Reader, I Married Him: Author Spouses Tell All: Roni Loren & JIll Shalvis

Valentine’s Day is our holiday, when everyone’s thinking fragrant bouquets, intimate dinners, sexytimes … you know, romance. Which got us to wondering, what’s it like to be married to a romance author? Is it all lingerie and drama? Or more … take out and Netflix marathons? For the rest of the week we’ll be meeting some romance author spouses who are going to tell it like it is. Readers, get ready to swoon. 

Today we chat with Roni Loren’s husband, Donnie, whose teen years could be turned into a bestselling YA novel and who keeps his football helmet nearby for any deadline mishaps!

What’s the biggest misconception about having a romance author for a spouse?

Most people severely underestimate the amount of time and effort it takes to produce a book. When I tell them it’s a four to six month, full time commitment from start to finish, they are usually very surprised.

What’s the silliest thing anyone’s ever said to you about having a romance author for a spouse?

“You must get jealous of the guys your wife writes about.” Um, no. I do realize the guys are fictional. I am jealous of the Viper she gave one of the heroes, though. Sadly, that car is fictional, too.

What’s the biggest perk that comes from having a romance author for a spouse?

Every now and then I’ll join her for a trip or a readers’ conference, and those are always a blast. We’ll go to one of the parties, but I will be one of the only dudes in the place. That’s super awkward … err … I mean that’s a total perk. Make sure if you bring your husband or boyfriend into this situation, you warn him that sometimes at these events they will turn the men’s restroom into an additional women’s restroom to accommodate the crowds. The restroom you used four hours earlier has now been converted to a luxurious space with sitting areas, flowers and mood lighting. Don’t miss the temporary signage or you might get arrested.

Has your spouse ever put you in a book?

A gentleman never tells. 😉

Brag about your spouse, what are you most proud of them accomplishing in this difficult industry?

I’m not sure where to start because that is a long list. I would say being able to have her debut book grow to nine different titles is a really awesome accomplishment. She turned what she was most passionate about into a career. Not many get to do that.

Does everyone in your life know what your spouse does for a living?

Yes! I want everybody to know. I have many co-workers who have the books or got them for their spouses. I’d be a one person street team if Roni would let me, but she says that could be interpreted as a little creepy to some potential fans and I would probably end up sprayed with mace. I dunno. I think I could pull it off.

If you ever had to write a book, what kind of book would it be?

A short story about getting a concussion in 9th grade P.E. class during the mandatory square dancing classes we were forced to take and the social ramifications it had on me for the remainder of my youth. This would read like fiction, however, that actually did happen to me. My entire high school career could be an awkward YA novel.

What’s your coping mechanism when your spouse is on deadline?

I kept my football helmet from high school, and it comes in handy when the deadline frenzy takes place. She’s yet to hurt me with anything she’s thrown at me when I’ve walked near her office during a deadline crunch. I tend to lean on big doses of HGTV and trips to anywhere with our son to cope with the chaos.

Anything you’d like to add?

I think Roni is amazing and being the husband of a romance writer is a great gig. I’m a lucky guy.

For more from Mr. Loren, you can follow him on Twitter: @TheMrLoren

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Next, we have David, whose other half is none other than Jill Shalvis!

What’s the biggest misconception about having a romance author for a spouse?

That it’s all sunshine and puppies and hearts all the time.  🙂

What’s the silliest thing anyone’s ever said to you about having a romance author for a spouse?

There’s two: “Are you the cover model on her books?” and “Are you the inspiration for all of the love scenes?” And, by the way, my favorite answer to that question is “No, but we do have fun making sure all the positions are possible.”

What’s the biggest perk that comes from having a romance author for a spouse?

All the women who know what my wife writes look at me different. 🙂

Has your spouse ever put you in a book?

She denies this, but I know it’s me. 🙂

Brag about your spouse, what are you most proud of them accomplishing in this difficult industry?

The success she’s had even when it hasn’t been easy, she never gives up.

Does everyone in your life know what your spouse does for a living?

Yes, and everyone wants to be put in one of her books. Even the mailman, who likes to ask what she’s writing about.

If you ever had to write a book, what kind of book would it be?

A how-to-deal-with-too-many-teenagers-in-your-life [book]. Or a home-fix-it book.

What’s your coping mechanism when your spouse is on deadline?

Duck. And keep cookies in the cupboard.

Sigh, right? We told you you’d swoon. Check back all week as we celebrate those bravest of souls — the romance author spouse. You can see all of our spousal interviews here. And for more love stories, be sure to visit our Everything Romance page!

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