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.
Now that you've met Shannyn, you might enjoy getting to know her better from our sit down interview.
Author name or pen name. If writing under a pen name, why did you choose this particular name?
I write under my real name. I was going to use a pen name, but decided that if anyone really wanted my real name they’d find it. My kids just have to live with the fact that I write romance.
When did you tell your family and friends that you were a writer? How did telling them make you feel?
I told my best friend as soon as I realized that the thing I was writing could be a book. I started writing thinking that I might get 3 pages or maybe a short story. When I got to 10,000 words, I realized that I could write an entire book. It took a lot longer before I told my husband and kids. I waited until I had that first book finished and wanted to start sending it out. I was nervous, especially telling my husband. He’s not a reader, and he’ll never pick up a romance. He makes fun of my reading habits, but he grudgingly accepts it now. It’s a little easier for him to understand now that I’ve sold and have a second contract.
What would your grandmother think if she met the hero in your book?
My grandmother would like Ryan. He comes from a big Irish family and although my grandmother didn’t have six kids, she would recognize the family I built in the O’Learys. Ryan is a good guy who takes care of his family first. Who wouldn’t like a man like that?
What is the most romantic thing a man/partner has ever done for you?
When my husband and I were dating, we each had our own apartments. I was working two jobs while going to school in order to pay rent. Because of this, I was always tired and I’d do things like start my car to warm it up and lock my keys in it. He taught me how to break into the car using a wire hanger. I actually kept a hanger under the back bumper of the car because I did it so often.
One day, I was on my way to go to one of my jobs or class, and I found a rose on my steering wheel. He used the hanger to break into my car and leave the rose with a note. J
If you were planning a seductive dinner in front of a crackling fire, what would you serve? How would you serve it? What would you wear?
I’m really a simple girl, so planning a fancy dinner is not easy task. Lucky for me, my husband likes things simple too. I’d want a dinner that wouldn’t require a lot of dishes to clean up. Maybe order Chinese food in and eat directly from the carton. Maybe not sexy, but it invites sharing. As far as what I’d wear…one of his shirts. I think most guys like to see a woman wearing their clothes, even if they won’t admit it.
Clothing is an important part of each scene. A low cut tank top sparks more male appreciation than a conservative button down, rolled up sleeve shirt. From a male perspective, compare the two opposites I mentioned above or choose your own for comparison.
I don’t necessarily agree with your statement that a low-cut tank top sparks more male appreciation than a button-down. Initially, yes, men’s eyes will always rove to what’s obviously pushed in their faces, but I think they like something left to the imagination. If everything is popping out, there’s no mystery left. I think something conservative can be just as sexy and can get much more attention because men want to know what’s underneath. A lot of that has to do with how a woman carries herself. Confidence can draw men in quicker than anything, regardless of clothing. Once they’re drawn in, they look at a woman with fresh eyes. It’s not about what the woman reveals, but what she doesn’t.
Besides being unfaithful, what quality in a man—no criminal acts—would be a deal breaker? Why?
The only thing that is a total deal breaker for me is a man who puts others down to elevate himself. And that can come in many forms from physical, psychological, or emotional abuse to a general nasty attitude about how others cheated to get where they are. Anyone who tries to take away from others disgusts me. I can understand being envious (or even jealous). It’s natural, but to allow that to control you is ugly.
Do either your heroine or hero have a vice (drugs, chocolate, expensive jewelry, cigarettes, etc.)? How important is it to the story?
My heroine Quinn bakes cookies when she’s stressed, but I don’t think it counts as a vice because she doesn’t consume them all in one sitting the way some of us might be tempted to. She does like her pedicures, though. All throughout he book, the color of her polish is mentioned. It’s her little thing to feel sexy. In that way, it’s important to the story to know that Quinn gives herself that little something, but it doesn’t get in the way of her life and her goals.
You’ve been dating Mr. Practically Alright for a month. He’s been to your house several times. Finally, he asks you over to his place to meet someone who is important to him. You are thinking it’s a child or perhaps his visiting mother. Wrong. It’s a big Labrador retriever who puts his paws on your shoulders and washes your carefully air brushed face from ear to ear. The biggest dog you’ve ever been around was the size of a meatloaf. What are the first words out of your mouth? If your date doesn’t offer antibacterial face wipes and says—by the way—Fido sleeps with him every night, what’s your next move?
I like big dogs, but my first reaction would be “Gross.” I don’t like to be licked by dogs. I’m fine with the dog being friendly and wanting attention, but sleeping with him is not happening. I’m not sharing bed space with a dog.
Do you think readers would embrace a hero—not a struggling artist, sculptor or writer—who earns only a fraction of what the heroine earns? Please explain.
I would hope so. I have a love for blue collar guys. They can make a decent living (I should know, I married one), but rarely are they going to be rich. Maybe it’s me, but I don’t think your paycheck determines your worth. If the hero doesn’t have a problem with it, I’m pretty sure readers won’t. That being said, I think a lot of guys do have a problem being with a woman who makes more than they do.
Congratulations, your book has just been optioned by movie producer. Of course you’ll be a consultant to the casting director. Who would you chose to play your heroine? Hero? What song would you pick for your soundtrack? And since you’ve convinced the powers to be that you must write the screenplay, what will you be wearing to the Academy Awards to accept your Oscar for best screenplay? Include jewelry!
Ryan (hero) - Jason O’Mara
Quinn (heroine) – Katie Holmes
Soundtrack – (this was hard because I didn’t have a soundtrack when I wrote this book, but I created one)
First Time by Lifehouse http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0YvWQNWEJA
Can’t Fight This Feeling by REO Speedwagon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCVx2jrKKXQ
To Be With You by Mr. Big http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRVdTcRMbyU
Don’t Let Go (Love) by En Vogue http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiFchM6lu10
Lucky by Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acvIVA9-FMQ
Head Over Feet by Alanis Morrisette http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iuO49jbovg
I don’t know that I’d attend the Academy Awards. I hate dressing up and I can’t walk in heels. I would make a fool of myself. The thought of that has me quaking. I’d prefer to stay at home and have them mail the award.
Shannyn will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
Follow this link to Shannyn's other stops on her tour. The more you enter and leave a comment, the better your chances to win her prize giveaway.
When a lonely teacher teams up with a handsome bartender for some outrageous acts, they both get more than they bargained for…
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.
And now for a taste...
Ryan stood at the opposite end of the bar from Quinn’s booth. Watching in the mirror, he saw a new side of Quinn. She was relaxed. When she’d first come into the bar with a crowd of teachers, she’d hung back from the group, ordered one drink, gulped it down, and left. It was like she had to make an appearance and she did the bare minimum. Now, she’d invited other friends here.
He couldn’t believe he’d almost been busted eavesdropping on her conversation. And, of course, it had to happen right when they got to a good part. He wanted to know if she got laid for her birthday. Judging by the way she looked when she came in, she hadn’t been given a birthday orgasm. He almost wanted to offer to change that, but knew she’d shoot him down.
A slight tap on his arm had him turning to look at his younger brother, who was supposed to be stocking alcohol.
“Who’s the gorgeous blonde?”
Michael hitched his chin up toward the mirror. “The one you’ve been staring at.”
“Oh. That’s Indy, but I was looking at her sister. Short dark hair.”
Michael looked at all three women. “She’s not your usual type.”
“I know.” The concept rubbed at him like a wool sweater.