As many of you know, I am a HUGE fan of the author joining me today on my blog. Not only does she write deliciously sexy romance, but she also happens to be a great friend and mentor who totally helps me out with words of wisdom. Welcome, Selena Laurence.
For those who don’t know you, Selena, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you write.
I’m so excited to be on your blog! Thank you for asking me. :-) I write contemporary romance, a wide range from New Adult to political intrigue. My tagline is “Putting the Heat in Happily Ever After” and that really does give you the basics. My books are always steamy, and they always have a happy ending for the couple.
I love your stories... From rock stars, to cowboys, to political figures, how do you decide the kind of characters you want to write?
Story ideas come to me in so many different ways—movies I’ve seen, places I’ve visited, song lyrics. I think the stories and settings come to me first and then the protagonists are whatever fits into that. I like all kinds of heroes – blue collar to billionaire – sexy alpha dudes are sexy alpha dudes, no matter what you dress them up in!
That is so true! I think that is part of the appeal of romance - there are so many different heroes to pick from. We talk a lot about heroes in romance, but I feel the heroine is equally important to the story. What do you look for in a great heroine? And out of all the heroines you have written, who is your favorite?
I like my heroines brave and able to take care of themselves. Even if they’ve been through something traumatic, I want them to become stronger for it. And that really fits my favorite heroine I’ve ever written, Jessica Hampton in POTUS, which is one of my Powerplay novels. Jessica is the first woman president of the United States, and she is brave and tough, but also real and I love that many of the things she wants and goes through are the same things all women do.
Jessica was an incredible heroine. I always admire women who kick ass and take names. Let’s talk about the heroines in your life… what women do you look up to, and why?
I look up to you! You’re a total badass. I don’t know how many of your readers realize that you’ve been super successful in the worlds of engineering and business before you became an equally successful romance writer. ;) I also happen to think that Michelle Obama and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, are pretty fantastic. I adore both of them because they prove that you can be a partner to a powerful man, but still be independent and smart in your own right. They each took positions that were somewhat old fashioned and confining and really opened them up and made them modern.
That might be the first and last time my name appears in a paragraph with a former First Lady and a future Queen! Thank you! Let's talk a little more about you. You know I LOVE your stories, and I am intrigued as to how you write them, especially seeing you have an epic ten-book releases in 2017 schedule. Let's talk a little bit about your process. When and where do your best writing?
So, I’m a horrendous pantser, and I’m super right-brained, so I can’t work with complicated processes of any sort. I usually have a concept for a story in my head that includes the setting/world, and the hero and heroine and a few secondary characters. Most of the time an opening scene will come to me as well. And these days about 1/3 of the way in I’ll have to stop, pin down my major plot points like the “black moment” and make sure my pacing is right by pulling out the three act structure, then I can finish it out. Basically plotting for me is seeing if I have the right things at 10%, 25%, 50%, etc. It’s very fundamental, nothing elaborate. As far as where I write, it varies—sometimes in my bed! Lol. I have a home office, so sometimes there, and one of two or three coffee shops as well. I mostly write during the day when my kids are at school, but the last ten days of so of any book I write whenever and however I can.
I'm your complete opposite... I can't write until it is all plotted out and lines up neatly. I admire pantsers!! What made you decide to write so many books this year?
Like a lot of other writers, I had a bad 2016, and I knew that I had to change some things going forward. I made a couple of decisions, and one was to pump up my backlist, and look to diversify my reach. The more books you have to play with the more income you earn and the more opportunities you can take advantage of. It’s been working well. I’ve written five books so far, had three translations done (German, Italian, and Spanish), and even had paperbacks in some Barnes and Noble brick and mortar stores. If you want to read about my very public commitment to release 10 books in 12 months, it’s right here.
I bow down. 10 books in 12 months is HUGE, but if anyone can do it, you can. Up until recently, I would have said that my favorite hero of yours was Joss Jamison from A Lush Betrayal, but he was replaced by my surfing cowboy, Cade, in Cade’s Loss. Who is your favorite hero out of all the ones you’ve written and why?
That’s a hard one. Joss is probably the one I’ve felt closest to. He is kind of like my alter ego. Cade’s Loss is the book that’s probably my favorite I’ve written so far. But the hero in Loving a Lush, Walsh Clark, is very close to my heart as well. He was an alcoholic who really struggled to gain sobriety, and something about writing that battle for him made me get very attached.
All of the LUSH heroes were awesome. Tell us about your new release, SCOTUS, the follow up to POTUS (which features a female president, people!).
SCOTUS is the story of a black supreme court nominee and his former fiancée who is an investigative reporter assigned to cover his nomination hearings in Congress. I tend to write very diverse romance – it’s not something I set out to do, but it’s how it comes out. I’ve had the #1 Hispanic fiction novel on Amazon, and I have heroes and heroines who are Latino, black, Asian, bisexual, and disabled. In the process of that my books often deal with significant social issues and SCOTUS does the same. But at the core it’s a second chance romance with some really great political intrigue thrown in.
Selena, why don't we do a little giveaway to celebrate the release of SCOTUS.
I just got a new shipment of paperbacks from my distributor, Everafter Romance. I’d love to give one of them away. To win a copy of SCOTUS or CADE’S LOSS (winner’s choice), please comment with which book you’d pick based solely on the cover!