Coffee With New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Samantha Chase, Shaughnessy and Manager Mick Tyler
Rae: Welcome back Samantha Chase to the blog. With spring on the horizon I have an Almond Caramel Coconut Milk Latte with drizzles of caramel and white chocolate in my mug. In honor of your book release my barista baked up a batch of peanut butter blondies and chocolate covered strawberries. What is in your cuppa?
Samantha: I am a very boring drinker and it is straight up hot cocoa for me!
Rae: Cocoa sounds yummy! I find that reading is best when I have a beverage and a snack, what do you need to have for yourself when you are settling in to read?
Samantha: Normally I’m reading in bed and snacking and drinking there is a big fat no-no. However…if I’m feeling sassy and in the mood for a mid-day read, I am all about some cookies. Wegman’s has these double chocolate ones called Chocolate Indulgence and let me tell you, I am HERE for them. They are the perfect snack when I’m reading.
Rae: Ok, those really do sound delish. I’ll have to look for them the next time I’m at Wegmans. In a few words, can you describe the type of books you write?
Samantha: Okay… I write contemporary romances that are hotter than sweet, sweeter than hot. That’s my tagline. But people still mistake that to mean that I write clean or sweet, and that’s not exactly true. There is definitely some steam on the page, but we fade to black for the good stuff 😉
Rae: Samantha is here to dish all things Shaughnessy as we celebrate the release of One More Chance which hit shelves yesterday. While writing One More Chance what songs were on your playlist?
Samantha: Thanks for having me on the blog! So…this series was greatly inspired by the music of Bon Jovi and I went back there for Mick’s book, as well. The song that really was a standout for Mick and Sienna was “Bed of Roses”, but I do have an entire Band on the Run playlist on Spotify.
Rae: Great song list, readers click on that link. How much research and travel was involved before crafting Mick’s story?
Samantha: I didn’t do any traveling while writing, but I did a lot of research and some of the places I had been to in the past and drew from my own experience. I was born and raised on Long Island and spent a lot of time in Manhattan so to have the story kickoff there was me just using the familiar. When they went to Memphis, I had to do the research because I’ve never been – but it’s on my bucket list! Vegas, L.A., San Francisco are all cities I’ve traveled to, as well.
Rae: Will there be more books for The Shaughnessy’s or Band on the Run? I feel like there could be another epilogue or novella somewhere down the line, maybe Christmas time?
Samantha: So…if it were up to me, there would be more books. I actually introduce two potential stories in this book, but I won’t write them unless there is a huge demand for them. As vocal as fans of this series were about wanting Mick’s story, preorders weren’t great so I’m not sure how release week is going to play out. As for a bonus epilogue, the special edition paperback (which will be available in a few weeks) will have one.
Rae: You recently shared that you got the rights back to many of your books and recently re-published thirty-two books. Wow, thirty-two. What was your process to make sure all the details were managed? Did you have to create new book covers, what was that process like?
Samantha: I think I still have PTSD from the experience! LOL! I kind of thrive on chaos. I got the rights back the week before Christmas so…that meant nothing was going to get done until the first of the year. I didn’t get clean files back so every single book had to be re-edited, re-formatted from PDF to a Word doc, re-proofed, new covers…it was just all SO much. On top of that, I had a new release schedule in place for 2022 that I needed to stick to. It literally took a village to get it all done. I had three people for each step that needed to be done – except the covers. I have one cover artist and she was AMAZING. And while it was fun to design new covers, it was a lot of work. I had a giant dry erase board in my office that kept me on task.
Rae: Did you make any minor edits or changes to any of those books?
Samantha: Most of the books just got minor edits – things that my previous publisher missed, but I did add content to two of the Montgomery Brothers books – WAIT FOR ME and TRUST IN ME – because they were shorter and I just felt like they needed a little more. Everything else I had to just let go otherwise these books never would have gotten back up on retail sites.
Rae: In the midst of all that re-publishing, you were writing new books as well. Was there one story during this process where the characters decided they had a different story to tell and took you on a different path than the one you envisioned?
Samantha: Since I’m not big on plotting/planning my books, most times I’m surprised where my characters go. Lol! It makes writing so much fun when you don’t put yourself in a box and try to force the characters to behave a certain way. However…my father passed away in February last year (completely unexpected) and we hadn’t spoken in several years. We did get to have those last two weeks of his life to make our peace with one another and I was the only one in the room with him when he died. A month later, I started writing KISS THE GIRL (Magnolia Sound’s final book). I always knew that book was going to deal with a character’s death. I knew that from the moment I started writing the series. I just didn’t realize how much that character’s death and his relationship with his children was going to mirror my own relationship with my dad. So it was a VERY emotional journey and very cathartic for me because I got to say a lot of things in the book, that I never got to say with my dad.
