I am thrilled to have Romantic Suspense bestselling author, Sheila Kell at The Writing Jungle.
At what point in your life did you realize the writing bug had grabbed ahold of you? And which writers influenced you?
The writing bug would hit me at different times in my career, and I’d write outlines and scenes, but never finish a book – never come up with a complete plot. That was until I left the workforce in early 2000. By then, I couldn’t stop dreaming of plots and devouring writing resources. My first book was such a flop, one editor said I should read Writing Romance for Dummies.
The writers who influenced me most were Julie Garwood and Sandra Brown.
Besides writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
Listening to books – Audible and Chirp are my friends J
Spending time with my family (that includes the cats – especially the cats)
Binge watching Outlander – over and over again
What types of films and music do you enjoy?
I love action films but will watch anything but horror. I can’t stand to be scared in a movie or see gross stuff. It gives me unrealistic nightmares. For example, I love “Jurassic Park,” but the first time I saw it, I couldn’t sleep. I was scared a dinosaur would come to my window. I know – unrealistic, but there you have it.
I’m an old-school alternative gal. Green Day still tops my list of favorite bands.
Do you have a specific writing ritual (like listening to music) and/or schedule you stick with?
I love to write when I first wake up in the morning. I grab coffee and sit down at the computer. I write until I either get stumped on where to go next and need a break or my stomach pulls me away. When I began writing in early 2000, I had music on in the background. Now, I write in silence or have the TV on a news station-muted with captions.
What inspired you to write Deadly Betrayal?
I’ve always been an avid reader. Once I read a book and felt it should have gone in a different direction and told my friends. One of them suggested I should write a book myself, so I thought “why not?” I admit – it wasn’t as easy as it sounded. But, my debut novel won a Romantic Suspense award and hit within the Amazon Top 50 paid.
From all the characters you’ve written, which one is your favorite and why?
JD from Deadly Betrayal. He’s a rough guy who has had a raw deal. In the end, he won my heart with what he’s done for the woman he loves and his son – and what he plans to do in the next book J.
Do you allow your characters to dictate their paths or do you plot out everything?
For the most part, I plot out my stories. However (I say with a sigh), those pesky characters like to change my plans. Sometimes it works and sometimes I do a massive delete. I never ignore them though. They can sometimes be geniuses.
Does research play a big part in your writing schedule?
I am horrible at research. Once I begin, I go down a wormhole and forget I was writing. Therefore, I try to research before I begin a novel so I don’t get distracted and not write that day.
Are there any other works in progress that you’d like to hint about?
I do have a second book in the Coastal Investigations series in the works. The characters move along in their romance while helping an author friend who is suspected to be a murderer.
If your favorite author (past or present) invited you for dinner to discuss writing, who would that be and what one question would you ask him/her?
I know this would be terrible to ask, but I still would. “Would you please write faster and maybe something more like For The Roses?”
What wise words of wisdom would you give up-and-coming new writers?
Just write. Don’t get bogged down in editing or anything else. Put the words on the paper and then it will all come. You can’t be successful if you don’t actually write the story – no matter how bad the first try is! And, our first try is never perfect J.
Thank you once again, Sheila, for your time.
For more information on Deadly Betrayal, please link here.
From Romantic Suspense BEST-SELLING and AWARD-WINNING Author • What happens when a former FBI analyst quits her job to become a PI and ends up partnering with the man who left her fourteen years earlier? In Sheila Kell’s riveting novel of secrets, deceit, and romance, two people rush to find a killer while reckoning with the growing attraction between them.
Cassie McKay was tired of being passed over as an FBI field agent. She quit her job as an FBI analyst, moved back home with her mother, and took a job as a PI. Only she hadn’t expected her partner to be the one man who’d left her years before.
Jack “JD” Walker had done a lot wrong in his life, but he hadn’t killed the mother of his child as the police believed, nor had he expected the only woman he’d ever loved to come to his rescue. The two work diligently to prove JD’s innocence while someone is determined to make JD pay.
Deadly Betrayal is the first book in the Coastal Investigations series. If you enjoy a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat read, then you’ll love this installment of Sheila Kell’s new romantic suspense series.