We're beginning a great new on-going series here at the Lachesis Publishing Daily Blog. The Book That Hooked You features Q and As with authors, reflecting on the books that first made them fall in love with the genre they write, along with exploring other books and authors they love, as well as telling us about their own work. Today we feature the talented Shana Galen. Shana writes historical romance set in the Regency era. Her books are fan favourites for many readers. Welcome Shana . . .
Take us back to when you first discovered romance novels. How old were you? And what was the first book that hooked you? Why? How many times have you read that book?
SG: I came to romance novels a little later. I read my first romance as a sophomore in college, and it was The Velvet Promise by Jude Devereaux. I loved the interaction between the hero and heroine—the sexual tension, the repartee, the romance of falling in love. I only read that book once because I was so busy buying more and devouring them. I remember that as soon as I read The Velvet Promise I had the feeling that I’d found what I was looking for. I knew I could write a romance—not in an anyone-can-do-that way, but in a this-is-my-calling way.
List three qualities that make a “keeper” romance novel.
SG: The hero is swoony-worthy, I want to move to the setting, the characters become like friends.
Tell us about the kind of romance you write and why you love to write it.
SG: I write historical romance with a lot of action and adventure. I love it because it’s an escape from the everyday. I get to leave this world and go to a place with no cell phones, no TV, and beautiful dresses. Of course, there’s no running water, either, but I try not to think about that! I’ve always loved the past. There’s romance in gloves and hats, manners and introductions. I enjoy writing stories that use those strictures as a foundation and as a springboard.
SG: The one I just released is definitely one of my favorites. The Rogue You Know is based on the Disney movie Tangled. I love that movie and the hero Flynn Rider. I knew as soon as I saw it that I had to write a book with a Flynn hero and a story was as fun as that movie.
What is your process before you sit down and write?
SG: Um, I get a cup of coffee? I don’t plot or brainstorm, so I just sit down and see what happens when I start typing.
SG: I adored, and I mean adored, the entire Until the End of the World series by Sarah Lyons Fleming. If I had more time, I would stalk her. It was such a tense, gripping story but funny too. The characters have really stayed with me. I think about them often and wonder what they’re up to. Every single book in the series was good too. Sometimes in a series the first book is great but the second book or last book is a letdown. All of these books were top-notch.
SG: Julie Garwood—her heroines are so funny and sweet and she knows how to hook a reader
Susan Elizabeth Phillips—her books are so funny
Joanna Bourne—I love her storytelling
What is the sweetest/coolest thing a reader has said to you?
SG: Recently a reader told me she was having a rough time and one of my books made her laugh and forget her troubles for a little while. That’s the reason I write.
SG: My latest release is The Rogue You Know, and it’s about a thief from the slums of London who wants to get out and start a new life for himself. In the process, he accidentally involves the daughter of an earl, and the two go on a crazy adventure and, of course, fall in love.
Coming soon (Oct. 15) is the anthology - Christmas in Duke Street. It features heartwarming holiday stories by Shana Galen, Grace Burrows, Miranda Neville, Carolyn Jewel.
Sweet tooth or salty snack lover? What do you love to nosh on when writing?
SG: Sweet tooth! I love cookies. I like to eat popcorn when I’m writing because it’s bite-sized.