Rae: What was it like to sit down and write Micks story? This story, it was one that I have been waiting for and it was amazing.
Samantha: Years ago – when the original series ended – I really thought I was good with ending it at three books. Readers asked for Mick’s book, and I just sort of figured it would be a bonus, short story somewhere down the road. Last year I was part of a small town promo group and I wrote a short version of this book – it was only 20K words. Well, after readers read it, they wanted a more fleshed-out story so the 20K book got expanded to 72K words! And I was really glad that I did because we got to really dig deep into what was motivating Mick and Sienna to finally take this chance at this point in their lives. Mick’s in his mid-40s and Sienna’s only a few years younger. Love doesn’t only happen in your 20s 😊
Rae: So true! Without spoiling too much, you sprinkled a few beloved characters in a unique and clever way. What made you decide to blend both worlds and revisit the gang?
Samantha: Back when the Band on the Run series was released, I don’t feel my publisher did a good job of promoting that it was a spin-off of The Shaughnessy Brothers series. They gave the covers a completely different look and it wasn’t until the series was over that someone was like, “Oh, should we have put that on the cover?” If ever you want to do a blog on what NOT to do when working with a publisher, I’ll gladly contribute.
Anyway, being that I could do anything I wanted with this story, I wanted to give readers a chance to get updates on as many past characters as I could. And if they are just now finding this series with ONE MORE CHANCE, they can know that there are ten other books for them to read! Lol! The Shaughnessys were such a great family, and the band wouldn’t be here without them, so it just seemed right to check in with them all.
Rae: Speaking of the guys, they have been patiently waiting, should we bring them in?
Rae: Welcome back Riley Shaughnessy, it has been a while since you were here. The last time you were here was back in 2017 and 2016 when your siblings were kind enough to join you. (Readers you can check out those here … Coffee With the Shaughnessy’s Holiday Spice (2017), Samantha Chase Blitz Day 2: Coffee With the Shaughnessy Brothers (December 2016), and Samantha Chase Blitz – Day 2: Coffee With Samantha Chase and The Shaughnessy Family (June 2016)) I hope they are all doing well. I am thrilled the Shaughnessy gang’s all here. Matt Reed, Dylan Anders, Julian Grayson and Agent and Manager Mick Tyler, thank you for being here. Welcome.
I hope everyone had a chance to grab a cuppa at the bar, my barista told me he crafted a few new drinks in your honor. I like to start with a little bit of trivia questions … think of it as an opening act, Mick these questions are for you too.
Rae: You created a spotify playlist – Who are you listening to?
Mick: Thanks for having us here, Rae! If I’m looking for comfort, I tend to listen to something a little softer. And not just ballads, I really enjoy listening to soft jazz or even the old crooners like Sinatra. If I’m on the road, my list is primarily acts that I’m considering representing or I’ll choose whoever is popular right now to get a feel for what fans are looking for. And when we’re all together and hanging out, I like listening to the groups I represent – and primarily, Shaughnessy. (Winks)
Rae: What is the one app on your phone that gets used the most?
Mick: Instagram. Gotta make sure my clients are getting seen!
Rae: Home cooked or Door Dash?
Mick: I do enjoy when Sienna and I sit down to something we cooked together, but we’re both so busy that we use Door Dash more often than not.
Rae: Salty or sweet?
Mick: Oh, definitely sweet!
Rae: Book, Audiobook, or Podcast? Last one you read or listened to?
Mick: At night, Sienna and I love to read while we’re in bed and both tend to gravitate toward ebooks. When we travel – especially in the car – we sometimes pop in an audiobook, but primarily enjoy listening to Podcasts. The last one I listened to was Bandsplain which essentially is like a very polished version of those wee-hours conversations you have with your best music buddies. Definitely a good listen.
Rae: How often do you meet up, as a band – in the studio, just hanging out, or on the road? When you meet up is it easy for the wives to join- I hear they are friends as well?
Riley: My family and Dylan’s are still primarily set in L.A. so we get together fairly often.
Matt: Vivienne and I are east coasters all the way, but we go out to L.A. probably every three months or so for the sole purpose of getting together to jam or record.
Julian: Yeah, Charlotte and I made the move to the east coast and we spend most of our time there unless there’s something going on with the band.
Dylan: Paige and I are the last holdouts on getting a vacation home on the east coast. (laughs) And because these guys all have houses, we just crash with one of them!
Riley: We’re contemplating having to get a bigger place with a guest house just for Dylan and Paige…
Dylan: It’s not like we’re there that often, dude…
Julian: He can practically claim you as a dependent.
Mick: Alright, everybody play nice!
Riley: As for our wives, they are the best of friends and are thrilled to have Sienna as part of their group. We’re all fairly blessed that everyone gets along and genuinely likes each other.
