KL Shandwick rocked my world in 2015 with her first book, Gideon’s Legacy, and then the follow-up Trusting Gibson. She’s continued to write stories about imperfect people and compelling stories. Her latest book, Until Jude, is about Jude Collymore, the drummer who wasn’t a player, especially with women. KL took time out of her busy writing schedule to answer my five burning questions.
1. Let’s start with Kill, Marry, or Screw?
Kill? I don’t think I’ve found a book boyfriend I’d like to kill. Sure, some are a**holes, but most redeem themselves by the end of the story. So, I can’t say there is one that completely deserves to die just yet… but there are still hundreds of books to read on my kindle TBR list! I’ll let you know if one passes the threshold.
Marry, it would be Kellan Kyle, from Thoughtless by S.C. Stephens. I loved the complexity of the character and how hard he fell for Kiera in that story. He is my ultimate book boyfriend, and I’ve yet to find a character that’s come close.
Screw, it would have to be Gibson Barclay from my Last Score series. That dirty, straight-talking Southern boy has it all. I’m sure if my readers see this, they’ll be out for my blood because there’s so much competition to claim this man.
2. Do you remember the first romance book you ever read? Can you tell me about it?
I think I’m with you on that, in that it was Jackie Collins. It was Chances/ Lucky Chances, by her. The story spanned quite a few decades and was about a mob casino mogul in Las Vegas, Gino Santangelo, and his family. I don’t remember that much about it, except there was plenty of lust, sex, violence, and disloyal intrigue.
Widower Gino had a very strong-willed daughter, Lucky, who was in competition with her father as she tried to take over his empire. in her effort to gain her father’s respect.
I think they were both ruthless, and I remember thinking what a kick-ass, ballsy character, Lucky was. I think I was about fourteen or fifteen when I read this so the content was a wee bit shocking.
3. What types of romance would you like to write but haven’t yet?
I think I’d like something a little darker, like an MC romance, but I’d need time to research the motorcycle community well beforehand. Finding the time is difficult right now with a few series yet to finish and translations ongoing for my backlist already. One day maybe, or if I find a co-writer that would be willing to put up with me flitting from project to project in the chaotic way I write.
4. What are you reading right now? Do you have a favorite book/series/genre?
Lorelei James! I’m reading her Blacktop Cowboys Series, which are western romance, and I love them. One night Rodeo is fantastic and if you like cowboys, you’ll love this series. My favorite book of all time is Thoughtless, and it’s the Thoughtless series by S.C. Stephens which is a New Adult, Rock star romance. It’s a love triangle and I love how S.C. strings it out. My favorite sub-genre of romance is unrequited and enemies to lovers.
5. What was the inspiration for your new book?
I had been writing a contemporary series which is a family romance saga, currently there are six books, with two to come. The stories are duets about couples who are not rock stars, but older characters with emotional baggage, and the books are full of ‘feels’.
There’s a reverse age gap, divorce, plot twists, realism, secrets, and betrayal … all the things you’d hope to find in such a series. However, I had quite a mental block for writing during the pandemic and decided as we were coming out of it to write a new rock star series. Hence, Pulsetunes Rock Gods, a series about five rock stars in a band, (Screaming Shadows) and each book tells their individual stories.
Until Jude was the first story, which is a slow burn age gap spanning four years. The main female character is very young at the beginning, so the story is essentially slow burn for this reason. All the characters, in this book will progress through the other books as the story moves on with each band member. Although the focus of each book will be with the band member, the book is named after.
Until Jude released in March, with Until Levi coming late July. Deakon, Korry and Greg’s books will follow after this.
What makes PulseTunes Rock Gods series a little different, is that some of my rock stars from previous series appear and have interactions with these new characters, bringing attention to the stories of the previous series I have.
In my Everything series, Last Score, and Ready For Flynn series I have rock stars already famous to all of us, but in this series, I figured as many people have already read my books now, my own rock stars deserve a place in this new series.
I guess it’s a way of introducing Gibson, Flynn, Rick Fars, and Alfie Black to new readers. If they like this series and those characters, then they might want to read their own stories in another series already available.
6. For bonus points, what’s your favorite swear word?
Profanity is an essential part of any rock star book, and F bombs are frequent in the expressive language of a rock star. Not to mention the act as a favorite pastime of theirs. So. I guess my favorite swear word has to be fuck.
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