Friday, June 27, 2008

Interview with Deborah Shelley

I’d like to welcome our guests today, Shelley Mosley and Deborah Mazoyer. They’re also known as the writing team of Deborah Shelley. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

Thanks for asking us to visit! We see you’ve set out two matching loungers and a big bag of Lindor’s truffles. We might decide to never leave! (okay by us) KW

I understand you have a new release out called Marriage 101. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

Marriage 101, like our other novels, is a romantic comedy. Our hero, Danny Riccuci, thinks divorce is hereditary. After all, his family could be the poster child for failed marriages. The only exception is his sister, Maria. And she’s married to the church. Danny’s so sure he carries this divorce gene that he’s never bothered to challenge the family curse.

Rachel Levin, our heroine, is a teacher of human relationships. She knows all the scientific reasons for mutual attraction. She knows the basis of the human needs that drive people into relationships. She knows the statistics of almost every aspect of her field. In fact, Rachel knows everything about human relationships—except what it’s actually like to be in one.

Together, Danny and Rachel learn there’s a lot more to love than what’s in a textbook, and that sometimes, genetics are highly over-rated.

Marriage 101 is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

The Life Skills class that Rachel inherits is known by its nickname, Marriage 101. But we had another reason for naming the book Marriage 101. A good marriage, even one based on a larger- than-life love, takes a lot of work. There’s also a big learning curve. All of us in a marital relationship are taking Marriage 101. Marriage 102, if we’re lucky.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book?

Shelley was a teacher for ten school years, and managed to have only minimal psychological damage after a full semester of junior high lunch duty! Deborah is the mother of a teenager.
What character did you like writing about the most, and why?

We know this sounds like a cop-out, but we really liked them all. At first glance, Danny seems cocky and self-centered, but he has many layers that go against the stereotype of a jock. Rachel is on her own for the first time, and tries not to show how vulnerable she is. Our secondary characters kept wanting more air time--Maria, the stealth nun; the perpetually cranky Bianca; and Grandma Riccuci, whose spaghetti sauce is hot enough to start a war. Maybe we’ll give them more exposure later.

If your book was made into a movie, what actor would you like to fill your hero’s shoes?

Hugh Jackman. (Yum) KW

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

There are so many authors in both Valley of the Sun Romance Writers of America and Desert Rose Romance Writers of America who have inspired us from the beginning. They generously gave us advice and instruction, and cheered us on when we were reeling from rejections. We hate to list them, because we’re afraid we’ll leave out someone. They know who they are, and they have our love and gratitude.

What do we have to look forward next?

We’re working on another romantic comedy, A Taste of Decadence.

Thanks, Shelley and Debbie!

To celebrate their book release, Shelley and Deborah are offering a free copy of Marriage 101 to one lucky commenter on today's blog. They will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for them, so please ask away...

Bio: Deborah Shelley, the team of Shelley Mosley and Deborah Mazoyer, began writing together on a benchmarking report for city government in 1993. They soon discovered that, as much as they didn't like benchmarking, they loved writing together. Their first book, Talk about Love, was a Holt Medallion Finalist. Talk about Love was followed by the romantic comedies It's in His Kiss, My Favorite Flavor, and One Starry Night. "Falling for You," their Purim story in the anthology, Romancing the Holidays (a finalist for the IPPY), was featured in Booklist's “Spotlight on Multicultural Romance.” Their latest romantic comedy, Marriage 101, is a 2008 release. Shelley and Deborah are currently busy at work on books number six and seven. Their romances have been translated into Danish, French, Dutch, Norwegian, Russian, and Portuguese.

In addition to the Deborah Shelley romances, Shelley has co-written several non-fiction books: The Suffragists in Literature for Youth: The Fight for the Vote: Romance Today: An A-Z Guide to Contemporary American Romance Writers; The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Ultimate Reading List; and Crash Course in Library Supervision. Shelley’s co-writers include John Charles, Sandra Van Winkle, and Joanne Hamilton-Selway (a.k.a. “Team Mosley”). Dennis C. Tucker co-wrote Crash Course in Library Supervision. Shelley also reviews for Booklist and Library Journal and writes for What Do I Read Next? and Novelist. Shelley, RWA's 2001 Librarian of the Year, retired after more than twenty years as a library manager to work part-time as a reference librarian at the Glendale Community College Library Media Center and devote more hours to her family and her writing.

Deborah is the Building Safety Director for the City of Glendale, Arizona. She’s had some pretty huge projects these last few years--namely a hockey arena and a football stadium that was the site of Super Bowl 2008. With many other large projects, including residential and retail construction and all of the new hotels and restaurants needed to support the Super Bowl crowd, Deborah has had very little down time.

Both Deborah and Shelley have been blessed with truly supportive families who encourage their writing; a wonderful critique group (Sandra Lagesse, Marion Ekholm, Carol Webb, and Kim Watters); and spoiled rotten cats that object to time spent writing as time that could have been better spent devoted to them.

Check out author’s website at

Buy Marriage 101 at Amazon or Barnes and Noble


rozdennyfox said...

Shelley & Deborah,
What a great interview. I love hearing about how the book came together for you. You should do a workshop on what it's like to write together. Do you ever have areas where you disagree? I think it would be really hard to have the same vision of each of the characters. Does one of you do better with heroes and the other with heroines? Just nosy. I can't wait to read the book. Roz

Ellen said...

Marriage 101 sounds like a delightful book and I bet the characters are hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shelley and Deborah,
Thanks for blogging with us today. I can't wait to get my own copy of Marriage 101 in its final published form. Have a great weekend!

Tina LaVon said...

Thanks for stopping by MCTT.
I am so glad romantic comedies are still going strong.

Shelley and Deborah said...

Tina, Kim, and Ellen, thanks so much for your kind comments!

Roz, thank you for your comments, too! You raise some interesting questions. We write our books side by side, and read them aloud as we go along to make sure the dialogue is realistic. We don't usually disagree on the story or the characters. However, if we don't have the same vision for something, we talk it out until we're in agreement. Both of us contribute to the creation of the hero and heroine. If we both happen to be brain dead, we break out the chocolate.

Carol Webb said...

I can't wait to get my hands on Marriage 101. You've always written fantastic comedies and I know this book will be no different! And if the hero is like Hugh Jackman... that's a triple bonus.

Carrie Weaver said...

Shelley and Deborah, your characters are always so realistic and endearing. And the humor is topnotch. I can't wait to read Marriage 101. You ladies rock!


Kathryne Kennedy said...

What a dynamic writing duo! It was great to learn more about you both, and looking forward to reading marriage 101!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Carrie Weaver-the winner of Marriage 101. Happy reading!