Dylan: It’s true. We’ve only done one major tour in the last several years and it was a true family affair – wives, kids, and dogs!
Mick: Do not even get me started on the dogs…
Julian: Normally, I’d prefer to stay at a house – Airbnb or something instead of a hotel just for the sake of the dogs – but when you’re only staying for a night or two, it’s just not as practical.
Rae: What are the chances we might see Shaughnessy on tour or in the studio this year?
Riley: We’re currently in the studio right now and trying to get the last few songs done on this album.
Matt: I’m the reason we’re rushing. Vivienne’s pregnant and as much as she doesn’t mind being away from home, I think right now she’d prefer it.
Dylan: I think we’re all…I don’t want to say rushing, but we understand. We worked out a lot of the stuff before getting into the studio, so things are moving at a good pace.
Julian: We’ve been doing this together for so long, and we talk to each other so often, that it feels more like we’re putting the finishing touches on it all once we hit the studio. We each have studio space in our homes, so even when we’re not together, we’re working on the music in our own spaces. Vivienne will be sleeping in her own bed in no time.
Rae: Do your kids know how famous you all are?
Riley: My kids know it, and our oldest daughter – Aislynn – tries to use it to her advantage at school! Last week Savannah and I got called in because she tried to bargain with her Science teacher…she wanted to give him tickets to the next Shaughnessy show if she didn’t have to dissect a frog!
Mick: (laughing) I love that kid.
Dylan: Dude, that’s brilliant! But I’ll probably aske someone else to babysit next time we’re in town. I can’t have her giving my boys any ideas.
Julian: Our kids are still a little too young to fully understand it, but we really try to downplay it at home. We just want to live a normal life.
Matt: This is going to be our first baby, and I haven’t mentioned it. (wink)
Dylan: I started telling my boys as soon as they were born! Bedtime stories were all about the band and places we’d toured.
Riley: Dude, seriously?
Dylan: What? It’s not like I was talking about groupies or anything…
Julian: Does Paige know? I’ll bet you like a thousand dollars that she has no idea those were the bedtime stories!
Dylan: NEXT QUESTION!!
Rae: I love watching the evolution of bands as they transition from wild days of dating to finding their person and settling down, some might even say driving a minivan too? Do you think any of your children might dip their toes in the music industry? Would you be ok with that?
Julian: I wouldn’t say I’d forbid it, but…I certainly wouldn’t encourage it. This business is hard and it not always a safe space, you know?
Matt: (sighs loudly) For the love of it, you can’t still be this uptight.
Julian: (shrugging) I can be whoever the hell I want. But if either of our kids showed an interest on their own – with no prompting from me or Charlotte – I’d be sure to be there to guide them.
Riley: I think we’d all want to be there for our kids – especially in this industry. Not that I want to get into the whole Nepo Baby debate, but if other people saw that they had talent, I’d want to encourage them.
Matt: Whatever they want to do, I’ll encourage.
Rae: If you could take time off, switch gears for a bit, where would you be and what would you be doing?
Julian: I’d love to rent a place that is quiet and where we could just sort of go unnoticed. There’s a small town in England that I stayed in years ago that I always promised Charlotte I’d take her to. So…
Riley: One of my brother Hugh’s resorts. Hands down. I don’t even think I care which one, just…go and relax and drink some fantastic wine and eat some amazing food.
Matt: Vivienne’s folks live in Paris and we’ve gone there to visit multiple times, but I think I’d love to go and see them and then go on to Italy and just walk around and see the sites and eat the food. Viv used to be a food blogger so I think she’d love that too. So much of our time is spent doing stuff related to my job, that I’d love to do something that I know was just for her.
Matt: Shut up. What would you do?
Dylan: Time off and not doing anything music related? I’d love to be sitting on the beach somewhere tropical and maybe doing some fishing. I’d love to teach the boys how to do it – catch out own dinners, clean the fish…I think that would be a blast!
Mick: Until Paige had to come and clean fish guts off of everyone, right?
Rae: Mick, what is it like knowing this band is stronger than ever in light of the obstacles along the way? I know you went above and beyond to support them through some rather tough times.
Mick: The five of us have been through…everything together. I don’t look at Riley, Julian, Matt, and Dylan as clients. They’re family. And you do whatever it takes to make sure you’re family is happy and healthy. I look at these guys now and it still blows my mind how far we’ve come. And the thing is, it’s not all one-sided. These guys have been there for me, as well.
Riley: We’re brothers.
Dylan: There isn’t anything we wouldn’t do for each other.
Rae: Without divulging the identity of anyone, what is the craziest request you ever had for a client – on tour or just in general?
Mick: Oh, good Lord…sometimes it amazes me what people ask for. The craziest was a certain diva who insisted that her entire dressing room be done in hot pink silk and chandeliers, along with a seafood bar with enough food to feed a dozen people at every stop. She never shared the food with anyone except her boyfriend and her mother, and most of the food got thrown out.
