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SHAWNTELLE MADISON, AUTHOR OF COVETED, EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

OBS is so thrilled to be able to post our interview with Shawntelle Madison, author of Coveted (and the upcoming Kept). Shawntelle shares with us her love for the genre and how she brought Nat, a werewolf with OCD, to life.

What is the first urban fantasy novel that drew you into the genre?

Wow, I’ll have to dig deep into the memory banks for that one. I’ll read any genre–but the book that comes mind are those by Patricia Briggs. I love her Mercy Thompson series.

You’re a web developer, which to me strikes me as someone who is logical and analytical and about as far away from urban fantasy author as you can get. How or why did you start writing?

I wrote stories in high school, long before I dived head first into computer nerd land, but I guess I have a creative side and an analytical one. When it comes to writing, I first have to plan. I need a set path of where the story will go or my creative side diverges from the plan. As to the time I began writing, I started up again in 2008 after a friend mentioned she planned to start writing after a hiatus as well.

When I read the blurb and then reviews for your book, I had such a “d’oh” moment about Natalya suffering from OCD: what a simple and very human characteristic to give her. I couldn’t remember seeing an urban fantasy character have such a human characteristic. What made you decide to go this way with her?

Having a werewolf with OCD created a lot of conflict. Here you have the human who has the obsessive compulsive disorder and on the other side is the werewolf part of her that wants to be free and impulsive.

What sort of research did you do to portray her dealing with having OCD?

The entire idea came from reading a medical journal on OCD. It included a description of the disorder, treatment plans, and medications taken by patients. From there I did additional research as needed on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and more.

What was the hardest and easiest part about writing the book?

The easiest part for me is editing a completed book. The hardest part is sitting down and writing the book in the first place. Especially on days when I have a headache or my family and work distracts me. The list is never-ending! I think I’ve used every excuse in the book not to write. But, thankfully, when I get into a book I write like the wind.

Was Natalya a werewolf or suffering OCD first in your mind? What was it about writing a werewolf with OCD that grabbed you rather than any other supernatural creature in the same position?

The OCD came first since I saw the article mentioned above. Then the what-if question included a werewolf.

Can you tell us a little about how Nat’s world came to life for you? what is the process of world-building like?

Like I mentioned earlier, the character came to me first. After that, I developed a conflict for her to face. From there, she needed a goal and a motivator to reach that goal. Once I had those pieces of the puzzle nailed down, I began to write. For me, the characters and the settings flow out as the story unfolds. Each character has their story, events in their past that has shaped who they are. Their experiences in turn influence my heroine. As an example, in the story, Nat’s brother loves to have his pick of the ladies. His behavior comes back to haunt him in the story. This opens the book to more characters and thus the universe for Coveted grows.

I love secondary characters! They keep things lively and introduce interesting problems for the heroine to face.

Kept is the second and final book in the Series featuring Nat: can you tell readers a little of her growth and journey from Coveted to Kept?

Nat is an imperfect heroine. She isn’t kick-butt, and even at the end of Kept, readers shouldn’t expect her to be. But she will undergo change in a way that makes her stronger than she was before. She’ll have to make important decisions about her place in the pack, her relationship with her family, and the men in her life.

Are there any other creatures you would like to write about?

I just love shapeshifters, mermaids, and fairies. I might want to write about one of those.

Which brings me to my oh-so-subtle next question

Is there a new series on the horizon for you after Nat’s story?

I have an idea or two cooking in the pot. Hopefully I’ll be able to announce them someday.

Which authors bring out your inner fan?

I’ve gone fan girl for Marjorie M. Liu and Charlaine Harris. It was so wonderful to meet them in person. (Yes, I hoped I didn’t embarrass myself.)

Shawntelle, thank you for a wonderful interview!