Friday, September 28, 2007

Coming Undone by Stephanie Tyler

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Jennifer SturmanStephanie Tyler has long since given up trying to control her characters, especially the Navy SEAL alpha males, and today she writes military romance for both Harlequin Blaze and Bantam Dell. And, because she loves being busy, she also writes paranormal erotic romance with a military twist for Bantam Dell with co-author Larissa Ione under the pen-name Sydney Croft.

Stephanie lives in New York with her husband, her daughter and her blog. You can find out more about her by visiting and!


Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer -- always considered myself a writer, but didn’t start to believe I could really make a career out of it until sometime in late 2003. Before that, I was writing poetry and short stories, and then I moved into the more academic world of studying and dissecting literature and, finally, teaching. And then I was trying to write the great American novel, but nothing ever came of it. And then I had a baby, and then my world changed forever.

Romance gave me that brief respite I needed when I couldn’t deal with doctors and nurses and beeping machines and people telling me things might be taking a turn for the worst, and most of all from the guilt of not being able do more to help my daughter. And when I finally was able to take her home, she still needed me there with her. So I left my teaching job and stayed home with her, and I started writing and I’ve never stopped.

I joined a critique group and started subbing to agents and publishers in early 2004. And I kept my eye on the prize. I firmly believe that you’ve got to consider writing a career before you get published if you want to be published.

What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
The best part has been getting notes from readers who’ve enjoyed my books. That’s the biggest thrill, to know you’ve made someone smile while reading your words. The worst? You know what? After that first piece of reader mail telling you how much your book meant to them, there is no worst.

How do you balance your personal and writing time?
I’m lucky to be a full-time writer -- well, as full-time as it can be with my five year old. She’s special needs and is currently on a home therapy schedule, so things get a little crazy around here during the day. The bulk of my writing gets done when she’s asleep -- which means I’m usually up until 2AM or so. And then my husband’s awesome about giving me most of the weekend to myself for the writing. Although I suspect that has a lot to do with his plan to semi-retire in a few years -- on me. 

How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
My characters -- especially the heroes -- seem to just ‘arrive.’ The story grows from them. Usually there are several of them in the background, not so patiently waiting their turn. And then I’ll hear something -- it could be a line from a TV show or I could be reading a book on a completely unrelated subject and boom, there’s the idea or the scenario or the heroine that will suit the hero perfectly. Once I’ve got that, I just build from there. I’m not a plotter -- but I’ve found that since I build from character, it all works out in the end.

What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
I’m exactly where I want to be -- writing military romance! Plus, I co-write under the name Sydney Croft with Larissa Ione -- paranormal erotic romance with a military bent -- so I have the best of both worlds.

Military Romance books are some of my favorite books to read, which is why I was drawn to writing them! There’s just something about a man in uniform, especially one who’s been trained to handle most anything the world throws at him. And I just love when they’re paired with a woman they’re not prepared to handle at all. So you’ve got a highly trained man who can save the world and a happy ending – what could be better?

What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
That the actual writing gets easier after you get published. You get better, for sure, with each book, published or not, and yes, editorial feedback is really awesome, but since you push yourself to grow with each book, the writing is still the writing – it’s still sitting in the chair and opening Word and working just as hard as you did before the contract. Which is why I consider anyone who writes on a regular basis a writer, published or not.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
I always tell people that my characters, especially the heroes, just arrive in my mind. And then they bug me until I find them a heroine and a plot. So really, I’ve got to say they’re always from imagination and I really think, at times, that I channel my characters. There’s one in particular, part of my Bantam SEAL trilogy, who I’ve spoken about several times on my blog. I’ve had three different women write to me privately to tell me that they know a military man with my character’s name and his physical characteristics who grew up in Bayou Country…and they all want to know if I know how to get in touch with him!

Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
Honestly, they’re all my favorites when I’m writing them – I couldn’t write a character I didn’t fall in love with one way or the other. But there is one that’s really special to me, Jake Hansen, the Navy SEAL character in my upcoming Bantam Dell release, Hard To Hold. I’ve even got entire blog posts devoted to him – you can read them here
(, if you’re interested (start from the bottom up for them to make the most sense)…I’ve just turned in revisions on his book and I’m really thrilled with the way it’s turned out.

