Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Hi, Fiona. I’m happy to be here.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
My name is A. J. Steele and I am the pen name for erotic romance author Julie Shelton. She’s 74, but I’m in my mid-30’s.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Since I am a figment of someone’s imagination, I can be from anywhere, so I think I’ll choose England. I’m a true Anglophile. Julie Shelton, on the other hand, is from Connecticut, lol.
Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e., your education, family life, etc.).
I have a Master’s Degree in Library Science and after being a children’s librarian for 8 years, I became a professional storyteller/puppeteer for 33 years. I went from there to writing hot, sexy, erotic romances. I’m widowed and share a house with another woman. Although childless myself, I have a brother and a sister, two nieces, two nephews, three great-nieces, and one great-nephew.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I (as Julie Shelton) just released my 15th book, Master of Blackmoor, an erotic Gothic Regencyromance. It. Is. Hot.And dark. And mysterious. It’s my second historical, the other one being Dark Warrior, an erotic Medieval Menage set in the 14th century.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I wrote my first play at age 9. “Fairies in the Garden.” It featured music, dialogue, ballet, and, of course, sparkly costumes and magic wands. It expanded from there.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Even though I’ve been writing all my life, and had published a monthly language arts newsletter for early childhood educators and a resource book on using puppets in the classroom, it wasn’t until my first novel was published at the end of 2012 that I actually felt I was a writer. I had sent manuscripts to publishers over the years, but had always been rejected until I wrote Loving Sarah and sent it to SirenBookstrand publishers. They accepted it and my next three books as well. I have self-published an additional eleven books since then, both under the name Julie Shelton and, more recently, A. J. Steele
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
While all the books I write as Julie Shelton are long, I decided I wanted to try my hand at writing super-sexy, super-short books. I chose a pen name, A. J. Steele, for these books, hoping to establish a reputation associating that name with smoking hot short, short books. The first story I wrote, Taken in Her Office, was perfect for a serial, so I chose the series name Mastering the Professor. There are 5 books so far, I’m working on books 6 and 7 right now and hope to release them, along with a boxed set of all 7 books, by the end of summer.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I brainstormed with my beta readers and decided that the hero would be a billionaire businessman and the heroine would be a professor of advanced calculus at the local university. Each book would feature a different location where the hero has BDSM sex with the heroine and the unique challenges each of those locations present. The common thread throughout all seven books is how the hero and heroine each deal with their growing feelings for the other, since the original premise set out by the hero was that this was to be strictly sex, no awkward emotional entanglements. Yeah, good luck with that.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I tend to be an emotional storyteller, so writing love stories is something I feel I am particularly suited for. The most challenging part of my genre, BDSM Erotic Romance, is finding new ways to describe what is basically the same act over and over—sex—and keep it fresh and exciting.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I’d say at least 75%of what I write is based on events and people in my own life, the rest is a combination of everything I’ve ever read, seen, done, or heard, plus a hefty dose of research and imagination.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I don’t HAVE to travel, although I love doing it.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The covers of my serial, Mastering the Professor, are designed by LaLima Designs and myself. While she supplies the main image featured on each cover, I have picked the floral backgrounds used on all but the first book.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That love comes in many forms. And that sex is fabulous. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a hot, steamy romp.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I don’t know about new authors, but there are quite a few old ones whom I admire. Probably my favorite writer of BDSM erotic romance is Cherise Sinclair. But there’s also Maya Banks, Lora Leigh, Beth Kery, Hannah Ford, Sierra Cartwright, Shayla Black, the list is endless. Their characters are believable and the emotions are deep and real.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
No one, really. Everyone seemed to think it was a nice little hobby.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
No. Writing is something I just have to do. Besides, at age 74, I no longer think in terms of “career”.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I wouldn’t change a thing in any of my books.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Since my most recent book, Master of Blackmoor, released one month ago under my real name, Julie Shelton, is set in the Regency era, I learned a great deal about funerals, food, manners, clothing, traveling by coach, Scottish wedding ceremonies, vocabulary, and the running of a grand estate.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
For the A. J. Steele Mastering the Professor books, I would like Jill Flint to play the heroine, Emma Burke, and I envision Aaron Eckhart as the hero, Gage Rutherford, except he’d have to die his hair black and wear green contact lenses
