I love when I can introduce you to new authors to me who are making their mark. CHARLOTTE O’SHAY is such an author. Her new book, THE MARRIAGE ULTIMATUM is garnering rave reviews. Recently I “sat” down with her (virtually, of course) and found out what makes her tick. Stick around after the interview, because she’s got a treat for you in the form of an except from her new book. Here’s Charlotte:
Part 1: The Writer Questions
- What drives you to write? The people in my head. It feels good to let them out. Romances of all genres got me through tough times when I needed a happily ever after. I want to give that escape to someone else through what I write.
- What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? I write Contemporary because I live in NYC. I’m inspired by the energy of the moment, the fast pace, the right nowness of the city and I try to capture that in my stories. But someday I’d like to write an historical set in Colonial/Revolutionary era America.
- What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? I read everything. Fiction, non-fiction, biography. I’ve read some great authors through my association with The Wild Rose Press. I now have more favorite authors in historic, paranormal and YA genres. I love suspense but not horror.
- What’s your writing schedule? Do you write everyday? I try to even if it’s only a page at night. I seem to get a lot done during the cold weather months when there’s less to do outdoors.
- Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I write best at a desk in our family room on a desktop. The desk faces the wall with an old New Yorker poster and I have a bulletin board off to the side with motivational quotes and favorite photos.
- Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnelvision? I’m very good at filtering out sounds or else I wouldn’t survive the noise of Manhattan. I like total quiet but that’s not reality.
- Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? When I’m not writing I love music of all kinds and going to concerts. I always have the radio or Pandora on. I love to learn lyrics. I really admire lyricists who can express a wealth of emotion in a phrase or two. It’s a skill I’m trying to develop. But I never listen to music while I’m writing.
- How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? As a lawyer I worked with families in crisis. I met lots of women who struggled to keep their families together against all odds. So my debut novel has those elements. My current WIP A Model Engagement came from a still ongoing news story I follow. I started playing the what if game and my heroine came from that process.
- Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? That’s hard to say. My debut was definitely character driven. I saw both H/h very clearly from the start. But my WIP started from an idea I got watching the news so I had the problem or conflict first.
- What 3 words describe you, the writer? Introspective, curious, caffeinated
The Person Questions:
- Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! This city girl didn’t get a driver’s license till age 29. Is that unusual enough?
- Who was your first love and what age were you? A third grade classmate. I wrote him a love letter.
- If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…. Any of the days I spent on the Amalfi coast with my family a couple of years ago. It’s my emotional and geographical happy place.
- Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Boxers!
- If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? I could never give up my lipstick.
- What three words describe you, the person? Analytical, shy, stubborn
- If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? My Shot from the musical Hamilton
- If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? Jo March from Little Women. Jo is my book twin.
I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:
- Favorite sound ~ my dog snoring softly at my feet while I write.
- Least favorite sound ~ fire engine siren
- Best song every written ~Too difficult to choose one. Desperado (Eagles) Every song in the musical Hamilton
- Worst song ever written ~ Havin my Baby by Paul Anka
- Favorite actor and actress Liam Neeson, Emma Stone
- Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? (It can be anyone living or dead)or Fictional? Pippi Longstocking to be an adventurous little girl again
- What turns you on? Good smells: a sexy cologne, fresh mown grass, ocean air, chicken in the oven, jasmine, gardenia, hibiscus
- What turns you off? Lack of a sense of humor
- Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date (here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) “I had onions for lunch.”
- What’s your version of a perfect day? Awaken when the sun comes through the window, coffee and newspapers, a long walk on the beach, cook dinner for family or friends, write until bed.
Charlotte O’Shay was born in New York City into big family and then married into another big family all of which provided her with enough drama, noise and inspiration for a lifetime of stories.
Negotiating skills honed at the dinner table led her to a career in the law. After four beautiful children joined the crowded family tree, Charlotte gladly traded her legal career to write about happily ever afters in the City of Dreams.
THE MARRIAGE ULTIMATUM
Dead-end job? Dreary apartment? Disastrous love life? Check, check, and check. Toddler who makes it all worthwhile? Absolutely. Juggling work, college, and the care of young Alex was never Sabrina’s plan.
But Sabrina’s dreams are bigger than any curve ball life can throw at her. Her top priority is keeping her small family together, no matter what the cost.
Vladimir Grigory doesn’t believe in dreams. He earned his position at the top of New York’s corporate ladder with his own sweat. His empire is his baby, and he’ll destroy anyone who threatens it. Even the sexy employee who challenges him on every level.
When the New York tabloids and the world call him the baby daddy of Sabrina’s son, Vlad believes Sabrina is part of a plot to expose the secrets of his past. He threatens to destroy her future. But since Sabrina has secrets of her own, she has no choice but to agree to Vlad’s marriage ultimatum.
“What’re you doing creeping up on me like that? Who are you?” Her gaze narrowed in on him even as she took a step back.
He stared right back, sinking into eyes so mercurially gray then green, then gray again, it was like he’d fallen into the turbulent depths of the Atlantic. With her wild eyes, untamed hair, and skintight clothes, she was a mermaid and absolutely the answer to this sailor’s prayers.
She shoved an unruly swath of hair back over her shoulder, all attitude. One hand was on her hip and the other fiddled with the hem of her sweater. His gaze tracked her every move.
Her chin angled up. “Seen enough? You know what they say: Take a picture, it’ll last longer.”
Find Charlotte here: