Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Shey Stahl's Racing on the Edge Blog Tour~01/14 thru 01/24

I was extremely excited to get the chance to ask author Shey Shahl some questions about her Racing on the Edge series. I'm a huge NASCAR fan, and you just don't see much NASCAR fiction out there...hopefully with the success of this series that will change.

Be sure to leave a comment below (with your email address) for the chance to win signed paperback copies of Happy Hour and Black Flag, and use Rafflecopter to enter to win the grand prize...winner's choice of a signed set of the entire series in paperback or ebook form.

Welcome, Shey...can you tell us a little about your Racing on the Edge Series?

Thank you for having me! The Racing on the Edge series is a love story set in the world of auto racing both dirt and asphalt. It starts out with Happy Hour where Sway Reins, a track owners only daughter, is best friends with the with NASCAR rookie driver, Jameson Riley. Sway flies out to see his first Coca-Cola 600 race and the sparks fly from there. They’ve been friends since they were eleven-years-old and the bond between them has been a vital part of Jameson’s success as a driver. The story moves on from friends with benefits to a connection that neither can ignore. It’s more than a story about racing. It’s about love and what you will do for that love. Commitment to yourself and everything around you, and of course, tragedy and how it can destroy all that you worked for.

What made you decide to set your debut series in the world of NASCAR?

I grew up in the racing world, at a dirt track actually. My dad raced until I was twelve and then eventually, my husband did too. I spent most weekends at Grays Harbor Raceway and still do. For me, to write this story, it was something I had to do for myself. Once I started writing it, I decided to write it for myself and then my family and friends urged me to publish it. My main purpose for writing about racing was that’s what I knew. I’m not a big football fan or baseball, but I absolutely love the smell of methanol and a dirt track. I also don’t think the racing community gets enough attention and I wanted to bring to life what these drivers and their families go through. Hopefully I did that for them and others.

Who's your favorite driver? (I'm a Harvick girl all the way!!!)

It depends on what series we’re talking about. I have different drivers that I love in each series. NASCAR, it’s a tie between Tony Stewart and Kasey Kahne. The World of Outlaws, Joey Saldana, Cody Darrah and Brad Sweet. Some others who drift from series to series that I follow are Kyle Larson, Trey Starks, Billie Workman Jr. and Dave Blaney.

If the series were made into a movie, what would your dream cast look like?

I think my dream cast is pretty much what’s on my Facebook page. It’s hard for me to choose them because I have these visions of them in my head and I haven’t found anyone who looks exactly like I imagine. Aside from Alley. I’ve always imagined Kate Hudson and Jimi will always be Dennis Quaid in my head.

What was your journey to publication like?

When I was on bed rest with my daughter, I started a rough draft of Happy Hour. Then I got into taking a writing class after she was born in 2009. I started out writing the story as project for the class I was taking because the instructor encouraged me to write fictional story. Apparently I was a little over the top in some of my papers and she saw a talent I didn’t know was there. I just thought I was really good at making up stories (which my mom and dad can agree to).

Along the way the instructor pushed me to do it more and then introduced me to fanfiction to see what people thought of the writing. From there she picked a series, Twilight, and then I wrote it to that. Once I saw that people liked my writing style, I pulled the story. It was never inspired by the Twilight characters but more as an outlet for me to see if people liked my writing style. So I pulled the story before it was finished and then finished writing the rest of Happy Hour. Then I wrote Black Flag the following month and then Trading Paint. Then I moved onto The Champion and The Legend which was essentially one book but I had to break it down to two. After the series was written completely, I moved on to publishing, found an agent and she helped me put the story out there. Offers came back but they all wanted to focus more on the love story and not Jameson’s fight in racing. To me his fight was a huge part of their love story. The passion Jameson had for the sport had no boundaries and neither did his love for Sway. There was no way to properly tell the story without the two and I wasn’t willing to take anything out. After declining most offers given, my agent turned me onto Amazon and that’s the route we eventually went. I have more control over the story and to me that’s more important than some big publishing contract.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

My only advice is to write about what you know. If you don’t know, research it to the point that you’re literally obsessed. I spent close to two years writing Racing on the Edge and there wasn’t a day that went by where I wasn’t either writing, watching racing or listening to my racing buddies talk. It was the only way for me to feel the story. Everyone has their own style of writing but that’s what worked for me. My other advice is to go with your gut instinct. Take chances, be different, and don’t settle because you think you can’t do any better.

Another thing I find helpful, notebooks. Always keep them on you in case that ending you can’t decide on suddenly comes to you when you’re driving. (Don’t try to drive and jot down notes because the cop that pulls you over might require you to take a breathalyzer based on spastic movements. Or at least the cops in Olympia do.) Just so we’re clear, stop the car first but then jot it down. By the time you get home and you’ve had to answer the “why” question for your toddler at least a hundred times from when the thought came to you, sadly, you won’t remember what you’re great idea was.

