Shayla Black, who also writes under the name Shelley Bradley, is one of the hottest authors on the erotic romance scene. Her stories span a variety of subgenres, such as the paranormal and historical categories.
With the rise in sensual fantasy book sales, Black is getting some serious attention for her bold, sexy and moving work. Several of her books have been added to some "must read" lists.
Her impressive career has resulted in more than 30 notable works. "Mine to Hold," which follows a frustrated wife who falls in love with her husband's close friend, is both passionate and touching. "Their Virgin Captive," about three brothers who engage in sensual encounters with the same inexperienced young woman, is an extension of the popular ménage books in the erotica genre.
We had the chance to ask Black about her creative process, her views on damaged heroes and how she has been affected by the rise of erotic romance book sales.
How have you managed to continuously find new ideas for characters and plots?
I find inspiration everywhere in everyday life. Music, news, strangers in crowds, dreams -- I've come up with books based on all of the above. I never know what will set my brain running down the "what if" path, but I try to keep that walkway open all the time. I always have story ideas brewing because of it.
In some of your work, "Mine to Hold" for instance, the hero is incredibly flawed and has to prove he's capable of bestowing true love on the heroine. Why have you chosen to make some of your male characters so emotionally broken?
It's been my experience that all people are flawed to some degree. I don't set out to write "broken" people, just ones who have been through realistic difficulties in their lives. I write the resulting aftermath. For me, the best part of the book is taking these characters who have traumatic backgrounds and have trouble finding themselves and/or finding love because of it and giving them the one person who can help them heal, move on and live full, emotionally rich lives. That gives me a lot of satisfaction as an author.
"Their Virgin Captive" is a far cry from the typical erotic novel. What prompted you to develop such a distinctive story?
Actually, ménage erotic romances are both quite common and popular. I've always been a fan of these books, as has my co-author, Lexi Blake. But, like everything, I wanted to incorporate my own twist. So we've developed this series of books that are ménage eroticabased with classic romance themes, such as a captive bride, a secret baby, etc. We've actually had a ton of fun (and wine) writing these books together!
Did you worry that the book would struggle to find an audience that was open minded?
Not at all! I wasn't sure the book [or the series] would sell quite as well as it has, but I knew all along that a carefully crafted ménage romance would find that core audience who knows that, for some heroines, more than one man may be necessary to complete her. Happily, I was right.
How has your professional life been affected by the recent boom in erotic romance sales?
I'm busy! It's great. My social media is exploding, as is my inbox. I'm doing my best to make the rounds both online and in person this summer and fall to reach out to readers in as many places and ways as I can to let them know how much I appreciate their support. I'm under multiple deadlines all the time now, but I love what I do. I'm super happy!