Today we welcome back Sherry James, the talented author behind the Studs for Hire series. In addition to this funny, sexy series, Sherry is also the author of Cowboy Fling, and her short story “Eight Seconds” appears in the Flavors of Ecstasy, Volume 3 anthology from Ellora’s Cave. We’re going to talk to Sherry about her cowboy books, her love of horses, and the writing projects she’s working on now.
Welcome back, Sherry! It’s wonderful to have you with us again. How about giving our readers a little refresher on who you are and what you write?
It’s great to be back! Thanks for having me. Right now I write romance novels for two publishers, Black Velvet Seductions and Ellora’s Cave. To date I have four books published and will, hopefully, have many more to come! I’m married, have two kids, and muck stalls for my other kids (horses!) on a daily basis. I’m a true country girl and can’t imagine, (well yes I can imagine, but wouldn’t want to) living any other kind of life.
I had such a great time reading your Studs for Hire books and can’t wait to read Cowboy Fling and “Eight Seconds”. What are the challenges of writing for slightly different markets and how do you overcome them?*
Thanks, Cheryl! I appreciate your kind comments! Well, writing for two different markets can be a bit of a challenge, but once you (as a writer) understand what makes them different, it can be fun and refreshing to write for more than one avenue. For Ellora’s Cave my books need to be much hotter and more explicit in not only descriptions, but language as well. For Black Velvet Seductions I’m free to tone down the heat quite a bit. My BVS books are still very sensual, but they aren’t as explicit, and they are humorous. Usually, by the time I’m done with one type of book, I’m ready for something a little different. That’s what makes writing for more than one publisher really nice. Helps in the cash flow department, too!
How has your love for horses inspired your work?
I grew up on the back of a horse, barrel raced and showed, so writing about horses and cowboys is a natural fit. In my younger days, when I didn’t have all the responsibilities of life ;-), I used to hop on my horse and ride all the back roads near my family’s farm. It was great. I’d be gone for hours and I’d use that time to connect with my horse and the surrounding countryside. There’s nothing quite like watching a breathtaking sunset from the back of a good horse! But during those long rides I also made up a lot of stories in my head. I’ve always been a romantic so, naturally those stories featured handsome cowboys and fast horses. At that point I had no clue I’d one day be a writer, but it sure was great training ground for my imagination.
Tell us about Cowboy Fling.
Cowboy Fling is a fun story about twin sisters, Paige and Dorie Holister, who make a bet that if they aren’t both married by their thirtieth birthday, they’ll each set out to experience three of their wildest sexual fantasies in 72 hours. Cowboy Fling is Paige’s story. To fulfill her fantasies, she heads to Wyoming and accidentally lands in the middle of a fight between two cowboys. After the dust settles, she puts her nursing skills to work by patching up handsome cowboy Lane Hart. Paige quickly discovers Lane is the answer to her betting woes and forces herself to step out of her comfort zone by propositioning him. Lane is happy to oblige and the two set out for a weekend of making Paige’s fantasies, and a few of Lane’s, too, come true. But when those 72 hours are up, can they both walk away like they said they would?
What was the most fun part of writing this one?
For me, the fun part about writing any book is creating the sexual tension between my hero and heroine. When I talk about sexual tension, I’m not talking about the sex. I’m talking about the G-rated stuff that leads to the sizzling stuff. Sexual tension is the awareness the characters develop for each other—-noticing the little things, the anticipation, the excitement of the first kiss, the whole falling in love process. As for other fun stuff specific to Cowboy Fling, that was coming up with each sister’s three sexual fantasies. It was also fun to use Cheyenne Frontier Days as a backdrop. And, writing about sexy cowboys is always fun! Have I mentioned I love cowboys?
Cowboy Fling is only available in electronic format. Has that hampered sales any?
No siree! I’ve been very pleased with the sales of Cowboy Fling. I kind of think of that book as the Energizer Bunny. It just keeps selling, and selling, and selling! E-books have been around for quite a few years now, but it hasn’t been until the last five to seven years that they’ve really started to garner a large audience. Ellora’s Cave, I think, deserves a lot of credit for really cracking open the e-market. They were trailblazers in my opinion.