Give us a glimpse into a typical day for you.

My typical day starts with coffee (20oz iced black & white mocha). Coffee is like crack for me. I once quit and you would have thought the world ended in my house. Worst day ever with tons of crying, and sobbing, and tantrums. Very similar to my child on a day-to-day basis, only in an adult form. I wanted to ask her what she does to comfort herself when shit goes south but then again I’d probably be providing her with a negotiation tactic. She’d know my weak point.

After coffee has been delivered, I check Facebook, Twitter, YouTube videos on anything I’m researching, images that keep me inspired, music, and then I start writing. I don’t focus on any one chapter. I’m the type of writer who writes the end and middle and then eventually the beginning and ties in everything else. I usually write about eight hours a day. Not all at once because I’m constantly back and forth from writing to music and then Facebook. A group of girls called the Gearheads/Pit Lizards keep me entertained throughout the day too and keep me motivated to write more. They like me, or so they say, and make me think I have a talent here. I think they’re just messing with me but at least they stalk me. I like to be stalked. It makes me feel cooler than I really am.

I have a three-year-old little girl as well who keeps me incredibly busy too and a husband who wants a few moments of my time too. He’s the one bringing me coffee. ;-) When we’re out together you can usually find us at some sort of racing event whether it be one he’s racing in or we’re watching. It’s a big part of our lives.

All in all, I’m very busy most of the time. I still work full-time as an Administrative Assistant but only for a few more months and then I’m going to give writing a full-time effort and see where that takes me.

What are some of your favorite books/authors?

I enjoy reading S.C Stephens, Jamie McGuire, Colleen Hoover, Alice Clayton, Alexandra Richland and Stephen King novels. So far at the top of my reading lists have been Thoughtless, Effortless, and dreading Reckless and hoping it doesn’t make me want to stalk Stephens. I’ve also liked Beautiful Disaster, Gilded Cage, Slammed, Point of Retreat, The Edge of Never, Wallbanger, Forever my Girl, My Misery Muse and I know this much is True (my favorite book of all time). Classics I have to mention, The Color Purple, Mice of Men, Outsiders, East of Eden and The Shining. Some of my favorite books are true stories and biographies as I like to incorporate that style of writing into fiction. To me it gives the reader a more personal experience in story-telling.

Anything you'd like to reveal about yourself that your readers might find surprising?

What a dangerous question! I guess maybe they’d be surprised to know that I’m very shy. It may not seem that way but when first meeting someone, I’ll do anything to avoid a conversation with them. Once I get to know someone, which is hard to do when you’re avoiding a conversation with someone, but once that happens, I’m extremely goofy and like to think I’m funny. I’m actually not funny at all but I make myself laugh.

What are you working on now?

Currently I’m working on a contemporary romance, Waiting for You. A Suspenseful Sports Fiction called Delayed Penalty and another contemporary romance, One Night Only. I have more planned this year for the ROTE series but not until I get the ones I’ve already started done. Sadly for me, my brain never turns off and I’m writing all the time. Whether it’s writing small notes and on napkins and my hands, I’m always thinking of new stories and twists to incorporate. It’s kind of a problem, almost like an obsession. It might be from all that coffee but I refuse to admit that.

Blog Tour Schedule:January 14: Kindlehooked.blogspot.com
January 15: Mochasmysteriesandmore.blogspot.com
January 16: Books Books Books - Bookbitchesblog.wordpress.com
January 17: Smardy-pants.blogspot.com
January 18: Bookcrushbookreviews.com
January 19: Brei Betzold's guest interview with Jameson/Spencer on Kindlehooked
January 20: Bookboyfriendreview.blogspot.com
January 21: Sugarandspiceandeverythingnaughty.blogspot.com
January 22: iloveindiebooks.blogspot.com
January 23: Mysecretromancebookreviews.com
January 24: Flirtyanddirtybookblog.com

Links for Shey:
Racing on Edge FB page- https://www.facebook.com/RacingOnTheEdge
Shey Stahl's Author page- https://www.facebook.com/shey.stahl.
Shey's Twitter- https://twitter.com/SheyStahl
Shey's blog site- http://sheystahl.blogspot.com a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tanya said...

I entered right here :)

Susy said...

Melissa's mochas, Mistery and more

tara carroll said...

Shey's racing on the edge is in my top five of favorite books!

Tess Bibliophile said...

Eeps!! Thanks so much for the interview!! I love Jameson and Sway - they are a great couple together and I've grown together with them through reading the books, it's as though they are my friends in real life ;) It's an amazing read, sexy as hell and gut-busting hilarious!! I highly recommend this to all!! Keep up the great writing Shey! Look out for her other upcoming releases too! Like Delayed Penalty!! That looks SOOO good!! Many thanks for this post and for the giveaway!! I would love to win signed copies of Happy Hour and Black Flag!! Racing on the Edge is one of my fav series and this would be such a dream come true!! :D