What am I working on?
I’m always working on several pieces simultaneously, including my nonfiction work. But at the moment, I’m finishing up a couple of sequels to Werewolves in the Kitchen; one is a short story smut snippet featuring Jake, Kyle, and Ellie, the other is a novel featuring Angel, another character who lives at the SpiralStone retreat center.
Angel has dedicated herself to Aphrodite, and just as her relationship with Ben starts to blossom, weird half-human creatures try to take her life. She and Ben have to figure out how to control their abilities before the monsters get the better of them.
Other stories I’m working on include a story about a wereleopard and a woman descended from an ancient line of truthspeakers; Kade has to introduce Sonya to his family secret to protect her from the Faerie lord who has placed a hex on her.
Beyond that, there are some vampire stories and a whole epic urban fantasy series on its way.
How does my work differ from others of its genre? What makes my stuff different?
I tend to blur the genre lines between paranormal romance and urban fantasy. My fantasy has a lot of romance in it, my romance has a lot of fantasy in it. My newest novella, The White Dress, the Autumn Leaves, is probably best categorized as an urban fantasy, though the magic is pretty subtle. The sex is as spicy as an erotic romance, but the story does not have the requisite “happily ever after” ending for it to be a romance novel. It’s actually a fairly tragic story dealing just as much with grief and loss as it does with Meredith and Jack falling in love.
When I’m writing within any particular genre–such as romance–I think there are a few things that make my work different, depending on the story. In A Winter Knight’s Vigil, for instance, I ended up deciding to challenge one of the romance genre tropes. Have you ever noticed how every single romance novel heroine magically orgasms just from intercourse? And how often there are brilliant simultaneous orgasms?
I talk to a lot of women about sex and I also try to keep myself well educated about sexual health, and I know a lot of women who feel guilty that they can’t orgasm from intercourse. And yet–that’s perfectly normal. So I wrote a heroine that doesn’t come from intercourse. My challenge was writing that in a way that was realistic, and yet still sexy. I think I found the balance to make the story hot without following the romance trope. One of the reasons I like romance is that it can sexually empower women…and I want women to feel that what they need for sex to work is hot, in whatever way they get off.
Why do I write what I do?
A lot of my stories come from dreams I’ve had. I wake up from an intense dream and I write it down…and then I keep on writing. Some of the dreams just instantly inspire me for a story. The White Dress, The Autumn Leaves was inspired by the dream Meredith has in the beginning of the story–I had that dream when I was 19. One scene from A Winter Knight’s Vigil was inspired by a sexy dream.
Other times I have just a little snippet of an idea. Werewolves in the Kitchen was a story I came up with while doing my laundry while living at a retreat center in the woods. Any time a writer is wondering “What if…” there’s likely to be a story in there somewhere.
How does my writing process work?
That really depends on the story and the timing. Some books I’ve been working on for decades, and yet once I wrote a novel in 10 days. It can take me a while to get into the right headspace to write a story. Sometimes I’m stuck for years with a story because I don’t know what happens and I just have to wait until I figure it out. Other times I can sit there and keep writing til I break through and figure it out.
My favorite part of the process is when I know what’s going on in the story and I’m binge-writing about 8,000 words a day.
Excerpts and Links
I have a number of excerpts posted here on my fiction blog, but if you go to http://www.shaunaauraknight.com/books you can read the blurbs, excerpts, and find links to buy the books all in one place.