Today I’m chatting with Piper Shelly, YA author of Her Game, His Rules.
If someone were writing a story about you what would your blurb say?
Growing up in a city that was all gray and smelly, she celebrated the day of her graduation, because that was the moment she escaped. Back in the house on the country side where she was borne, she found that some things had changed. Things you can’t see, even when you look closely. She felt that people walked in and out of her room, never using a door, never saying a word, never showing themselves. Until one very early morning, when one of them came to sit beside her on the bed.
What are you currently working on?
My newest finished work is a YA novella, all about first love and soccer. Here’s a snippet:
Hunter grinned at me. “You still game?”
Not really. “I don’t have to drink this, do I?” Shit. My voice almost cracked with my rising unease.
“No, you don’t. That’s for me. You only assist with the lemon.”
Assist with the lemon. Meant to do what? Feed it to him? Okay. I could do that. “Game on.”
Ryan cast me a last smirk that made me wonder if I really was in the right place at the right time. But it was too late to cop out. He took the lemon off the Tequila and clinked his glass to Philip’s. At the same time he held the slice out to me. “Bite.”
“Bite,” he repeated.
He dragged the brim of his cap around to the back of his head then knocked the shot down. I leaned forward and bit into the fruit he held out, my eyes trained on his face. Yuck, the sour taste made me grimace. I pulled back. Ryan tossed the slice away and cupped my neck, yanking me toward him. Everything happened so fast, I couldn’t even lick the lemon juice from my lips.
But he did. And my heart stopped beating.
Please share with us something that readers would be surprised to learn about you.
I recently touched a dolphin. Amazing thing! I hate wearing turtle neck tees, because I always get this feeling of being strangled then. When I kissed a boy for the first time, I was already 17. And…birds scare me when they fly too close.
What genre would you place your books into? What made you decide to write this genre of book?
It’s a paranormal romance. I chose the romance part, because I’m a hopeless romantic and live for a mind-numbing kiss. The paranormal…that’s a little trickier to explain. I’ve always been drawn to the supernatural. Especially to angels (although there once was a time when I wanted to be a witch, no matter what). I just don’t want to believe the world is only what you see. If that was the case, I would have gone insane by now with boredom. But to know and experience that there’s more, that there are beings you can’t see but only feel and guess about—mysterious and beautiful things—that’s what’s worth living for in my opinion. Something that keeps you on a permanent edgy level, that makes you turn around in the dark and wonder who was just standing there behind you a second ago…
Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Patch, the fallen angel from HUSH, HUSH. I loved this guy from the very first line I read about him. I mean, the name alone…! When I finished the book, I wanted to get myself another cat, just to have something I could call Patch.
Now that your first novel is published, do you feel any anxiety, like, the fear that you won’t be able to duplicate the success or meet a deadline or even that the ideas will just dry up?
No, absolutely not. I didn’t sign anything that puts me under pressure…and I’d never do that, because I know the moment I did, writers block would hit me with a baseball bat. And being afraid that the ideas will dry up? Me? Never. There are so many ideas forming in my mind, I wish I had ten hands so I could write a little faster…
What do you hope readers will take from your writing?
I hope that my heroes—characters I really happened to fall in love with—will come to life in their minds. I hope that, when they close the book, they will get on the phone, call their best friends and tell them what a wonderful time they had the past couple days, spending in a world I created. This would be a wonderful thing.
What was your favorite scene to write? Why?
There’s a scene where Julian plays the piano for Jona. I dreamed about it for weeks and couldn’t wait to finally get started with that chapter. It features a special song. I listened to that one song for days, I think way over a hundred times. When I listen to this song now, I’m back in their moment in an instant. Just love it.
The song I just spoke about is important for the entire book.
Go to my homepage and scroll through the playlist there, you will find out the name of the song. Send me a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with the title of the song and the link to this blog, and then comment on this blog telling me that you entered the giveaway.
I will pick a winner at the end of November.
The prize? A PDF copy of Her Game, His Rules
Looking back over all of the intimate moments you’ve created between characters, which scene would you most like to experience for yourself? What makes it so alluring?
