Today, we have the honor of getting to know author Shannyn Schroeder, as well as her latest book, 'More Than This.'
What was the inspiration behind this book?
I had the idea for Quinn as a woman who wanted to have a baby even if it might mean doing it alone. I came across an article about 50 things everyone should do before they die. In reading it, I discovered a bunch of things I hadn’t done, and some I had no desire to do. Then I looked for more articles that described things that every woman should do before she’s 30 and things like that. Inspiration for Quinn’s list was born.
How much alike are you and Quinn?
Quinn and I share a lot of similarities. Like Quinn, I was an English teacher and I also love to bake, especially when I get stressed out. We’re both shy and have a difficult time in social situations. Quinn is much more of a romantic than I am, though. Although I love to read and write romance, I think deep down, Quinn is a little more starry-eyed than I am. Plus, she actually likes to teach Romeo and Juliet. I hated teaching it.
What was your favorite scene?
My favorite scene in MORE THAN THIS was actually a late addition to the book. I have the excerpt on my web site. Ryan shows up at Quinn’s house to bring her coffee and check on her because she had a little too much to drink the night before. When he shows up uninvited, Quinn is baking Comfort Cookies.My editor questioned the necessity of the scene because it had originally been much shorter. I knew I needed it, if for no other reason, because it was the scene where Comfort Cookies were introduced. My editor said to cut it or expand it. I chose to expand and I love it. There’s some subtle flirting going on and Quinn is lost because she can’t read Ryan’s cues. She shares a really personal experience (baking cookies) with him, which opens her up a little.
Quinn has her own bucket list for before she gets pregnant. What is on your bucket list?
I’d like to travel more. I went to London for 2 weeks after graduating high school. I went alone, but I had family who lived there, so I had a place to stay for free. Once I hit college, all I did was work and school and prepare for my career as a teacher. Now I have kids. Once my kids are grown, I definitely want to travel more. I want to go to Australia, Hawaii, and back to England.
What other projects do you currently have in the works?
I’ve just been contracted to write more O’Leary books. Book 2, A GOOD TIME, will release on July 4, 2013. Two more books in the series will come out in 2014.
How do you think your former career as an English teacher impacts your writing?
I think being an English teacher helped me a lot. First, although I’m far from perfect, I have a pretty good grasp of grammar. I might not always follow the rules, but I’m aware of them. Come to think of it, that might not be as much of an English teacher thing as a Catholic school thing.
Having critiqued student papers for years also prepared me for receiving critique. I’m the kind of teacher that will tell you exactly what’s wrong with your paper and then try to help you fix it. I look for that same kind of honesty in critiques I receive. Finally, being an English teacher forced me to be well-read. I read a lot of things that I didn’t necessarily like but could appreciate.
Would you ever like to go back to teaching?
I do teach a few college level classes a year on writing a research paper. I like the structure of those classes and the courses only run for 5 weeks. I don’t miss teaching full-time and although I won’t say I’d never go back, I don’t have the intention of doing so.
What is the best piece of writing advice you have ever received?
Keep writing. As soon as I finish one manuscript, I start another. That bit of advice made writing a routine for me, but it also gave me a leg up when I did get my first contract. I signed a two-book contract and both books were already written. I didn’t have that sudden shock and fear of writing under a deadline.
You have the nickname of "Cookie Lady." What are some of your favorite recipes?
In the back of MORE THAN THIS, I share the recipe for Comfort Cookies. I had a lot of fun trying different recipes to develop the right one.Comfort Cookies3 oz. unsweetened chocolate4 oz. bittersweet chocolate¼ c (1/2 stick) unsalted butter3 eggs1 ½ c sugar1 tsp vanilla1 c flour1-½ tsp baking powder½ tsp salt1 c semisweet chocolate chipsPreheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter, unsweetened chocolate, and bittersweet chocolate in top of double boiler. In mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla together until mixture thickens. Add melted chocolate. Mix well. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips.Scoop teaspoon-sized cookie onto cookie sheets. Batter will be gooey. If using aluminum pans, line with parchment paper (no paper needed on stoneware). Bake for approximately 11 minutes, until tops are cracked and edges are set. Let cool on sheet for a minute or two then transfer to cooling rack. Yield: 4 dozenMy kids of course love the standard Nestle tollhouse cookie and my mother-in-law makes a 6-layer cookie (only at Christmas). These are my husband’s and my son’s favorite so I make them as a treat. I know there is a real recipe written somewhere, but I kind of eyeball it when I make them because it’s so easy. One pan, 6 ingredients. No mess.
