Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Interview with Serena Shay

Hi everyone and welcome to Paranormal Romantics. I am so pleased to welcome the extremely talented author Serena Shay. I had the pleasure of reading her book The Challenge, available from Liquid Silver Books.

Let me say it’s a really fun, exciting read that deals with the politics of a half-jaguar shifter becoming the mate of the Alpha of the local pack. No one will accept her as queen of their pack after they learn she is only half their kind, maybe not even her mate.

Thank you for joining us today Serena!!

Here is an excerpt from Serena’s book:


Betty Boop, the squeaky flirt, embraced the well-worn seats of Marina’s Honda

Civic in an oooh baby, look at me sorta way. The cartoon character’s sexpot act helped to bolster her flagging courage, every bit of which she needed now—in spades.

Deep growls and hooded glances coming from the perfect example of an alpha male in the driver’s seat promised untold pleasures, sex with an edge and orgasms at their finest. He played her body without a single touch, keeping her wet and ready for anything. The twenty-minute drive from the casino to his home sped by in a blur of sexual need.

From the car window, she could see he was right about the beauty and the privacy of the area. Tall trees lined the dirt driveway, ensconcing them in a dimly lit tunnel. Moonlight glanced off leaves weaving together a myriad of greens. Lights and darks, even mottled overgrowth surrounded the car, blanketing them in nature at its finest.

As the car drew to a halt and Bastian got out, she wondered again if she was making a mistake. Yes, she wanted to know the wildness of sex with this side of her physiology, but at what cost? Did she dare risk the loss of her anonymity? She’d hidden for so long behind her talent that it was hard to put herself out there for sex alone.

“We’re here.” His hand reached out, palm up, ready to assist her from the car.

He left her breathless with his considerate gesture. How many men these days opened car doors?

A symphony of nature met her as she rose from the car. Water lapping onto the shore and a fresh pine bouquet filled her with a wild yearning. She could run here, be free here.

Maybe she could be more, here.

They moved along the dock towards a giant gazebo outlined with twinkle lights. Silky netting hung suggestively around a raised pedestal in the center of the room, a bed hidden within its depths. They were alone, and the incredible man at her back demanded her full attention.

“Shh, pretty kitty.” Bastian wound himself around her, calming the shakes racking her body. When had those started? “There’s probably a minimum of a hundred things I could call you.” His tongue dragged lightly over the whorls of her ear. “But do you know what I would like?”

She tingled as pictures raced through her head. Her body sprawled over the hood of the car, the warm metal teasing her breasts as he pounded into her from behind.


“Your name, darlin’, what do I call you when I demand your release?”


So let’s jump right in, I’m not much of an interviewer, but hopefully this won’t be too painful.

First of all, I have to tell you how much I loved the Challenge. I was really, really moved by Mari. She broke my heart, a lot. But then she really becomes this really strong woman who is a force to be reckoned with.

Hi Rebecca! Thank you so much! I love hearing from folks who loved my story… It tells me that I channeled Bastian and Mari to the page in a very good way. Broken heart and all…Trust me, I told her she was killing me on a daily basis. J

Do you have a model for female strength that you based Marina on? Was their someone who inspired you?

Actually, Marina is more a compilation of women in general. She came to me in full, vivid Technicolor. She was strong, weak and like many women I know, gave so much of herself to others that she tended to think of herself last… Thank goodness, she got a wakeup call before it was too late!

Let’s talk for a second about the sex scenes. Do you have a trick or a plan for writing a good love scene? Do you think that the paranormal calls for steamer romance?

Yes, please, let’s talk sex! Hehe, these are my favorite scenes to write! ;) Tricks or plans, hmmm. Generally, when it comes to the sex scenes I turn off the internal filters and employ a whole lot of voyeurism. The scenes will run through my head in vibrant detail from start to multiple finishes. I’m the documenter quietly taking it all in from my corner of the room. From there it is getting it on to the page.

Oh absolutely I think it calls for steamier romance. J Paranormal for me means “extra, super, more than” normal. With the extra animal senses our shifters have, arousal can be smelled and tasted at such a deeper level than a regular human. Plus, for paranormal creatures across the board, shifters, vamps, or witches, they wield incredible powers everyday….can you imagine these guys and gals having lackluster sex?? LOL

Why Jaguars? Was their something about them that drew you to them? Did you have to study them to describe them so accurately?

When I first started writing for possible publication, rather than just for fun, I read a call that was out for cat shifter stories. I had nothing like that written at the time, but this faraway voice whispered Jaguar to me repeatedly. When I turned around, there stood Bastian and Mari telling me they had a story and to get ready.

As for studying them, I did read a bit about jaguars, their fur, the noise they make, and how they act in the wild, but that was about it. Most of what got into the story is just what I pulled from my imagination.

I get asked this question all the time and I do not have a good answer so maybe you can give me one. How do you balance motherhood and writing?

There’s a way to balance it? LOL I missed that discussion or class along the way! For me it’s a day, hour, minute, and second by second thing. Luckily, my Darling Diva is now in school, so I have time during the day to dedicate to writing, promo, blogging, volunteering, well everything, but it’s the summer and the days off that take away from the writing.

