Welcome to my stop on Shannyn Schroeder's Virtual Book Tour for More Than This. Please make sure to leave a comment to let Shannyn know you stopped by. It will also enter you in Shannyn's giveaway, she will be awarding a 15" x 12" Pampered Chef flat baking stone (similar to the one her heroine uses) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US only). You can follow her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.
Interview with Shannyn Schroeder
Me: "More Than This" is your first published work. How long was the process for you from when you began to write this book to when it was accepted for publication?
Shannyn: I’ve been writing toward publication for about 5 ½ years. I wrote two manuscripts before More Than This, and wrote two more while querying and submitting More Than This. It felt like a really long process, but when things started happening, they happened fast. I went from no agent to being agented and having a book deal in about 3 months.
Me: You work as a part time editor - do you think this prepared you for what you would go through on the publication of your first book?
Shannyn: When my youngest started preschool, I knew I would have a little extra time on my hands, and although I was already writing, I wanted to do something that would earn me a paycheck. But I didn’t want to go back to teaching. I applied to a couple of e-publishers to work as an editor. I figured that the experience would help me in my own writing journey. I worked as a content editor at one house and as a proofreader at the other house. In the meantime, I was hired as a writer for an education company that publishes on-line current events assignments for teachers. That job turned into a regular part-time gig when they hired me to be the editor. I still have that job and love it. I left the e-publishing jobs because there’s not a lot of money in it for the amount of time involved. I loved the experience, but with my part-time job and my writing, something had to give.
Me: Your website states that you are a "pantser" - do you listen to music as your write or have to have a specific snack/beverage as you write?
Shannyn: I’ve always listened to music while writing, but it wasn’t until my latest couple of WIPs (works in progress) that I began creating playlists that go with the book. So now, when I’m working on one of those two, I have specific music to listen to.
I don’t have specific snacks, but I do have a bowl of M&Ms on my desk. Diet Coke or water to drink.
Me: You credit your love of romance novels to the birth of your second child and a book by Nora Roberts - can you tell us who your favorite romance authors are today - now that it's been several years since you first fell in love with romance?
Shannyn: Shoot, I have so many favorites—people who have become auto-buys for me. Jill Shalvis, Victoria Dahl, Ruthie Knox, Louisa Edwards, Julie James…plus, I’m always discovering new authors.
Me: Can you tell us a little bit about what inspired you to write "More Than This"? Do any of the characters resemble either yourself or your friends? And would they recognize themselves if they read your book?
Shannyn: The idea for More Than This came from reading a magazine article along the lines of “30 Things a Woman Should Do Before the Age of 30.” I might be making up that title, since I didn’t save the article, but I thought it would be fun to have a character try to accomplish some of these things.
There are definitely parts of me in Quinn. I took the easy road and created a character that I could identify with. That being said, there are some major differences and in some ways she is much braver than I am. The rest of the characters are completely made up. I didn’t base any of them on a single person, but the O’Learys as a family are based on a few Irish families I know.
Me: Your website states your husband prompted you into writing. Other than your husband, can you tell us who has inspired/supported you the most through your writing experience?
Shannyn: True, on my web site, I do admit that my husband prompted me into writing, but he’s been far from the most supportive person. He’s one of those people who have never read a romance, but like to make fun of them. My go-to people for support are my best friend, who loves everything I write, even when it’s crap, and my RWA chapter, Chicago-North. The women there are incredibly smart and supportive.
Me: Can you tell us what you did to celebrate the publication of your first book?
Shannyn: This is going to sound lame, but I didn’t do any celebrating. I brought chocolate to my Chicago-North meeting when I sold (which is our tradition). Then I went back to work on the next book.
Me: On your website you state that you like to bake when you get stuck with plot or character issues, and that cookies are your favorite item to bake. Can you tell us what is your favorite cookie recipe? Would you care to share it?
Shannyn: I do love to bake and in the back of the book, I included the recipe for Comfort Cookies, which is Quinn’s favorite. For me, I have a bunch of recipes that are favorites among my family, so those are the ones I bake most often. One of my favorites isn’t exactly a cookie—it’s more like a candy, but it’s chocolate. I only make them at Christmas time (mostly because I’m the only one who eats them).
