Today I have my friend (and Romance author) Emmy Curtis on the blog! We're talking about her debut ALPHA OPS series, as well as her writing process, some writing advice, and her favorite books.
And because I ADORE giving away free books, there's a rafflecopter entry form after the interview. The winner will get an autographed copy of OVER THE LINE, Book #2 in the Alpha Ops series, as well as some cool swag from Emmy to go along with it! (And trust me, guys, you WANT THIS. It's laugh-out-loud funny, make-you-blush hot, and a page-turning thriller. All in one!)
Before we get started, here's a little bit more about OVER THE LINE and one of my favorite girls from across the pond...
The last time James Walker saw Beth Garcia, he was carrying her off the battlefield. A year later, he runs into her as she’s completing her last physical therapy appointment before she can be deployed again. She’s still sexy as hell, but just as prickly and hard-headed as she was when they first met.
An arranged rock climbing weekend together quickly turns into a nightmare family wedding after a panicked phone call from his sister about mysterious and ominous emails she’s been receiving.
Beth, thinking she’s going rock climbing for the weekend, is surprised when she realizes the biggest rock she’ll be facing is the one James needs her to wear. And while trying to protect James’s sister, she’ll also have to lie to James’s father, the Director of the CIA, about who she is, jeopardizing her carefully planned career. And while she does owe James her life, he’s in for a wild ride if he thinks he can get away with this deception unscathed…
About the author:
You can find her on her WEBSITE, on TWITTER, and FACEBOOK.
Emmy! Thanks for stopping by the blog!
Thank you so much for having me – I’m excited!
I'm in the middle of OVER THE LINE right now and am absolutely loving every page. This is the second book in the Alpha Ops series, though each book is a companion, so they can definitely be read out of order and each individual book can stand on its own. Did I get that right, Emmy?
Yes! As a reader I much prefer being able to jump into any book that takes my fancy without needing to start with the first in a series…so I elected to write that way too. You can pick up any of the Alpha Ops book and read them as stand-alones. DANGEROUS TERRITORY covers the story of a reporter who gets stuck behind enemy lines, and the Pararescuer who is tasked with extracting her. The second book, OVER THE LINE, is about two people who were in the convoy that came under attack, leaving the reporter stranded in the first book, and the third book PUSHING THE LIMIT is about two people who happened to be at the wedding the second couple attended in the second book. Confused? Well, it made sense in my head! I also have three more books contracted, and all of those will be stand-alones, but each book’s events will be happening almost concurrently.
One of the many things I love about this series is how strong the female main characters all tend to be. These ladies are anything but damsels-in-distress. They are strong, witty, intelligent, and in Beth's case, a total bad ass (pardon my language...no other way to describe her IMO). I love that and was wondering if this is something you do on purpose? Do these women inspire you?
I really love writing about women who are strong in one way or another. Beth was a blast to write as she is a take-no-prisoners bad-ass Special Forces soldier. She talks like a man and is very career-oriented, but her heart is a mystery, even to her. So although she’s mentally and physically strong, she’s—let’s say—a little under-developed in the emotions department! But Henrietta, for example, my heroine in the third Alpha Ops book, is pretty weak physically, but she’s emotionally and mentally very strong, until someone unravels that part of her heart that was wrapped up tight. So yes, I heart strong women!
How do you come up with these fabulous story lines? I was literally laughing-out-loud reading last night. Such a great situation/plot going on in OVER THE LINE. Are you mostly a pantser when it comes to writing or do you plot things out before you dive in?
I’m instinctively a pantser. But once you come a cropper when you’ve pantsed, and then have to re-write two thirds of your book, you will never pants again! It’s important to me to have a coherent plot, especially since I love surprising readers and creating twists that thankfully no one’s seen coming. If you try to write twists, you pretty much have to plot and plan! So now, I insist on knowing all the plot points, and how the suspense part plays out and ends, but I pants the relationship part. That way I can still be spontaneous when I write!
Your writing is so clean, your pacing so perfect...do you think your time as an editor helped you really hone these skills? (Because, girl, you make it look effortless!)
Ha! I equate this to movie stars on the red carpet; they look gorgeous, and perfect and effortless, but you know a team of at least five people have spent hours making it look as if the dress, hair and make-up have been thrown together! While to do absolutely try to turn in the cleanest manuscripts I can (because as an editor I always appreciated it when authors send in their best manuscripts), I have an editor, a copyeditor, a line editor, a proofreader and a cold-reader at the publishing company who do the heavy lifting! So THANK YOU for saying it looks effortless. I just threw it together *tosses hair* ;-)
Speaking of your time as an editor - any words of wisdom for aspiring writers out there? Things you see all too often?
If you pay attention, and adhere, to an agent or editor’s submission guidelines, you are already ahead of the game. Even today, there are a lot of people who don’t submit within the guidelines and those who do are greatly appreciated! The real piece of advice is that you only have to find one agent or editor who loves your book. And there are a lot of them out there. So persevere, and find that one who wants to nurture your book-baby as much as you do! PS Get someone who has never read your book to check over your query letter to make sure it makes sense, and sounds enticing.
One last question...five great books you've read lately. And go!
THE MADNESS UNDERNEATH by Maureen Johnson. I love the Shades of London series and I’ve just received the last one in this best-selling YA series. I cannot wait to read it!
THE SPY WORE RED by Aline, Countess of Romanones, subtitled: My adventures as an undercover agent in World War II. This is research. Exciting, fascinating and incredible research. She writes a great (and terrifying) story!
A POCKET FULL OF RYE by Agatha Christie. I’ve read this before, but I
stole, uh borrowed it from mum when I went home
at Christmas. Christie is the queen of twists.
A SPY AMONG FRIENDS by Ben Macintyre. This book is non-fiction and is a fascinating look at cold-war spies. This is research again (I love my job!)
BROKEN HONOR by Tonya Burrows. A woman after my own heart, she writes gripping and sexy suspense books. I’m such a fan of all that she’s written, and this new release is certain to be a best-seller!
Thank you SO much for having me!
Thanks SO MUCH for stopping by! Some of us North Carolinians are going to miss you in a few weeks! *cough* DON'T LEAVE US! *cough*
If you'd like to win an autographed copy of OVER THE LINE, as well as some cool book swag, you can enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below! All you need is an email address and the luck of the Irish! (Saint Patrick's Days is coming up, right? Too early? Don't worry...there are extra bonus entries available to up that luck in the meantime!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
(The winner will be announced in two weeks!)
Until then...happy reading!