Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Some Like Them Rich: Interview With Author Shirley Hailstock Plus Gift Basket Contest

You're invited to celebrate the release of Shirley Hailstock's
new novel,

Some Like Them Rich

Can she listen to her heart...
Disillusioned by love and dreading her thirtieth birthday, Amberlina Nash is determined to snag a rich man by spending the summer mingling with the country club set on Martha’s Vineyard. But when Amber meets charismatic hotel manager Don Randall, she struggles to maintain her polished alter ego—and fights the possibility that what she wants and what she needs might be two different things…

When love isn't part of the plan?
Serial playboy Sheldon St. Romaine has spent the past year running one of his father’s hotels to prove he has a knack for the business. To guests, he is the modest and accommodating Don Randall, whom Amber finds irresistible. But she’s certain he lacks the bank account she’s really after. While both are harboring secrets, neither can deny the passion that ignites between them…
Prolific author [Shirley] Hailstock delivers a thoughtful, sensual examination of people who think they can escape their hearts...Hailstock's characters and situations feel vividly real, and her portrayals of African-American professional women looking for love and security will resonate with all readers.

-- Publishers Weekly, the industry insider magazine

“Hailstock is a master storyteller whose characters linger in the heart.”
--Susan Elizabeth Phillips, New York Times bestselling author

"A steamy, updated twist on the classic Marilyn Monroe film, How to Marry a Millionaire, with an exclusive setting and three ambitious young women who must ultimately choose between financial security and true love."
--Booklist (pre-pub magazine for the American Library Association)

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 twenty-five novels and novellas, Shirley has received numerous awards, including the Waldenbooks Bestselling Romance Award and The Emma Merritt Award from Romance Writers of America. Romantic Times Magazine awarded her a Career Achievement Award and The New York Chapter of Romance Writers of America gave her their Golden Apple Award for Lifetime Achievement. In addition, one of her books was included in the the Top 100 Romances of the 20th Century list and she is a recipient of Fairleigh Dickinson University’s highest award, the Pinnacle. Shirley is a past president of Romance Writers of America. Her books have appeared on Blackboard and Library Journal Best Seller Lists.

Q: Shirley, tell us a little about how you came to write Some Like Them Rich.

Shirley: I love old movies. One of my favorites is How to Marry A Millionaire. I also wanted to write a book that was a little outside the “true” romance guidelines. Then in the mail comes my college alumni magazine and inside it is a huge ad for a trip to Martha’s Vineyard. Since the island had a rich history for African-Americans, I came up with the idea of writing a How to Marry a Millionaire-African American style. In Some Like Them Rich, there are three heroines all looking for love in the one place they can find rich African American men under fifty - Martha’s Vineyard.

Q: The novel takes place on Martha's Vineyard. What is your favorite passage in the book that describes the island?

Shirley: The stretch of famous beach opened up in front of us. The place was a triangle of rocky sand dwarfed by an endless ocean. It was crowded with people, families, couples, and groups of singles.

Q: You've been writing over two decades, and you've learned lessons along the way. What's the most important writing lesson you've learned?

Shirley: It’s all about character. Four little words. The better you know your characters, the better the book will be. It doesn’t matter what kind of story it told. The characters tell it. They are the ones who live it and making the alive and able to touch the hearts of readers is the best an author can hope for.

Q: Readers often wonder how words add up to a 300 plus page novel. What are your writing habits? Do you have a special place to work? Do you write in longhand or on the computer?

Shirley: There are thing I often do when writing, but none of them are a “must do.” I use whatever time, place, and materials I have. I try to write everyday, even if it’s only a paragraph. My goal is one page a day, but when I sit down to write and get into the zone (Stephen King describes this in his novel Misery as jumping into the page), I usually write more than that. My average about five to ten pages in a sitting. I begin writing in the morning, but it often spills into the afternoon. I used to work a full-time job and could only write at night. Now I can be more productive. I don’t write long hand. Mainly I use a computer, but if I have to sit in a waiting room, I’m on an airplane, or at a sporting event, I write with a pen, on lined paper, in ink, in blood, whatever.

