The Romance Reader Interviews

  The Interviews
New Faces 223
Shawntelle Madison
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by Cathy Sova

Welcome to our New Faces column, where you can meet debut romance authors and discover their books. This time we are visiting with Shawntelle Madison, whose first book is is the paranormal romance COVETED from Ballantine Books. Letís meet her.

Shawntelle, welcome to TRR! Tell us about yourself.

I live in Missouri right now, but I'm an Iowa girl all the way. I've even experienced the small town life which is nice. I have a husband and three great kids who keep me busy.

Are you coming to romance writing from another job? Do you still have a day job?

Before I wrote romance I worked freelance as a consultant. I still do that now on a part-time basis. I'm a die-hard geek so it's rather hard for me to be without my computer

What led you to write romance?

I'm a long time reader. I fondly recall reading my mother's romance books. I loved reading Danielle Steel and LaVryle Spencer. (Still a LaVryle Spencer
fangirl!)

Tell us about your road to publication.

I started out in late 2008 writing paranormal romance. I'd found my crit partner at a play group for my children. She mentioned getting back into writing, and interestingly enough, I was thinking seriously about it as well. I finished the book and sent out my first query letter in February. That first book did final in a contest, but it never got me a literary agent. It was my second book where I found my voice and got an agent.
Naturally, one would think the road would get smoother with an agent, but it's just as hard. My second book didn't sell to NY, but the third book was
the one. I wrote Coveted in late 2009 and finished it by spring 2010. It sold in October 2010 to Random House's Del Rey imprint. Not long after, my book was shifted to Ballantine Books. Coveted came out on April 24th.

What kind of research was involved for your first book?

For my first book, I did a lot of research on hoarding and obsessive-compulsive disorders. Naturally, I also had fun making and "sampling" eastern European cuisine.

Tell us about your debut book.

For werewolf Natalya Stravinsky, the supernatural is nothing extraordinary. What does seem strange is that she's stuck in her hometown of South Toms River, New Jersey, the outcast of her pack, selling antiques to finicky magical creatures. Restless and recovering from her split with gorgeous ex-boyfriend, Thorn, Nat finds comfort in an unusual place: her obsessively
collected stash of holiday trinkets. But complications pile up faster than her ornaments when Thorn returns home, and Nat and Thorn discover that old flames still remain intense.

Before Nat can sort out their relationship, she must face a much hairier problem. Her pack is under attack from the savage Long Island werewolves-and Nat is the first target in the turf war. Toss in a handsome wizard vying for her affection, a therapy group for the anxious and enchanted, and the South Toms River pack leader ready to throw her to the wolves, and it's enough to give anybody a panic attack. With the stakes as high as the full moon, Nat must summon all her strength to save her pack, and ultimately, herself.

Who are some of your influences as a writer?

My primary influence as a writer is the late science fiction author Octavia Butler. I also love Patricia Briggs and Marjorie M. Liu.

What does your family think of having a published romance author in their midst?

They are very supportive of my efforts. My kids see my cover and say, "There's Coveted, Mom!" It's really great.

Tell us about plans for future books.

The next book in the Coveted series, Kept, will come out on November 24th.

How can readers get in touch with you?

They can visit my website: http://www.shawntellemadison.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/Shawntelle
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ShawntelleMadisonAuthor
My blog: http://shawntellemadison.blogspot.com

Shawntelle, thanks for joining us, and best of luck with your series!

July 17, 2012

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