Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Interview with the Romance Bandits

More from the Fatal Justice blog tour. I so enjoyed this interview with my dear friend, Romance Bandit Loucinda McGary.


We’re thrilled to have you here to celebrate the release of your latest, Fatal Justice, the second book in your romantic suspense Fatal Series for Carina Press. Please tell us what your two lead characters Sam and Nick are up to in this latest story.

Hi there Aunty and all the Banditas! I’m so happy to back for another visit. Thanks for having me! Sam and Nick return for another adventure in Fatal Justice. They’re newly in love and working out the boundaries of their relationship in the context of two high-pressure jobs: she’s a D.C. homicide detective and he’s a U.S. senator. In this book, Sam investigates the murder of a Supreme Court nominee with the added caveat that she and Nick were two of the last people to see the victim before he was killed. Also in Fatal Justice, Sam pursues a new lead into her father’s unsolved shooting that leads to danger for her. I’m really excited to get book 2 out to readers!

What particular challenges have you faced in writing a series with the same couple as the main characters (other than editors/publishers telling you readers didn’t want the same couple)?

While writing Fatal Justice, I was enduring the roller coaster ride of Fatal Affair being on submission. I was disappointed that romance editors weren’t interested in a series featuring the same couple in every book. Boo! Thankfully, the ladies at Carina Press love the idea, and readers are telling me they do, too! I had a feeling they might… The primary challenge as the series continues is keeping Sam and Nick’s relationship conflicted enough that it stays interesting but no so conflicted that it’s unrealistic. I found that to be a particular challenge in the third book, Fatal Consequences, which I finished in November. I’ve decided that readers don’t want to see them “fighting for their survival” in every book, so they will grapple with a lot of the stuff everyone deals with but in the context of their high-profile Washington lives.

What were some of the rewards?

I love slipping back into the Fatal world. It’s like putting on a comfortable pair of slippers. I’m working now on Fatal Destiny, the novella that will feature Sam and Nick’s wedding, and it gets easier with every book to submerge myself in the new story. I know the characters very well at this point. I said to someone recently that the scenes featuring Sam and Nick almost write themselves because I know exactly what each of them would say in most situations. I’m also really enjoying the secondary characters, including Sam’s partner, Detective Freddie Cruz, Detective Tommy “Gonzo” Gonzales, Sam’s father Skip Holland, the O’Connors and the rest of the cast. I gave Freddie, Gonzo and Detective Jeannie McBride major subplots in Fatal Consequences and expect to further develop their characters in future books. Freddie is also prominently featured in Fatal Justice. He’s a trip to write!

Since you also write contemporary romance as well as romantic suspense, do you use a different process? How do you handle the differences between these sub-genres?

I wish I could say my process is different for the suspense books, but I tend to fall back on the same chaotic seat-of-the-pants madness that has fueled all my books. ☺ I sold Fatal Consequences and book 4, Fatal Flaw, on proposal, which required synopses. While writing FC, I never once referred back to the synopsis , so it was the same process all over again even though I had done some initial plotting. I really hate knowing what’s going to happen ahead of time. I often have no idea “who done it” until Sam figures it out. I like it that way. It keeps me engaged in the book and the mystery. However, one of these days my head is probably going to explode from keeping all this stuff locked up in my brain! That’s why I recently hired one of my Beta readers to index books 2 and 3 for me. I did the first book, Fatal Affair, myself and it took an entire weekend. Since I’m staring down a Feb. 28 deadline, I’m very grateful to my friend Aly for taking over the indexing job for me. As I write the fourth story, I’m finding it harder and harder to keep track of all the details, so it will be great to have a series “bible” to refer back to while working on future books. In reference to the differences between contemporary and suspense, they don’t require different techniques mostly because the Fatal books are also contemporaries. However, it does take a significant amount of brain cells and bone marrow to keep the suspense portion of the Fatal books moving along at a good clip and to end up with a reasonable conclusion to the murder mystery.

Where can readers find the Fatal books?

They’re available at Carina Press under the Romantic Suspense tab, and everywhere e-books are sold. I’ve been asked a lot about where Nook users can find Fatal Justice if it’s not yet available on barnesandnoble.com, where it will be eventually. Nook users can download the ePub format from Carina.

What’s next for you?

I have a print book out on Feb. 1, Everyone Loves a Hero. Also in February, I’ll be running a promotion to give readers the opportunity to plan Sam and Nick’s wedding. Watch my website at www.mariesullivanforce.com for details about how you can participate and win some great prizes. Fatal Affair will be released in print by Harlequin in July via the eHarlequin website. Also in July is Fatal book 3, Fatal Consequences. The free wedding novella, Fatal Destiny, is out in September as part of Harlequin’s romantic suspense week. Book 4, Fatal Flaw, will be out in February of 2012. I also recently posted two of my unsold contemporaries, True North and The Fall, to Amazon and have been blown away by the response from readers. That’s been very exciting!

2011 promises to be a very busy year for you! Did you make any resolutions? Or do you have plans or wishes you hope to see fulfilled?

I never make resolutions and tend to avoid writing goals. I don’t like to set myself up for failure. However, I do hope to exercise more in 2011 and I have set just one goal for my writing career: to finally sell the book of my heart, Treading Water. We’ll see if either of those things happens! Let’s put it this way—the slim chance of a book sale is probably far more likely than the exercise! LOL!

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