If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
I love, love, LOVE Viggo Mortenson…he makes an awesome hero.

What would you want readers to take away from your books?
I don’t know if romance writers fully comprehend how much good they do, how much joy they bring to people everywhere, every day, but I’m going to attest to it here from firsthand knowledge. I’m not really sure that any other genre can quite claim to do the same thing, so this is my thank you to all of from this reader of romance. Romance writers possess a greater courage than they know (beyond dealing with the stereotypes they’re often labeled with) - they dive into the complex emotions that surround love and sex and men and women, and they delve and prod the human psyche and create characters so memorable I’d swear some of them were alive. And that’s what I strive to do in every book I write.

Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Actually, I just wrote a piece for the 70 Days of Sweat Challenge some writers and I are sponsoring, so I’ll give you that snippet here:

Stop worrying about if what you’ve got is good enough or in a genre that’s selling and stop – please STOP reading the craft books if you haven’t yet written a complete book yet. I cannot stress this enough – if you’re reading a book on craft and you haven’t yet written a book that you can plug your own experiences into, you’re not going to understand that craft book on the level you need to. Just write the book – the whole book – write it in order, out of order, in any genre or POV you need to but get it down. Don’t get so caught up in the things you think you need to do for pre-writing that you don’t get the actual writing done. Save the energy you expend doing index cards and things of that sort for the writing. Trust me, the craft books will make so much more sense after the writing is accomplished.

Maybe you’re better only giving yourself a couple of hours in a row to crank out the pages or maybe you’re a grazer, like me, who writes bits and pieces all day and pulls it together at some point during the week to see what it’s all worked out to.

Don’t compare your output to anyone else’s – only compete with yourself because that’s what has to happen once you do get published. No one but you should be in your view. You will only slow yourself down if you worry about everyone else. If you want it, once you finally tell yourself, I want it, and nothing’s going to stop me, well, that’s something no one can take away from you.

Original post is here:

Who are your favorite authors?
Oh, so many favorites! I’ve got Tami Hoag, Suzanne Brockmann, Tara Janzen, Amy Tan and Cherry Adair, just to name a few!

What are you reading right now?
I’m lucky enough to have sneak peeks at a few books – Hunting The Demon by Jaci Burton that releases in September (fabulous book!) and I’m finishing Kiss of Crimson by Lara Adrian and ready to start the sequel, Midnight Awakening (again, an advanced copy of an December book). Oh, and I just finished another ARC – Tara Janzen’s On The Loose.



Losing control is the ultimate rush…

Surfer – make that ex-surfer – Carly Winters can’t believe she accidentally faxed an erotic letter to…a secure military line? Now Navy SEAL Jonathan “Hunt” Huntington is at her door, fax in hand, asking her how the fantasy ends.

Talk about fate…

Because Carly’s parents think Hunt is her new boyfriend, and Carly does need a wedding date ASAP. Hunt’s ready to play – only on one condition. Carly’s got to teach him to hang ten. Problem is, it’s been a while since Carly’s career-ending accident and she’s terrified of anything aqua. But with Hunt, letting go just may make her fantasy a reality!


Carly walked ahead of him, and he watched her outline, silhouetted in the moonlight. She moved easily, with the grace of someone who had a natural athletic ability, and he wondered if he’d get the chance to see her surf anytime soon. Or naked. With or without the surfboard.

Now that would be a fantasy come true.

“Are you coming?” she asked.

He bit his tongue and caught up to her with a few easy strides. They walked in Coming Undone by Stephanie Tylersilence for several seconds, until they hit the dunes. He jumped over into the soft sand that led to the surf, where had tide had crested, but she remained behind.

“I’m going back,” she told him.

“We just got here. And it looks like the night for a swim.”

“I’m not wearing a bathing suit.” She crossed her arms in front of her and looked anything but comfortable.

