Friday, April 24, 2015

Shana James, Author of Deferred Consumption

deferred consumptioin, shana james, the consumption series, romantic suspense novel
Today we are interviewing Shana James about her romantic suspense novel, Deferred Consumption. 

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m originally from South Carolina, but I’ve lived in six states, including Missouri, Maryland, Pennsylvania, California and now New York where I live in Brooklyn.  I work, professionally, as a marketing and public relations professional, which I’ve done for many years, but I’d really love to make writing fiction my full-time career. So, I’m totally immersed in that effort, now. 

I’m a graduate of the University of South Carolina, which I’m very proud of, and I’m still hoping to finally finish my Master’s degree at Quinnipiac University. I love, love, love to travel!  If I could spend the rest of my life traveling and writing novels, the first half will not have been spent in vain. I’m loathe to admit it, but I guess I’m a “foodie”.  I love trying new dishes and new restaurants.  Especially when I travel.  I have a deep love for knowledge, just in general, so I read scores of articles and other writings and soak up documentary after documentary about the history of the world, how various industries were started, trends ignited. I am rarely “bored” because there’s just too much to be curious about in the world! 

Describe the plot of your new book in a few sentences.

A young, Manhattan investment banker is engaged to be married to her gorgeous tennis star boyfriend. She faces a nearly unthinkable tragedy as a wealthy, Russian psychopath with terrorist ties, one of her firm’s clients, seeks to make her his. This, as she discovers an evil plan that could deal another devastating blow to America.  She literally crosses paths with a mysterious, young venture capitalist who helps her seek justice and find healing so she can begin her life anew. Things get really crazy!

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?

The book contains a lot of suspense, but it is definitely a romance novel, as well.  I think, so often, we expect only women to read romance novels, but I think Deferred Consumption is a great balance of both, so I think both women and men could enjoy it.  If I may say so myself, the pacing is nice and balanced and the romance is really just a glimpse into the relationship ups and downs of my heroine, Heather Rangel.

What inspired you to write a book about an engaged woman who seems to have everything until another man enters the scene determined to pursue her relentlessly?

I’ve lived in New York City for not quite two years and it’s a very…interesting…city, to say the least.  The aggression that many of the people here exhibit is something that I haven’t found anywhere else in the country and it’s very intriguing to me.  How and why it’s so prevalent in such a large population.  So, I tried to use the NYC aggression to power my antagonists. Their wealth only magnifies the aggression, which I hope readers will be able to feel. 

When I started the novel, I knew how I wanted it to end, but that this guy would pursue her this way was not something that I originally set out to write.  It just sort of happened!  I didn’t do an outline for the book and it was so enjoyable to let the story unfold each evening.  When Vitya Ivanov started his quest to have Heather, it just made the whole story come together.

Tell us a bit about the protagonist, Heather.

Heather Rangel is a tough young woman who has spent much of her 20’s pursuing her career.  We meet her when she’s in a good relationship with her fiance, Brody, but for many years she was a loner who wasn’t really sure she’d ever find true love.  She’s very smart and very savvy about how she carries herself and the decisions she makes.  How they will affect her future and her finances.  She’s originally from Connecticut, but she loves New York City very much. She enjoys the tempo of the city.  She’s ready to get married and even though she’s invested a great deal of time and energy into her career, she’d be willing to give it all up for the right guy because she is weary of the cutthroat nature of the banking industry.

Who was your favorite character to write? 

My favorite character to write was David Schwartz, another villain in the story.  I don’t think I included him enough, but he will definitely have a bigger presence in the follow-up.  At least for now he will.  Funny things happen on the way to “The End” when you don’t use an outline!  But, David Schwartz is another example of that ever-present, ever-intriguing New York City aggression.  He’s rude and brash, but he’s the type of character you tend to keep your eyes on because you just don’t know what crazy thing he’s going to say next. 

Are there any authors who have influenced your writing style? 

I absolutely love James Patterson, Nora Roberts and Tami Hoag. 

Have you ever had writer's block?

I haven’t really had writer’s block, more writer’s fatigue.  My job is very consuming and it’s sometimes a task to get the laptop out and get to work.  But, as soon those words start flowing from my fingertips, the fatigue just melts away.

Do you write with a computer, typewriter, or pen and paper? Why do you use this tool?

I use a laptop and I tip my hat to those writers who can write a novel by hand. I can’t even imagine!  But, it sounds so noble. My other is actually working on a non-fiction book that she’s writing by hand.  I’m glad I didn’t inherit that from her!

What do you have in mind for your next project?

My next project will be a follow-up to Deferred Consumption and it should be available by late July, early August.  I think readers will like Deadly Consumption even more than Deferred Consumption!

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?

I’d like readers to know that I tried to give them a story that was vivid and exciting.  It’s a story that is entertaining and funny, and it may just give you a few ideas for how to spice things up in the bedroom.

An excerpt from Deferred Consumption: 

He was mere inches from Heather’s ear as he snapped his teeth for the added, intimidating effect. She was furious, but even the few minutes she’d been in his presence told her all that she needed to know. He was a maniac and she had to choose her next words carefully.  She slowly composed herself so she could respond. Countless eyes peered at her from various corners in the massive lobby.  
“I’m sorry, but I haven’t had the pleasure of learning your name.” She went in to the lion’s den. 
“Ivanov. Mr. Vitya Ivanov,” he responded in his gruff, deep accent glaring longingly, menacingly at her with his cold, grey eyes. 
As soon as she heard his last name, she felt a chill race along her spine.  Vitya Ivanov was a wealthy entrepreneur, indeed, but he was also a suspected terrorist supporter alleged to have funded several bombings and kidnappings across the globe.  She couldn’t believe he was standing in the lobby of the firm. She also couldn’t believe that David Schwartz had decided to meet with him.  
Simply allowing Ivanov to invest his money with Laverna wasn’t a crime, but it certainly wasn’t wise. It would definitely draw undue scrutiny from the Securities and Exchange Commission and other government arms. Each anxious to bring Hiram Schwartz down for what he’d done to their buddies decades earlier.  Uncle Sam could hold a grudge for a long time. Even the slightest impropriety could send an army of investigators crawling through every nook, cranny and corner of Laverna. Searching for anything that would allow them to shut the firm down.  She couldn’t understand why the younger Schwartz would take the risk.
“Mr. Ivanov, allow me to apologize for Mr. Schwartz’s oversight. We take very good care of our clients here at Laverna and I’m positive he will be mortified at having missed your appointment. I would be more than happy to sit down with you in my office so we can discuss your needs. I assure you, you’ll be in good hands.” She strategically offered herself on the altar to soften the blow to the firm. 
He, in return, offered up a deep belly laugh. 
“I am sure I will be in good hands with you, MS. Rangel.” He undressed her with his eyes.  “However, I am no longer in the mood for this and I have other appointments that I must keep. But!  I will definitely be back so I can get into your…good hands,” he mocked.  His minions laughed heartily. 
Heather fought to maintain her composure, feeling cloaked in by her limited options for dealing with the psychopath. 
“Here’s my card.  Have your scheduler contact my assistant to book an appointment and we’ll take it from there,” she responded. Doing her best to not have security drag him from the premises. 
“I will, indeed, krasotka,” he responded. He allowed his eyes to crawl the length of her body once more for good measure.
More Information
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