Meet the Author:
L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.
Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.
She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.
Connect with the L.J. Shen:
Leigh Shen has been a favorite author for both of us. We both fell in love with one of the HotHoles – I absolutely adore VICIOUS (he is my #1 asshole), and Tijuana fell in love with Jamie from Defy (she is a man-bun kind of girl).
Having this opportunity is a HUGE deal for us. There is just no way around – Leigh Shen is our kind of girl. We really hope you’ll enjoy this personal peak into her life and getting the chance to know her on a more personal level.
We are still floored by her amazingly candid responses.
As with last month’s interview, we included a gift card giveaway, the requirements are posted below.
Let’s start with a few “Getting To Know You” questions:
Tell us something about yourself we’d never guess.
I studied economics and politics for my undergraduate degree but dropped out because it wasn’t for me. Then I went and studied film-making and dropped out–not because it wasn’t for me, it was actually really interesting–but because I am lazy.
What’s a typical evening like at the Shen household?
My friends always laugh at me because we legit sit down to have dinner at ten p.m. My husband goes to the gym in the evenings and I cook dinner after I put our little one to bed. We eat and watch a show–we always binge-watch on Netflix–then I read a book before bed. As you can see, I live on the edge. It keeps my artistic juices flowing.
What’s your favorite genre (other than romance) and will you ever consider writing in that genre?
I love historicals and thrillers. And yes, I do plan on writing both genres in the future.
Are you a plotter or pantser?
Pantser, and it is SUCH a pain in the ass. I think I would have written six more books by now if I just knew what I was doing. But I always end up writing 3-4 drafts until I’m happy with the general result.
What type of music do you listen to?
I love pop, rock, alternative, hip hop, metal, grunge, blues, punk rock, dance, dubstep. Literally everything, other than country music. I just can’t get into it for some reason. But aside from country, I would give anything a chance. I love French hip hop and German metal.
What brings you joy?
My family, reading a good book, going out with some friends, hanging out with my loved ones. I find joy in everything I do, to be honest. Other than taxes. I don’t find joy in doing them at all.
Was it nerve-wracking to hit the publish button the first time? Is it still?
It’s always nerve-wracking, and always will be. To be honest, I think the moment I would do it without feeling like I’m going to puke my heart out is the moment I will know I need to make a career change. It’s supposed to be frightening. It’s supposed to feel like a rollercoaster. It’s a part of the deal.
I’ve read all your books. Please take this as the compliment it’s meant to be, but your writing has really matured over the years. What did you do to hone your craft?
It’s funny when you say over the years, because I’ve only been writing for two years and I try to remember that when I feel bad about a certain paragraph I’m not completely in love with. Honestly, the best way to get better is read, read, read and then read some more. Read out of your genre. Read in the bathroom. Read before your dentist appointment. Read books. And articles. And everything with letters. That’s the best way to better your craft.
Everyone loves Vicious. I agree, he’s pretty amazing. However, Jaime is my favorite Hothole to date. Where did the concept for Defy come from?
Honestly, I was in the Hot For Teacher anthology and we were required to write a teacher-student romance. It all kind of rolled from there. As I was writing Defy I pretty much realized that Vicious needed his own book, and that’s how the whole series started.
Dean and Rosie’s story was so emotional! Does writing a story like that have a personal impact on your psyche? Or do you compartmentalize your characters?
Oh yes, for sure. I feel what they feel. I go through the same stuff. When Rosie was afraid of dying, so was I. It was a difficult book to write but I’m so proud of it.
We’re dying for Trent and Evie’s story! Anything you’d like to share about Scandalous before it releases September 29th?
Honestly at this point I’m just waiting to hit publish. I’m so so excited to give you this crazy couple. I absolutely loved writing this book.
As you know, I have a major crush on Jaime. Will I see him a lot in Scandalous? Pretty please say yes!
Sorry! Scandalous is probably the least interconnected book in the series. Edie didn’t grow up with them and doesn’t have any ties to the group. You see Jaime a few times but the subplots don’t surround the other HotHoles.
Do you have anything specific you’d like to share with your readers? What should we expect next?
Expect the unexpected. I’m not just saying that. There are very exciting things ahead, but I’m an erratic writer so I don’t want to announce anything specific before the book is ready and I lock down a release date.
If you could have a super power, what would it be?
Read minds. Goddammit, that would be so awesome. But also so, so dangerous.
Do your books turn you on?
They do. Especially Scandalous, by the way.
Tea or Coffee?
Coffee every morning and at 3pm, tea in-between.
Are you a morning person or night owl?
Night owl for sure. I’m barely functioning before ten a.m. I don’t do anything important before 11 p.m, just in case I screw it up.
Where is the worst place you could get stuck?
I’m a pretty chilled person so I’m not really too concerned about getting stuck in the middle of nowhere. But my heart is with Texas right now and I wouldn’t wanna go through what the Texan people are going through <3
What is your biggest addiction?
Coffee probably. I was going to say wine but that would sound quite alarming. lol.
Name one thing you’ve always wanted to do, but haven’t? [Other than marry Chris Pratt…just kidding]
Bahahaha! A tragus piercing. I have a helix but not a tragus. I’ll get one. Someday. I just don’t want to do it now because I know it’d be a bitch to workout without earbuds for a while. Wow. This is boring. Nonetheless, it’s the truth.
Thanks for having me!
Congratulations to Isabel Hasting
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