Speak of the Devil blog tour

After considerable wrestling with the wily computer, I present to you, my dear reader, an interview with the lovely (darn it, another one) Shawna Romkey, author of the very recently published Speak of the Devil. I just love the book to pieces – I’ll admit that I may have some slight bias, since I did have the privilege of editing it, but I will remind you that tends to involve reading the book eight or more times (and I’m still not sick of it), so it must be darn good.

Ms. Romkey is, of course, another lamentably gorgeous author. sigh

Author Shawna Romkey

Author Shawna Romkey

See what I mean? I really don’t know how I manage to get all the good-looking authors, though, because I’ve seen some authors out there who are definitely not pretty, so I guess I must just be lucky!

Speaking of pretty, here’s the cover of Shawna’s Speak of the Devil – and oooooh, is that cover model pretty!

Speak of the Devil Cover

Speak of the Devil Cover

Mmmmm-Mmm! And then I go and feel all awkward because that boy’s probably around the same age as my son. sigh

Now, what we’ve all been waiting for – the interview (previously scheduled to appear April 8th before the damned Internet started refusing to let me connect for more than ten seconds at a time)…

The Interview 

MR: Hi Shawna! Come on in! Sorry about the mud – just be glad we’re not on a back road or you’d sink up to your car doors in the stuff. What would you like to drink? I’ve got Irish Breakfast Tea, this weird Peppermint Ginseng, plain Peppermint, hot cocoa, mint hot cocoa, coffee? Oh, don’t mind Himself… He probably heard the kettle whistling. 

SR: Hot cocoa is great. Thanks!

MR: Your book, Speak of the Devil was released by Crescent Moon Press on March  15th. Now, I’ll admit to being a little biased about how awesome the book is, since I had the great pleasure of editing it and I still want to read it again and again, but if I’m stoked about its release, you must be completely ecstatic! How does it feel to have your book out there in the world?

SR: It’s exciting but kind of nerve wracking at the same time. I’m like a lot of writers and kind of shy when you get down to it. When I first bought my Kindle copy and started reading it I had a minor panic attack, like, “Oh my God. Anyone can just read this now!” It was kind of scary.

MR: You knew I was going to bug you about this… but a little birdy told me that Speak of the Devil has a sequel! Now, I know, no author really wants to say too much about a book before it’s finished, but for those of us eagerly awaiting that sequel already, could you give us a teeny-tiny little hint?

SR: I’m nearly ready to submit the second book to my publisher, so I know how it all goes down.  The Devil Made Me Do It is the next book in the series and is the middle child. This is the Empire Strikes Back, so to speak, but I say the demons strike back. Things don’t go well for our dynamic couple duo, and Lily is taken to a very dark place.

MR: You’re also very active in Indy books for the Kobo, aren’t you?

SR: I am. I run the website www.trindiebooks.com which promotes eBooks for Kobo. There are a lot of sites out there that promote to Kindle, but I believe other than Kobo.com itself, I was the first to start up a Kobo eBook promo site.

MR: You grew up in Missouri, didn’t you? How similar is the setting from Speak of the Devil to the area where you grew up? 

SR: Exactly similar. I base the setting on a lot of my old stomping grounds. Old schools, old neighborhoods, everything.

MR: You live in Nova Scotia, now – my grandmother came from Antigonish and I’ve been told it’s a lovely area. How did you come to move there? 

SR: It is very lovely and parts of Nova Scotia are very similar to Missouri. Just not the big ocean part. My husband is from here, so that’s how I got to know this part of the world.

MR: Here’s me being terrifically nosy, but I do *love* a good romance – how did you and your husband meet?

SR: Oh God. We actually met online, but not like a dating site or anything. We were both posting comments on the same website. Well I was writing posts and he was reading them. He started sending me messages, and I ignored him because I thought he might be a creepy stalker, but eventually he wore me down.

MR: You’ve met Himself, and of course Little Man has been trying to get “pretty lady” attention (yes, yes, you said hi already, silly boy), so you can see my own writing gets frequently interrupted! You’re a mom of two yourself, so I’m sure you can relate – how do you find time to write on top of all that *and* teaching?

SR: *waves to Little Man* Hi there!  Well it isn’t easy. With Speak of the Devil I had the good luck, which seemed like bad luck at the time, to get laid off. It was the year my son started kindergarten (or primary as they call it here in Nova Scotia), and I was home all day by myself. I figured I should put the time to good use and take advantage of the time I was given because I could have gone back to work any day. Now I’m back part time teaching, so I still have every other day where I’m home alone to get work done. If I do go back to teaching full time, I’ll still have summers.

MR: You’re also an active member in several romance writers’ groups – does having a group of authors you can talk to about writing on at least a semi-regular basis help keep you on track?

