"Fun, Flirty, Sexy'
What made you want to become a writer?
I was inspired by Jo March in LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott. I read the book in fourth grade and even though Amy was my favorite sister in the book, I was amazed by Jo’s writing talent and ambition so I began to write short stories in between doing my assignments in school or at home after my homework was finished.
Tell us a bit about your journey to publication.
I’ll tell you the very short version. After publishing grammar prep/review books with Creative Teaching Press (under my other name), I decided to actively pursue sending out my romance novel manuscripts to different publishers. Some were rejections or I simply didn’t hear back. After winning a pitch contest with Harlequin Kimani Romance in 2011, I was asked to send the full manuscript, received a rejection and decided to self-publish the book myself (May 2012) and not worry with sending anything out to anymore traditional publishers. However, less than a year and two self-published books later, I received an email in January 2013 about writing for Kimani and since it has been on my goal list since high school to write for Harlequin, I didn’t hesitate with my answer of yes.
To date, how many books have you written? If you had to choose a favorite which would it be?
Probably about ten but some of those will never see the light of day. However, I currently have five published and one with my editor at Harlequin Kimani right now. Mmmmm…my favorite that’s a tough question for I love them all for different reasons, but I’ll go with Cooking up Love since it’s my first published book.
How have you changed as a writer since that first book?
Well for one, I no longer take a year or more to write a book. However, I was writing at my leisure or on summer breaks from work because I was a teacher. I rarely wrote anything doing the school year or at least not any romance novels. Now, I still sort of write when I feel like it, but I also have a schedule that I try to stick to especially considering there will be times when I’m working on two projects at once like I will in a few weeks.
You have recently joined the Harlequin Kimani Family. Tell us a bit about the move to a new/traditional publisher?
Well, it has been somewhat of a change. I’m used to setting my own deadlines and release dates and if I miss my own deadline, it’s okay because I only have to answer to me. However, working with a traditional publisher, I write a bit faster than usual which I’m not used to yet as well as second-guessing myself because I like to writing freely as far as dialogue and scenes. But so far the editing process is similar to the one I have with my freelance editor for my self-published book because she’s edited for major publishers so I kind of knew what to expect.
Tell us a bit about HER PERFECT CANDIDATE.
Co-owner of an up-and-coming interior-decorating firm, Megan Chase loves being a single woman on the fast track to success. But everything changes when a flat tire brings Georgia senator Steven Monroe into her life. The sinfully sexy politician needs the right woman to clean up his image. And with Megan’s fine eye for detail, she just may be the woman for the job.
Steven’s reputation as a player could cost him his chance at a U.S. senate seat. But when the cameras catch him and Megan in a kiss that’s all too real, it’s not only his future candidacy in jeopardy. As the lines between politics and desire begin to blur, how much will he risk to transform their passionate pretense into a landslide for love?
What do you like most about being a published author?
I love connecting with readers online and in person. I also like meeting authors and networking to learn new approaches to promoting and supporting each other.
What advice would you give an aspiring author?
Learn everything you need to know about your genre. Join a writers group in your city that offers workshops and conferences in order to hone your craft. Also having a circle of author friends who you can depend on to keep you motivated, read your work and listen to you rant is essential as well.
Tell us a bit about the process you use when you write a novel.
I honestly don’t have a set process. I’m not a plotter which is hard for me when I have to write a synopsis for a traditional publisher and the book isn’t written yet. For my self-published books, I have notes and a general outline but once I begin to actually write the book, I tend to stray from my notes and let my characters write the book.
What’s next for Candace Shaw?
Currently I’m working on the proposal for the third book in the Chasing Love series with Kimani. I don’t have a title yet but it will be out in Fall 2015. If you read HER PERFECT CANDIDATE, then you met the twin’s cousin, Tiffani Chase-Lake and her son KJ. She’s a widow who just wants to raise her son and a start a business not date and get married again. Also, I just started the last book in the Arrington Family series which will be out later this year, titled MY KINDA GIRL which is Dr. Sean Arrington’s book. He definitely meets his match in Dr. Traci Reed and everything he thought he wanted in a woman is the total opposite of Traci.
I’m also waiting for the edits of the second book in the Chasing Love series, JOURNEY TO SEDUCTION which will be released in February 2015. If you read HER PERFECT CANDIDATE, then you met Megan’s identical twin sister, Sydney Chase and Steven’s younger brother Bryce Monroe. They have a love/hate relationship. Sydney is a profiler for the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and Bryce is an attorney who has resigned from a prestigious law firm to start his own. The two never see eye to eye on cases they’re both involved in and Sydney thinks Bryce is a spoiled, rich brat. Bryce, on the other hand, actually loves their back and forth banter because the fire in her eyes is intriguing to him. They have one thing in common, motorcycles and the two take a road trip to a motorcycle convention in Vegas. Things get heated along the way and they decide that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas; however, that’s easier said than done and they embark on another type of journey once they return to Atlanta.
And somewhere in my schedule I would like to begin my next series, Precious Moments Events. I keep receiving emails and messages from readers about Zaria Richardson and Dr. Garrett Braxton from the Arrington Family series. There will be three books in the series maybe four and it will be a mesh up of contemporary romance and chick lit but with a HEA (I think…eventually). Sort of along the lines of Sex And The City, Single Ladies and Girlfriends. The series will be centered around an event planning company and set on St. Simon’s Island, Georgia and Atlanta. I’m looking at a Summer 2015 release for the first book.
If there was one thing you could tell your readers what would it be?
Thank you so much for enjoying my books. It keeps me motivated to write more!
How can readers reach you?
Pink and Purple
R&B and Jazz
Scandal & My Fair Lady