Friday, September 21, 2012

Interview With Shannon McKenna


Congratulations to "Colleen C.", the winner of Shannon's book giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Shannon McKenna is the NYT bestselling author of over ten action packed, turbocharged romantic thrillers, among which are the stories of the wildly popular McCloud series.

Given the nature of this website, I have to ask...what draws you to the romantic suspense genre?

Oh, man—I just love to be thrilled. I like over-the-top hot heroes who need to be tamed, and wild adventure, all mixed with the delirious triumph of true love and righteousness. Maybe it’s simplistic of me, but I don’t care. And I have always preferred my romance novels with suspense, even the historicals. Otherwise, it’s just the hero and heroine endlessly, claustrophobically going around and around with their “issues,” which is just way too painfully similar to real life for me. My heroine is too busy dodging bullets to stress about her emotional baggage, and my hero is too busy heroically rescuing her to annoy her with his fears of intimacy. All that stuff is there, sure, and they will eventually have to deal with it, but the bombs and bullets give them something else to talk about, thank God. And the suspense ups the stakes for everyone. They’re fighting for their lives at the very least, and maybe for even bigger stakes, if the villain is jonesing for world domination, or wants to kill the whales and the pandas, or whatever.  Some months ago, I discovered the TV series Prison Break (years late, I know, but that’s how it is when you’re in exile abroad with two little kids!) What a discovery it was. I loved the first two seasons, particularly. I was crazy for Michael, the valiant, selfless, gorgeous, spookily brilliant hero. He just rang all my bells. I adored the impossible romance with the prison doctor, Sarah. What an awesome RS set-up. Juicy, tense, complicated, impossible. Oh, yum. (The series could have done with a few more sexual encounters between them, in my humble opinion, but that’s just me.)  And then, at the end of the last season, Michael dies! I was simply horrified. I was startled by the strength of my reaction, which was all out of proportion, since it was just a TV show, but I felt utterly betrayed. They had sold Michael to me as a romance hero, and I had let down my guard . . . and then they cheated me of my HEA! That was the way I read the situation, anyhow. My tissues still recoil at the memory. The moral of the story for me is, mess with a romantic suspense junkie’s expectations at your peril! If you’re going to put her through that wringer, give her satisfaction at the end, and make it damn good! And that’s what I try to do, with every book.

Is it dangerous being a romantic suspense author?

Danger? You mean, other than to my waistline and my rear end, which tends to want spread when I sit on it too much? Or the muscle tension my lower back and shoulders? Or to my long-suffering endocrine system, from too much coffee? Deadly, deadly. It has occurred to me that my wacky and twisted internet searches have probably landed me in the files of some law-enforcement agencies, as a potential wild-eyed Unabomber type terrorist, so I’m always wondering when the guys in the black suits are going to show up at my door. And then there’s the danger of boring my friends to death with my complaints about my laborious artistic process, but I’ll just shut up right now on that. (zipping sound.) Then there’s the drive by haters who attack on Amazon and my website email, whom I try to ignore, but they unnerve me when it seems like they’re directing waaayyyy too much of their toxic attention upon me. And then there are the publishers with their imponderable agenda, but let’s not even get started. And there’s that vertiginous feeling of being out there on a cliff, in the dark, close to the edge of disaster with every damn book, always about to put all my deepest and most intimate “stuff” out there, for everyone to judge and sniff at. Oh no! I’m working myself up into a state! I guess, the answer is, YES! It’s shockingly dangerous! The only defense is a sense of humor.

Have you ever experienced a Deja Vu moment, where you find yourself in a scene from one of your books?

Actually, yes, sort of. I was writing EXTREME DANGER, and there was a scene where Sveti, the young girl who had been kidnapped by organ pirates and imprisoned in an underground room with a bunch of younger children and toddlers was caring for the youngest baby girl, who, coincidentally, was the same age as my little daughter. In the scene I was writing, the baby gets a high fever, and Sveti is desperately worried because she has no way to care for her. I finish the scene, go check on my baby, and she had a really high fever! Like, scary high! I had such a spooky feeling, as if I had somehow magicked it into being with the power of my mind. That was not fun.  I got over myself, though. And she was fine, after some antibiotic syrup and baby tylenol. (whew.)

Do you recall any book bloopers? Edits that slipped past you and made you say, OMG!

