I was very lucky to find Shayla’s books when I first came back to reading and instantly fell in love with her characters and the relationships that she builds. Every book pulls on all my emotions and I can’t wait for the next to come out. I was also extremely lucky to sit next to Shayla on a plane coming home from a convention. She was wonderful and we talked the whole way. It is definitely one of my favorite memories.
1 Tell us a little bit about yourself (family, hobbies, pets, etc).
Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than fifty novels. For nearly twenty years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold millions of copies and been published in a dozen languages.
Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past eight years.
Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her daughter, and two spoiled tabbies. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.
If you’re interested in the random fact or two, I’m a skincare and makeup maven. I’m also an insomniac. For the first time in my life, I’m figuring out that video games are a great stress reliever. (I’m currently playing Fallout 4, Skyrim, and Uncharted.) I enjoy taking cruises, watching thought-provoking movies (but I can’t stand gore!), and working on puzzles because if my brain isn’t whirling, that means I’m asleep or dead. LOL!
2 How did you get into writing and why romance?
I was in college when I was bitten by the writing bug. I didn’t grow up in a bookish family. In fact, I didn’t start reading for pleasure until I was 18. But once I found romance, I was hooked. Within a year, I was drafting stories in my head. I continued to pursue my path, armed with nothing but an idea and a dream. Nearly 20 years later, it’s been a more amazing ride than I could have ever imagined!
3 Do you ever re-enact the sex scenes you write about?
I’ve heard from my thriller and mystery authors friends that no one asks them if they re-enact murder scenes from their books… I’m pretty big on separating my personal from professional life. The short answer is not intentionally. That said, we’re all human and have the same basic human experiences when it comes to sex.
4 Name a romance book or series you would love to see as a movie/TV series.
There are a ton of deserving books worthy of becoming of a movie or series, I’m sure. I’m a bit of an oddball about this since I’m not a visual person. I actually prefer words. I like the act of reading and forming my own images—when I need them. Most of the time when I’m reading, I don’t see a movie in my head, I feel a rolling tide of emotion. Same when I’m writing. So while I hope lots of these books get the exposure of a visual medium, it’s not my favorite way to experience a romance.
5 Have you ever read a book based solely on its cover?
I think everyone has, and sometimes that’s worked out great. Other times, not so much. I’ve also read some of my favorite books in spite of the cover and am so glad I listened to my gut instinct after reading the blurb, rather than relying on the visual. But as I stated earlier, I’m not a visual person. I’m far more enticed by words.
6 What is your ideal way to end a long day?
During summer, it’s a dip in the pool, a little time with whatever video game I’m currently playing, followed by some fun and random YouTube videos. During the winter, I’m more likely to want to clear off my DVR and Netflix queue by the fire.
7 Describe your ultimate holiday.
I love the holidays where everyone can be chill, and there are no expectations except to have fun. So I love Halloween, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day. Christmas and Thanksgiving are nice. It’s great to see family, and I love the traditions. But I find I’m just happier on holidays where no one is sequestered in the kitchen frantically cooking or in a bedroom frantically wrapping.
8 Who is your favourite book boyfriend and why?
I’m not good with “favorite” anything (even food). Because I do everything by mood. It just depends on how I’m feeling at the moment, what I’ve been recently influenced by, and honestly what I’ve been writing. I tend to fall for a lot of my heroes. I wouldn’t write them if I didn’t find them swoonworthy in some way. But we all fall in love with more than one book boyfriend or we wouldn’t keep reading.
9 What turns you on and what turns you off?
On: Intelligence! Not to mention a deep voice, a wide chest, and gorgeous eyes. I love a good sense of humor, especially if it’s dry. And he’s got to have a warm heart, even if it’s under a gruff exterior.
Off: Immaturity, laziness, violence, a bros-before-hos mentality.
10 Boxer or briefs? Or commando???
Because I’m not that visual, I’m good with whatever. But I will say boxers aren’t my favorite…
11 Who is your top five “Freebie List”? (I think this is also known as a Hall Pass. Who could you sleep with that your partner won’t mind?)
Okay, so you’ll think I’m crazy, but this is another direction my mind just doesn’t go. Again, because I’m not visual but emotional, I’d probably say no one. I wouldn’t have the emotional experience with a hot stranger that I would with my husband, and at the end of the day, I value that more than a gorgeous actor or model. Plus, I don’t keep up with celebrities well. I think Chris Hemsworth is very pretty…but I don’t really know a lot of these guys’ names. I know, I know. You can say it. A lot of my friends think I’m insane, too.
12 You have a table booked for four in your favourite restaurant. Who would you invite to join you?
Jane Austen and Walt Disney. I wouldn’t mind time with Nikola Tesla, John D. Rockefeller, or Queen Elizabeth I, either. The first two contributed to our common experience and dreamed big. The latter three simply had fascinating minds and lives. In reading their biographies, I learned something valuable from them all. I know that’s more people than I’m allowed to invite…but I’m a rule breaker from way back.
13 How can our readers connect with you? Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, Twitter, etc.
I love connecting with readers! Here’s where you can find me:
More than Words
The Perfect Gentlemen (with Lexi Blake)
Masters of Ménage (with Lexi Blake)
Doms of Her Life (with Jenna Jacob and Isabella LaPearl)