Author Interview – L.J. Shen

Don’t miss out on this awesome Author Interview with L.J. Shen!

Author Interview

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? 

LJ Shen:  Can I be completely honest and say that I don’t like eating turkey? Because I don’t. I am looking forward to the mashed potatoes and the pecan pie. I live for pecan pie. 
OBW:  I LOVE pecan pie and mashed potatoes! This is why we’re friends lol. Thank you again for doing this interview! I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Love your face xo.
LJ Shen:  Omg of course! Thanks again for having me! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. 

Here’s where you can stalk LJ. Do it, she likes it. 

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Author Interview and Giveaway!

Author Interview

I had a great time this week fostering S.M. Phillips for #FosterAnAuthor3!  I loved interviewing her and learning about this new to me author!

Thank you so much for being here and doing this interview for Obsessive Book Whore!

OBW: How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Steph: Right now that can vary. My youngest hates it when I get the laptop out, but I can usually write a book anywhere between 6-12 weeks.

OBW: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

Steph: I used to research quite a lot, but then I realised my mind wandered and I’d end up on Facebook or watching YouTube tutorials, so now I research only when I have too. I like to make things up as I go a lot too.

OBW: Do you have a favorite book or author quote?

Steph: My favourite book of all time is Harry Potter. I always re-read it every year and my favourite quote is ‘always.’

OBW: What is your favorite movie?

Steph: Dirty Dancing and Beauty & the Beast.

OBW: What is the first book that made you cry?

Steph: New Moon when Edward left and I’m not ashamed to say I had full on ugly cry tears on a packed out tram on the way home from work.

OBW: How many hours a day do you write?

Steph: I don’t usually go off hours, but I always aim to hit between 3-6k words a day. If I manage that then I’m a happy lady.

OBW: If you were to date one of your characters, who would it be and why?

Steph: Oh, this is hard. If I had to choose it would be Max Wild as he was the first Alpha that I unleashed into the world. But my bad boy Jensen Blake comes a close second! 

OBW: How do you select the names of your characters?

Steph: As strange as this may sound they just come to me as I write.

OBW: What is a must have while your writing?

Steph: Coffee, coffee and lots more coffee. Can you tell I’m obsessed with Coffee?

OBW: Ahhhhh, a girl after my own heart. ❤

OBW: Do you have any interesting writing quirks? 

Steph: I like to write by hand and then type it all up.

OBW: Where do you find your inspiration for your books and characters?

Steph: Inspiration can hit me at any time. My current project came to me while I was putting my youngest to bed and I had to run downstairs to quickly jot it down.

OBW: What book have you recently read that you would highly recommend?

Steph: I have just finished reading Girls and Boys by M.B Feeney. It’s a perfect nostalgia read taking you right back to the heart of the 90’s.

OBW: What is your favorite genre to read?

Steph: Romance. I’m an absolute sucker for a happy ending.

OBW: Do you have any hobbies?

Steph: Yes, I love to Netflix and chill and I love to see my girls too.

OBW: Halloween is just around the corner…what is your favorite sinful treat?

Steph: Chocolate covered pretzels.

OBW: Where can people stalk you?

Steph: Please feel free to stalk me on any of the following social platforms… the more the better as I love me some stalkers 😉

Website |Facebook | Facebook Group | Twitter | Instagram

Thank you so much for putting up with all my questions.  Book whores, check out S.M. Phillips and be sure to enter the giveaway.  Hurry, it ends soon!


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Author Interview and Giveaway!

Author Interview.png

I had the pleasure of Fostering Author Anne Mercier this week for #FosterAnAuthor3. We have known each other for a while and I loved working with her this week and having so much fun doing it!

One of the things I wanted to do was get others that haven’t read her books to get to know her and

Sooooo… let’s get to it!!

OBW: Hi, Anne!  Thank you so much for being here and doing this interview for Obsessive Book Whore!  

AM: I’m so honored!  Thank you for the opportunity!

OBW: For those who don’t know you, can you tell the readers a little about yourself and your books?

