A warm welcome to author Shae Connor joining us today here at Love Bytes to talk about her new release “Rhythem & Blues”.
Welcome Shae 🙂
One thing that’s super easy to find online is plenty of pictures of good-looking people. Beautiful men and women of all types come across my social media feeds every day, and occasionally, one of them will spark inspiration. (One of my earlier novellas, En Fuego, grew out of some adorable images of a firefighter comforting a cat after rescuing her from a fire.)
I’m generally a visual person anyway, so I find it easier to write a character if I have a specific image in mind, even if I don’t give a full description in the story. As a result, I have a folder full of inspirational images. Some are stock art, but some are actors or models or just regular people whose look I like.
For Rhythm & Blues, the inspiration for the main characters came from two men, one I’ve been following as a fan for several years, and one who appeared on the scene more recently. First up is Broadway veteran Tyler Hanes. Tyler came to my attention secondhand through fandom (he’s the boyfriend of actor Van Hansis), and the first time I saw him dance, in a short film posted to YouTube, his style reminded me of one of my all-time favorites, Gene Kelly.
I haven’t seen Tyler dance on Broadway yet, though I nearly did before I knew who he was—I’d wanted to see the 2006 revival of A Chorus Line that I later found out he was in but wasn’t able to make it because I was in the process of moving back to Georgia. I did, however, see him perform as backup to Kristen Chenoweth when I saw her in concert, as well as solo during a fundraiser for the performing arts school he attended in the Atlanta area. I’m even considering going to see the Cats revival when I’m in New York later this year just to see him dance again.
I was particularly excited to find stock art that matched up with Tyler so well. Seriously: take a look at the Rhythm & Blues cover image compared with a picture of Tyler. Is that perfection or what?
For Pate’s love interest, I went with one of my current celebrity crushes, Instagram star and manbun-wearer Brock O’Hurn. I can’t express exactly why I’ve been so enamored with Brock. He’s not my usual type overall, though he is very tall, and buff without being super muscular. But I don’t usually go for long blond hair, in particular. Somehow it works for him, though. And he definitely fits the role of someone who works in construction.
Of course, Pate and Ace didn’t end up looking exactly like the inspirations. For one thing, Ace is about the same height as Pate, around 6 feet, instead of Brock’s 6-foot-7. I did want them to be able to reach each other easily. 😉 Inspiration pictures are just that: inspiration, not the whole story. But it’s great to have a place to start—not to mention something nice to look at while I work!
Title: Rhythm & Blues
Author: Shae Connor
Cover artist: AngstyG
Length: Novella (25,600 words)
When life tears apart your dream, build a new one.
After a knee injury ended his career, Broadway dancer Pate Hawkins limped his way back from New York to Atlanta to implement Plan B: open a dance academy to train the next generation of song-and-dance dreamers. When model-gorgeous contractor Ace Samson answers his request for an estimate on renovating his studio space, Pate hits pay dirt in more ways than one. As construction gets underway, the red-hot attraction between the two men flares, and soon they develop a fledgling relationship. Then the siren song of the stage calls Pate back, and he has to choose between the dream he left behind and the new life he’s building—with his studio, and with Ace.
Shae Connor lives in Atlanta, where she’s a lackadaisical government worker for a living and writes sweet-hot romance under the cover of night. She’s been making things up for as long as she can remember, but it took her a long time to figure out that maybe she should try writing them down. A member of the Romance Writers of America, Shae was first published in 2010 and has a lineup of short stories, novellas, and novels available.
Shae is part Jersey, part Irish, and all Southern, which explains why she never shuts up. When she’s not in front of her laptop, she enjoying cooking, traveling, watching baseball, reading voraciously, wearing tiaras, and hugging a lot. She’s also the volunteer Director/Editor for the Dragon Con on-site publication, the Daily Dragon.
You can find Shae hanging out on Twitter most any time @shaeconnor, but for the more direct route, you can visit her website at shaeconnorwrites.com or email her at shaeconnorwrites @gmail.com. You can also sign up for her mailing list