Sheila Dansby Harvey: Exploring the "ultimate bad girl"
Sheila Dansby Harvey has two things in common with her character Raven Holloway: a law degree and determination. . .but the similarities end there. Harvey, who calls herself "a lawyer by day and a writer by early morning," contemplates what it must be like to be Raven. "I wonder what she really thinks of herself," she ponders on her website, illegal-affairs.com.
First introduced in Illegal Affairs, Raven is someone who gets what she wants when she wants it. She is cutthroat in her attempts to seduce a powerful -- and married -- Texas governor. Harvey brings Raven back in the sequel, Bad Girls Finish First -- a character study of the homewrecking, double-crossing vixen herself.
Raven came to life when Harvey began writing a short story, which continued to grow until it was a full length novel. After shelving it for a couple of years, she began to send it in to publishers. But twelve rejection slips did not put a damper on Harvey -- if no one was going to publish her book, she would just have to do it herself. And she did.
Illegal Affairs caught the eye of Kensington Books, who bought the rights and republished it in 2005. Harvey, like Raven, took her life into her own hands to get what she wanted. Of course, Raven's motives aren't as pure as Harvey's were -- but that is one of the reasons Harvey chose to examine Raven in this sequel. "I wanted to explore what makes her tick, and also whether she has a soft side."
In Bad Girls Finish First, Raven is now Mrs. Michael Joseph, the new wife of a mature Texas senator who's running for governor, and as usual, she's down to do whatever it takes to win. But as Raven blackmails, manipulates and sleeps around town for "Michael's benefit," she better watch her back. Her aggressive behavior is driving Michael into the arms of another woman while his deeply disturbed campaign manager, Dudley, conspires to get Raven off the campaign. She can count on Michael's sexy best friend, Reverend David, to give her support -- among other things -- until she finds out that the player may be getting played. And to make matters worse, a familiar face from her past resurfaces who wants the last laugh. . .
Raven's story isn't done here! Harvey is working on the final book of the trilogy, The Governor's Wife, which will be published later this year.