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Author Interviews

Author Interviews Featured Authors

An Interview with Annie Murray

An Interview with Annie Murray

What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research for a book?

There have been so many things over the years – I remember going and buying a dead rabbit so that I could be sure of describing skinning it properly. (The butcher obviously thought I was pretty weird.) I’m not sure you would say a lot of the research is weird but it’s often very specific and technical. I had to research very carefully into the working of narrowboats in the old days to be able to write two books about it. Because Birmingham has been a city with such a variety of industries there are many things I wish I could research more easily – so many of them disappeared long ago.

When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

I definitely let them develop. At the beginning I have some idea who they are but things do change as I go through the story. It’s really only once I get to the end of a first draft that I start to get a much fuller sense of who they are and can go back and  edit, really working with them. Story and character are very closely bound together.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known at the beginning of your writing/publishing journey?

I would certainly have been very surprised to learn that I would still be carrying on my writing career 30 years later!  I suppose it might have been nice to know but on the other hand, it’s good for life to be surprising as well.

If you had to write yourself as a heroine, what kind of heroine would you be? What would you be named?

Definitely not someone floating about in a silk dress.  I’d like to be a traveler, adventurer type – a bit ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ or one of those Victorian explorers like Mary Kingsley who went to Cameroon and was whacking crocodiles with an oar to keep them out of her boat. Only she was real, obviously and I’m certainly not brave enough for that sort of reality!

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? 

Honestly I’m not sure I have one. I obviously need to become more interesting!

What’s next for you? Are you working on a new project? If so, can you give us a teaser and/or an expected release date? 

I have a new book coming out in paperback in April called Black Country Orphan. And just now I’m working on two more stories set around the much loved Cadburys chocolate factory in World War two. I have written about it before and this time I have chosen a new set of characters. The first book, Chocolate Girls is to be re-issued in December with a brand new cover – and I think Secrets of the Chocolate Girls may appear in April 2022… 

Author Interviews Featured Authors

An interview with Karen Ellis

An Interview with Karen Ellis

What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research for a book?

Hard to say, considering that many of my books have been crime novels.  I’ve done things like learned how to pick locks online (yes, you can learn anything on YouTube!) and gone to a shooting range to learn how to shoot a gun (oddly, I’m pretty good at it).  Maybe the strangest moment was when I found myself on the dark web, which felt like walking down a dark alley all alone in the middle of the night.  I actually got scared and got out asap.

When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?

Both.  Sometimes I start off with a strong sense of a character, but other times the character jumps out at me nearly whole just before I start to write.  Writing a scene always leads to surprises, which is why it’s so important to keep an open mind.  It’s not unusual for the best ideas, and characters, to come out of nowhere.

How do you find new inspiration when you’re feeling stuck? 

Takes long walks is great for my imagination.  I love to roam around and see what hits me and just let my mind wander. I find that to be a great idea incubator.

What’s the worst writing or publishing advice you’ve ever been given?

The worst publishing advice I was ever given was not to re-issue four of my novels when Penguin put them out of print.  Eventually I listened to my gut, reissued them independently, and made some of the greatest sales of my life as a published author including having the top selling ebook in the UK for about five years.  That experience was a real lesson in listening to oneself.

Is there a character you’ve written that feels closest to your own personality? 

Ah, tricky question. Ultimately all my characters spring right out of my mind so they all reflect me in one way or another.

What’s next for you? Are you working on a new project? If so, can you give us a teaser and/or an expected release date? 

I recently finished a new psychological suspense novel about what happens when a “lost and forgotten” filmmaker and her husband, a Hollywood television mogul, relocate to New York.  My agent is shopping it around right now–fingers crossed.  Meantime I’m stewing on next projects.  Stay tuned.

Author Interviews

An Interview with Sandra Hill

Who is your favorite fictional couple?

Alexander and Tatiana from the Bronze Horseman series, or Jamie and Claire from Outlander

What three qualities does an irresistible love interest have to have?

Loyalty, sense of humor, an irresistible chemistry of attraction

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Just do it.  Like that saying attributed to Nora Roberts, “You can always fix a bad page.  You can’t fix a blank page.”  Also, I wish I had started writing novels earlier.  I’ve always been a writer, but I probably stayed with journalism longer than I should have.