Oh, many of them over the years. I had one reader write to tell me that Sean had learned to speak the wrong middle eastern language in his years as a mercenary soldier. Oops. How embarrassing. I told her, damn, I wish I’d had you to consult when I was writing the book.  And my timelines tend to get screwed up (mostly because I write so damn slow.)  And I do tend to write myself into corners that I regret—like when I discovered, four books into the series, that I had established, with the inscription on Kev McCloud’s gravestone, that he and Sean were Capricorns! Gadzooks. When I randomly picked the date, I didn’t know those guys at all. As I came to know them, they were so totally un-Capricorn. I guess they must just have a really influential rising sign, or something like that. (Sigh.) Whatever. You just have to let it go, and write stubbornly on.

What is one stereotype about authors that is completely wrong?

Wow, I wasn’t aware of any stereotypes. I probably correspond to all of them!

You are a singer. If JUST ROMANTIC SUSPENSE were to host a concert for you, would you sing for us? :)

Hell, yeah! With bells on! I love to sing. I’m much less self-conscious about singing than I am about writing, to tell the truth! Even though I never did manage to make a living at singing. Anyone who is curious can check out this Youtube link, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9llHfVBo_Ek&feature=relmfu

This is a cut from an album I made some years ago, with an Italian early music group called Calixtinus. I’m going to try to get some other styles and genres out there on Youtube, just for fun, as soon as I have some good recordings of them. Since I’ve been trying to get back to singing more, I’ve noticed the writing going better. Makes me happy. Happy = more productive.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Maureen. I enjoyed your fun and quirky questions!


One Wrong Move Blurb

Secrets Never Die

Alex Aaro has spent most of his life on the run from his Ukrainian mafia family. But when he learns that crazy Aunt Tonya, the only relative who ever gave a damn about him, is dying, he risks returning home to say goodbye. He’s prepared for anything except the call from his friend, Bruno Ranieri, that sends him on a wild and dangerous ride with a mysterious woman who holds a deadly secret and a white hot passion that binds them together.

Social worker Nina Christie has no idea how much trouble she’s in when her Aunt Helga shows up bleeding at her shelter, babbling in Ukrainian—and with one inexplicable act thrusts Nina into the heart of a nightmare. Now a ruthless crime syndicate will stop at nothing to make Nina disappear, and only Alex Aaro, that inscrutable six-foot-four rock hard slab of lean muscle, stands between her and certain death. Now Nina and Alex are in a race against time, death, and their desire for one another...

Giveaway Info

Shannon is giving away TWO prizes, a copy of one of her books at each blog stop on her tour AND a grand prize giveaway of a Kindle Touch!!! There are several copies of One Wrong Move, Blood and Fire, Ultimate Weapon, and Fade to Midnight up for grabs!

1)    To win a book: leave a comment on this blog post to be entered to win a book. Be sure to leave your email address in the comments so we can contact you if you’re the lucky winner. This giveaway ends five days after the post goes live.
2)    To win a Kindle Touch: Click the link to go to Shannon’s website and enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the page. A winner will be selected on September 27th. Here’s Shannon’s Website.

Shannon's Bio
Shannon McKenna is the NYT bestselling author of over ten action packed, turbocharged romantic thrillers, among which are the stories of the wildly popular McCloud series. She loves tough and heroic alpha males, heroines with the brains and guts to match them, villains who challenge them to their utmost, adventure, scorching sensuality, and most of all, the redemptive power of true love. Since she was small she has loved abandoning herself to the magic of a good book, and her fond childhood fantasy was that writing would be just like that, but with the added benefit of being able to take credit for the story at the end. Alas, the alchemy of writing turned out to be messier than she'd ever dreamed. But what the hell, she loves it anyway, and hopes that readers enjoy the results of her alchemical experiments.


Links






a Rafflecopter giveaway

41 comments:

  1. Love your books! I have all of the McCloud connected books and have preordered One wrong Move!
    jaclynlavigne@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi, Anon! So glad you like the McClouds, and I hope you enjoy OWM! Good luck!
      Shannon

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  2. This book sounds really good!! I can't wait to read it! Thanks for the post and the awesome giveaway!!
    ehaney578 at aol dot com

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    1. Hope you enjoy it, Elizabeth! Good luck!
      Shannon

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  3. Thanks for the great giveaway! I love the McCloud books.

    ljberma01 (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Thanks for your enthusiasm, and good luck!
      Shannon

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  4. Legend interview!

