Interview With Author Shana Galen

Please introduce yourself and your book(s)!

I’m Shana Galen, and I’ve been published in historical romance since 2005. My books are mainly set during the Regency period in England and often have a lot of action and adventure. My latest release is A Duke a Dozen, which is about a newly minted duke who should never have become the duke and the reluctant widow who needs his help.

What is/are the real-life story(ies) behind your book(s)?

Most of my books aren’t inspired by true life stories, but I do like to take modern stories and find fun ways to play with them in historical contexts. My book Lord and Lady Spy was an historical take on the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith. My book The Rogue You Know was a retelling of the Disney movie Tangled.

What inspires/inspired your creativity?

I think I’m just the kind of person who has always had stories rattling around in my mind. But long walks, movies, and reading other great romances almost always give me more ideas and make me excited to write.

Do you have tips on choosing titles and covers?

I think the title and cover should match the tone of the book. Most of my titles are sort of fun and whimsical because my books tended to be on the lighter side. My covers are usually bright and pretty. I also think the title should make the reader ask a question. One of the best titles I’ve seen was by Sophie Jordan—How to Lose a Bride in One Night. It creates a question in the reader’s mind that can only be answered by reading the book.

How do bad reviews and negative feedback affect you and how do you deal with them?

Reviews all around are difficult because a bad review makes me feel like I can’t write, and a good review makes me wonder if I can ever write a book that good again. I usually just avoid reviews or skim them to get the general idea. I think authors should have some idea what readers and reviewers are saying about their books but not be ruled by reviews. You’ll never please every reader, and you should write the story that pleases you. After all, why spend months at a time immersed in a world and with characters you hate?

How has your creation process improved over time?

I think I trust it more. The first few years I was a writer I tried every new craft trick and read all the books. I was always worried I wasn’t doing something right. Now I know that no one’s process is the same, and that’s okay. So now I just relax and write the book. I’m a pantser, which isn’t the best way to write a book, but it works for me.

Do you have any creativity tricks?

What works for me won’t necessarily work for someone else, but I find I’m most creative and productive when I write first thing in the morning. If I start answering emails or working on administrative activities then I have a harder time focusing on writing later. I find it’s best to meet my word count first thing and then do other jobs.

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