Oh my God, how can you think there’s only one? I want to experience ALL of them! But life is hard, and I know you’ll make me pick just one. Right… There’s this moment where Julian takes Jona to a meadow. He shows her what he can do to time, he caresses her with the petals of a flower, gives her his undivided attention. He also unbuttons his shirt, makes his wings appear and kisses her senseless. Yeah, I think that’s a moment I’d love to experience.
Have you ever made big changes in your story because someone – your crit partner, a friend, or beta reader – really didn’t like it? Are you glad you did?
Heck, yeah. It was a very hard moment when that happened. My crit partner read chapter 11 of my current WIP, called GABRIEL (the first in the archangel series). She sent it back to me and said something like, “Hey, what happened? Your characters are basically standing around and just having a nice chat. Can you fill in more action? But I suggest you cut and rewrite.”
Bam, that was a kick in the gut. At first, I really didn’t see her point. But after a few hours I went back to her critique and tried to understand what she wanted from me. I thought, okay, give it a try and if you don’t like the new chapter, go back to the old one. So I opened a new doc and just wrote this one scene from scratch. Now instead of all the nice talking and standing around, there’s Lucifer almost killing Gabriel during a fight in a park in San Francisco; the heroine, Jenna, is hauled into the lake to swim toward a portal to hell; and Michael develops a love for the girl who’s meant for the hero. So yeah, I’m quite happy I made those changes. 😉
What was your inspiration behind the creation of Her Game, His Rules?
Like I said before, I do believe and look out for the paranormal. My soft spot? Angels. I’m pretty sure, they hang out all around us. Sometimes you notice them, others you don’t. However, this one angel guy gave me a few sleepless nights quite a while ago. He made himself noticeable with little things I’ll not tell in detail here, but only so much: At first, I was scared like hell. But after some time, I was expecting him to come back, even hoping for it. And I got to know him a little better. Julian is a character who comes pretty close to this particular angel.
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title? How did you come up with a title?
Ah God, titles… I hate them. I’m thinking about them for days, weeks even. And when I finally come up with one, you can be sure, I’ll hate it after a while. Her Game, His Rules ran through 7 different titles. And if I could choose again today, I’d certainly choose something else.
How did you deal with rejection letters?
I trashed them.
Fave Romance book to read over and over again? – Hush, Hush
Right now I’m reading – Interview questions.
Fave type of hero? – Boneheaded, deeply seductive ones.
Fave Quote? – Keep calm and try to take over the world.
HER GAME, HIS RULES
She’s seventeen. She’s snarky. She’s trouble…
It wasn’t nicking an expressive watch or diamond bracelet that landed Jona Montiniere in the clutches of the police. It was just a darn sweater. After a spectacular, failed escapade, she is forced to return to a mother who spurned her. Jona is furious about the judge’s decision—until she meets her mother’s companion. Gorgeous, provocative, and mysterious, Julian is everything her lonely heart desires. But then he awakens her mother from the dead with a simple touch.
Hunting for the truth in a strange new home, Jona unearths broken promises and bitter secrets. Soon she realizes she’ll once again lose someone she loves…unless she gives him a reason to stay. But how the hell do you keep an angel earthbound?
Watch the Book Trailer
About the Author:
Did you know that this word scares me more than anything? About… Wherever you go, people want you to tell what a cool life you lead just because you’re an author. But really, there’s nothing special to say about me, except maybe that I write a little more than others normally do. I married my teenage-love, we do our best to raise our ten-year-old to a kind and caring young man, and my cat loves to sleep in my bed, forcing me to bend to the strangest positions at night, just so she can sprawl comfortably on the blanket. I like pizza. And occasionally I talk to angels, but seriously, in these times, who doesn’t…?
So all in all, I dare say I’m leading a pretty normal life.
Of course it will all change the day my book follows the act of Harry Potter, and I’ll become richer than the Queen. I swear I’ll never again clean my windows myself then. Yeah, one day, ha ha…