    I seriously have got to stop visiting this blog... my (already epic) TBR queue grows by leaps & bounds every time I visit! My dissertation is never going to get written at this rate... I wonder if I can somehow turn 5 years of research on regulation of gene expression into my extensive forays into the RS genre? :P

    stalkers00(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I always try to justify puttering around by telling myself that it's good for creativity. But I have never written a dissertation on gene expression, just sexy thrillers. ahem. Might be a slightly different vibe. Good luck with that dissertation, and let that tbr pile keep on climbing higher . . .
      Shannon

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  5. I too need the thrills with my HEA. The McCloud brothers are one of my favorite series. And the new book sounds fantastic. Great interview. Trishleroy49 at gmail dot com

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    1. Glad you liked it, Trish! I enjoyed these interview questions a lot. Glad you like the McClouds!
      Good luck!
      Shannon

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  6. I haven't read any of your books but they sound awesome I will be looking them up on Barnes and nobles later on today I always love reading books that keep you wondering who the hero will be thank you for putting this on just romantic suspense it is where I always go to find new authors. Debra Stolhand e-mail cher123@cableone.net

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    1. Hi, Debra! So glad you found me! Hope you enjoy the books, and good luck on the contest!
      Shannon

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  7. I have been waiting for Alex's story!

    I can't wait!

    J.l.obrien912 at gmail.com

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  8. I sure hope you enjoy it, Jessie! Thanks! Good luck on the contest!
    Shannon

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  9. Thanks for the great interview! Shannon, I love that you always want to give your readers a satisfying ending, and you do it so well! Thank you!
    kgagnon@donofrio.cc

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  10. Thanks, Krg! I write 'em like I like to read 'em, every time . . .
    Thanks for your enthusiasm!
    Best,
    Shannon

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  11. Loved the interview! I haven't read any of your books yet but I enjoyed the interview so I am guessing I will enjoy your books as well. I am off to go check them out! Thanks!

    amy at remus dot net

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    1. So glad you liked the interview! If it made you want to read my books, gee, it did it's job! Good luck on the contest, and thanks!
      Shannon

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  12. Enjoyed reading the comments. I have yet to read a book by you so would welcome the opportunity to do so. You write the kinds of books I like to read.
    Joye
    JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. Delighted to hear it, Joye! I hope you enjoy them once you do get a chance to try them! Good luck!
      Shannon

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  13. Enjoyed reading the comments. I have yet to read a book by you so would welcome the opportunity to do so. You write the kinds of books I like to read.
    Joye
    JWIsley(at)aol(dot)com

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  14. Great interview, Shannon, and your singing was hauntingly beautiful and gave me goose bumps.


    caity_mack at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thanks, Cathy! I just love that song. I live for goose bumps!
      Best,
      Shannon

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  15. Enjoyed the interview! I am not sure if I have read anything by you yet... have to look through all of my lists. Definitely have to get one of your books if I have not yet.
    greenshamrock AT cox DOT net

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    1. I hope you do enjoy them when you try them, Collen! Thanks! Good luck!
      Shannon

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  16. It looks like an exciting story and I'll be looking for it.
    mce1011 AT aol DOT com

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    1. Hope you like it when you find it, Maureen! Good luck on the contest!
      Shannon

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  17. I enjoyed the interview. I'd really like to read the book.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the interview! Good luck!
      Shannon

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  18. Great interview. This would be my first book.

    kmccandle(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. I'm so thrilled to be reaching new reader! Good luck and happy reading!
      Shannon

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  19. I remember that scene with Sveti! I used a few tissues when I read Extreme Danger - really good book. This was a fun interview and I really enjoyed it (and your sense of humor). Thanks for sharing the cut from the album - you have a lovely voice. Looking forward to reading One Wrong Move. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
    Karen C
    kacbooks(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Yeah, Sveti took me completely by surprise. She just walked into the book and almost started taking over. After I'm done with Miles's story, I'm turn my eyes to her, since she's finally old enough. (considering how slow I write!)
      Thanks!
      Shannon

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  20. Even though it's been years since I read Behind Closed Doors, it remains today one of my favorite books. I pimped that book to all my friends. I've been a fan ever since and would love to win your latest release.
    Judi
    boomer21(at)rogers(dot)com

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    1. Thanks from the bottom of my heart for all that pimping. It's because of wonderful readers like you that I have a career!
      Good luck, Judi!
      Shannon

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  21. I can't wait to read One Wrong Move, it looks as awesome as all your books are! I am a big fan. Thanksfor the chance to win!

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

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    1. Thanks, Martha! I'm so pleased you like my books. Good luck!
      Shannon

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  22. Great sense of humor! I laughed reading about the danger of being a romantic suspense author. I admist some humor in RS can be good too!

    Cambonified{at}yahoo{dot}com

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  23. How wonderful to be a writer and a singer! You do BOTH very well.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

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  24. Congrats on the book, love rom sus, keeps u on the edge of your seats love emotions of the chacters

    Kimh
    Kimehak@yahoo.com

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  25. I love the McClouds and friends and have all of those in the series. My fav is Out of Control, (Davy's story). I am looking forward to this next one.

    Janet
    jkbsfsd @ msn.com

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