AM: Well, I’ve loved writing all of my life. I got married at a young age and was a stay-at-home mom, so my kids were my priority. When they got older (teens) is when I started taking writing seriously—about 2004. I submitted the first book I ever completed to an agent and she signed me off of that book. That was before self-publishing was popular so everything went to traditional publishers. Well, turns out that book had what my agent called the “Goldilocks” syndrome: It was either too hot, or not hot enough. Basically, that was about the time when you had erotic romance or romance, there was no in-between. Everything was cut and dried. So, that book just didn’t make the cut. After working on another book, then starting another, I lost my focus due to personal things in my life, so writing went on the back burner for a while.

In 2012, I got back into reading in a major way. I read and read and read some more. Then in 2014 a friend asked me why I was reading and writing reviews when I could be writing my own books. I didn’t have an answer other than I was afraid. Of course I was! I mean, hello! This is part of my soul!  Anyway, I started writing the book Whispered Truths, but about a quarter of the way into it, the characters from the Rockstars series were too loud and demanding. They wanted their story told right then and there. I shelved WT for the time being and wrote Falling Down (Rockstar book 1) in three weeks. I got it ready and published it on September 2, 2014. Three weeks later it became an Amazon Bestseller reaching number 21 on the charts. It was crazy. I wasn’t ready or prepared, but people wanted more. So, I found someone to help me field messages and emails, etc., then I wrote Blush, Rockstar Book 2, which was released on December 9, 2014; and A Very Xander Christmas (Rockstar Book 2.5, short story) on December 14, 2014.  The rest, they say, is history.

In the last three years, I wrote and wrote and wrote some more.  

The series I have available are:

The Rockstar series (12 books to date)

Adult contemporary romance with graphic sex and tons of F bombs and swearing as rockers seem to do, lots of laughs, and a huge sense of family. This is not your typical Rockstar series by any means. It also has a touch of mafia which will lead to a spinoff at a later date.  There will be six or seven more books in the series before it’s complete.

The Truths series (one book so far)

Mature young adult series—mature in that it has graphic sex and explicit language, best friends helping each other through some difficult times. The parents are the “bad guys” for more than one character in this series. There will be four more books in the series before it’s concluded. I don’t have any dates for publication.

The Way series (two books so far).

This series begins after high school graduation and moves into college. These first two books are about loss and depression, coping with grief, bullies, starting over, and finding love. There will likely be three or four more books in this series before it’s complete.

The Forbidden Fantasies series (one book so far).

This will be a series of erotic short stories where couples get to act out their forbidden fantasies. This series is up in the air as far as how many short stories will be in it. So far I have two more in mind, but there may be more before the series is complete.

So, you see, there’s something for everyone.


OBW: How long on average does it take you to write a book?

AM: It usually takes me anywhere from three weeks to three months—usually a month or so.

OBW: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

AM: Depending on the book, I research quite a bit. In the book Ballad in which the heroine, Nicole, had leukemia and was undergoing treatments, it took a lot of extensive research to get the facts right. Each book has it’s own level of research—from music to PTSD, geography and direction, etc. Even writing fiction requires doing your homework.

OBW: Do you have a favorite book or author quote?

AM: I have many favorite books but off the top of my head I can name three that I always go back to for re-reads:  Waiting On The Sidelines duet by Ginger Scott, the Manwhore series by Katy Evans, and 180 Seconds by Jessica Park. They always help me, as a writer, regain my focus.

    Favorite quotes:

“We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” ~ Dr. Seuss

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” – Maya Angelou

OBW: What is your favorite movie?

AM: Again, I can’t name one. It’s just impossible! The Hunger games movies. Deadpool. You’ve Got Mail, While You Were Sleeping.  

OBW: What is the first book that made you cry?

AM: I’m pretty sure it was The Heart of Devin MacKade by Nora Roberts or Love’s Encore by Sandra Brown. They were the first authors that I binged on—thank you mom!. I started with the smaller, thinner books—Harlequin or Loveswept, then worked my way through every single book they’d written. I admit not to being up to date on everything currently.

