Today I have the honor of bringing to you author Stephanie Tyler. Stephanie is a New York Times bestselling author that writes what she loves to read – romantic suspense with military heroes – for Bantam Dell. She lives in New York with her husband, her daughter, her son, and her Weimaraner. She also writes paranormal erotic romance for Bantam Dell with Larissa Ione under the pen-name Sydney Croft. Stephanie tells me that she has the best job in the world! Please help me welcome Stephanie to That’s What I’m Talking About.
Twimom: Steph, welcome and thank you for stopping by.
Stephanie: Thank you for inviting me here today.
Twimom: How long have you been writing and how did you start? What are your inspirations?
Stephanie: I feel like I’ve been writing forever, but I didn’t start writing romance until my daughter was born with some serious medical problems, so about nine years ago. At the time, I was teaching, and it didn’t look like I’d be going back, as she needed full-time care. Writing was a way for me to escape from the stress while still being with her – and I’d started reading romance novels while she was in the hospital, as my usual fare of straight thrillers and literary fiction was just a little too real at the time. I needed happy endings. And as I read, I thought, I can do this…I want to write this. And everything fell into place. What I’d been writing before – poetry, short stories, etc., were just not as satisfying as writing what I’m writing now. So it’s definitely more than a little bittersweet for me – I don’t think I would be writing as my full-time job if Lily hadn’t been sick and didn’t have continuing special needs.
My inspirations come from anywhere and everywhere – people, reading, TV, etc. My characters are always sort of arriving in my head. I keep a notebook with me at all times and I’m usually writing at least three books at once.
Twimom: Goodness, I hope you daughter is healthy, but it’s a wonderful story-thank you for sharing. I notice that your stories involve mostly strong, type-A military men… Were you in the military? A family history? What is the attraction? (other than the obvious: Hot, sexy men!)
Stephanie: My grandfather was in the Navy and I have a lot of friends who’ve served. There’s just something so sexy about a military hero – a man who’s trained to serve and protect, as you mention. Plus, I just really like alpha men – being a strong woman myself, I need that strong man. And the thing is too, like I mentioned above, my characters come to me pretty well formed – and these military men character kept tugging, whispering in my ear…they come to me military heroes and I just tell their stories.
Twimom: Excellent. I have to admit, I have my own ex-military man of my own! *grins* Can you tell my readers about your plans for your upcoming Shadow Force series? (Book #1: Lie With Me comes out October 26 and Book #2: Promises in the Dark comes out in November 2010)
Stephanie: Right now, I just finished the third book – IN THE AIR TONIGHT (Aug 2011) and started the fourth in the series (NIGHT MOVES / OCT 2011), and I have plans for at least two more…still military romantic suspense, still a group of hot alpha guys ready and willing to save the world – and the women who love them. These men walk a fine line between right and wrong in order to do so, and as they begin to work on their own, they have to monitor that for themselves…how far they’re willing to go for the greater good.
Twimom: Sounds wonderful! I have to admit that after reading the first book in the series, I love that “fine line between right and wrong.” It makes your heroes more complex and exciting! Do you write any other genres?
Stephanie: I co-write paranormal erotic romance with Larissa Ione as Sydney Croft. And I guess at least one of my Blazes would be considered straight contemporary romance (Coming Undone.)
Twimom: My blog followers know that I am a HUGE fan of your alter-ego, Sydney Croft’s ACRO series… Can you give me a hint about the upcoming (and final – BOO HOO) story, Taken by Fire?
Stephanie: The book was so much fun to write because we brought in everyone – so you’ll get to see all the ACRO characters you know and love, and get updates on them! And I really think it’s a satisfying conclusion to the ACRO series. We’d always planned for a six-book arc, so we’ve been working toward this ending since book 1. All I can say is that Stryker is the hero…and his heroine is Phoebe. And Melanie. (No, you can’t bribe me with chocolate…well, wait, what kind?)
Twimom: *Jumps for joy* I’m already salivating – especially after seeing the cover! Can you tell me a little more about your other books?
Stephanie: My Hold trilogy features three brothers who are Navy SEALs. My Blaze trilogy features a SEAL team as well – they were some of my first published books and I learned so much from writing for Blaze. I get lots of letters asking if I’m going to continue that series. I have an open invitation to do so, but finding the time is the problem – but, in publishing, that’s a good problem to have. You always want to have deadlines, because that means you have work!
Twimom: I always like to ask authors about their reading habits… What is the best book you’ve read in 2010? What types of books do you enjoy reading?
Stephanie: I’ll start with the types of books I enjoy – romance for sure, mostly romantic suspense, erotica and some paranormal (I just started Gena Showalter’s Lord of the Underworld series and I’m really liking) I also read a lot of biographies and non-fiction. I go back to some literary fiction every now and again as well, and poetry, too.
For the best book I’ve read in 2010 – that’s a tough one. OMG – how can I answer that?! Can I tell you the book I recommend to everyone instead? It’s called The Dirt – the true story behind Motley Crue, as told by the band themselves. You don’t have to like the group per se – but this is such an amazing look at a rock band – if you love music, this is the best book on what goes on behind the scenes in rock bands – hands down. It’s funny and tragic and so truthful – give it a try. Because, hi, rock stars and tattoos – that’s right up there with the military man hotness.
Twimom: Oh, that Motley Crue book does sound interesting. And I love that you are trying out Gena’s Lords of the Underworld. I adore that series (and dedicated a whole week to it earlier this year!) What upcoming release are you most excited to read?
Stephanie: Probably JR Ward’s newest – I love her writing!
Twimom: Steph, once again thank you so much for taking the time to tell my readers a little bit about yourself and your writing. It was wonderful chatting with you.
Stephanie: Thanks, Jen. It was fun being here.
Readers: You can find Stephanie on line at
AND be sure to stop by tomorrow when I have my review of Stephanie’s upcoming Lie With Me, the first book in her new Shadow Force Series.
Also stop by for a Sneak Peek of Lie With Me on this week’s Sunday Snippets (10/24/2010).