INDY AUTHOR TALK with Shannon Stacey ~ Writing Contemporary Action Romance

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Ohhhhhhhh…  I  think I need to get the Devlin Group Series.  The books will look awesome on the same shelf with my Maya Banks KGI Series!  Although I think they are all electronic.  I will have to check it out!    Pow Pow Pow…  Sneak here…  Sneak there…  oh let’s hide!  Pow Pow Pow…  Kiss me…  lol…  Does that sound good??  Not quite.  Well I am not as talented as a published author and of course am kinda out of the secret service loop at the moment.  BUT YOU AND I BOTH HAVE OUR CHANCE BY CATCHING UP WITH SHANNON STACEY’S DEVLIN GROUP SERIES.

I hope you enjoy this installment of Nerd Girl Official’s Indy Author talk!  It’s a special one!  Go to her page (page information is somewhere withing the talk) and give her a #NerdGirlWave, post a comment on THIS blog and I may just #Randomswag you with Shannon’s newest release!!!  I will be watching!!

♥ Gladys #XOXOtheNerdGirl #NerdGirlOfficial


*****Writing Contemporary Action Romance*****

There are many reasons I enjoy writing the action romances of my Devlin Group series. The dangerous situations the characters find themselves in bring suspense and a level of emotional intensity hard to match in my straight contemporary romances. There are helicopters and guns and choreographing action scenes with the use of Lego mini-figures. They’re incredibly challenging, and yet fun, to write.

But one of the my favorite things about writing No Place To Hide, along with the previous books in the series, is how involved my family gets in the plotting. My husband and two teenage sons are always willing to help me unravel plotting knots in any of my books but, to be honest, their eyes start glazing over after a few minutes of contemporary romance problem solving.

Throw in weapons and a bad guy, though, and they’re all in. Brainstorming action romances can be a lot of fun when the entire family’s involved and they’ve actually provided me with some great idea over the years. The weapon favored by the villain of No Place To Hide came from my older son. A couple of the tricks used by the hero of No Surrender were suggested by my husband and my brother-in-law.

Invariably, the brainstorming will go south and I have to rein them in. My younger son has a tendency to start throwing zombies or aliens (or both) into the mix. Or one of the guys will decide that a game of hide and seek with a stolen nuclear submarine would be a perfect plot, despite the fact working a romance into that story would be a little difficult. (I think my guys have watched too many Tom Clancy movies.)

But even when an hour or so of brainstorming doesn’t turn up anything that will actually work for my Devlin Group series, I don’t mind. Being an author means countless hours sitting at the keyboard. My sons can help their dad (who is a master electrician & HVAC tech) install a water heater or change an outlet. Changing filters on the furnace or cleaning the AC condenser unit is something hands-on they can do with them. Mom’s work shuts them out, so having an opportunity to get them involved is something I definitely embrace.

My older son is particularly good at plotting and filling plot holes. Now that he’s nineteen, I actually tried to get him to read the first three books in the series while we were hammering out the storyline for No Place To Hide. He refused. “There’s sex in them. Written by my mom.” I guess that would be awkward. But he was still invaluable when it came to not only writing my characters into corners, but helping get them back out again.

But if the hero and heroine of a future Devlin Group book should have to battle a Yeti or they develop strange powers after drinking a neon green smoothie, it’s because that child is now at college and his younger brother loves to throw curveballs.


*****No Place to Hide Synopsis*****


Jack Donovan went through hell and back to save Isabelle once. Now she’s back in his life, hunted by an assassin so elusive some claim he’s only an urban legend. More than just a gun for hire, the killer is driven by a pathological need to take down his targets and, when Isabelle escapes the bullet meant for her, Jack knows he’ll strike again. The only way to keep her alive is to keep her close, and Jack’s about to learn what hell really is.

In the year since Jack rescued her from a guerrilla compound and then walked away, Isabelle Arceneau has begun to put her life back on track. Now somebody wants her dead and Jack is once again her only hope for survival. As the Devlin Group races to uncover the killer’s identity and Jack and Isabelle go on the run in a desperate bid to keep her alive, she knows she can trust him with her life, but never again with her heart.

Released on August 20, 2014

Purchase the Book

Shannon Stacey_Author Photo

*****About Shannon*****

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shannon Stacey is the author of over two dozen romance novels and novellas, including her popular Kowalski series. She has been nominated for an RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice Award twice, and was named to a Publishers Weekly Top 10: Romance list in 2013. Shannon lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two sons.


*****Connect With Shannon*****






*****Q&A with Shannon Stacey*****


  1. When and why did you begin writing? What inspired you to write your first book?

I’ve written stories of some sort since elementary school, though I didn’t make the move to writing romance until I was a teenager. (There is some very bad poetry, as well as the openings of many bad horror novels under my bed.) I was reading a Little House on the Prairie book when I was six or seven and made the connection between the character and the author. My explained to me that real people wrote the books I loved and that it was a job. From that moment on, it was the only job I wanted. (Though I milked some cows and waited some tables along the way.)

