My name is Shay Lacy. I feel a bit decadent being called a Lady in Red. Shay is my pen name, chosen after a long, arduous Internet search. It’s amazing how many cool names are already taken by strippers. I eliminated my first twenty choices for that reason. I chose a pen name because my first novels were erotic romance and I wanted to misdirect any stalkers my novels might attract. I write erotic shapeshifter romance, futuristic romance, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense.
I’ve been married to the same man for 31 years. I chose him instead of the Army, thinking he’d be the bigger challenge. After I put my two cats to sleep last year, he demanded a fur-free home. Since that hadn’t been in our marriage contract, I was rethinking that Army decision. Alas, I had passed the maximum age for enlistment. When I see a cat commercial on TV my heart goes pitter pat. He says I’ll outlive him and then I can have cats once more. I’m not sure he realizes I write romantic suspense and can think of lots of ways to hasten a man’s demise. And if somebody offered me a free Maine Coon…
I’m a secretary by day. If you work outside the home, you know that dictatorial bosses and irritating co-workers are excellent fodder for novels. I like to make them victims and villains in my stories. And some of what goes on in the working world you just can’t pay to imagine. Truth can be stranger than fiction. Although not in some of my short stories.
Beyond writing I’m an amateur photographer. I bake fairly well. Cooking—in truth, I collect recipes and attempt them. My husband thinks I’m trying to poison him. I wouldn’t have to try—I own a textbook on poisons. I collect rocks and glass paperweights and unusual names. And, of course, I love to read.
My secret passion is glass. I love the way it looks, the way it refracts light. I love its many forms and variations. I love watching glass artisans at work. I love old glass dishes and glass goblets. I have to be careful not to become a hoarder with my passion.
If I didn’t live in northern Ohio, I’d live someplace slightly warmer where there were hills. Not too warm, though, because I love the fall, the changing colors of the leaves. But I could skip winter. I’d like to live on a lake where no gas-powered boats could roar up and down. Recently I attended a party at a lakefront condo. The side of the house facing the lake was nearly all glass. The wife had a second-floor office that looked out over the lake. I could write lots of novels from an office like that.
I write romance because I need the happily ever after. My first love is fantasy, but not every character in those books survives. If I take a journey with a character, and grow to care for them, I want to know they survived and thrived, and that they had someone to love along the way.
After vacationing in Watkins Glen, New York, the setting of my novel, Hero Needed, which Crimson will release on October 22nd, I knew I had to write a story set in that town with that crazy, unprotected train track. I included photography in the story, which my husband does as a professional, and I’m an amateur.
When I write, I find my personal traits in at least one of my characters, sometimes the hero, sometimes the heroine. Often the emotional trials in my life find their way into my writing. I didn’t have to cut anything from Hero Needed, but another novel I’m editing will have to have huge tracts severed from it. I’ve delayed because these tracts are very dear to me. The hero’s grandmother, who raised him, has dementia and is failing. I wrote this novel when my mother-in-law had to be confined to a nursing home with dementia. I know it will hurt a lot to lose any part of this story.
The best part of my writing life is being able to ask people the craziest, most outlandish, most off-limits questions for my books. People who aren’t writers or reporters have boundaries. But writers are nosy. I HAVE to know things. Even if it’s not for a work-in-progress, I know I’ll use it in a future book. The worst part of my writing life, besides having to work nights and weekends, is having so many story ideas and not enough time to write all of them. While five ideas wait their turn, five more ideas take root in my brain.
So I have a lot of stories in the works. I don’t know which I’ll work on next. It will probably be romantic suspense because I love a hunky hero helping a smart heroine figure out who done it.
You can see more of Shay Lacy at my website, http://www.shaylacy.com/.
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