Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I was seven when I discovered books can allow someone to experience fantasies or a life that someone may not otherwise live. It was a novel written by Sally Beauman that opened my eyes to something else! If written correctly, a well-plotted novel can also bring readers into the bedrooms of their favorite characters. It was this epiphany that inspired me to write four full-length reads, as well as four erotica flash fiction pieces. As an author, I love to entwine mayhem with sexual tension. As an author, I love for my readers to close the book completely satisfied while anticipating my next release. And so far, this is exactly what happened. It is the reason I’m now a full-time author and enjoying every day of ‘work.’
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest novel is The Blood Trail. It is the third book in my Dardian Dreshaj series. For those of you who haven’t read any of my novels, Dardian Dreshaj is a wealthy Albanian hunk living in California. The twist with this character is, he’s the highest paid contract killer in America. And Dardian Dreshaj loves as hard as he kills. What inspired me to write this novel is the pressure I received from my readers of all ages, begging for another release, begging for more steamy love scenes that is well written into a fast paced action plot. I received much joy after its release when readers found me on my website and Twitter, once again pleased with having spent time with Dardian Dreshaj.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I’m not sure how unusual my habits are. I enter my office at 8 every morning. Once I sit down at my computer or laptop, I allow the characters to dictate the storyline. While writing I must have music! It plays softly in the background and matches the mood I’m creating on paper. For example, if passion, love songs play. If tension, Blue October’s Debris works well. I refuse all phone calls and interruptions. No TV, as it’s only a distraction. If I need a break from the screen, I read a book. This never last longs, because as soon as I read someone else’s work, my characters get jealous and crams my head with things they want to do, say or act out. LOL.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Sally Beauman was a big influence. Although Koontz and others include steamy sex scenes in their novels, I love the explicit way that Beauman brought two people together. It kind of puts me in the mind of ‘mind, body and soul togetherness.’ Who doesn’t want that? Catherine Cookson also is a big influence. I know no other author who can create the family unit, good or bad, in a way that you feel for every character great or small. If you take these two women and mash them up with Dean Koontz, I would be their offspring.
What are you working on now?
I have just completed my ninth manuscript. It is currently under review with a literary agent that I have known for some time. I’m debating on going that route, however. I think it will all depend on the finality, the conclusion and what it has to offer.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Website promotions are important for authors like myself. We’re always looking for new readers. What I usually do is visit the websites that I myself download novels from (i.e. your site). When you find good books listed on one site, and if your book is also a good one, you tend to want to include it on the listing.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
My advice to writers isn’t very popular, unfortunately. I think to be a great writer you have to read a LOT. You also have to write a lot. A well-known literary agent once told me, ‘Great writers have written close to a million words.’ It doesn’t mean all one million must be published. Only that you’re always writing, always evolving. I live on this advice, and it is for this reason that I give it to other writers.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Write today as if you’re not here tomorrow. This way even after you’re gone, your writing will live for you.
What are you reading now?
I have just completed a short erotic read, as well as, of all things, a Stephen King novel. If I see a big on the best sellers list, I tend to download it and give it a try if it falls under the genres that I love most.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I have begun the fourth installment on my Dardian Dreshaj series, as well as the second novel for my latest manuscript. Because I’m a full-time author, it allows me to work on several manuscripts at one time.
What is your favorite book of all time?
Destiny by Sally Beauman. She received a million dollar advance and the book stayed on the best sellers list for more than a year. It is not a book for everyone, but if you love LOVE and how it evolves, you may love this book as well.
Author Websites and Profiles
Shelley Young Website