Q: Shirley, you have won numerous writing awards, served as past-president of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and you're the president of the New Jersey RWA chapter. You are a mom, a grandmother, a great cook, and have a Master's degree in Marketing. You use your time more wisely than anyone I know. Back when Bandwidth and Trey were little, you used to tell me that you had 24 hours in a day--so did I. Great advice for anyone (not just novelists). Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Shirley: I also said it was a good thing there were only 24 hours in a day, because more hours just gives us more stuff to get done. It would mean I would get even less sleep. What I mean is we need to work with what we have. If we only have 24 hours, then we need to work within those limits.

As to advice for aspiring writers, other than the obvious one, which is write, you should read. Read everything, read books you don’t like and analyze why you don’t like them. The same is true for books you do like. Find out why you like it. What did that author do that made you like her book? And that you’ve read (and continue to read), write. Finish a book. Then write another one.

To win a copy of Shirley's book and a beach-themed (see above) gift basket, just leave a comment and mention the words "Martha's Vineyard.

To learn more about Shirley's novels, visit her blog: Shirley Hailstock

Some Like Them Rich is available in paperback and also as an ebook.

B&N Nookbook
B&N paperback.

Be sure to leave a comment, using the words "Martha's Vineyard," and your name will be entered into the drawing for a copy of the book plus a gift basket. On a personal note, Shirley and I have been friends for nearly three decades. She and I used to talk on the phone about writing when our children were babies--and she's the inventor of The Hailstock Chocolate Cake Diet. If you want details, you'll have to ask Shirley! The contest ends Monday, March 28th at midnight (wherever you are, time-zone wise).The winner will be announced Tuesday, March 29, 2011.
Thanks for coming by the blog! And please check back Thursday night for the Foodie Friday virtual cookbook. I will trying a *new* thumbnail gadget (sweating and wringing hands). Also, there's still one week left to enter the copper cookware giveaway (see sidebar for details).

384 pages
Publisher: Kensington; 1 edition (Pub date: March 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0758231458
ISBN-13: 978-0758231451


  1. Wow...sounds like another lovely book to read besides GWAHM! I've never read a book from Shirley Hailstock and this could be the very first. Can't wait to get all the juicy and steamy details that's happening in Martha’s Vineyard!

  2. Some day I hope to travel to Martha's Vineyard! I will take the book with me and read it on the beach!

  3. I have never been to Martha's Vineyard but it is on my bucket list.:) The book sounds like a fabulous read!

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  5. What a wonderful friendship that has lasted all these years. Being a west coast person and having live on the east coast of England, I've never visited the US east coast or Martha's Vineyard. New England is my next destination!

  6. I would love to go to Martha's Vinyard. Sounds like a good read!

  7. Thanks for interviewing a friend! I hope if I'm ever published, someone will do the same for me. I love hearing HOW writers write - hoping someday I'll do the same. As for Martha's Vineyard, I've read fascinating books set there - romance, suspence. That area seems to be a muse for it all. Just ordered the book - can't wait to read it!

  8. I've been to Martha's Vineyard several times...it's beautiful! And lots of fun. The book sounds like a great summer read.

  9. I've not read any of Shirley's books, so thanks for introducing us to her work. Only visited Martha's Vineyard once, and have fond memories, though my favorite island is Nantucket. ~ Sarah

  10. We used to alternate our summer vacations between The Cape and Martha's Vineyard when our children were young! Beautiful beaches! This book sounds like a good vacation read! Thanks for the contest. Keeping my fingers crossed! :)

  11. I love Cape Cod. Martha's Vineyard too. Beautiful area.
    The book sounds interesting!

  12. I love to read but I've never been to Martha's Vineyard- at least I could go there via Shirley's book if I won! It sounds like a great story.

  13. When I read this book takes place at Martha's Vineyard I knew I would love to read it. I love the beach and have never been to Martha's Vineyard, but would really like to go sometime. The story sounds great:)

  14. I have never been to Martha's Vineyard but hope to go one day. I love to read and will pick up Shirley's book and read about the Vineyard there.
    Great giveaway!!

    Mary L

  15. Visiting Martha's Vineyard is right up there at the top of my Bucket List. :)))
    See you for FF...

  16. During our trip to Hyannis, I so wanted to take the ferry to Martha's Vineyard. Maybe next trip.

  17. How amazing! I would love to travel to Martha's vineyard with a picnic packed and a blanket to spread on the ground! What an experience! Thanks! ♥

  18. I have never been to Martha's Vineyard.. we want to go to Martha's Vineyard... We TALK about Martha's Vineyard at least once a month. Martha's Vineyard is on my bucket list!!!