The Five Most Common Questions Asked of a Romance Writer

The five most common questions asked of a romance writer - Jill Shalvis

[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to have author Jill Shalvis talking the top questions she gets asked as a romance author! Take it away, Jill!]

1. How do you do your research?

It never fails. When someone finds out I’m a romance writer, they almost always ask me some variety on this, usually in a sort of hushed tone like maybe their priest is listening. Let’s be clear. I know what they’re really asking. You know what they’re really asking. And it never fails to crack me up. I write a 400 page book filled with stuff that real life is filled with: action and adventure and emotion and screw ups and victories and heart ache and fun and yeah, there’s usually at least ten pages of the good stuff, the NC-17 stuff.

Okay, maybe 20.

My point is, it’s not all sex (um, excuse me, I mean tasteful love scenes). But that’s what people want to know about. Alpha Man gets a similar question at least weekly … “do you help her with her research?” He generally gives an easy smile and says something along the lines of “it’s a tough job but someone’s got to do it.”

2. Where do you get your ideas?

In a warehouse outside of Toledo. I try to wait for the semi-annual sale and stock up.

3. Do you pick your covers?

I wish. Sorry, did I say that out loud? No, I don’t get to pick my covers. Or my titles. I get to voice an opinion and even make suggestions, and my publishers try their very best to keep a straight face when I give them my ideas for titles and covers and then … they do what they want.

4. Do you let your children read your books?

When my kids were young I always wanted to ask back “do you let your children watch NC-17 movies?” I mean, it’s just common sense, people. But my kids are almost adults now and they read and watch what they want. And what they absolutely do NOT want to read is anything that has their mother and sex together on the page. So no they do not read me. They are proud of me and happy for me, and they love nothing more than to see me on the shelves when we’re at Walmart or Target or BN. In fact, they’ve been known to put my books face out in front of Stephen King and Nora Roberts (don’t tell them) and smile at perfect strangers while pointing at my books and saying “that’s my mom!”. But they get hives at the thought of reading me, which I’m good with. ☺

5. How long does it take to write a book?

I always want to laugh when asked this. How long does it take? Well, it takes as long as the darn book wants to take. Add in at least one family crisis, a mid-book author crisis (yes, every single time I have a meltdown over chapter 12, what’s it to ya?), some sort of computer crisis, and for kicks and giggles I tend to get sick in the last few chapters because I’ve been living off ice cream and tears and blood and sweat and dramatics (what, I’m a writer… hello, I was born a drama queen)…

Wrapped Up in You by Jill Shalvis, out now!

It’s love. Trust me.

After a lifetime on the move, Ivy Snow is an expert in all things temporary—schools, friends, and way too many Mr. Wrongs. Now that she owns a successful taco truck in San Francisco and an apartment to call home, Ivy’s reinvented life is on solid ground. And she’s guarded against anything that can rock it. Like the realities of a past she’s worked hard to cover up. And especially Kel O’Donnell. Too hot not to set off alarms, he screams temporary. If only his whispers weren’t so delightfully naughty and irresistible.

Kel, an Idaho sheriff and ranch owner, is on vacay, but Ivy’s a spicy reason to give his short-term plans a second thought. Best of all, she’s a tonic for his untrusting heart, burned once and still in repair. But when Ivy’s past intrudes on a perfect romance, Kel fears that everything she’s told him has been a perfect lie. Now, if only Ivy’s willing to share, Kel will fight for a true love story.


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