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  • Anna P.

Indie Support Sunday: Emily Shacklette

I got to know about Emily in two ways (as weird or creepy as that may sound). First, she read and enjoyed my debut and posted about it. Which filled my cold, dead heart with so much joy and affection. Then a mutual author friend introduced me to her in a very roundabout way (shoutout to Alaina Rose, who was featured last year!) and I found myself drawn to everything about Emily Shacklette. From her ‘don’t give a shit’ personality and the vivaciousness she brings to her account on a daily basis, Emily is exactly the kind of person I like being friends with.


Her debut, Georgia On My Mind, released at the end of last year (and available in KU) and I instantly got myself a copy. It was my first read for 2024 and I insist that everybody who likes contemporary romances, rom-coms and a steamy good time, pick it up. The book is also filled with the most incredible group of friends, supporting characters that will stick with you for years to come and just really good writing. Early this year, I had the opportunity to beta read You All Over Me, Emily’s second book and she might have totally outdone herself.


Get preordering, because you want to wake up on March 26th and know that Rachel and Amir are waiting for you! 



BEING AN AUTHOR

Who or what inspired you to write?

Honestly, I can’t remember. I’ve been writing stories ever since I was a kid posting (very bad) Harry Potter fanfiction on Quizilla (does anyone else remember that site or was that a fever dream?) Rediscovering my love for romance in recent years was the kick I needed to sit down and write my own love stories again.


What’s the best and worst part about being an indie author? 

The best part: connecting with readers and fellow indie authors. The worst part: constantly marketing yourself to try to find those readers. 


Why did you choose to self-publish instead of going the traditional route?

Publishing Georgia On My Mind was something I needed to do for me, to make myself feel happy and proud. Self-publishing gave me a sense of confidence and control over putting my art out into the world.


When you’re not writing, what do you do to get the creative juices flowing?

Cooking shows do it for me. If I need some inspiration, throw on any Gordon Ramsay show and wait until he calls someone a good girl. That’ll have me banging out words like nobody’s business.


If you were to recommend books to me (in any genre), what would they be?

Happy Accidents by Alaina Rose, The Other Brother by Meghan Quinn, The Rule of Three by Sophie Snow, For The Fans by Nyla K


What are your top 5 tips or pieces of advice for aspiring authors?

  1. Don’t try to be perfect. Just write the words as they come. If it’s a mess? That’s what editing is for.

  2. Other authors are not your competition. We’re all coworkers just trying our best.

  3. When it comes to making content to market yourself, just do what makes you happy. If you’re constantly trying to keep up with trends and desperate to go viral, you’re gonna burn yourself out quick.

  4. Candy is a great incentivizer for writing sprints.

  5. Manage your expectations. The likelihood of you blowing up is probably low. Write for yourself and your readers, not because you want to be the next big thing.



ROMANCE AS A GENRE

Why did you choose romance as the genre to write in? What is your favorite thing about the genre?

Romance is my happy place. The genre is so wide, there’s room for everything. Trauma, grief, comedy, friendship, life, millennial ennui, it can all play out within the confines of a relationship and a happily ever after. My favorite thing about romance is competent, emotionally mature men who know how to throw down in the bedroom.


If not romance/subgenres of romance, what genre would you like to write in?

If I were smarter, I’d write fantasy. My little brain can’t handle world building.


What are your most and least favorite tropes?

Favorites: rich men, age gap, he falls first, chosen family, semi-public sex

Least favorites: accidental pregnancy, single parents, CHEATING!!!!


What are some tropes you want to write in the future?

I have an MM sports romance floating around in my head that I really want to get on paper.


What are some topics (sensitive and otherwise) that you think should exist more in romance?

Niche but as a latex allergy girly—women supplying the condom. One of these days I’m going to write an FMC with a latex allergy who carries an emergency stash of lambskins.


If you write open door romance, why did you choose that and what inspires your sex scenes?

To quote the iconic Rachel Green: “There’s nothing wrong with a woman enjoying a little erotica.” I’m an audio erotica girl (shoutout to the Quinn app) so a lot of my dirty talk inspiration comes from there. But I also take inspiration from my real life and the lives of my friends (it’s all fodder, babes).


YOUR BOOKS

What inspired your published stories? How and when did you come up with these stories and plots?

Georgia On My Mind is a romantic comedy, but honestly, it was a way for me to work through some of my own childhood trauma. I already had this idea for a character named Amir and his love life, but one day after a particularly tough therapy session, I decided I wanted to write a story where people with lives like me could find happiness and fulfillment, romantically and otherwise. Thus, James and Georgie were born. 


Can you briefly tell me about your books?

They’re fun and fluffy, super spicy, and (hopefully) funny with strong friendships all around.


Do you already have a favorite character from the stories you’ve written?

Georgia Hansley, because she’s me. James Adler. I adore him because he’s so stubborn. I tried to write him as a grump, but he just kept telling me that he was nothing more than a goofy goober sunshine-y doofus. Also Kira. I’m itching to tell her story. 


If you were to cast your book for a movie/television show, who would you cast in the lead roles?

If Joel McHale and John Krasinski had a baby, that baby would be James. Georgie is very much Alison Brie vibes if Alison were a size 16 (I watch a lot of Community, okay?)


How much of yourself do you put into these characters?

So many pieces of my soul are in all of my characters. Everyone has a bit of Emily sprinkled in. 


What is a story/stories that you really want to tell?

A sexy romance between a quarterback and his center, big Jason Kelce vibes. 


Is there one common element that readers can find in all your stories?

Humor to mask the pain.


What’s next on the bookshelf for you? Anything you can tell us about a future project?

I’m working on a few things right now, including rounding out the Love By The Bay series and a sports romance that includes James and Georgie as side characters six-ish years after their HEA. 


When you write these stories, what are you hoping your readers will feel?

Happy, a little tormented, giggly, and most importantly—horny.


AUTHOR’S CHOICE

  • Paperbacks, hardbacks, ebooks or audiobooks 

  • Contemporary, fantasy, historical or romantic suspense

  • Single or Dual POV—preferably first person

  • Standalones, series or standalones in a series

  • Open door, ajar door or closed door romances—Bust through that door like the Kool Aid man

  • Music or silence when writing—Taylor Swift or classical

  • Plotter, pantser or plantser

  • Water, tea, coffee or….wine?—Coffee during the day, wine at night

  • Cold or warm weather—Gimme all the blankets

  • Write better in the morning, afternoon or night?

  • Illustrated or photo cover?


Follow Emily on Instagram to stay updated on all bookish news!

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