Tuesday, January 29, 2013

FIRST LOVE BLOG HOP: Contemporary Romance Author, Shelley Lieber/Elyse Grant

Shelley Lieber, Author
Under pen name Elyse Grant
Welcome contemporary romance author Shelley Lieber, er, or is it Elyse Grant. We are privileged today to get double—maybe even triple—the author.  Shelley Lieber describes herself as an author with a split personality. Her alter ego Elyse Grant seized control of her writing one day and produced THE PRINCE CHARMING HOAX, described by one reviewer as “sexy and exciting while also exploring the everyday problems most women are dealing with.” As a publishing consultant, Shelley Lieber has published 4Ps to Publishing Success and Publishing Made Easy & Profitable.  She also blogs about vegan food and what it’s like being a vegan.

Shelley lives in North Carolina with her husband and her other personalities. They all like to read romance, comedy, drama, and documentaries, and spend time with friends. Also, they have a Muse and they all love her.

Don't miss the excerpt following the interview.

Click the link at the end of this article to check out the First Love Blog Hop and learn about other participating authors and how to win a Kindle and many more prizes.

Q: Given that you are split personalities, I feel compelled to address questions to each of you.  Let’s start with Elyse. What inspired you to write THE PRINCE CHARMING HOAX (I love that title)? 

Elyse Grant: (Thank you ;-) THE PRINCE CHARMING HOAX began life as a nonfiction book by Shelley Lieber about re-entering the dating scene at age 40+ after divorce. I’m a fiction writer and I’d been waiting many years to emerge. My opportunity finally showed up one day when Shelley was struggling to organize and present all the stories she had conducted from her real-life interviews with divorced and separated women as research for the book. I saw her falter in frustration and I quickly jumped out and took over the keyboard, introducing her to the characters of Leah Gold and Roxanne Stein. Suddenly everything seemed to fall into place, and the story of THE PRINCE CHARMING HOAX unfolded.

Q: One of your reviewers said that THE PRINCE CHARMING HOAX provided “a great balance of sexuality and everything else that goes into life. The author has created a wonderful and realistic context for showing how women can become their own person.” When you decided to write this book was your goal to offer an entertaining book or to deliver a message?

Elyse Grant: Both. The book has been described as “erotica with a message,” but in truth, it’s women’s contemporary fiction with erotic scenes. As a genre, contemporary women’s fiction confronts issues of modern-day women and their relationships with men, other women, careers, and children. My intention was to explore some of these issues. Of course, a book must be entertaining, or who will read it? So, my goal was to explore the issues in an entertaining and engaging way.

Q: How important is sexuality to telling your story?

Elyse Grant: Sexuality is an important component of a woman’s life and integral to stories about women. THE PRINCE CHARMING HOAX explores many components of a woman’s life through two main and two minor female characters. Sexuality is important to the story, but no more so than motherhood or creative expression.

Q: Elyse: How do you convince readers to care what happens to your characters?

Elyse Grant: I don’t try to convince anyone of anything. I do try to create multifaceted characters who exhibit a range of emotions and ideas, who make mistakes and have failures, and who are vulnerable but strong enough to persevere and succeed. As a reader, I know I care about characters I like or admire, and I believe my readers feel the same way.

Q:  Who are your intended readers? What are they looking for?

Elyse Grant: Well, that’s really a question for Shelley. She’s all about target markets and things like that. But I’d say my ideal reader is a woman who appreciates that the pursuit of purpose, passion, and fulfillment is a bumpy, but enjoyable ride.

Q: Now let’s give Shelley a chance to respond. Why are you a writer? When did you first realize that you are a writer?

Shelley Lieber:  I am a writer because that’s what I am. There’s nothing else I do that feels as joyful or fulfilling. I don’t know that I ever “realized” I was a writer...however, there was a day when I realized that I would write for a living and publish my work. I was in my 20s and on vacation at a beach house. I suddenly “saw” myself on the porch of the cottage with a typewriter and knew that one day my vision would be real. It wasn’t that surprising to me, really. I majored in English, loved books, and was working in the publishing industry as a book editor at the time. I began my writing career some years later as a magazine editor and writer. I became a copywriter and worked in advertising, marketing, and public relations for a while. But, fiction was always my first love, and fortunately Elyse Grant popped out one day to assume that role.

Q: Who are the Wordy Woman and The Vegan Novelist? (You really do have a lot of personalities!)

Shelley Lieber: The Wordy Woman is a publishing professional with almost 40 years experience in the industry. She wrote 4Ps to Publishing Success and Publishing Made Easy & Profitable. She helps new and aspiring authors write and publish their work.

The Vegan Novelist demanded recognition in Summer 2012 and started a vegan food and lifestyle blog. She was inspired to write about her participation in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program with a local organic farm.

The problem we face as a multiple personality is that we share the same 24 hours. So, if Vegan Novelist is blogging, Elyse isn’t writing, and Shelley isn’t serving clients. Balance has not yet been achieved. Hence, since THE PRINCE CHARMING HOAX has occupied our attention in the past months, Vegan Novelist has not blogged since last summer (although she appears in the kitchen at mealtimes).