OBW: How many hours a day do you write?

AM: I prefer to write in shorter increments unless the words are flowing. Then I write longer. Usually I write for 4-6 hours… but 8 or more if the characters are chattering.

OBW: If you were to date one of your characters, who would it be and why?

AM: Oh boy.  This is a tough one. I could pick Jesse Kingston, the dirty talking alpha rocker who’d be sure to pleasure me over and over. I could pick the romantic Kyle Cooper from Whispered Truths or the hot-hottie Sebastian Smith from The Way series… I’m sure people are expecting me to pick Xander from the Rockstar series, but I don’t think that’s who I’d pick—even though it’d be a guaranteed fun time.  I think I’d pick Cage Nichols from the Rockstar book Amplify (Book 3 in the series). He’s one of those quiet men with deep thoughts and a big heart. He’s dangerous and ruthless when he needs to be but with his woman, he’s giving and caring and sensitive. To me, he’s the whole package. He’s even funny in ways he doesn’t even know. *swoon*

OBW: How do you select the names of your characters?

AM: I had a list of favorite names that I started with. I also researched Italian names since there are so many Italian characters in my Rockstar series. That took some time and still does. Now, I look at my reader’s names, mostly in my Facebook Rockstar group, and use them—which they approve of!  The male names—I’ve made a huge list—I’ve also done this for last names. Last names are the trickiest for me. They have to sound right with the first name, if that makes sense. Naming characters is a tricky business! Lol

OBW: What is a must have while your writing?

AM: Music. I have to have music while I’m writing. Writing is what gets my creative juices flowing (ha! I said ‘juices’… that’s almost as bad as moist!)

OBW: Do you have any interesting writing quirks?

AM: Kinda. I need something to drink—preferably caffeinated—and usually some kind of chewy candy like Mike & Ike’s or gummy bears. I need to be alone—mostly—when I’m writing otherwise I lose focus. I hate getting interrupted… it pisses me off like nothing else. It’s like… do you not see me working over here? Grr. ❤

OBW: Where do you find your inspiration for your books and characters?

AM: Honestly? I don’t know. They’re just there—the storylines. The characters develop as soon as I start writing. I don’t outline on paper, but I have a pretty good idea where the story is going to go and what the characters look like before I get started, but I really don’t find out who they are until they show me. Writing is seriously awesome!

OBW: What book have you recently read that you would highly recommend?

AM: I can recommend three:  Wicked Beginnings (Wicked Bay Book 1) by LA Cotton; Nineteen Letters by Jodi Perry; and 180 Seconds by Jessica Park.  Those three books are hanging with me long after I’ve finished them. I love when books do that.

OBW: What is your favorite genre to read?

AM: Contemporary romance—lately I’ve been into young adult, mature young adult, or college-type setting.

OBW: Do you have any hobbies?

AM: I’m pretty boring, I think. My hobbies are reading, listening to music, watching movies or favorite TV shows. Really, that’s about all. See? Boring!

OBW: Halloween is just around the corner…what is your favorite sinful treat?

AM: You might think this is weird, but my favorite Halloween candy is candy corn. I think it’s because we don’t get it all that often. As far as chocolate/candy bars go: Milky Way or Dove with caramel. Really, anything with caramel. I’m a caramel whore. I admit this freely and without shame. ❤

OBW: Where can people stalk, errr get in contact with you?

AM: I love being stalked… uh, contacted/followed!!  If you’re on Facebook, please join my AM Rockstars group ( It’s so much fun. Everyone gets along, we try very hard to keep it drama free and so far we’re succeeding, we talk about books, boys, and things going on in our lives. It’s a wonderful group of people who are insta-friends and, to me, feel like family.

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Thank you so much for letting me bombard you with questions.   I loved getting a chance to know you better!  Fellow book whores, check Anne out and don’t forget to enter the giveaway. Hurry, it ends soon!


Win a SIGNED PAPERBACK of FALLING DOWN, Rockstar series Book 1, by Anne Mercier.

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