What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I came to romance reading late in life. As I said, I was an English teacher, so most of my focus was on reading the dead white guys. Each summer, I would choose one or 2 books that were for pleasure reading. After I had my second kid and I decided to stay at home, I discovered romance. I was reading 4-5 books a week. There’s a lot of downtime while feeding an infant and that’s when I read. I haven’t looked back since.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Shannyn Schroeder is a former English teacher, who now works as a part-time editor while raising her three kids.
Even though she wrote from high school through college (mostly poetry), she’d never considered a career as an author. Writing fell by the wayside as she focused her energy on creating lesson plans and new and fabulous ways to torment her teen students. One group in particular dubbed her “The Torture Master,” a title she carried into motherhood.
After the birth of baby number two, Shannyn resigned from teaching and fell in love with reading romance novels. She read so many books so quickly that her husband teased, “If you’re going to read so many damn books, why don’t you just write one?”
So she did.
That first book is safely buried on her hard drive, but the process set Shannyn on the path to professional author. She came to reading romance later than many, but lives for the happy ending because real life can be depressing. She writes contemporary romance because she enjoys the adventure of new love.
In her spare time, she loves to bake cookies and watches far too much TV, especially cop shows. She is recovering from her Diet Coke addiction, fears putting her foot in her mouth on social media, and has a renewed appreciation for the bad girls of the world.
Web site: http://www.ShannynSchroeder.com
More Than This
by Shannyn Schroeder
When a lonely teacher teams up with a handsome bartender for some outrageous acts, they both get more than they bargained for…
Learning her ex-husband is going to be a father, Quinn Adams is determined to have a baby of her own—without the partnership of a man. But her sister and friends believe she needs to focus on herself first, and step out of her comfort zone by completing a list of adventures. Challenge number one is to go on five dates within two weeks. After a few disastrous attempts, Quinn’s ready to give up—until sexy bartender Ryan O’Leary offers his assistance.
Ryan has always been the dependable one in his family, often at his expense. But lately, he’s been longing for a life—and a woman—of his own. The woman he has in mind is Quinn. Though it seems all she wants is friendship, Ryan can’t ignore the explosive chemistry he feels between them. In the hopes of becoming closer, Ryan offers to help out with Quinn’s list. But when she asks him for a serious favor, he’s afraid it will jeopardize his chance to become more than friends.
“Are you okay?” Ryan asked, stepping closer.
“I wasn’t trying to piss you off. It was only a question.” His soothing voice skimmed across her skin like cool satin on a summer night, but it did nothing to chill the warming of her blood.
Why was he here? Why didn’t Kate come out to check on her? “Why don’t you go back in and plan an adventure with Indy?”
He chuckled, low and quiet, without humor. “You think I want your sister?”
She kept her gaze trained on the fold of her arms, afraid of what she might find in his eyes. “Why wouldn’t you?” she asked quietly.
Ryan stepped so close the hairs on her arms bristled and her heart thumped. His voice was little more than a whisper. “She’s not my type.”
“Indy is every man’s type.” She’d hoped for sarcasm, but her tone was resigned. Quinn raised her eyes but needed to tilt her head up to meet Ryan’s.
He laid his left palm flat against the brick beside her head and looked down at her, first at her lips, then into her eyes. His intent was there, and she licked her lower lip in reaction.
Oh, God. Don’t kiss me. She sucked in a quick, shallow breath.
His blue eyes darkened a fraction and he lowered his head.
Quinn’s arms dropped to her sides. Push him away, you idiot. Instead, she tilted her face upward a bit more, her scalp scraping against the brick.
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