Meet the Exquisite Quill Authors

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Author Interview: Shelly Bell

EQ Welcomes Shelly Bell

EQ: Welcome to EQ! Tell us a little bit about yourself!

Shelly: I’m a hopeless romantic with a one-click book buying addiction and a book a day reading habit. For the last few years, I’ve been learning how to balance my job as a corporate attorney and mother of two elementary school-aged children, with my new career as an author. I’m also President of my local Romance Writers of America group and a member of the International Thriller Writers. Luckily, I have a husband who supports and encourages me. I couldn’t do it without him. He’s my real-life hero (see I told you I was a hopeless romantic!).

EQ:Tell us a little bit about your most recent release.

Shelly: White Collared is a four-part erotic thriller serial about a legal intern who goes undercover as a submissive at a sex club to prove her client is not guilty of murder. The first installment released on June 3rd and the last one releases tomorrow. The back-cover copy of the first book nicely summarizes the entire serial—

Driven by ambition …
Third-year law student Kate Martin outran her tragic past to become an intern for her idol and secret crush, the powerful attorney Nicholas Trenton. She is thrilled when Nick assigns her to represent his best friend and client, millionaire Jaxon Deveroux … the prime suspect in his submissive wife Alyssa's murder.

Seduced by desire …
Kate knows they have only a few days to find the real killer, and since signs point to a member of the BDSM community, she volunteers to go undercover as Jaxon's submissive at Benediction—the private sex club where he is a member—to covertly investigate Alyssa's last few months. For years, Kate has kept her dark fantasies a secret … but a chance to explore them with sexy, dominant Jaxon is just too tempting to pass up.

EQ: Pick out one of the best lines in your novel. What do you love about it?

      “If another man breathes the same air as you, I want to rip his lungs out. Break his nose so he can’t inhale the sweet perfume of your arousal. Blind him so he won’t see you smile. Burn his hands so he’ll never touch you. I want all of you.” I find the sentiment both romantic and chilling which aptly applies to the tone of White Collared. His words can either be taken as an intensely erotic claim of possession or as a threat. All the characters in White Collared have secrets and up until the end, the reader may not be one-hundred percent certain that Jaxon is innocent. It creates a tension which runs high throughout the book.

EQ: Describe how you came up with the plot of your novel.

Shelly: White Collared was inspired by a real murder which occurred a few years ago in Metro-Detroit. The husband allegedly hired a hit man to kill his wife because he was secretly a Sadist and Dominant. He allegedly wanted to leave her for his slave, but feared he’d lose his money if he asked for a divorce. Because of the success of Fifty Shades, the news reports focused on the BDSM angle and inferred that he killed her because he was a Dom and Sadist. Just because you’re a sadist doesn’t mean you’re a murderer. The media knew nothing about the practice of BDSM, completely misrepresenting it, and that infuriated me, so I decided to write a story about a murdered submissive written from the perspective of a legal intern. My book deals with the fallout from the misconceptions of BDSM and the prejudice that those in the lifestyle face when their participation becomes public knowledge.

EQ: What kinds of female characters do you prefer to write?

Shelly: I’ve discovered I enjoy writing books more when they’re almost entirely from the female point-of-view. It’s not that I don’t like the male characters in my books, because I do, but for my erotic thrillers, I see the stories as female driven.

The women I want to write about are strong, capable women with traumatic backgrounds who defy stereotype. I don’t want my female characters cursing their circumstances or breaking down in tears whenever they’re challenged. They also don’t require a man to complete them or save them from the impending danger. They’re strong, self-reliant, and resilient. Kate Martin has not only put herself through college and law school, she’s won prestigious awards and a coveted internship at a top law firm. But Kate is also extremely flawed as evidenced by her secret addiction to prescription anti-anxiety meds. She’s complex which makes her more realistic. Anyone would be lucky to have her as a friend.

Find Shelly Bell at these places:

Read these titles by Shelly Bell:
White Collared, Part One: Mercy, erotic thriller serial
White Collared, Part Two: Greed, erotic thriller serial
White Collared, Part Three: Revenge, erotic thriller serial
White Collared, Part Four: Passion, erotic thriller serial
A Year to Remember, contemporary romance
Sway With Me, contemporary romance with magical realism
Stirring Up Trouble, contemporary romance with magical realism
Tornado Allie, erotic contemporary romance

1 comment:

Jane Leopold Quinn said...

Hi Shelly, you have an interesting take on your stories that obviously comes from your legal experience. And I can see that you don't keep yourself busy enough with work, kids, RWA, and writing. ;-) Thanks for being here today.