The heroine of Shiloh Walker’s Wrecked uses the real-world book Wreck This Journal to tear her life down and rebuild it, with unexpected romantic help from a friend who’s harbored a secret crush on her for years.
You write contemporaries, paranormals, romantic suspense, and urban fantasy (as J.C. Daniels). How do you keep so many genres straight?
Well, let’s just say I have a short attention span. Writing in a variety of genres allows me to indulge that. My ideas come from all over the place and I like having the freedom to write what appeals to me. In general, I think my romantic suspense and contemporary books seem to be what readers enjoy the most. I’ve been rather pleasantly surprised by the feedback I’ve gotten on my J.C. Daniels books. They have far exceeded my expectations, which is awesome, because the first few books were “magic” books that practically wrote themselves.
How does your blogging life affect your writing and your sales?
I don’t think social media affects my writing voice at all, but I started blogging as a writing exercise. It was a way to make sure I was writing daily, even if I didn’t want to. I do think that I’ve picked up readers via social media outlets. I’ve had more than a few tell me that they discovered me via Twitter and decided to give my books a try after following me for a while.
How did you discover Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal?
I was in Arizona for the Tuscon Festival of Books. My husband and I were out with some friends on 4th Avenue, in this kitschy little book store, and I walked by this book. Then I stopped, went back, and stared. All of a sudden, I had this idea: Wreck This Life. That was the original title. There’s this girl, out to wreck her life. Why? Because she’s always had to control it. Why? Because when she was a child, it was sheer chaos, and she never had control. So she makes this plan... It all started with just seeing that journal on the shelf in the bookstore. It was like the idea for Wrecked had just been waiting for me to find it.
Why make unrequited love a theme of the book?
I suspect a lot of people harbor feelings and never really act on them. While my relationship isn’t a reflection of Wrecked, I’m one of those people who had a mad crush on one person from the time I was 11. This guy was a friend of my older brother—they used to skate together—and I thought he was just the cutest guy. The summer I turned 15, he came over, looking for my brother, and out of the blue, I asked him how come he never came to see me. He gave me this blank look and said, “I didn’t know you wanted me to.” I said, “Well, I do.” A week later he asked me out. We’ve been together ever since. So those hidden feelings are there, out in the real world. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and act on them.