There was another request that was…unusual. A client – whenever we toured down in Australia or New Zealand – insisted that he have a day with no responsibilities so he could have the time with…penguins. (Nods) He loved spending time with them in their native environments and…
Dylan: TWICE! I asked to do it TWICE! Geez!
(Everyone laughs hysterically)
Rae: Mick – Did you ever think of walking away from all of this or focusing on less talent? It seems like with Shaughnessy it’s more than just being their agent and manager, what do you attribute that to? Were there any moments in the past you thought they may not make it as a group?
Mick: I knew from the moment Riley Shaughnessy walked up on the stage in that dive bar that he was going to be a star. All of them. I spent almost a year combing the clubs in Hollywood and every night I’d leave disgusted. The night I saw these guys? It was obvious immediately that they had talent. They were the first band I signed and they are the gold standard that I held other acts to for a long time. Then I had to remind myself that different acts bring different…magic, you can say, to their music.
I’ve dealt with smaller acts and bands/singers who weren’t nearly as talented as I wanted them to be. Some were one-hit wonders, some lasted a little longer, but I have always believed in doing what I can to nurture the talent. Does it always pay off? No. But if I see even a small spark of something, I’m willing to give them a try.
But back to these guys…like I said, I just knew from the moment I saw them that they were different. I feel like we all kind of grew up together – we learned this business together – and we navigated it all together. I made mistakes and they forgave me, they made mistakes, and I did the same. We all genuinely like and respect each other. But…like any family, sometimes we fight and say or do things we shouldn’t. At the end of the day, though, we talk it out.
Riley: Mick’s the king of tough love. We all hate it when it’s focused on us, but ultimately, I think I can speak for all of us when I say that once we calm down, we know he’d never do anything to hurt us. There’s a trust there that…I don’t know…it was just there from day one.
Rae: Riley, after sitting here and talking with you guys I can see how much you genuinely care for each other. It’s why fans are so enamored and devoted, you guys are the real deal.
Ok, Mick, this one’s for you… If you had the opportunity to have dinner with one person, past or present who would it be and why?
Mick: Ooo…I feel like I should say something music related like Brian Epstein – who managed the Beatles. But I don’t know if it would be to learn from him or to maybe brag about how well I’ve done for myself. (laughs) My whole life has been about this path – this industry – and I’ve had the opportunity to sit and eat with a lot of my idols. But if I had to pick one, I’d really love for it to be the late Freddie Mercury. That voice…I still get chills.
Rae: Mick, I’ve asked so many people that question and I don’t think I’ve ever had the same answer. That sounds like it would be a fabulous dinner!
Before we go, for all of those young music dreamers out there, what is one piece of advice you could give them that you wish you had received when you first started in this business all those years ago?
Mick: Persevere. It doesn’t happen overnight. Don’t sell yourself short and listen to the critics with a grain of salt. Not everyone has your back.
Riley: Definitely persevere, and remember to always be good to the fans. They’re the reason you have a career. Don’t screw it up by being a jerk to them.
Matt: Know your limitations. We’re all not going to be Jagger, Jackson, or Mercury, and that’s okay. Go out there and be the best at what you do and don’t ever think you don’t have to keep honing your craft.
Dylan: Know who your real friends are. There are people out there who will just want to ride your coattails and don’t care about who you really are. Keep your circle small.
Julian: This is a business first and foremost. Sure it’s fun to get up on stage and have people cheering and singing along, but it’s not just a big party. Know what you’re signing, be wise with your money, and have a plan for when it’s all over.
Dylan: Geez…that was depressing.
Julian: I just said it’s not just a big party…
Dylan: Yeah, I know but you made it sound just…ugh.
Matt: Dude, are you just meeting Julian? That’s how he talks all the time!
Riley: Bottom line? Yes, Julian sounds like Eyeore, but he’s right.
Mick: It is like herding cats with these guys, but it’s never boring!
Rae: Samantha thanks again. If fans are looking to find you this year, where can they catch up with you?
Samantha: Thank YOU!! This was a blast!! Readers, you can find me primarily on FB and IG, but here are all my links!!
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Samantha Chase is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller of contemporary romance that’s hotter than sweet, sweeter than hot. She released her debut novel in 2011 and currently has more than eighty titles under her belt – including THE CHRISTMAS COTTAGE which was a Hallmark Christmas movie in 2017! She’s a Disney enthusiast who still happily listens to 80’s rock. When she’s not working on a new story, she spends her time reading romances, playing way too many games of Solitaire on Facebook, wearing a tiara while playing with her sassy pug Maylene…oh, and spending time with her husband of 32 years and their two sons in Wake Forest, North Carolina.
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