  1. What book(s) / author(s) have influenced your life and writing?


Obviously the Little House series was huge for me. I think, to be specific, it was These Happy Golden Years I was reading, though I can’t be sure now. Louis L’Amour was a gifted author, and my bridge to romance novels with his Sacketts and especially Conagher. Stephen King was a huge influence because he is a master storyteller and I learned the difference between storytelling and writing. The list of romance authors I’ve admired is long and varied, but the storytelling ability and discipline of Nora Roberts is something I admire so much.


  1. Tell us about your characters and how they came to be?  Have they been in your head for a long time?


Jack Donovan and Isabelle Arceneau were both secondary characters in my Devlin Group series. Jack was first introduced in On the Edge, the second book in the series, and Isabelle was introduced in the third, No Surrender. I knew at the end of that book, which released in 2009, that Jack and Isabelle’s story would be next, but I wasn’t able to finish the manuscript until 2014, so the characters were with me for a very long time.


  1. What motivates you to write?


Even if there weren’t deadlines to be met and college tuition payments to be made, I would write. I get antsy if I don’t write and, after a while, I turn the corner to downright cranky. My husband can often tell when I’ve had too many days of things that aren’t writing to do. Writing was my outlet and my escape long before it was my job and I suspect it always will be.


  1. What is the hardest part of writing?


For me, it’s discipline. I write full-time from home, so it’s very easy to tell myself I’ll do some housework and then write, or watch that TV episode on the DVR and then write. There’s always a distraction or some excuse not to write that has to be resisted.

  1. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I think a smart writer learns something with the writing of every book. Whether it’s becoming more self-aware about the creative process or recognizing strengths and weaknesses before your editor points them out to you, the learning process never stops. But with No Place To Hide specifically, I learned it can be refreshing to write something different now and again. After over a dozen straight contemporary romance titles, revisiting the action romance subgenre was fun and revitalizing.

  1. Where do you get your ideas?

Sometimes I play the what-if game. What if a man found out his former flame and partner had kept their son a secret from his after he shot her only because the child was kidnapped and she needs his help to get the child back? (The first book in the Devlin Group series, 72 Hours.) But quite often a flash of a scene or a snippet of dialogue will flash in my head and I’ll write it down. Eventually an entire story grows from that tiny seed.

  1. What does your family think of your writing?

My family’s always been very supportive of my writing. It’s hard sometimes for them to respect that I’m working, even if I’m sitting on the couch in my pajamas, but they try. There were many years my husband probably doubted I’d ever get published, but he never said it out loud and I can’t tell you how much that mattered.


  1. What is the best advice you would give to inspiring authors?


Be wary off letting too many people (beta readers/critique groups/etc) into your book if you’re new to the craft. Find your voice and be confident in it so you’ll know what advice to take and what to discard or you’ll end up hacking up your writing to the point it’s no longer you.

10.  What book are you reading now?


I’m lucky enough to be reading an advance copy of Hope Burns, the third book in Jaci Burton’s Hope series, which releases September 30th!


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The NerdGirl

Blogger, Reviewer, Promoter extraordinaire, I don’t think you will find ANYONE that loves books more than her. Gladys will read anything but prefers paranormal and fantasy. She likes historical and some contemporary ….. as long as its not predictable.
  • ButtonsMom2003

    I have loved all of Shannon’s books that I’ve read. The latest Devlin one sounds great!

  • Michelle Mauer

    Thanks for the great interview. I haven’t read any of her work and now know I am missing out!! Gave her a #NerdGirlWave

    • #Congrats Michelle! You have been #RandomSwagged!! Please email me you information at and on the subject put “No Place To Hide” ~ I won!! ♡ Gladys #XOXOtheNerdGirl

      • Michelle Mauer

        thank you, sent message

  • Shari

    I am a huge fan of Shannon, but have not read the Devlin series yet, I guess I better get busy reading.

    • #Congrats you have been choosen to be #RandomSwagged! By Me! Please email me you information at and on the subject put “No Place To Hide” ~ I won!! ♡ Gladys #XOXOtheNerdGirl

  • Paula

    A series of books that rank up there with Maya Banks’ KGI series? Wow! I absolutely LOVE the KGI series. Haven’t had a chance to read Shannon’s books yet, but always willing to try out a “new to me” author. Especially if the books are as good as you are saying. Thanks for a great review. You got me sold on trying the series out.

    • Yay!!! Paula you too have been #RandomSwagged!!! If you would please email me your contact information I will provide it to the publisher and they will forward you an ebony of Shannon’s new release! :-) ♡ Gladys #XOXOtheNerdGirl

      • Paula

        Thank you so much! I just sent you an email. Can’t wait to read the book.

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