And the advancement of technology in recent years has been amazing. Now that there are some really great electronic reading devices out on the market, like the Amazon Kindle and the Sony e-reader for examples, digital book sales are growing even more, and in my opinion, are going to continue to grow. We definitely live in a technological age. And because of digital, the face of publishing is seeing some major changes right now. It’s an interesting and exciting time.
Let’s move on to the Flavors of Ecstasy, Volume 3 anthology from Ellora’s Cave that features your short story, “Eight Seconds”. What is this story about?
Well, Taylor Westfall is a cowgirl who runs the family ranch. She also happens to moonlight as an erotic romance writer to help keep the ranch in the black. But with no man currently in her life, she’s in need of some inspiration to help her write on the erotic side of romance. Her answer? Her sexy neighbor and Pro Bull Rider, Devlin McCord! When she hears Devlin is coming home for the holidays after winning another PBR Championship, she schemes a plan to convince him to help her out in that inspiration department. To her surprise, no convincing is needed! And trust me, these two quickly forget about the cold, snowy weather raging outside. I hope readers will forget about the recent frigid temperatures, too, as they read "Eight Seconds". I have a feeling you drew on some personal experiences for this one. Care to share some of your time as a rodeo queen?
Sure. But first, let me say "Eight Seconds" is smokin’ hot! The “sizzling” stuff that goes on between Taylor and Devlin is based on ideas I get from picking up an occasional copy of COSMO! All for research purposes, of course. ;-) Trust me, I don’t have the kind of love life my characters do, nothing against my sweet hubby, of course, but I’m pretty laid back. But as for the horse/ranch/rodeo knowledge, yes, I definitely draw upon my personal experiences for my books.
And I loved being a rodeo queen. It was so much fun. I got to travel, meet so many great people, quite a few famous ones, too, and of course, represent Pro Rodeo and my state. And getting to hang around all those sexy cowboys wasn’t so bad, either! What a perk! It took a lot of hard work and dedication to win that title, but so worth it. It was an exciting year and one I will never forget.
When I stopped by your blog recently, it mentioned you had several writing projects in this works. Can you tell us about some of them?
About two months ago I finished a historical novella, The Cowboy and the Hellcat, which I’m hoping will sell soon. Yes, I said historical! I love historicals. In fact, when I first discovered the romance genre when I was a junior in high school, I started out reading historicals. It wasn’t until I started seeing cowboys in contemporary romances that I began reading in that direction as well. But the first book I ever wrote was a historical.
As of this interview, I’m working on revisions for another contemporary cowboy romance which I wrote a while back and my editor at Black Velvet Seductions is waiting to see. Lassoed Heart is written more in the voice of my Studs for Hire books since there is a lot of humor in the book. It’s been great to revisit my characters, Rich and Lynda, and experience all over again their quirky travels down the rodeo road.
Once I’m done with Lassoed Heart, I have to get back to work on the sequel to Cowboy Fling. Yes, Virginia, there is a sequel! I can’t leave readers wondering how Paige’s sister, Dorie, fairs on her side of the sexual fantasy bet, now can I? Believe me. Dorie meets her match in stubborn, hunky cowboy Vin Sheridan. Hopefully, with a little luck, Country Fling will be released some time in 2010.
Where can readers purchase copies of your books?
The Studs for Hire series can be purchased directly through the Black Velvet Seductions web site, www.blackvelvetseductions.com, ordered through your local bookstore, or if you’re an Amazon shopper they are available there in both print and Kindle editions. Cowboy Fling & the Flavors of Ecstasy Vol. III anthology can be purchased through Ellora’s Cave at www.jasmine-jade.com, and Cowboy Fling is now also available at Amazon in a Kindle edition. I’m hoping that you’ll be able to find my EC books at some other online sources as well very soon.
Where can readers find you online if they would like to find out more about you and your work?
I’d like to let my readers know how much I appreciate them. I know that they are investing not only their time, but often their money, when they select one of my books. I hope that the stories I create live up to their expectations and make them laugh, sigh, or drool, and leave them with the feeling that they’d like to visit my characters again!
Thanks for dropping in today, Sherry. We wish you continued success and we hope to see you again soon.
Thanks so much for having me, Cheryl Have a great 2010!
* Since this interview was given, I have reviewed both Cowboy Fling and "Eight Seconds". You can find those reviews here and here.