Q: How long have you been writing?
A: I’ve been writing professionally under the pen name of Shawn Bailey for about a year.
Q: What genre(s) have you published under?
A: At the present time I have currently published under two genres; gay romance and yaoi.
Q: Why did you choose to write under this particular genre(s)?
A: I got asked to include a story in a gay romance anthology, but I agreed even though I’m not gay. So I had to do a lot of research on the subject, which included watching gay films and anime. And then I got hooked. My favorite type of gay romance to write is yaoi. For those of you who don’t know what that is, yaoi is gay romance written by mostly female writers. It’s a big thing in Japan and young women love to read these novels. The heroes are almost always rich or successful men and are known as Semes. The other male, the Uke, is smaller in statue, has a pretty face and has feminine attributes and behaviors. There is usually a set pattern to these stories and play by their own set of rules. I have to admit the best kiss scene I’ve ever seen was in a yaoi anime called Junjo Romantica. The heroes in this anime literally sweep their lovers off their feet.
Q: What is your typical weekday like?
A: My typical day starts at four-thirty. I am a morning person so I have no problem getting out of bed when the alarm goes off. Most of the time I’m up before the alarm rings. I’m usually dressed for work by five-thirty, and then I sit down for a half hour and gather what I need for my current writing project before zooming out of the door to catch a bus. It’s a forty-five minute ride from my house to the bus terminal in Gretna, Louisiana. I either do two things while I’m riding: writing or reading. Most of the time I’m writing and blocking out everyone around me by listening to music. Then there’s another twenty minute wait for my second bus, so I’m also reading or writing. The second bus ride is only ten minutes long, and there’s a fifteen minute walk from that bus stop to my office. My full-time workday begins at eight and ends at four-thirty, and then I’m back on two buses reading and writing. I’m usually home by six in the evening. After cooking dinner, I settle down to check my email, answer fan mail, do some promoting on the Yahoo groups, go on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace to chat with fans and friends, and then I write until around eight. From eight until ten I read manga or watch a movie.
Q: What is a typical weekend like?
A: My weekend is never how I plan it. I still get up at four-thirty in the morning and get dressed just like on the weekdays, but usually in shorts and a t-shirt and not suits. I turn on my laptop the minute I hit the floor. I do most of my typing on the weekend. Fortunately for me that I type over one hundred words a minute…a skill I learned in high school. Saturday is also a big day for administrative work, maybe grocery shopping and doing the laundry. Sometimes my kids think I’m their built in babysitter so I’m usually taking care of kids for eight hours. So in between hopping up and down to cater to the needs of ankle-biters, I’m also writing. Once the kids go home to their parents, I’m back on the laptop doing my social obligations and typing until eight or nine at night.
Q: What do you do to relax?
A: I watch a movie, but that’s getting few and far between. I try to make the most of whatever free time I have to write. Friends and family think I’m just being anti-social. No, I’m just being productive.
Q: How many pen names do you write under? Why?
A. I write under two pen names. I was and am doing well under my original pen name, but someone told me that I would be better accepted for writing gay novels if I used a male persona. I have learned that this is so far from the truth. But I liked the name Shawn and plan to keep it.
Q: Does it ever get confusing writing under different pen names?
A: Sometimes, but I have it under control. As it stands now, both pen names write for about eight publishers. It also makes writing fun. One persona is a cougar who loves Korean pop-singers; she’s opinionated, very independent and writes paranormal, interracial, multicultural, horror, historical and erotic romance. The second persona is a gender bender. She writes gay and yaoi romance. She likes to watch gay movies and anime. They share some of the same fans and often talk to each other via Facebook and Twitter. Both review books, movies and videos.
Q: What is your favorite thing about the writing process?
A: My favorite thing about writing is taking an idea and turning it into a novel.
Q: What is you least favorite thing about the writing process?
A: Editing. Believe me, ninety-nine percent of writers will tell you the same thing. It would make life easier if all publishing companies had the same guidelines and editing preferences. What works for one publisher does not work for another. I’m usually very easy to work with and I don’t mind constructive criticism. On the flip side, I have learned a lot from editors and respect the hard work and long hours they put in to make my book a success.
Q: What types of books do you like to read?
A: I’m a big paranormal romance reader. I’m a big fan of Laurell Hamilton and Charlain Harris. Right now I’m all into reading yaoi novels. Unfortunately there aren’t very many transcribed into English yet. I also read a lot of manga.
Q: Are you considering writing in any other genre?
A: I might try Young Adult and Fantasy next year.
Q: What is your idea of perfect hero?
A: I don’t think there is a perfect hero. I like my guys to have a few quirks. It makes them more human. But I like him to be manly and to take charge.
Q: What can we expect from you in the future?
A: I’m working on a couple of series books, so at the moment I’m world-building. So expect more zany loveable characters who will keep you turning the pages of my upcoming books.
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