If you could escape into one of the worlds you’ve created in your books, what character would you become and why?

There’s something to be said for all of them…Vangels, Cajuns, Outer Banks folks, Creole Louisiana, but I think I’d like to know some of the Viking Navy SEALs.  They’re outrageously sexy, and brave, and they know how to laugh at themselves.

How do you treat yourself? 

A good book.  Really.  There is nothing better than discovering a new-to-me author and glomming that author’s backlist.

What’s next for you? Are you working on a new project? If so, can you give us a teaser and/or an expected release date?

I just finished the second of my Tante Lulu Cajun prequels, Lulu’s Recipe For Cajun Sass.  And now I’ve returned to my Viking Navy SEALs series with The Caged Viking (or Viking in a Cage, not sure yet).  This book should have been done long ago, but what started as a long novella has gotten longer and longer so that it will end up at least a short novel.  
After that, I’d like to do a long Christmas novella in the Vangel series, though who knows how long it will be with my current record. This would be a reunion of the original vangels, plus some new characters.  My working title for this book is Vangels We Have Heard on High or Hark the Herald Vangels Sing.  I’m not happy with either of those.  Any suggestions?

Author Interviews

An Interview with Erin Nicholas

Your books span a wide variety of romance genres (billionaires, cowboys, everyday heroes, etc.), do you have a favorite?

I love small towns–the quirkier and the more fun side characters the better– and then I love to throw characters who are totally out of their element in small towns into one! Lol! I really love blue-collar heroes and those “everyday heroes” like Zach in Completely Yours. The guys who are heroic as just a usual part of their lives without even trying. 

What three qualities does an irresistible love interest have to have?

Ooh, male love interests? Awesome heroes? Well, a sense of humor is number one! For sure! Self-deprecating humor is especially great 🙂 They have to be crazy about the heroine. Even if he’s fighting it or she’s an “enemy” there has to be something that he finds irresistible about her. And he has to be the heroic type– meaning, the guy who will step up and step in when needed. Whether it’s a dog that needs to be rescued, protecting someone in a bar fight, literally saving a life (hello hot EMTs 😉 ), giving someone’s grandma a ride to her book club or repairing the town gazebo! Lol! That kind of stuff. He just steps up and gets stuff done because he’s a good guy and can’t help it.

How do you create chemistry between characters in your books?

I always know one character first. Sometimes it’s the guy, sometimes it’s the woman. And then I get to know them…figure out what situation they are in and why they are the way they are (grumpy, playboy, alphahole, wounded, nerdy, sweet, super confident/ kickass, whatever). 

Then I think about what kind of person does he/ she needs in his/her life to become the best version of themselves. Sometimes it’s someone opposite. Sometimes it’s that person who just “gets them” right away. Sometimes it’s someone who’s known them for years but never really *seen* them…there are so many great combos of this!  🙂 

But the chemistry comes when you put two people together who need each other on some level even if they don’t know it or want it (sometimes that makes the best chemistry of all!), who push each other to be more/ better, who “get” each other (even if they don’t want to) and who is that “other half”.
 

If you could escape into one of the worlds you’ve created in your books, what character would you become and why?

Oh, I definitely want to be Kennedy Landry from Crazy Rich Cajuns, part of my Boys of the Bayou series! She’s just this free spirit with SO much sass, a huge loving family, a don’t-give-a-f*** attitude that I WISH I could have! 😀 Oh, and amazing tattoos and various hair colors 😉 

What did you do to celebrate after you finished writing Completely Yours?

What I do after every book! 🙂 I took a deep breath, I let myself sleep in the next morning, and then I started the next book.  LOL! 

What’s next for you? Are you working on a new project? If so, can you give us a teaser and/or an expected release date? 

I’m working on the first book in a NEW series!! I’m SO excited about this series and can’t wait to spill ALL the details! That series kicks off in April! 

But I have the last book of my Hot Cakes series coming out on January 19th! I love this series and this book so much, but it’s also the end of this series (at least for now) so it’s a little sad thinking about not spending time with this group of people who’ve been in my life and mind for the past year and a half! 

