As many of you know, I’m a huge paranormal romance reader. It’s one of my all-time favorite genres so when I come across a paranormal romance new-to-me author, I’m all over their books like a honey bee to flowers. I met Shari through a fellow author, M. T. Magee, and we instantly connected. I convinced her to sit down for an interview and she agreed. I can’t wait to read her brand-new release, Haunted, from Liquid Silver Press. Take it away, Shari:
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you?
There are so many fabulous authors that have inspired me over the years with their words and their characters. I absolutely love Alice Clayton! Her books are filled with humor and heart. I had the pleasure of meeting the amazing Sylvia Day at an NJRW conference and got an autograph and a picture with her. She was so kind and lovely. Her writing style, voice and her ability to create off-the-charts sensuality between her characters are some of the many reasons I fell in love with her books. I admire the outrageousness and humor from the fabulous writing team of Christina Lauren. I’ve read Beautiful Bastard countless times, and still laugh hysterically. I’m always blown away by Kresley Cole’s world building. I was thrilled to meet her at RWA in NYC a few years back. She was very sweet! In my opinion, JK Rowling is an utter genius. I’ve read all of the Harry Potter books three- four times and will probably read all of them again. J Kenner’s characters are relatable and quite complex. I absolutely love her Stark series Iwill get to meet her at the Liberty States Fiction conference in March, which will be a thrill.
If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
The first thing I do when I figure out who my characters are is to look through magazines or go online for ideas. I try to find out who best resembles the characters floating around in my head and then make poster boards and refer to them as I write. In my novel, HAUNTED, my hero, Thayne is based on the gorgeous actor, Ryan Reynolds .I’ve tried my best to vividly describe him as tall with golden brown hair, whiskey colored eyes, and a physique that would make most women weep. He’s also incredibly witty, smart, and cool, a hero in every sense of the word. My heroine would be played by a young Scarlett Johannsen, a petite blonde with big, blue eyes. She’s sexy, sincere, and lovable, not to mention there’s a certain vulnerability that I think most women can relate to on some level.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?
Names are critical when it comes to creating believable, well developed characters. I remember my brother in law once told me about his uncle Thayne and described him as a tall, strapping man who had quite the reputation with the ladies in his youth. Immediately, an image began to form in my mind. The name sounded so masculine and unbelievably sexy, I knew I had to create this larger than life character and make him jump off the page. As for my other characters, some are based on people I might know, some are based on people from TV and film. Sometimes just hearing a name sparks my imagination and I plot who that character could be and what drives them.
What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
Don’t give up! If I can do this anyone can. Publishing is a tough business and not for the faint of heart by any means. Develop a thick skin and never take it personally when you get rejected. It’s part of the process. Get into a critique group and submit your work on a regular basis. Be accountable for your writing, even when you’re not published. Try entering contests. Go to conferences and talk to other authors. Find out what they’re doing. Take writing classes, and workshops. Read everything you can in your genre and don’t overlook those books on writing as well.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
I’m working on a three book contemporary series that focuses on three best friends from college who are navigating careers, and love in the Big Apple. I like to think of it as a modern day Sex in the City. There’s humor, fashion, gay best friends, over the top characters, and even a Mr. Big type of sexy alpha hero. As much as I love writing paranormal, it’s nice to step away from that world and focus on something completely different.
If you had a superpower, what would it be?
Boy that’s a tough one! There’s so many! I would love to have the power to know what people are thinking. It could save a lot of time and energy. I would also love to have the power to make myself invisible so I could spy on my kids.
What secret talents do you have?
Sadly, not many, but I still remember how to twirl a baton. Does that count? I guess it’s one of those weird talents you never really forget. I also have a photographic memory for recalling faces. I’m still wondering when this talent will come in handy.
Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
I’ve always wanted to go to Europe like my heroine, Karly. I hope to get there someday. Greece, Italy and France are at the top of the list. Oops that’s three.
What’s on your bucket list (things to do before you die)?
I want to travel to as many exotic locales as possible, try the food, experience the culture, and learn about the people and the history. I’ve been talking about getting my Master’s degree for years. I’m still deciding in what. I would love to help my brother achieve his goals and participate in Special Olympics. I’ve always talked about taking a girls vacation with some really close friends and paying for the entire trip with all of my books sales.
If you were an animal, what would you be and why?
That’s an easy one! I would be a golden retriever. My beloved, dog, Buddy is a golden and they have the sweetest and most loyal dispositions. I could only aspire to be that adorable.
Author: Shari Nichols
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Liquid Silver Press
When medium Karly Matthews agrees to move into a haunted inn, she’s not sure what’s more dangerous, the ghost or the sexy innkeeper she tries to resist. She’s can’t deny the intense rush of desire she feels every time he’s near. When she agrees to embark on a no-strings-attached relationship, she finds herself thrust into a world of mind-blowing pleasures. Now she must face the aching truths of her past.
