Don’t miss out on this awesome Author Interview with L.J. Shen!
I’m so excited to do this author interview with an author that quickly became one of my best friends. I met this cool chick a few years ago when I started beta reading for her, then became her PA for a time. She is the real deal. Not only is she beautiful, she is the kindest person I know. I couldn’t be more proud of her and all she’s accomplished, including becoming a USA Today Bestselling Author!
Let get on with this interview!
OBW: Hey L.J., how’s it going? Thank you so much for being here and doing this interview for Obsessive Book Whore! You know I’m a complete stalker, but for those who don’t know you, can you tell the readers a little about yourself and your books?
LJ Shen: I live in California with my husband, son and cat. In the evenings, I enjoy jogging in my local reservoir (I sound like a murder case waiting to happen, I know, I know). I’m addicted to Netflix and HBO and watch at least 4 movies a month. I’m also an avid reader and love museums and such. I just feel very inspired by other people’s work, I guess. My son is the most important thing in the world to me, and he is a constant reminder of what’s important in my life. I try and visit my family every year for a month, because I love them and miss them a lot. I guess you can say I’m your very average, very normal girl, with not-so-average ideas for books, LOL.
OBW: I’m down with that. Your books are phenomenal! What is a must have while your writing?
LJ Shen: Coffee. I started writing in Starbucks lately because I’m trying to get some more gym time, so I grab the laptop and just crash at Starbucks after I work out. But even before that, I always had water and coffee on my desk when I was writing. It’s a must-have.
OBW: What is the first book that made you cry?
LJ Shen: So many books made me cry. I think the first one that really made me cry big time was a short novella form an Israeli author called Etgar Keret, and it’s called Breaking the Pig. It’s about a little boy who makes friends with his piggybank jar and he tries so hard to suck at collecting money so that his dad won’t break the pig and give him the money for whatever bullshit toy he wants to buy. I was at my cousin’s one day, and she went to get a quick shower, and when she came back to her room she saw me sitting at her desk and just sobbing like an idiot. I was twelve.
OBW: Awww, I love that. It sounds like a great book. If you could tell your younger writer self anything, what would it be?
LJ Shen: At some point, you’ll fail anyway, so stop being scared and just start writing.
OBW: How did your writing process change after publishing your first book?
LJ Shen: It’s constantly evolving. Every book is like having a child. Some pregnancies feel long and hard, some are a breeze. Some labors last 38 hours (like mine. Thank you, Ben), and some an hour. I finished Scandalous in two weeks and Ruckus in five months and I hold both books very close to my heart and know for a fact that they’re just as deep. It depends on a lot of factors. What I do know is that I have good betas who are always there to hold my hand, and you’re one of them, Amy, so thank you so much.
OBW: I love your face and I love being your beta! As I’ve told you, you’re stuck with me. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
LJ Shen: Depends on the book. Sparrow took some research because I wasn’t super familiar with Boston, but most of my books are set in California and in the corporate world, and I’m familiar with both of these things. I really try to write what I know, and other than being a billionaire—which I’m not—I’m pretty comfortable with everything I write.
OBW: That completely makes sense, write what you know is something I hear about a lot from authors. How many hours a day do you write?
LJ Shen: Sometimes two, sometimes three, sometimes zero, but I try to do something with my WIP every day of the week five times a week. Be it edit a paragraph or continue my outline to make sure it’s flowing well.
OBW: What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
LJ Shen: Honestly, I love writing men. I grew up with strong men by my side and I’d like to think that I know how the male mind works pretty well, so I’m very comfortable writing men. The one thing I do have some difficulties with is trying to get it “right” when I describe the male orgasm. Because as much as I know men, I would never be able to experience the way they climax, lol.
OBW: Lol, well it’s definitely super hot reading about all your hothole-y alpha men! How do you select the names of your characters?
LJ Shen: People I know, mostly. But sometimes I just think about pretty names I would’ve named my kid if I had more balls. Like Sparrow. I always wanted to call my daughter Emilia, though.
OBW: I love that. And Emilia is such a beautiful name. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
LJ Shen: Varied from two weeks to eight months.
OBW: Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
LJ Shen: Not that I’m aware of, LOL.
OBW: Where do you find your inspiration for your books and characters?
LJ Shen: Everything. Music. TV. Movies. Books. Real life. Nature. Random conversations. Everything inspires me and I am very lucky to be living in a world where art is affordable and ready for me to consume.
OBW: There’s a lot of inspiration out there. I can’t wait for your next book! What book have you recently read that you would highly recommend?
LJ Shen: So many, and I’m probably going to forget half of them, so this is so unfair. I LOVED Hooking Up by Helena Hunting. It’s TERRIFIC. And Without Merit by Colleen Hoover was also freaking crazy good. I’ve started ACOTAR by Sarah J. Maas and so far so freaking brilliant.
OBW: I absolutely LOVE Helena and Colleen and I am going to look up Sarah on your recommendation. What is your favorite genre to read?
LJ Shen: Romance and all it’s sub-genres, including but not limited to contemporary, YA, and NA. I’m also a huge fan of thrillers and mysteries and Women’s Fiction.
OBW: A girl after my own heart! If you were to date one of your characters, who would it be and why?
LJ Shen: Oh, dang. I’m not sure I’m ready for any of them. But…probably Dean, if I really had to. He is an asshole, but he is not as bad as Vicious and Trent. And Jaime is lovely but we spent most of our time together when he was a teenager, so that’s weird. Troy and Nate are killers, so, yeah, probably not. No offense. And Tyler is also great, but he is too young for me.
OBW: As long as Vicious is still mine, you can have Dean lol! Although, I think Alex Winslow may have stolen my heart away from V. Ok, last question. With Thanksgiving being tomorrow, what is your favorite food you’re looking forward to eating?
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