Thursday, November 19, 2009

An Interview with Patti Shenberger

Today I’m here with the lovely Patti Shenberger. Help me in welcoming her to XtraOrdinary Romance.

Patti, it’s great to have you here!

At what age did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I think I was 5 or 6 years old. As far back as I can remember, I have loved to write. Even in kindergarten we created books about what we did over the weekend, complete with drawn pictures. I think my mom still has them somewhere.

What has been your biggest influence on becoming a writer?

My biggest influence to date is Jude Deveraux. I have read every book Jude has ever written. I love her style of writing and how she can create a family tree that goes on for generation after generation. But that being said, it was author Shelly Thacker who got me into RWA and my local chapter, GDRWA (Greater Detroit RWA). Without all of the above, I doubt I would have ever made my first sale on my own.

How did you feel when you got your first publishing contract?

I was over the moon excited. The email came on my birthday in 1998. I had sold to Hard Shell Word Factory (now Mundania). It really makes you feel validated when you make that first sale.

How many novellas/novels have you published to date? When did you have your first sale?

I have published three novels, seven short stories, four novellas with 10 more of The Zodiac Club on the way, and twelve more co-authored novellas with Stephani Hecht, the first to be released Oct 31st. And numerous nonfiction magazine length pieces as well. My very first sale was back in October of 1998. I sold to Hard Shell Word Factory my contemporary novel Womb For Rent. But my first nonfiction sale came in 1997 to The Friend with an article on children’s crafts entitled Potato Jewelry. (G)

Tell me about your latest release. Please include if it is part of a series or a standalone book.

My latest release is Candid Seductions, which came out October 15th from eXtasy Books. It is book two in The Zodiac Club series. Taylor Caldwell is a photographer who has been given the assignment to photograph one of the richest bachelors in town. She finds herself very attracted to him, but being burned in the past isn’t willing to risk it all again. Yes Rick Rossman knows exactly what he wants and Taylor is caught directly in the high beams.

What was your inspiration for this book?

I love reading my horoscope each day, and I thought it would be great fun to write a series where each heroine’s characteristics are based on her astrological sign. And of course the hero is the exact opposite of every heroine, making for more fun.

How do you categorize yourself: pantser or plotter?

I am definitely a pantser. While I can write a synopsis first, it doesn’t mean I actually follow it (Darn, did I say that out loud!) I follow it to a certain degree, then after the book is written I go back and update the synopsis.

How do you handle the editing/revision process?

I edit as I go. I write about 4-6 pages a day on average, then at night go back and edit what I have written. This way I can start the next day with a fresh slate. After the book is totally finished, I go through it again for clarity, typos, punctuation and grammar.

You’re received some fantastic do you feel about them and why?

Thank you. I really like reading the reviews, whether they are good or bad. It is a treat to find someone picked up the book, read it and enjoyed it. And when you get a fabulous review I think (for me at least) makes me want to make the next book even better so the reader keeps coming back for more. Bad reviews are good in their own way too. They tell the author what needs to be worked on, where they slipped up.

Did anything odd happen while you were researching this story?

Not this book, no. But things have happened to me when I’ve been writing my paranormals. I’ve always been open to the paranormal world and lately have had a few ‘visit’s from ghosts. But never when I am writing the contemporaries, or the erotics.

Did you do anything special after that first sale?

The next day I headed out to Tennessee to present a workshop at the Smoky Mountain Romance Writers. At the initial meet and greet, I said who I was and that I had just sold my first book. A really nice woman came up to me, hugged me, congratulated me, and asked more about it. I told her and then realized I had no clue who she was. Turns out she was Brenda Chin of Harlequin Blaze. She even offered to have me pitch to her and I had nothing!!!! But she was and is a fascinating editor and anyone who gets in with editor as their editor is a very lucky person.

If you could take the place with one character in your books, who would it be and why?

It would definitely be a toss-up between Meg in The Captain’s Wench and Devin in The Laird’s Lady. Both are my paranormals. Captain’s is set in New England along the lines of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. The Laird’s Lady is set in Scotland in a castle. I would love the chance to interact on a daily basis with a handsome ghost who wants to love me. Who wouldn’t?

If you could spend the day with anyone in the world who is famous, who would it be? Why did you choose them and what would you do?

I would ask to spend the day with Jude Deveraux. To learn how she does it and for all these years would be amazing. She is a master storyteller in my opinion.

What is your typical writing routine? Do you count words, pages or time?

Typical writing routine is I write 9-3 M, T, W Sa, Su. My hubby works retail and is off Th and Fr and I always reserve those days for him. That being said, I can be found back at the computer at night after supper while he watches sports. I count words, as opposed to pages. Kresley Cole has a great Excel spreadsheet that you plug in all your information and it keeps track of how you are doing each day you write.

What writers groups do you belong to? Critique groups?

I belong to the Romance Writers of America and to my local chapter Greater Detroit RWA. I also belong to the From The Heart Romance Writers. And I am active on the eXtasy, Devine Destinies, Noble Romance, Wild Rose Press loops as well. I don’t belong to any critique groups at present.

Where do you see your career in five years? Ten years?

I would love to see myself as a New York Times Bestselling author in five years. (G) I think that is everyone’s goal. But I would be very happy just to still be creating passionate tales of love and happily ever after’s too.

What’s your biggest reward in being a writer?

Having someone say they loved what I wrote! There’s nothing better.

Do you have another career besides writing? What is it?

I am a wife of 27 years, mother of a 26 yr old daughter(mile and a half away) and 24 yr old son (Army in Iraq right now) and a 14 yr old Shepherd golden and 3 yr old gray cat (courtesy of the daughter – both animals)

Patti’s BIO:    Patti has been writing since she could put pen to paper, creating many magical journeys in her mind and letting them spill onto paper. She found her creative outlet in high school when she took a creative writing class and fell in love with the craft. Since that time, Patti has sold numerous fiction and non-fiction length articles to various magazines such as Affiare de Coeur, Romantic Times, Women's Weekly, Natural Touch,, Metro Parent, Long Island Woman and other publications.

She is also published in romantic fiction. Her first sale was to Hard Shell Word Factory with Womb For Rent, a contemporary romance. She followed this with three sales in 2007 to The Wild Rose Press. They are A Miracle Through Time, Take No Prisoners, and The Laird's Lady. In 2008, she sold The Captain's Wench to Devine Destinies, an imprint of eXtasy Books. Patti loves to write romance, whether it be contemporary, paranormal, or historical. If there's a love story to be told, she'll tell it!

Married to her wonderful hubby Randy for over a quarter of a century (she was a child bride (G)), with two grown children Amanda and Brian, (who have yet to read a word of what their mother has written, especially if there's a love scene in it), Patti can be found most days sitting at the computer with her senior dog Cassie and the newest four legged member of the family, Ace the annoying feline snoring at her feet.

Patti is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Greater Detroit RWA (which she currently serves as President and Booksellers Best Award Chair),, the Greater Seattle RWA, and From The Heart Romance Writers.. She also participates in many online chat groups.

Where can readers find out more about you and your work? 

Readers can find out all about me on my website:

and also on the (I blog here on Wednesdays)   (and here on Sundays).

Thanks Lynn!

You are very welcome, Patti, and thanks for taking part in my 2 for Thursday promotion. I really enjoyed having you here!



  1. Hi Patti,
    It's a pleasure to meet you...I thoroughly enjoyed reading your interview...and am looking forward to exploring your backlist of works.

    Happy Reading
    Anna Shah Hoque

  2. I enjoyed the interview and look forward in reading your works, Patti.

    Tracey D