August 23 – Shirley Hailstock

Hi friends!

Welcome to Read-A-Romance Month!

While I read romance all year long, August is the month we celebrate romantic fiction! Come back every day to read the fun author Q&As – calendar here –  and each weekday in August, we’ll also have an author guest hosting the Romance of Reading FB page. Today Shirley Hailstock is doing both the Q&A and the author takeover.

This year is significantly smaller in scale. If you’re interested, you can read about some of the reasons why here. It’s been a crazy year, and a complicated few months.

Happy August. Isn’t life better with #ATouchofRomance?! xo


2018 RARM Questions:


Why do you write books? 

It’s fun. I like developing characters and telling their stories. I love the initial process of plotting the book and then discovering how characters solve their problems as they head toward their happily ever after.


What do you consider to be the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?

I once ran through a fire to get to my nephews. I don’t know how it started, but I’m extremely sensitive to smoke. I woke up and smelled it. I was babysitting and without thinking I rushed up the back stairs. The fire was in the hall. Jumping through it, I got my nephews out of bed and carried two of them down the front stairs and out the door.


Tell us why you write romances or include strong romantic elements in your books?

I loved reading romance novels. When I decided I wanted to write, it was natural to write what I enjoyed most.


Tell us about a romantic moment in your life. (Either romantic love, or romantic sensibility.

It was during my a vacation to the Hawaiian Islands. We were on Kauai. We’d had dinner in a restaurant that had no walls. The kind of place with the bar in the center and tiki torches burning outside. The moon was full. The ocean waves could be heard in the background and we’d move to the bar. I was wearing a flowery dress that fell to my ankles and we moved to the bar after the meal. My boyfriend at the time, took the hibiscus flower and tucked it in my hair over my left ear. The moment was priceless.


If you could tell your younger self anything (either as a writer or as a woman) what would it be?

Pay more attention in school. Read and absorb everything the teachers have to teach. Never stop learning.


Tell us something you uncovered in research that fascinated you.

I never used it in a book, but I discovered that people who are sickle cell carriers are highly resistant to getting malaria.


How do you handle the voices in your head competing for their story to be written? (Thanks Eileen!)

I usually write down the outline of their story in a “future plots” file. This gives me a place to park them until I finish the current work in progress. And I always have a reserve story waiting to be written.

If you could live for a month somewhere (either in the present or past) where (and when, if applicable) would it be? Why?

Narrowing it down to one place is hard. I’ve visited a lot of places and would love to spend more time in some of them. I’ve never been in Australia, but I have friends there and my son spent a year there. If I’m going somewhere for a month, I’d like to see Australia.


What is (one of) the most remarkable/inspiring things that has happened to you as a reader or writer?

It may seem simplistic, but being in the company of other writers is very inspiring. Sometimes I want to emulate them. Sometimes they give me tips on writing that is just part of the conversation (not a lesson, not a workshop). Sometimes their lives are so interesting or the places they’ve been or lived makes me want to go there. It’s all food for future books.


Shirley recommends:


Candice Poarch   –   –   @Amazon

Candice’s stories are full and heartwarming. They never disappoint in their promise to the reader. She meticulously researches her subject and never overwhelms the read with unnecessary details. Her characters are real enough to welcome them into your own family. And I have.


Farrah Rochon  –   –   @Amazon

Farrah is rocking the digital world with her complement of books. Endearing love stories are her hallmark, along with settings that make you want to live there.  She can take anything from a simple Christmas meeting to a power play of corporate giants and draw the reader to her favorite chair for a long night of adventure.    


Donna    –   @Amazon

Donna Hill was the first published author I met. I was in awe of her then and I still am today. Her stories span a wide gambit from love stories to hit woman. No matter what book you choose to read, Donna will sweep you in with her characters and their vast plots. All of her books are on my keeper shelf.


Shirley Hailstock began her writing life as a lover of reading.  She likes nothing better than to find a quiet corner where she can get lost in a book, explore new worlds and visit places she never expected to see.  As an author, she can not only visit those places, but she can be the heroine of her own stories.

The author of over forty novels and novellas, Shirley has received numerous awards, including the Waldenbooks Bestselling Romance Award and The Emma Merritt Award from Romance Writers of America.  RT Bookclub Reviews awarded her a Career Achievement Award. Shirley’s books have appeared on Blackboard, Essence Magazine and Library Journal bestseller lists. She is a past president of Romance Writers of America.

Learn more at


Buy Shirley’s books:


availableon-amazon         availableon-nook      availableon-kobo


*Please note that the Amazon button, most cover images and many text links connect to a Read-A-Romance Month affiliate portal. Thanks so much for your help & support!


Authors on The Romance of Reading page:


1   –   Jeannie Moon           💜         2   –   Lenora Bell

3  –    Nancy Herkness       💜         6   –   Kimberli A. Bindschatel

7   –  Cathy Maxwell            💜         8   –   Amelia Grey

9  –  Liz Talley                     💜         10  –  Dylann Crush

13  –  Marilyn Brant             💜         14  –  Sharla Lovelace

15  –  Sally MacKenzie        💜         16  –  Regina Kyle

17  –  Mimi Milan                 💜          20  –  Christine Nolfi

21  –  Susie Orman Schnall  💜       22  –  Caroline Linden

23  –  Shirley Hailstock          💜         24  –   Talia Surova

27  –  Lisa Patton                    💜        28  –  Tracey Livesay

29  –  Danelle Harmon          💜        30  –  Minerva Spencer

*   31   –    Christina Lauren (modified guest host)