Here’s a peek at Gimme S’more! 

A hot boss, friends-to-lovers romance…

Piper Barry was in love with an amazing, brilliant, funny, good-looking man.

Who, at least twice a day, she wanted to smother with the stuffed dragon that sat on the corner of his desk.

Okay, maybe not smother. That was extreme.

But duct tape over his mouth? Oh yeah, she thought about that often.

“Is spit better than snot?” Oliver Caprinelli, that man—and her boss—asked her as she crossed his office to refill the water pitcher by the window.

“In every single context, yes.” Piper was also aware that in any other workplace with any other boss, that question would be strange. Here though, not so much.

On her way back past his desk, she set the two folders and the manila envelope she carried in front of him. He was just one of her five bosses and the least likely to open those folders or that envelope. She put them down anyway.

“Grant said that a soda flavor called unicorn piss wouldn’t sell well,” Ollie said, almost as if he was thinking out loud.

He did that a lot. Thought out loud.

That never stopped Piper from chiming in though.

“And you think that calling it unicorn snot would make it sell better?”

This wasn’t even the strangest conversation she’d ever had with Ollie.

“Wouldn’t you assume that unicorn piss or snot tasted good?”

She wrinkled her nose. “No.”

“Why not?”

“Uh, piss and snot.”

“But unicorn,” he insisted.

“I have never, not once, thought about the taste of unicorn… anything.”

“Well, think about it now. Yes, good?”

What she thought was that working for Oliver Caprinelli would be a lot better if he didn’t think out loud.

If he just sat there looking cute, things would be great.

“Why are we talking about unicorns?” she asked. “If you’re adding something new to Warriors, you can do better. Unicorns are overdone.”

The chances that this was about Warriors of Easton, the video game that Oliver and his four best friends had turned into the biggest-selling online game of the decade, was very good. It was nearly all Oliver thought about.

Ever.

Even when she wore her sexiest dresses. And the body oil that all of the other guys said smelled like spicy candy and that made them walk extra close by her desk every time they passed just so they could get a whiff. And when she worked late just so it could be only her and Ollie in the office after dark.

“It’s not for Warriors,” Ollie said. He still sounded distracted.

Honestly, he sounded distracted 90 percent of the time he talked about anything.

The man was a genius and his thoughts were always going in a million directions. It was one of the things that fascinated her most about him.

And that made her think about picking up the dragon on his desk and stuffing it in his mouth. Trying to get Oliver’s attention was hard enough. Keeping it was nearly impossible. 

And if anyone wants to check out the Hot Cakes series, I’ve got a FREE series starter!

You can grab Sugar Rush for free from your favorite retailer here!

Author Interviews

An Interview with Jaime Rush

As a tremendously prolific writer, what can you tell us about how you come up with your next idea? 

They come from everywhere and nowhere. Sometimes it’s a line in a song, a snippet of dialog, or a movie trailer. Then I spin it into the “What if?” web. In my latest book, One Last Promise (written under my Tina Wainscott name), it was the idea of losing someone you loved and somehow getting them back again in a paranormal twist. In Dragon Awakened, it was a scene with Ruby and Cyn when they first meet that totally snagged me. 

What three qualities does an irresistible love interest have to have?

Powerful, yet shows his vulnerability.
Respects a woman even whilst sparring or opposing her.
Has empathetic traits and values.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Be more proactive with asking for things and asserting myself with both my agent and my publisher. When I did take chances, I felt empowered. 

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Getting out of those subconscious female thoughts that I don’t even realize are expressly feminine. 

If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?

I’d probably be in graphic arts.

What’s next for you? Are you working on a new project? If so, can you give us a teaser and/or an expected release date? 

I’m working on book 5 in my Justiss Alliance series, and editing book 4, Wild Ties, which comes out in March 2021. Here’s the blurb: Undercover & All Tied Up!

Knox Logan and Vivi Sommers are the closed down and contentious members of the Justiss Alliance team, which makes them perfect to portray a troubled married couple while investigating human trafficking at a BDSM therapy club in New Orleans. As Knox and Vivi explore their intimacy issues through the center’s unconventional methods, fantasy and reality enticingly twist…and the danger becomes all too real.