The Literary Vixen presents…
Joining us today is Ericka Shanniak! Her book, Opening Danger: Dangerous Ties Book 1 – Paranormal Romance released on October 31st 2021.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing since I was a junior in high-school back in 2008, haha. After I had both my kiddos, I decided to take the leap of faith and write my first ever book Piercing Jordie (formerly Jordie In Charge) and sent it to a small press publisher. She accepted me, the book (it needed a lot of work) and invested in me. If it wasn’t for her, for Teresa, I wouldn’t be where I’m at today. I owe her everything. I’ve since paid her back for the series and got my publishing rights back. We stay in touch.
Describe a typical writing day.
Oh goodness, I write when I have a moment. I will write on the toilet taking a poop, feeding the chickens, out fishing, I will even wake from a dead sleep and write about a scene that came to me. But usually, since I work in 911 dispatch, I will write when things are uneventful and I can squeeze it in. Writing at home with kids is hard.
Where do you get your inspiration for your books?
From everyday living like from an encounter with someone at the grocery store, messages or emails, or phone calls I take in dispatch. For example, back in June of this year, I got a call from a guy looking for his booty call who was a no show. I said sorry I’m not it, but please feel free to use protection and call back when you have an emergency since we’re here to assist. The guy called back 15 minutes later and asked if I wanted to be his booty call… I’m damn serious… So, things like that give me inspiration for characters then I just add in whatever like magic or sexy wolves and voila, I pulled a book outta my butt because I literally pants the entire thing.
What gave you that push to press the publish button?
My former small press publisher, Teresa, said I was a dang good writer and she believed in me. Her believing in me, gave me the confidence I never had. And it means everything to me. So, her taking me under her wing and guiding me gave me the courage to just go for it. Teresa is an amazing woman.
When you’re writing an emotionally draining (or sexy, or sad, etc) scene, how do you get in the mood?
Well… If it’s a sex scene, I go to my husband for a quickie just to make sure what I wanna do works bahaha! And if it’s something else, I just tap into that part of my memories I repressed as a kid (I had a hard childhood) and just go into what I felt during that moment and write it. It takes me a few days after writing a scene that’s so draining to get back into the groove and feel like myself again. My husband has to help me come down from those emotions because I will spiral like I did in Uplifting Irie. I went too far deep and he had to pull me out. I later deleted a lot of what I wrote because I went too dark. My husband is an amazing man.
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Direct, humorous, and unapologetic.
How do you deal with the emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?
First, I shake off the nerves. Then I take a shot and shake off the rest of the nerves. I pump myself up and tell myself that I got this and whatever I am writing is not real (if it deals with my trauma because I got to remind myself that I’m okay and safe). Then I just plunge right in, get it written then tell my editor Tiffany what page and what chapter might need some TLC if I go too far deep into that.
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?
I just wrapped up my second book to my Alien RH series. It’s the 30th book I’ve written. I just sent it to my amazing editor Tiffany Purdon. Next I will be working on a contemporary mafia romance set in my small town of Coldwater Kansas. (I changed the name to Coldriver) but I kept the people and their jobs the same, just changed a few vowels of their names. And at the same time, I will be working on a new fantasy romance series. I have no idea where I’m going with that one yet. I am a pantser.
What advice would you give to other authors?
Don’t read reviews. Just work on putting the next book out there and make it better than the last. Don’t get discouraged, easier said than done, I get it, but keep grinding. If you’re going to spend money on an edit, do developmental because with your friends and writing tools, you can do a pretty good line edit yourself but you’re too close to the story to figure out if there’s a plot hole. And get yourself a funny, honest, sarcastic friend to read your book, their advice is helpful whereas everyone else will just be like “it’s good.”
What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?
Golly… I want people to know that I try my best. I do my best to put out fun, entertaining and unique books with diverse characters. If you pick up one of my books and like it, badass, and if you read it and are like eww, then badass. But I want ya to know that I did my best and stayed true to myself. I have no reeegurtz lol.
Thank you Ericka Shanniak for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her book, Opening Danger today!
I wanted the quiet life – coffee on the front porch reading a good book – kind of life. And when it came to danger, or any type of confrontation, whether from former boyfriends or nasty pink faeries, I tried to avoid it. This time though? I couldn’t escape it. I’m being dragged toward danger by a handsome, jerk of a werewolf who calls himself Evander.
It doesn’t matter what I say to Evander, what I have or haven’t done, it only matters what I have in my possession – a key. And because this stupid hunk of metal, my death awaits me.
In order to bring an end to this bullshit, I must convince Evander to help me. With his help, I can absolve my name. If not, then death for me is certain.
Opening Danger is an enemy to lovers slow burn paranormal romance where descsex is guaranteed in books 2 & 3.
*** WARNING – this book contains scenes and language that some readers may find disturbing and or triggering. ***
E.A. (Ericka Ashlee) Shanniak is the author of several successful series – A Castre World Novel – Whitman Series Western Romance – Dangerous Ties Series. She is hobbit-sized, barely reaching over five feet tall on a good day. When she wears her Ariat boots, not only does she gain an inch, she is then able to reach the kitchen cabinets to get all the snacks. When not in her fox den for a few hours (writing cave), Ericka loves to spend time with her family – outside having campfires, fishing, camping, or zooming in a car to another midwest adventure. Ericka loves all the animals her kids bring home including numerous barn cats and their newfound bantam chicken named Strip.
Ericka is an emergency 911 dispatcher (used to do medical billing) residing in the small town of Coldwater, Kansas with her supportive, wonderful husband, two amazingly loving kids, and whatever animals her kids bring home this week. So far, it has been her husband who decided she needed ducks. You’re welcome to follow her on her Kansas adventures with these social media platforms listed below.
or at her Facebook group – Shanniak Shenanigans