Q: Tell us something about yourselves. When you’re not writing, what do you all do? Hobbies? Sailing? Knitting? Standup comedy? Favorite music?  Favorite authors? Do you have a muse?

Shelley Lieber: For the most part, there’s not too much conflict with what to do with leisure time. We enjoy the same kinds of books and movies: romance, comedy, drama, and documentaries. We steer clear of horror, violence, and things that don’t feel good.  We lean to “green” in lifestyle and diet, and love to spend time with family and friends. We absolutely have a Muse and we love her!

About Shelley Lieber/Elyse Grant/Wordy Woman/The Vegan Novelist

Shelley Lieber is an author with a split personality. As The Wordy Woman, publishing consultant, she wrote 4Ps to Publishing Success and Publishing Made Easy & Profitable for new and aspiring authors. Her wilder side writes erotic fiction under the pen name Elyse Grant. THE PRINCE CHARMING HOAX is her debut novel. A third personality common to both Shelley and Elyse is Vegan Novelist, who blogs about vegan food and lifestyle.

Shelley is what native North Carolinians not so fondly call a “halfback.” Originally from New York, she moved to Florida, then to North Carolina. Shelley now lives in Asheville, NC, with her husband, who is remarkably patient and skillful at adjusting to her personality switches.

THE PRINCE CHARMING HOAX, a novel by Elyse Grant (aka Shelley Lieber), is the steamy hot and often funny story of best friends Leah Gold and Roxanne Stein, each trying to break free of the “happily ever after” fairy tale myth. Leah begins an introspective journey through her past for answers. When she discovers what really stands between her and happiness, she sets off on a mission to help spare other women the pain of looking for love in all the wrong places—even though she knows her crusade may just be a battle that destroys her real prince. In contrast to the reclusive Leah, Roxie teeters on the edge of self-destruction as she tries to satisfy her unquenchable thirst for excitement. Drugs and sex don't diminish her cravings, and the man she falls for, while charming, is no prince. Once they team up on a crazy trip from their South Florida home to Philadelphia and New York, they stumble onto how to save themselves, each other, and perhaps womankind—a surprise to everyone, especially themselves.

Excerpt from Chapter 14 of THE PRINCE CHARMING HOAX

“Leah Gold?”
Leah spun around. A dark-haired man with a white V-neck sweater and jeans was coming toward her. “Yes?”
“I want you to know that I think it’s pretty rude for you to leave, knowing I came here to meet you. I closed my shop early and you can’t even take a minute to poke your head in and say hi. Who the hell do you think you are?”
Leah stared at him for a moment, trying to take it all in. “Tom?”
“Yeah, I’m Tom.”
“I’m so sorry. You’re right. It was rude. I guess I wasn’t thinking straight.” Leah wished the ground would open and swallow her up. “Something happened, and I…I guess I didn’t think at all.”
“Sounds to me more like you were just thinking about yourself.”
Leah rarely found herself at a loss for words, but Tom took her breath away. Lydia had been less than truthful again. Tom was not merely good looking. He was gorgeous. His green eyes snapped under dark eyebrows as he stood there glaring at her. He was tanned, and she caught sight of straight, white teeth as he snapped at her.
Leah bit her lower lip. “Look, Tom, I know I haven’t exactly made a great first impression, but if you’ll give me another chance…”
Tom looked into her eyes, but didn’t say anything.
She held out her hand to him. “Hi, Tom. I’m Leah. Thank you for coming to meet me.”
His entire posture relaxed. Tom had been keyed up, ready for a fight, but Leah seemed to knock the wind out of him. His mouth softened from a straight, angry line to a grin. “Nice to meet you, Leah. I probably shouldn’t have told you off like that. It’s just that…I haven’t been having such great luck lately with women, and I guess I took it out on you.”
“Actually, it was my own misfortunes with men that had me leaving so soon.”
The two stood in silence for a moment, just looking at one another.
“Would you like to go back inside?” Tom asked.
“No!” Leah answered. “But tell me, how well do you know Lydia and Philip?”
“Not very well. I met Lydia at the gym and I’ve done some printing jobs for them—programs, flyers, and things. I’ve met Philip once or twice when I dropped off their orders.”
“You’re a printer?”
“Yes, I have a shop in Pompano. How about you, Leah? Where do you work?”
They stood in the parking lot talking, not paying attention to the darkening sky or the time passing. Leah was so engrossed in their conversation that she was suddenly startled to hear Ali calling her name from a distance.
“Mom, what are you doing out there?” Ali stood in the theater doorway. She made her way to Leah’s car. “I was looking all over for you when I came out of class. Why are you in the parking lot?”
“Ali, this is Tom Ryan. Tom, my daughter Alison.”
“Hi, Ali,” Tom extended his hand.
“Hi, nice to meet you,” Ali said as she shook his hand. She turned to Leah. “Can we go now? I’m starving.”
“All right, Ali. Get in the car. I’ll be right there.”
Leah winced as Ali slammed the car door, but smiled at Tom. “Thanks again for coming tonight. I’m glad you followed me out here, even if it was to tell me off!”


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  3. I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!

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