Please welcome our guest of the month L.J. Shen!
Find out what her ideal romantic evening is and details about her newest release Pretty Reckless.
Name a move you've seen at least five times and why it's a favorite.
It’s a tie between Donnie Darko and Amélie.
First of all, they’re both great movies with a tremendous amount of soul poured into them. But most of all, I think I’m so attached to them because I watched them first at a time when my artistic style was really starting to shape and mold into something concrete and I remember thinking, “I want to be like that” when I watched them.
List five adjectives you'd use to describe yourself.
Awkward, Curious, Impatient, Sarcastic, Loyal
Name one funny/quirky trait you have others may not know about.
I’m so embarrassed to admit it. Please don’t hold it against me. When I was a kid, I saw someone kissing moldy bread before they threw it in the trash. They said it’s because there are starving kids all over the world and throwing away food, no matter if rotten, is wrong.
And…I don’t know what to tell you. I just DO that every single time I throw bread away. It might look silly from the outside but I can’t help myself. I feel guilty. I heard somewhere that it’s an Italian thing. I’m not Italian but I think they’re on to something.
Caffeine of choice: tea, coffee, or soda?
All three, yo.
Two cups of coffee a day.
Unlimited amount of tea (although usually I stick to the caffeine free one)
A can of soda with my dinner.
What does your workspace look like?
A huge-ass mess. I’m too embarrassed to show the condition in which I write books. I’m basically boarded by pinboards and sticky notes. Then there are more notebooks on the desk, and mote sticky notes on the edges of the monitor. It is absolutely awful.
Describe your ideal romantic evening.
South of France. A ton of wine. A walk back to the hotel/apartment building when the breeze hits you just right after you’re flushed from the wine…and of course, no kids anywhere around.
Where is your bucket list vacation?
I’ve never been to Japan and I’d really like to visit there.
I’d like to go back to Australia and New Zealand, and visit parts of Asia again.
What is something you cherish for its sentimental value?
I’m the worst person to ask this question. I keep receipts from dates with people I BROKE UP WITH. I’m super sentimental. I guess if I had to choose, my grandmother gave me two golden bracelets that her mother gave her. I think it’s the oldest thing I own. I don’t wear them, I just keep them.
Plotter or panther and why?
Depends on the book. Usually I’m bang in the middle. I have the general outlines of an idea but I stray from it as I write.
What music are you listening to? Do you play it while you write?
I have severe ADHD and I cannot concentrate unless it’s quiet, so I don’t listen to anything while I write, but I jog every day before I start writing, and I listen to the book’s playlist beforehand. Puts me in the WRITE mood (pun so intended).
It really changes from book to book, but right now I’m on an oldies kick. I’m jamming it with The Smiths and The Cure, but with a side of The Vamps and 5 Seconds of Summer because it is still 2019.
What's something you wish people would ask you (and what's the answer)?
Honestly, I don’t think I hold any information people need to know. I do know how to make a mean tortilla soup.
What is your most current release?
I just released Pretty Reckless, an angsty, emotional, sexy, mature NA book and a complete standalone (the first in an interconnected series called the Sinners of Saint). It is free with KU and available for $3.99.
Last but not least, what’s YOUR Shayla Black kiss?
Love Bites by Hunter Edgington!