Mari and her sister are so close and inspiring. Will we be seeing her again in a future book? Will be see more of the Jaguars?

Oh definitely there will be more of the Jaguars. Once Mari and Bastian told their story, so many others have come creeping out of the bushes. J Gunner and a sassy Goth waitress, met in The Challenge, have been going rounds in my head lately, Maximillion, Max to anyone who doesn’t want to die painfully, has been insisting on getting some exposure. His Mississippi barge days are getting dull. Lots more Jags.

LeAnn’s story is about halfway finished. She insisted on a break as she is so private and telling her story has become a test of her fortitude. LeAnn has a special problem in the Jaguar world and requires a triad to be complete. To add to her shock, rather than a traditional triad of a female, a beta male and an alpha male, she calls to two alphas…Oh my!

Who do you read? Who inspires you to write?

Anyone and everyone! I love to read, and always find myself thigh deep in stories. I do tend to lean towards paranormal, but any story with an interesting blurb and intriguing characters, pulls me in.

As for who inspires me to write, well that is my hubby. He’s been my rock and my cheering section for as long as we’ve been together.

Let’s talk for a second about the dreaded writers block. Has it happened to you and what did you do to make it go away?

Ah, ye ole writers block. Yep, I’ve had my struggles with the beast, but I’ve found for me that it is less a block and more a “hey, writer dummy, you’ve taken a left instead of a right in the story” block. I always know that if I’m stuck with something or at a certain scene, struggling to put the words on the page, I’ve made a misstep in the words above. Usually all it takes then is a quick reread to see where I went askew, and a reroute to get me back on track!

Tell me about your muse. What is she like?

My muse, huh. Well my muse is sometimes a lazy bitch who wields the guilt wand with the assurance that she is always right. Sometimes though, she is the whisper in my ear of all of the sexy and deeply erotic things one, two, three people or more can do with one another and sometimes she is a he and encouraging me to write with the promise that words on the page equals less clothes on his delicious body.

My muse tends to be what I need at the time. Yep, I’m super lucky! ;)

Thanks for coming Serena! Its been so nice having you!!

Thanks for having me at Paranormal Romantics, it’s an awesome blog! BTW, these were great questions, such fun to answer!


Please contact Serena in the following places:

Serena's blog - http://serenashay.blogspot.com/

Serena's website - www.serenashay.com

Group blog - http://shapeshifterseductions.blogspot.com/


J Hali Steele said...

Hi Serena,
Characters are a fiesty bunch when they want to get on paper. Don't you love how you let one out, the doors get pushed wide open! This has to go on my cyber pile. Can never have enough cat shifters.

Nicely done you two!

Annie Nicholas said...

That was a hot excerpt. I love he didn't her name.

Unknown said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the excellent excerpt and the great interview. I'm glad to learn more about Serena and her writing. She's on my Get&Read list now.
Thanks again,

Serena Shay said...

Hi J,
Oh they sure are! I'll tell ya I could use a bouncer in my brain some days just to keep the crew in line. ;)

Thanks! Cat shifters are such fun to read and write. Enjoy!

Serena Shay said...

Thanks Annie! Nope, he didn't know her name and if it had been up to Marina, he never would have, but Bastian is such a demanding Cat! ;)

Serena Shay said...

Hi RK,
I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt, may you also enjoy the full story! Thanks for stopping by and getting to know more about me and my cats... :)

Rebecca Royce said...

Serena, Thanks for the amazing interview. I can't say enough wonderful things about this book.


Andrea I said...


That was a hot excerpt! I like catshifters and will check out your books.

Serena Shay said...

Rebecca, Thanks for having me and the awesome questions!! I'm so glad you enjoyed Bast and Mari's story! ((hugs))

Serena Shay said...

Thanks you! I hope you enjoy The Challenge!

Gem Sivad said...

Great interview. And since I've already read The Challenge I know that Mari and Bastian generated enough heat to warm my house this winter.

Can't wait for the next jaguar installment.

And Serena, are you sure your muse doesn't know my muse? They seem to share a personality disorder or two.


Serena Shay said...

Thanks Gem! LOL Yep, There is no shortage of heat around Mari and Bastian!

LeAnn has come out of hiding and decided to cooperate again so the jag stories continue! Yay!!

Oh those muses or would that be musi ;) can be such demanding creatures. I swear they learned it at some muse school!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Savanna Kougar said...

Serena, wonderful interview and a captivating excerpt.
I think that's one of the great things about being a writer, watching the story unfold before you... and, omygoodness, the sex/love scenes!!!

Serena Shay said...

Savanna, Thank you!

I agree, watching the story of our characters come to life on the page is an incredible rush! And the sex/love scenes aren't bad either! ;)

LM Spangler said...

Great interview.

Sounds like your heroine has the ability to grip your heart and not let go until the last page!


Serena Shay said...

Hi Liena,
Thanks for stopping by! Marina does have that ability, for sure. She had me on the edge of my seat every step of the way. ;)