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Sit down and start typing. Don’t worry about whether it’s good or not. Just type what you’re thinking—a scene, a description, a bit of dialogue. Then expand on it. Brainstorm ideas with a friend or friends, but do it in Messages so you can copy and paste the entire session into a Word doc. That way you’ll have it and you can pick and choose ideas to expand on.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I love my readers. I am thrilled that they love my books. I appreciate every review and recommendation to their friends. They are what keeps me writing.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m not reading anything at the moment. Too busy promoting Master of Blackmoor, writing Book Six of A. J. Steele’s Mastering the Professor, and getting the five manuscripts of The Doms of Passion Lake ready to publish on all the other retailers besides Amazon and in all the other formats besides kindle. That is a huge, time-consuming project. Plus I am in the middle of a course in book marketing, so I’m pretty busy.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Dick and Jane.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Jeff Dunham (ventriloquist), Neil DeGrasse Tyson (astrophysicist), lots of comedians, Mad Magazine, Jack Benny, screwball comedies. What makes me cry? Sad movies, animals being abused—I can’t watch those commercials. Sad books, beautiful music, singing The Star-Spangled Banner, gorgeous scenery.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. They are two of the bravest, most compelling women in history.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I design jewelry and decorate boxes and books with any of all of the following: beads, antique luxury fabrics, lace, yarns, polymer clay, handmade papers, trims, and found objects.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Lately I’ve enjoyed watching The Curse of Oak Island, Hunting Hitler, Scientology: the Aftermath with Leah Rimini, Who Do you Think You Are?, Ancient Aliens. I try not to get hooked on drama series, because TV watching take up so much time. When I’m writing, I like to have the TV on in the background—playing old reruns of Law & Order or tennis. Or I’m listening to music—either classical or movie soundtracks. I can’t play songs because I tend to want to listen to them and sing along, so anything with words is too distracting.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Favorite foods: steak and baked potato, lasagna, pistachio ice cream
Favorite color; purple
Favorite music: classical, movie soundtracks, 80’s rock, some country/pop/crossover, Some current hits
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Read and craft.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Nothing. I refuse to take up valuable real estate or put anyone to the expense of having to buy a slab of rock. I am going to be cremated.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Visit Julie Shelton and A. J. Steele’s website at www.dominantdeliciousnesss.com. Sign up for the monthly newsletter, which discusses all the things going on in my writing world. My other Julie Shelton links are:
Facebook Fan Page: on.fb.me/19nGsh2
Amazon author page: amzn.to/IEAADL
Facebook Group: http://bit.ly/1EWkPRa
A J Steele’s author page: https://www.amazon.com/A.-J.-Steele/e/B0713YDPDH/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1498447376&sr=1-2-ent
A J Steele’s Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/Mastering-the-Professor-203790510021787/
BUY LINKS FOR LOVING SARAH
Amazon Global Link:getBook.at/LovingSarah
Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/1bv0Pmt
BUY LINKS FOR OWNING SARAH
Amazon Global Link: getBook.at/OwningSarah
Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/18AOP2T
BUY LINKS FOR KEEPING SARAH
Amazon Global Link: getBook.at/KeepingSarah
Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/1AHVLc0
GLOBAL LINKS FOR THE ALPHA CHRONICLES
BUY LINKS FOR DARK WARRIOR
Amazon Global Link: getBook.at/DarkWarrior
Barnes & Noble: bit.ly/1g5FqIO
BUY LINKS FOR PASSION’S DREAM
Amazon Global Link: getBook.at/PassionsDream
Paperback Link: https://www.createspace.com/6589329
BUY LINKS FOR PASSION’S FURY
Amazon Global Link: getBook.at/PassionsFury
Paperback Link: https://www.createspace.com/6589487
BUY LINKS FOR PASSION’S HOPE
Amazon Global Link: getBook.at/PassionsHope
Paperback Link: https://www.createspace.com/6589500
BUY LINKS FOR PASSION’S TRIUMPH
Amazon Global Link: getBook.at/PassionsTriumph
Paperback Link: https://www.createspace.com/6589507
BUY LINKS FOR PASSION’S MAGIC
Amazon Global Link: getBook.at/PassionsMagic
Paperback Link: https://www.createspace.com/6589545
BUY LINKS FOR MASTER OF BLACKMOOR
BUY LINKS FOR TAKEN IN HER OFFICE,
MASTERING THE PROFESSOR, BOOK ONE
BUY LINKS FOR TAKEN ON THE DINNER TABLE,
MASTERING THE PROFESSOR, BOOK TWO
BUY LINKS FOR TRAINING TO BE TAKEN,
MASTERING THE PROFESSOR, BOOK THREE
BUY LINKS FOR TAKEN TO THE EDGE,
MASTERING THE PROFESSOR, BOOK FOUR
BUY LINKS FOR TAKEN IN PUBLIC,
MASTERING THE PROFESSOR, BOOK FIVE
From fairies in the garden at age 9 to handcuffs in the boudoir at age 60, Julie’s writing has run the gamut. In between she managed to graduate cum laude with a B.A. in French from Georgia State University followed by a Master’s Degree in Library Science from Emory University. Having thus procured these two necessary, but ultimately irrelevant pieces of paper, she launched a successful career as a children’s librarian, followed by an even more successful career as a professional storyteller and puppeteer. She published Kidstuff, an award-winning, monthly newsletter, as well as a book, Puppets, Poems and Songs, both major language arts resource for early childhood educators.
At various points in her life, if asked what she would like to be, her answer would have been (in rough chronological order, since some of these lofty ambitions overlapped): a fairy, a princess, a ballerina, Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, a paleontologist, Scarlett O’Hara, thin and beautiful, an actress, and a writer. Now, at age 74, her answer to that question would most likely be, “younger”.
Followed closely, of course by bestselling author. Oh, and a princess. Some dreams die hard.
Now retired, Julie lives in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia.