Perennial contemporary romance favorite Jill Shalvis has a new book out this week. It’s called Sweet Little Lies and it’s her first release with Avon Books as well as the first edited by well-known editor May Chen (she has edited Julie Anne Long, Sherry Thomas, Lorraine Heath, and others). Sweet Little Lies is book one in Jill’s new Heartbreaker Bay series. I’ve read most of Jill’s work and, after reading this one, asked if she’s answer a few questions.
Dabney: Hi Jill. Thanks for talking to me. After reading Sweet Little Lies—which I enjoyed—I have questions.
For starters, what do you have against glitter?
Jill: Ha! Have you ever tried to clean up after glitter? If you have, you wouldn’t ask me that question. Having raised four girls, I can tell you I’ve had more glitter in my life than any human being should…
Dabney: In the book, your heroine Pru gets a Brazilian. That got me thinking about romantic ideals for body hair. What do you prefer for heroes? A smooth chest, a sprinkling of hair, or a pelt?
Jill: She gets an accidental Brazilian. Hey, it was girl’s day out and they were at the spa and things just sort of happened. As for my heroes … I have to say a sprinkling does it for me. Not a pelt and not smooth but a happy medium is just right. Call me Goldilocks.
Dabney: The book includes a failed proposal story–right guy, wrong ring–and it made me wonder: What’s the best proposal you’ve ever heard of?
Jill: The one I’m writing now, so I can’t tell you about it. Yet. (Although the guy who went swimming with dolphins with his girlfriend and had the dolphin hold up a sign that say “Will You Marry Me?” is high on my list…)
Dabney: Pru says guys gossip more than girls. What do you think?
Jill: Well I try very hard to put twists on certain tropes and cliches whenever I can, and this is one of them. And plus it amused me when I was writing it. If I can amuse myself while writing, I consider it a good day.
Dabney: Pru has a (celebrity) thing for guys named Chris. Chris Pratt, Chris Evans…. If there were a third Chris, who would it be?
Jill: Chris Hemsworth. Chris Pine. Chris Messina. I could do this all day…
Dabney: I’ve never had a neighborhood bar–I live in a college town and the bars are plentiful and crowded. O’Riley’s (the bar owned by your hero Finn) seems like a lovely place–I want one! What did you base it on? Do you have a neighborhood bar you frequent? Or did in your twenties?
Jill: I made up O’Riley’s. I wanted a place for the friends to all converge and feel like they were at home. I think it’s a cross between my hometown bar, Cheers, and the coffee shop from Friends.
Jill: There’s a grumpy cat who wraps our hero around her finger in the book after Sweet Little Lies … so make sure to pick up The Trouble With Mistletoe.
Dabney: Many of your books feature characters who are parentless or who have parents who are abandoned their kids. Why is that?
Jill: Well here’s the plain, simple truth. Writing sexy contemporaries is hard. Without a ghost, vampire, zombie, guns, bad guys … it’s hard to come up with a believable conflict to sustain an entire book and keep the reader’s interest. A lot of the times in real life, there’s nothing more than our own backstories that keep us from falling in love. So I incorporate that into my books. Family. Loss. Unrest. Drama.
Dabney: Thanks for answering my questions.
Jill: Thanks for having me! Hope you all enjoy Sweet Little Lies, The Trouble with Mistletoe, and Accidentally on Purpose!