We got to hang out last year at DFWCon and she is just awesome! 
She visited with us once before. You can read all about that here.

Today, Sharla is here to talk about her debut release

Which I have read and y'all should be jealous because it is great! 

So, Let's get to know more about Sharla! 

First, tell us about The Reason Is You.  
Dani Shane just wants her daughter to have what she never did—a normal life.  But “normal” leaves the equation when sixteen-year old Riley is found talking to Dani’s only friend, Alex—who has been dead for forty years.
In the small river town of Bethany, Dani never fit in.  Being different pushed her to the fringes of society, and even leaving town for two decades didn’t stop the talk.  Now that she’s back, so is Alex.  Mischievous and sexy and still hot enough to melt her shoes.  Between his popping in at inopportune moments and her having to hide her daughter’s new talent, Dani fears that her plans for staying under the radar may be short-lived.
As Dani scrambles to get solid footing under her family, secrets buried for forty years begin to unearth themselves.  She and Alex have always been connected, but he is hiding something.  The computer is making her hear things.  Weird memories that she doesn’t recognize keep popping up in her mind.  Then there’s that little thing she hasn’t told her daughter yet—that some of the people she sees aren’t breathing. 

 It has such an interesting premise. What inspired you or planted the seed for you to write this book?
Honestly?  A hot vampire.  Mick St. John on the long gone Moonlight television show.  

Think of Mick, the blue-eyed, gorgeous vampire always in black, with the sexy smile and snarky wit, that was basically forbidden for Beth to be with.  Yeah…. I was smitten.
I was heavy into reruns of Moonlight when I was playing with a story of a single mom of a teenage daughter.  I’m a character-driven writer, finding my peeps before I find the story, and all I knew so far was that my main character’s name was Dani Shane, and she was stressed and tired and headed back to her hometown to start over.  Someplace she didn’t want to go.
Then my show ended, and I wanted more.  And suddenly Dani needed a forbidden love like that.  Maybe someone she could never really be with.  Maybe someone that was going to make her return home both exciting and migraine-worthy.  While I love vampire shows, I don’t write about them, so it couldn’t be a vampire.  But a ghost….ooooh, someone she couldn’t even touch.  That was the ticket.

Who was your favorite character to write in this book and why?
Probably the most fun was Riley, the sixteen year old daughter.  She was a blast, with all her snarky little quips and knowledge beyond her years demeanor.  And she came very honestly, as some of her ways and comments came straight out of my daughter’s mouth.  I live with my research.  Miss Olivia was fun, too, because she holds nothing back.

What is your favorite part of the writing process? First draft, editing, etc.?
I have a crazy process, since I don’t plot.  I come up with the idea and start playing with it, and then once I start writing, I edit as I go, constantly going back and feeding things in as things change.  It’s exhausting and exhilarating and I curse it and love it at the same time.  So my first draft is nearly done, it’s just line editing after that, but that first draft beats me up every single day.  J  Probably my absolute favorite time is the very beginning infatuation stage when all the ideas are new and nothing has given me heartburn yet.

Tell us about getting the call from the agent that the book had sold. What was the first thing you did?
I squealed like a girl.  My agent laughed, as I’m sure she’s used to that sort of thing.  I was pretty much useless for the rest of that day.

What has been the most unexpected (good or bad) part of the publishing process for you?
Being out of the loop on what happens next.  I think I thought that making it through that “door” would be like Heaven when all is made known to you?  LOL!  Trust me when I say that before this time you know more than you will ever know about the stage you’re in.  As a pre-published writer, there is everything under the sun out there in articles and classes and blogs…how-to’s on everything from writing to queries to agents and editors.  It’s covered.  The other side of that door is like an ant bed.  The people that need to know, do.  They handle their part.  Other people handle their parts.  You find out what you need to do as they feed it to you.  There’s no manual or process and every book is different so I can’t even say I’m prepared now for the second one.  It’s all crazy, but it’s the best kind of crazy. 

What was the best thing you did to help yourself through this process?
Started writing another book so I could stay in my happy place.

 What suggestions would you have for others trying to make the leap to "published author"?
Learn about publishing houses ahead of time.  I knew nothing about any of the houses, because I assumed my agent would know all that for me.  She does, and I’m lucky to have her, but one of the first questions she asked me was, “What houses do you want to pitch to?  Which ones do you visualize working with?”  I was like, “What?”  I had no clue.  So we went with her instincts, and I was lucky to get into Berkley, but I wish I would have had some knowledge beforehand.

Tell us about your next book. When can we look for it?
The next book is called BEFORE AND EVER SINCE, and it is due out November of this year.  It’s not a sequel to REASON, it’s a whole new story.  I’ll tell you the tagline for it…  “Is there really such a thing as a little secret?”    The blurb and new cover for it will be revealed on my website the week after REASON releases.

Where can we find you? 

At my website, as well as… Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads under ‘sharlalovelace’.

Want to know more about Sharla? You could ask her about her 19 cocktails, her old lady dog or crab hunting in an Honduran jungle. No, I didn't make the last one up!

Also, next week I will be posting a completely unbiased review of The Reason Is You. Spoiler Alert: LOVED IT!


Anonymous said...

Thank you Dawn, for having me!!! And I'm excited that you enjoyed REASON... :-)

Teri Anne Stanley said...

Wow, Sharla, congrats!

This sounds like a great book *takes a moment to add another to the TBR pile*
I wonder if ghost boyfriends are even better to have than vampire boyfriends?