Shelli Stevens stopped by the Tule blog to discuss the third book in the Bro Code series, Won’t Back Down!
Where did you get the inspiration for Won’t Back Down and The Bro Code series?
The Bro Code series came to me on a flight home from an RWA conference (years ago really!) I put it aside to write The Marshall Ranch series first. But I loved the idea of writing a series where the heroes have to break a certain Bro Code to find the love of their life. Meaning there will be consequences, and someone might get hurt, but…it’s also potentially the love of their life!
While Won’t Back Down, book 3 in the series, can be read as a stand-alone, you get introduced to Tori and James in the first two books. It’s a bit of an enemies to lovers trope, and I knew both characters had a passion for Comic books and cosplay, but they don’t realize that about each other though. Part of my research for this book was attending Emerald City Comic Con in 2021 with my family for research (no biggie for my hubby, he goes every year), and that was a blast. I’ve included a fun pic of the family and I in a Star Wars themed room. My teen put together an awesome outfit to cosplay as Entrapta from the new She-Ra, and my Pokémon obsessed 6-year-old wore a Pikachu dress from Target. I half-assed it in a Darth Vader dress, and my hubby refused to dress up because he hadn’t planned an amazing cosplay outfit. It’s a big thing, where people create these amazing outfits/costumes, instead of just grabbing a pre-made costume. But I had the dress ready to go in my closet so… 🤷♀️ 😆 #ShelliFail
There’s a chunk of Won’t Back Down that actually takes place at the Gem State Comic Con in Idaho, which is a newer convention. The plotting and writing of these fun and sexy scenes were just a blast. I consulted often with my Comic geek hubby and our like-minded friend. Initial feedback on this story has been amazing too, which thrills me so much. I hope people love it as much as I do.
If you could spend the day with James or Tori, who would you choose and what would you do?
Hmm, probably Tori. She’s that friend that pushes you to do stuff you might not have the confidence to do. She says things you probably need to hear. She’s also the one who’ll go get a mani/pedi with you, and I’m overdue for them!
This is a steamy enemies to lovers romance. What drew you to this trope? What’s your favorite trope to write?
I love enemies to lovers. I want that friction between my characters. Something about the love/hate makes the build-up and pay off so much more worth it. It can make the love scenes hotter. I also love writing the friend’s little sister trope. Oh, and the protective hero trope. I don’t think there are many I don’t love. Though I’m writing a cinnamon roll hero now, and I’ve realized I much prefer writing alphas.
What song would be in the soundtrack to James and Tori’s love story? Why?
I love this question, because I get to share my playlist I used while writing this story. Tori had a challenging upbringing, so She Don’t Break is a great one for her.
Fire for You by Cannons
The Sweetest by Taboo Sade
Come as You Are by Nirvana
That’s What I want by Lil Nas X
Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve
I Won’t Back Down by Tom Petty
She Don’t Break by Josh Abbott Band
Brave Sara by Bareilles
Hot N Cold by Katy Perry
You’re My Thrill by Catherine Russell
I’m Not Over by Carolina Liar
Walking After You by Foo Fighters
What are you currently reading?
I just finished A Million Kisses in Your Lifetime by my long time friend Monica Murphy (there was so much buzz I had to make time to read it). It’s a steamy YA/NA and while that’s usually that’s not my thing, I had fun with it. Monica’s a great writer. Now I’m currently reading Yours Since Yesterday by Jennie Bernard, whose books I also adore.
For a chance to win a print copy of one of the books from the Bro Code series, comment below something you found interesting in this Q&A! Winner will be selected on Thursday, August 18th. (US Only)
About the Author
Shelli is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author who read her first romance novel when she snatched it off her mother’s bookshelf at the age of eleven. One taste and she was forever hooked. It wasn’t until many years later that she decided to pursue writing stories of her own. By then she acknowledged the voices in her head didn’t make her crazy, they made her a writer.
Shelli is a true pluviophile (lover of rain) who currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two daughters. She loves Disney, taking sunset pics (follow her on Instagram), baking, nature walking, and spontaneously bursting into song. She’s written various genres of romance, but is most known for her contemporary series such as Marshall Ranch, The McLaughlins, and A is for Alpha.