Welcoming fellow Jupiter Gardens Press author Shauna Aura Knight today. Thanks for stopping by!
When and why did you start writing romance?
You might laugh. I wrote my first novel when I was 12, and I think I started writing my first romance when I was about 14. I started sneaking and reading my mom’s romance novels at that age, and my stories just seemed to make so much more sense with a romantic component.
I should point out that I was 13 going on 30—I was generally more mature than my peers. I was actually running a small business at that age making artwork and crafts and selling them to save up for a sword at the Renaissance Faire. Now, I should also point out that those first stories really sucked. But, I hear that there’s a piece of wisdom that you have to write a million words of crap, so I like to think that I got that out of the way!
As I wrote more, whether that was epic and urban fantasy with a romantic component, or actual Paranormal romances, the stories just always made more sense to me with sexual tension.
What’s the strangest thing that’s inspired one of your stories?
Most of my stories are inspired by dreams, so I have a lot of weird ideas, but probably the strangest story idea is encapsulated by this working title: “Cowboy Templars in Space with a Priestess.” I think that’s about as close to a western as I’ll ever get.
Have you ever based a character on someone you know? If so, did you tell them? If not, is there someone in your life you’d like to base a character on?
Sometimes I take pieces of myself, and pieces of other people I know, and stitch those together to make a character more realistic. I never base an entire character off of one person, unless it’s a really brief sketch of someone that isn’t really a core part of the story.
For instance, a character might be thinking about a bad situation in her past with an ex, and often that’s something I’ve been through, or something a friend of mine has been through. Often it falls into the category of, “crap I couldn’t make up if I tried.” I’ve taken inspiration from the character Chaucer in the movie A Knight’s Tale. Chaucer says something to some bad guys about how he really gets the best vengeance because he will eviscerate and immortalize them in his fiction.
Other times, I just borrow certain harmless quirks from different people I’ve observed. For instance, if I’m ever describing nailpolish, heels, or anything excessively girly, that’s probably something I had to either observe in someone else or do research and ask.
Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it? If not, do people in your “real life” know that you write romance?
Sort of. I’m very public about all the writing that I do. Shauna Aura is my first and middle name (my parents were total hippies), Knight is a last name that I took for myself when I started traveling and teaching leadership, facilitation, and personal growth work in the metaphysical/Pagan/spiritual seeking communities. Knight is less of a pen name and more of a chosen name.
At present, I have no plans to take a separate pen name. I write my fiction, as well as my nonfiction, under the same name. I chose “Knight” because I have spent most of my life inspired by myths like the Grail quest. Also, I teach leadership, and the word Knight originally meant, “to serve,” and I believe that leadership is service. It’s evocative of myth and heroes and the worlds of our imagination, which is exactly what I’m going for with my fiction.
Tell us about your latest book.
Ellie moves to a spiritual retreat center tries to figure out her life while doing a lot of labor out in the woods. She has a huge crush on Kyle and Jake, who run the catering kitchen. As it turns out they’ve been holding back from seducing her in part because they are werewolves. I bet them being werewolves won’t come as a surprise, given the title is Werewolves in the Kitchen! When all three of them end up in bed together it’s scorchingly hot, but there are some unintended consequences.
While Ellie tries to wrap her brain around both the threesome, and them being werewolves, Jake, and Kyle tart to go a little hormonally mad as the shapeshifter magic links all three of their libidos together. The only way to help Ellie answer her questions is to invite another human/werewolf mated pair to the SpiralStone retreat center, but that puts Jake and Kyle in danger from a pack of werewolves that are out for their blood.
Is there a plot you’ve always wanted to write but haven’t been able to yet?
I have dozens and dozens of stories that I have started writing but haven’t finished because I’m just not able to figure out part of the story. Usually I have a great idea for the middle of the story, but then I don’t know either how they got there, or, where it’s going. Sometimes I just have to wait for the bolt of lightning that lets me know what the story is really about so I can go from there.
What books do you have available now (title and publisher)?
Werewolves in the Kitchen, Jupiter Gardens Press, and A Winter Knight’s Vigil, Pagan Writers Press. I also have a few nonfiction books available.
What books do you have coming soon?