Hotel heir Thayne Harper has a laser-like focus on success that doesn’t include the help of his family. He’s always been the black sheep, living in the shadow of his dead brother. His dreams are put to the test when a supernatural entity threatens to ruin everything. The one bright spot is the woman who intrigues his mind and heats his blood. If only he can convince her that, despite his bad boy ways, he can change for the good. Her love becomes his only salvation. Passion burns white-hot as a dark threat looms. The ghost doesn’t want them to be together and sets her sights on Thayne, luring him to a place that goes beyond death. Will Karly be able to save him before it’s too late?
Karly made sure to keep her head down, wanting to avoid another run-in. Her fingers tightened around her key chain with every step. She was almost to the main street, when she bumped into a solid wall of muscle that threatened to knock her on her ass.
Her keys flew from her hands as she began to fall backward. Before she hit the ground, two strong hands reached out and caught her around the waist. She glanced up and into the gorgeous face of the god she’d seen earlier.
Up close, he was even more stunning and taller than she’d calculated. He exuded strength and masculinity, and when he focused that intense magnetism on her, all the air left her lungs, along with her ability to speak.
Genuine concern flashed in his whiskey colored eyes. “I’m sorry. Are you okay?” His voice was like warm chocolate, melting her insides. When he dropped his hands, Karly could still feel the imprints on her skin.
“Y-yes, I’m fine. I’m the one who should be apologizing. I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going.” Her heart pounded wildly in her chest. The man smelled incredible, like sandalwood and clean laundry.
“No need for apologies. Maybe you should sit down for a minute and have a drink with me.” There was elegance in the way he spoke that made her think of old money and private school.
For a moment Karly thought about taking him up on his offer, but she wasn’t in the frame of mind to pull off light conversation or flirty banter at this point. “Thanks, but I have to pass. This night, well, it didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped so I think it’s my cue to go.” She did her best to school her features, but inside she was feeling raw and vulnerable. The only thing she wanted to do was go home, soak in a hot bath, and lick her wounds.
His searing gaze swept over her and made butterflies flutter in her stomach “Stay. Perhaps I can make it better.”
Karly glanced at his jacket for his nametag, but like her, he wasn’t wearing one. “I’m guessing you’re in either sales or politics, and if this is all for a campaign donation, I’m sorry. I already gave at the office.” Immediately she got a vibe telling her he was his own boss, which wasn’t hard to figure out. The man exuded confidence and power.
The throaty sound of his laughter raised goose bumps on her flesh. “So you’re funny and beautiful that’s quite a rare combo, Miss….?”
His words slid over her like a warm caress. A flush spread across her cheeks. She shook her head, a little dazed by the compliment. It would be hard not to succumb to his charms. If she was honest, his scent alone was driving her crazy. No, the man spelled danger. “I’m sorry. I should go. Good night and uh, nice running into you.” She sucked in a breath, turned and took a step toward the street.
“I don’t think you’ll get far without these,” he said in a bone-melting voice that forced her to turn around. He held up her keys in his hand.
“Right. Thanks.” She’d become so dazzled by his looks, she’d completely forgotten about them flying out of her hands
“My pleasure.” The way he said the word pleasure conjured images of their bodies tangled together, rolling around in satin sheets. The air sizzled with sexual tension. Slowly, he closed the distance between them and placed the keys in her hands. She purposely avoided touching him, but his fingers grazed hers, sending a spark of awareness up and down her arm.
“Don’t go,” he whispered.
“Why?” Karly was curious to hear what he’d say next.
“I can’t let you disappear into the night without telling me your name.” The words were spoken in a commanding tone that normally would’ve irritated her, but for some reason when he said them they hit every one of her buttons. “You can give me that much can’t you? It’s not every day I meet someone that captivates me and you have, quite thoroughly I might add.”
The scorching heat in his gaze made her shiver. She swallowed and tried to regain her equilibrium. It’d been a long time since a man had looked at her with such blatant desire. “I’m impressed— that’s quite a pick-up line. I’m curious, does it usually work?”
A guy that looked like him probably had women falling all over themselves to get his attention. It didn’t take a psychic to glean the man was a player. He was too smooth to be anything else. “You’re pretty sure of yourself. Do you always get what you want?”
Shari Nichols grew up in a small town in Connecticut where haunted houses, ghosts and Ouija boards were common place, spurring her fascination with all things paranormal. Ever since she read her first Barbara Cartland novel, her life-long dream has been to write sexy, romantic stories. Shari has been married to her own alpha hero for twenty-five years. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, going to the gym, or hanging out with family and friends.
She lives in New Jersey with her husband, two teenagers, and her adoring golden retriever. She’s thrilled to spend her days in sweats, eating chocolate while pounding on her keyboard to create her next novel. Shari’s a member of Romance Writers of America, New Jersey Romance Writers, Liberty States Fiction Writers and Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Romance Writers.
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