“Don’t tell me you’ve never skinny-dipped.”

“I’ll leave that one to your imagination,” she said. “And now you’re staring.”

“Not staring – imagining.”

That got a slight smile from her and yeah, he liked that smile.

“Have you gotten your fill yet?” she asked, even as his eyes lingered on her legs and continued upward, traveling slowly until his gaze met hers.

“Not by a long shot.”

“Hunt, look…”

“I’m going in,” he called out before she could start talking about heading for the house again. He threw his T-shirt toward her and quickly shed his pants. Modesty in the military wasn’t possible, and getting naked was something he’d never been much shy about anyway. “Watch my back.”

He broke into a swift run as he got closer to the edge of the surf, and once his feet hit the water he moved faster until he could dive into the dark waves and roll with the undertow. Night swimming had always been his favorite, even as a kid growing up along the beach. The sound of the rushing water wasn’t drowned out by a noisy, touristy beach crowd, and the thrill of doing something he wasn’t supposed to only added to the pleasure.

Funny, he’d have bet money a surfer would feel the same way, but Carly was no closer to joining him than she was at the start. If anything, it looked as though she’d backed away from the dunes, but she was still watching him.

Yes, there was a lot more he wanted to find out about that.
Carly wanted nothing more than to strip and run into those dark waves with him, her muscles ached for it, but her mind wouldn’t give in. Ten months ago, she wouldn’t have given his offer a second thought, probably would’ve been the one suggesting the skinny dip.

She was no fun anymore.

And when she lost sight of him for a second after a crashing wave broke over him, she held her breath until he resurfaced.

Damn. She hated this, hated herself for being so scared.
She held onto Hunt’s t-shirt in one hand, picked up his pants with the other and shook the sand from them while he frolicked in the waves. There was no underwear to be found, and she guessed the term going commando was indeed coined by the military for a reason.

How did she get herself involved in all of this?

Right, the movie thing. The, I’m-dating-someone-already, excuse. The Candy Valentine letter.

She would have a lot more fun bringing Hunt along. The parties she was expected to attend would be boring and stuffy and Hunt could pull his magic hypnotizing act on the whole lot of them. He’d probably be a big hit, once he agreed to help her out.

He ran back up the sand and stopped right in front of her, salt water running off his body which, even with only the moonlight to see by, looked better than anything she’d ever seen in a gym or on a surfer.

Her hands fisted at her sides, nails biting palms again until he let a lazy, half smile tug at his mouth. He was standing so close, so naked, daring her to do something, anything. She thought about the way he’d swum out, how powerful his body looked cutting through the moonlit waves.

She wanted some of that power for her own, needed to release the tension making her body ache. And her fantasy was standing right in front of her.


"Stephanie Tyler is a writer whose name you’d do well to remember as she writes sexy tales about sassy women and gorgeous men which hook you from the very first page and which keep you engrossed until the final full stop. Witty, steamy and romantic, Coming Undone is certainly not a book for the faint hearted and readers will love its intoxicating blend of steamy sensuality, hilarious one-liners and sophisticated romance!"
-- Julie Bonello, CataRomance Reviews

"A winner all the way, COMING UNDONE is an unforgettable story — from the memorable characters and the scorching sensuality to the realization that you can’t always control what happens in your life. If you only had one Blaze to pick up during the month of April, then make it COMING UNDONE."
-- Patti Fischer, Romance Reviews Today

"Tyler’s “Coming Undone” is just the read to get you thinking “Summer.” Her straight forward, dead-on writing style invites us to get hot and happy and bowled over by love right along with Carly and Hunt. Which makes being there when they do come undone one of the best things about the novel — next to just how great a romance it is."
-- Michelle Buonofiglio, Romance: Buy The Book

Coming Undone by Stephanie Tyler
ISBN: 0373793197
ISBN-13: 978-0373793198
Publisher: Harlequin Blaze
Release Date: April 2007
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Military Romance
$11.86 from

Purchase Coming Undone by Stephanie Tyler HERE!!!

posted by Rachelle
at 3:35 PM