Chinese New Year Cookies
2 cups chow mein noodles
2 cups peanuts
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 oz. butterscotch chips
Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips over low heat. When completely melted and smooth, remove from heat and mix in noodles and peanuts. Drop by heaping teaspoon onto wax paper. Cool completely (I usually stick them in the fridge to speed up the process) and remove from wax paper. Store in the refrigerator. (There’s nothing wrong with leaving them out, but if your house is warm, they will get soft)
Quick Get To Know You Questions:
Favorite color? Purple or green
Flats, heels or boots? Always flats—gym shoes
Favorite Vacation Spot? I don’t vacation often, but Wisconsin Dells is close and my kids are big enough to swim by themselves now. I also love anywhere there’s a beach.
1 item from your bucket list- Go to Australia
Beer, wine or coffee? Uh…none of the above? I drink Diet Coke. If I’m looking to have a social drink, it’s a margarita. If I’m looking to get drunk, it’s Jack Daniels straight up.
More Than This
by Shannyn Schroeder
Release Date: January 3, 2013
Learning her ex-husband is going to be a father, Quinn Adams is determined to have a baby of her own—without the partnership of a man. But her sister and friends believe she needs to focus on herself first, and step out of her comfort zone by completing a list of adventures. Challenge number one is to go on five dates within two weeks. After a few disastrous attempts, Quinn’s ready to give up—until sexy bartender Ryan O’Leary offers his assistance.
Ryan has always been the dependable one in his family, often at his expense. But lately, he’s been longing for a life—and a woman—of his own. The woman he has in mind is Quinn. Though it seems all she wants is friendship, Ryan can’t ignore the explosive chemistry he feels between them. In the hopes of becoming closer, Ryan offers to help out with Quinn’s list. But when she asks him for a serious favor, he’s afraid it will jeopardize his chance to become more than friends.
She tugged her hand away and crossed her arms. Her eyes darted, as if keeping contact was a battle. Her voice lowered a fraction. “You don’t know how hard it is to find a normal date.”
“What makes you think that?” He pushed his palm against the wall next to her head and caught the soft, powdery scent of her perfume. Did it make him an ass that while she talked about dating other men, his thoughts focused on kissing her again?
She shifted and tucked her hair behind her ear. When she looked up again, her face had returned to the usual polite, impassive front. “Come on. I’m in here often enough to see you with all kinds of women. I’m not judging you, but you can’t compare picking the flavor of the week to dating.”
He didn’t address her comments. She was right—he liked women who required nothing from him but a good time. It wasn’t a concept she’d understand. She’d definitely require more. He hadn’t attempted anything more serious since Cassie. “So what’s your plan? Cast a wide net and see what you catch?”
She shrugged. “Indy said it’s all about numbers. I spent a bunch of money to join the stupid dating site. They guarantee I’ll meet someone special. It’s in my best interest to keep trying. Besides, I try to weed out the worst of the bunch.”
His burst of laughter made her jump, so he placed a hand on her shoulder. “Sweetheart, if you think you’re weeding out the bad ones, your radar is broken.”
Her lips pulled back, but it wasn’t quite a smile. “I was born without radar.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Shannyn Schroeder is a former English teacher, who now works as a part-time editor while raising her three kids.
Even though she wrote from high school through college (mostly poetry), she’d never considered a career as an author. Writing fell by the wayside as she focused her energy on creating lesson plans and new and fabulous ways to torment her teen students. One group in particular dubbed her “The Torture Master,” a title she carried into motherhood.
After the birth of baby number two, Shannyn resigned from teaching and fell in love with reading romance novels. She read so many books so quickly that her husband teased, “If you’re going to read so many damn books, why don’t you just write one?”
So she did.
That first book is safely buried on her hard drive, but the process set Shannyn on the path to professional author. She came to reading romance later than many, but lives for the happy ending because real life can be depressing. She writes contemporary romance because she enjoys the adventure of new love.
In her spare time, she loves to bake cookies and watches far too much TV, especially cop shows. She is recovering from her Diet Coke addiction, fears putting her foot in her mouth on social media, and has a renewed appreciation for the bad girls of the world.
Web site: http://www.ShannynSchroeder.com
Don't forget to leave a comment to let Shannyn know you stopped by. It will also enter you in Shannyn's giveaway, she will be awarding a 15" x 12" Pampered Chef flat baking stone (similar to the one her heroine uses) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US only). You can follow her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.