Shyla Colt grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, but has lived a variety of different places thanks to her wanderlust, interesting careers, and marriage to a United States Marine.
She’s always loved books and wrote her very first novel at the age of fifteen. She keeps a copy of her first submission letter on her desk for inspiration.
After a lifetime of traveling, she settled down and knew her time had come to write. Diving into her new career like she does everything else, with enthusiasm, research and a lot of prayers, she had her first book published in June of 2011. As a full-time writer, stay at home mother, and wife, there’s never a dull moment in her household.
TDBW: When did you start writing?
Shyla: Wow. I can’t put an exact date to it. I was always scribbling and imagining. I can say, my first “serious” novel was written when I was fifteen. I still have the submission letter for it hanging on my inspiration cork board.
TDBW: What was the first story you remember writing?
Shyla: Vampire Twins, a young adult paranormal romance I wrote when I was fifteen. I still have the story packed away in a box.
TDBW: What genre is your most preferred?
Shyla: I couldn’t pick just one. I’m known for my genre-hopping. I’m an avid reader, so I knew when I entered the publishing world I wanted to write the way I read, which means a little of this and a little of that. I can promise three main elements in each tale I pen: strong female leads, alpha males with heart, and pop culture aka my geekiness leaking onto the page.
TDBW: What challenges you the most in your writing?
Shyla: I set a personal goal for myself to make each book better than the previous one. It’s a constant struggle to meet the goal, but at the end of the day ( and weeks and weeks of edits) I walk away after typing the end feeling proud of what I present to readers.
TDBW: What is your favorite thing about being an author?
Shyla: Hands down, connecting with my readers is my favorite thing about bring an author. I’m still amazed that I get to put the images, characters, and plots in my head onto paper, and people read, relate and respond to them. It’s a magical experience I’ll never tire of and hope to spend the rest of my life doing.
TDBW: What do you like least about being an author?
Shyla: It’s a tie between blurbs and title. It’s a real challenge to sum up everything in only a few words.
TDBW: How many books do you currently have available?
Shyla: I have 55 books and three anthologies I’m featured in available.
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Visit Shyla Colt’s Amazon author page for more exciting books
TDBW: What projects are you currently working on?
Shyla: I’m working on a Bad Boy story for an anthology featuring a May/December romance set in a small town with two extremely stubborn lead characters. To say there will be fireworks is an understatement.
TDBW: Do you have any books coming out soon?
Shyla: I just released, For the Love of Dixie last week. It’s the third in my Kings of Chaos MC series. It’s a standalone that deals with a number of heavy issues like self-harm, racism, and survival, despite a harsh environment.
For the Love of Dixie
Be sure check out the excerpt “For the Love of Dixie” below
TDBW: Which book, or series, is your favorite?
Shyla: For me, they’re like my children. I love them all for different reasons. I will say I’m particularly proud of my two latest releases, For the Love of Dixie, and Hold on, Pain Ends. They both dealt with real-life issues many of us go through.
TDBW: Who are some of your favorite authors?
Shyla: Aurora Rose Reynolds, Dahlia Rose, Bella Jewel, Tillie Cole, Dean Koontz, Stephen King, and so many more.
TDBW: Which book(s) inspire you the most?
Shyla: The ones that make me think, and show me something new.
TDBW: Do you listen to music when you write? If so, what band(s) do you play?
Shyla: Yes, I usually have a soundtrack I form from the songs that influenced me the most when I was writing. I love all kinds of music, so the artists vary. It can be anything from classic rock like AC/DC to the more modern Imagine Dragons. I love music just as much as I do books.
TDBW: Any hobbies?
Shyla: I’m a craft-a-holic, so I’m always finding a new craft to learn. I also love making jewelry, baking, cooking and traveling to new places.
TDBW: Tell us some more about yourself including your website and where we can find you on social media sites:
Shyla: I love all things vintage. I’m constantly on the hunt for new pieces to put in my home. I have two small daughters who keep me on my toes, a husband who’s a weapons specialist (Thankfully he helps me plan my action scenes and makes sure I get my facts right) and I love road trips.
You can find me at the following places:
My website: www.shylacolt.com
TDBW: Care to share a bit of one of your books with us?
Shyla: Here’s a sample from For the Love of Dixie.
Pressing my foot on the gas, I open up the engine of my Chevy Camaro. Black Betty growls. I weave through the cars on the highway, hell bent on reaching my hometown. Thoughts of my father swim in my mind. Is he still alive? Will he survive this?
The years spent pulling all-nighters, partying hard, and taking on too much stress have finally gotten to him. They wheeled him into Mount St. Joseph hospital two hours ago.
I made the drive from Santa Monica in under an hour, breaking laws and driving with the aggressive skills honed on the busy highways of California. The familiar landscape is nothing more than a blur. I’m going too fast, and my ability to focus is shot. All that matters is reaching San Mateo. I know how their hospital is going to play it. They’ll bust the club’s balls and tell them they can only let in and release information to the next of kin or emergency contact.
Despite the AC blowing from the vents, a fine sheen of sweat coats my body. My father is everything to me. Mother, father, sister, brother, and extended family. I never knew my mother, and unlike many single fathers in our lifestyle, he never pawned me off on someone else. His philosophy is … we’re in it together. That means it was him and me against the world.
And then I left.
Guilt shreds me from the inside like poison tipped claws, releasing toxins into my bloodstream. I hit the brakes and skid into the parking lot, steering the car precariously into an open spot. After fumbling with the seatbelt with clumsy fingers and shaky hands, I manage to remove the strap, stumble from the car, and take a shaky breath. This wild-eyed, panicked persona won’t win me any points with the Kings, or help him.
Knock it the fuck off, Dunn. Time to woman up.
My heels clack against the blacktop as I walk through the rows of cars. I spot a line of parked motorcycles up front. My stomach drops, and I feel as if I’ve started the descent down a large hill. I run out of steam a few feet from the Harleys, faltering at the thought of facing their knowing eyes and censure. Everyone has an opinion about me and the way I handled things. I’m used to the malicious stares peppered in. It’s the silent accusations that kill me. At least I have the Grans. Grandpa and Grandma Dunn had accepted me and loved me with the single-minded-all-consuming-love that only grandparents are capable of.
As I stare at the double doors, my past rushes up and consumes me. The loneliness, shame, and self-loathing are the bile creeping up the back of my throat. God hates me. I’ve suspected it from the minute I was old enough to realize how fucked up my living situation was. Yet I didn’t let that stop me. I’m a part of Chaos. We don’t bitch and whine. We change what doesn’t work and keep it moving. It doesn’t matter if we’re dying inside. Maybe that’s why so many of us have a wicked vice of going a little mad. All that holding in emotions and pretending to be okay. Never mind the dirt, blood, and secrets that cover each and every one of us. We can pretend it’s a motorcycle club that loves to ride, but in the back of our minds, the reality is always there staring us in the face.