SR: I think having a writers group is imperative. I’m in the RWA Atlantic Canada chapter and we meet monthly and have education sessions, guest speakers and workshops. All of that helps, but also talking to other authors regularly, asking them to like, tag and share your book, doing reviews for each other, all of that is critical. I tried to publish my books by myself for 20 years and it never happened. Within 2 years of being in a group I got a contract. I had no idea how to submit and who to submit to, and these women did and know their stuff and aren’t afraid to share it.

MR: Have your friends and family been supportive of your writing?

SR: They have. I mean I’ve been doing it since I was 5 now, so they are just kind of used to it. They used to ask me about it more often but as the years went by and nothing ever happened with it, I got cranky about being asked, “So are you still writing?” I think they just kind of let me do my thing. And my writing isn’t for everyone. It’s YA paranormal, so it’s not the kind of thing my parents would be interested in or my aunts and uncles, so getting them to read and critique would be brutal for us all. But my sister loved the book and is very enthusiastic about it. My brother is a loser but I think he finally bought a copy to look at. :p

MR: I understand that you’ve had your work published before, even while you were in college. What was your impression of the publishing process this time around with Crescent Moon Press?

SR: Well what happened in college was just college handbooks and student projects. Nothing was really really published until this one.  This was all new to me, but very exciting. Filling out a cover art sheet and getting an editor assigned to me. All that was soooo exciting and all a bunch of firsts for me. The process was longer than I thought it would be, but CMP takes their time and gets it done. I’m very happy with the end result.

MR: I really do love the concept behind Speak of the Devil. You did an excellent job in developing the characters into people the reader really cares about, but I think your work really shines in that it makes the reader care about even the ‘villains’. During the writing process did you have to remind yourself that they’re people too, and have motivations that seem right to them, or did they develop that way naturally?

SR: That comes into play a LOT in the second book. With this first book, I didn’t want there to be definitive lines as to who is good and who is evil. I think in reality, evil people have some good things about them and good people have a dark side. I didn’t want them to be flat. Here’s goody goody #1 and here’s the guy twisting his evil mustache #2. In the second book, I wanted to explore that further and the devil actually becomes a character in the series. I’ve heard it sad said that villains are heroes in their own story. No one walks around all “bwahaha, I’m the bad guy!” If they’re doing something evil, they think they are justified to do so. With Lucifer I had a little too much fun trying to figure out what his justification was. I tried to do that in Speak of the Devil, too, give the angels a reason to fall.

MR: Your main character Lily’s love life isn’t exactly one I would wish on anyone – she has some real disasters and a lot of angst to deal with after her friends die. I understand that you went through some similar trauma in your teens, and I know several teens who are coping with similar losses. Do you have any advice to offer to help get them through?

SR: The week my book came out there were three news stories on US news about car accidents that had ended up killing close to 15 teens in total. It’s heart breaking. When you’re young you think you’ll live forever, but dead is dead. The loss doesn’t go away. It doesn’t just get better. It’s always there. I mean, even now, nearly thirty years later I’m still thinking about the car accident in high school that took my friends. I’m still writing about it. It still affects me. As far as advice, I don’t know. I guess I’d say, live your life. Make it worth it. I know they wouldn’t want me being depressed forever or doing anything stupid. They’d want me to be happy, so try to do that however you can. For them, if you have to.

MR:On the other hand, she certainly has some yummy “problems” to deal with! I love the dishy cover model for Speak of the Devil – how close is he to how you see Luc?

SR: I didn’t picture Luc’s biceps to be that big. He’s clearly been working out. I pictured Chord Overstreet from Glee, so shorter, blonder hair. But the cover is great. His face really works, and his crazy hair.

MR: You are definitely a social media maven – could you give us some links to find your books, and you, online?

SR: I have tons of links. They can all be found on my website, but here are a few:Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  | Pinterest  |  Goodreads | Amazon Print

MR: I’ve really enjoyed talking with you, Shawna! You’ve really worked hard to make this book shine, and I enjoyed editing it immensely. I already bought my paperback; it’s right there on the shelf! I hope that Speak of the Devil does well for you, and continues to do well as the series progresses and more people discover your books. 

SR: Thank you so much. I hope you get assigned a new book to edit soon, about a demon fighting girl who gets taken away by the biggest baddie of them all!

 

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3 Comments

Filed under editing, interview, writing

3 responses to “Speak of the Devil blog tour

  1. Thanks for having me!

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  2. Great interview, ladies!

    Like

  3. Hi Melissa! I’ve nominated you & your Blog for a *Super Sweet Blogging Award*!!! CONGRATS! Please visit my blog http://siobhandaiko.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/blogging-award/for details, and you can pass on the nomination as well, if you like. Siobhan x

    Like

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