This interviewing RITA nominees is too much fun! I had a chance to connect with RITA nominee Shane Bolks, and here’s what she had to say:
1. How did you find out about the RITA nomination?
Shane: So, here’s the (not so) famous story. The morning the news went out, my business phone rang, but I didn’t recognize the number and didn’t answer it. A few minutes later, I’m on the Internet, and I see people congratulating people on being nominated. So my mind goes back to that call…could it have been RWA? Nah! But what if it was, and I missed it? Thankfully, before I could stress too much (because i’m very good at that), the phone rang again, and Gayle Wilson told me I’d been nominated. I was ecstatic for like a week. Okay, well maybe more than a week. Who am I kidding? I’m still ecstatic!!!
2. How did you come up with the idea for “The Good,the Bad and the Ugly Men I’ve Dated?”
Shane: We’re always told to write what we know, so one day I was trying to think about what I knew. Growing up, I was a complete Star Wars geek. I saw the movies dozens of times, read all the books, knew all the trivia. So why not write a book with Star Wars as a theme? I got out my paper and pen, and wrote the first thing that came to my head, which was this title: JEDIS, WOOKIEES, AND OTHER MEN I’VE DATED. Based on the title, I had my concept–a girl who uses Star Wars as a metaphor for dating. The name changed, but the story didn’t.
3. This is always hard, but what do you think makes your book distinctive?
Shane: Well, the Star Wars angle is definitely different. Also, I think I have a humorous voice, and Rory is a kind of everywoman character a lot of us can relate to.
4. Do you have your dress picked out yet? Tell us what it’s like. Shoes?
Shane: No, I haven’t gone shopping yet. I’d like to get something in black, though.
5. Are you nervous about it at all, or is it just cool to be nominated?
Shane: It’s just cool to be nominated. I really don’t think I’ll win (oh, she has to say that, right?). Seriously, there is so much talent in this category that if I win, I will be shocked. It just feels so validating to have my name associated with the Best First Book category. I think I will write a speech–or at least names of people to thank. I didn’t when I was nominated for the Golden Heart in ’04 because I didn’t think I’d win, and I didn’t. But I was a wreck when the ceremony began because I started being afraid that I would win and wouldn’t know what to say! I think I’ll actually enjoy this ceremony if I’m prepared for every eventuality.
6. Have you read any of the other books in your category and what did you think about them?
Shane: I’ve read 4 of the 8 so far (counting mine). I think they’re awesome and also very different from each other. But there’s no doubt in my mind why each of my competitors’ books were picked. There’s a lot of talent in this category.
7. This is your free promotional moment, tell us what you have coming up… and also about your historicals…
Shane: Free promotional moment? Candy, I love you! My next book is REALITY TV BITES. It will be out June 27, and it’s about an interior designer who gets put on a reality TV show, like Extreme Makeover, and has to design with, among other things, sex toys and soup cans. There’s a love triangle and a pudding wrestling scene. Interested yet?
I’ve published two historicals as Shana Galen, and in September NO MAN’S BRIDE releases. It’s the first in my Misadventures in Matrimony series. The series follows the adventures of four cousins who have vowed never to marry. Like my contemporaries, my historicals are funny and sexy.
Thanks so much for having me! Best of luck to all the Rita nominees. I can’t wait to meet everyone in Atlanta.