I have two novellas coming out in the next months. A Fading Amaranth is a Paranormal/Vampire Romance; at least part of the book will be available as a free download. Alexandra’s psychic abilities make it impossible for her to be in a relationship until she meets Nathaniel, a vampire who has lost his muse. They accidentally end up helping some local mages stalk a Faerie monster so there’s a mixture of spice and adventure.
Another is an Urban Fantasy The White Dress, the Autumn Leaves. Jack and Meredith fall in love at a festival, but Meredith has dreamed her own death.
Other longer works that I’m finishing up include two Paranormal Romances. In A Golden Heart of Glass, Angel begins working with the goddess Aphrodite and is then surprised when that magic begins to fill her with desire, as well as attract the monsters that hide in the alleys. In Twelve Drops of Blood, a young woman and a 4,000 year old vampire work to solve one of the riddles of the Grail Quest before a Cabal of half-human monsters can capture them.
How do you come up with the ideas for your stories?
Most of my story ideas come from dreams. The story for Werewolves in the Kitchen came while I was doing laundry while working at a retreat center similar to the one described in the book. It was really lonely work, and my mind wandered a lot. I wondered, what if there were three lonely people here…and off my brain went with the story.
What genre are most of your stories? Why did you choose that genre?
My work always has some kind of fantasy component. Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopian. If there aren’t swordfights, spaceships, or magical duels, I’m generally not interested in watching the movie or reading the book, and it’s the same with my own writing. I don’t know what it is, but big epic battles, people with magic powers, chthonic creatures, vampires, werewolves, spaceships…all that stuff has always inspired me.
Jake turned the shower on while Kyle kissed her senseless. Ellie threaded her fingers into Kyle’s short blond curls, and suddenly Jake was behind her, untying her shorts. Kyle drew her top up, and she could feel Jake’s bare chest against her back.
She was just in her bra and panties when Kyle released her to pop the button on his jeans. Then he kissed her again, nipping his way down her body.
Jake made an appreciative noise from behind her, and she turned her head. He kissed her, grinding his hips against her buttocks. Distracted by Jake kissing her, she gasped when Kyle brushed his fingers over her mound, rubbing her through her panties. He nipped at her hip, and she felt him dragging her underwear down. She tugged him up and kissed him.
“Shower first,” she murmured.
Kyle grinned, placing her hands on the waistband of his jeans to tug them off. Her jaw dropped just a little as his length sprung out. “Oh my,” she whispered.
He drew her to him and into the steaming shower, kissing her. Jake closed the glass shower door behind him; it was just big enough for three. She took them both in before they drew closer.
Jake tipped her head back into the water to wet it before he began lathering up her hair, his fingers massaging her scalp as she blissed out.
Kyle grabbed a washcloth and washed her from shoulders to feet until she shivered. Ellie blushed and protested when his fingers slipped between her folds until she moaned. Jake claimed her lips as Kyle began to circle her pearl where she was slick with arousal. “So wet, baby.”
Jake slid his hands over her body, down to her buttocks, lathering up her back with body wash as Kyle drove two fingers into her pussy.
She cried out into Jake’s mouth at the sensation. She’d never been kissed like this before—the hot water falling on them, Jake’s tongue lapping at her lips even as Kyle was pleasuring her where she’d been swollen and hot for them for so long.
Ellie moaned, thrusting down onto Kyle’s fingers. How many times had she blushed, fantasizing about them doing this to her? She was already on the edge of orgasm from the thrill of having them both totally focused on her pleasure and so many days without release.
Kyle circling her pearl had her gasping for breath against Jake’s lips. “That’s it,” he murmured, stroking in and out.
Their touches finally drove her over the edge. Ellie cried out, bucking, and they had to hold her up as her knees gave. Jake kissed her, and then Kyle kissed her, and she threaded her fingers through both their hair while they murmured sweet things, petting her.
“Feel a little better?” Kyle asked, and she blushed.
“I’ll take that as a yes,” Jake grinned.
She panted, knowing the two of them were not done with her yet.
To buy Werewolves in the Kitchen:
Jupiter Gardens Press: http://jupitergardenspress.com/shop/werewolves-in-the-kitchen