Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Spotlight on Paranormal Romance: Author interview with Karin Harlow

Today I have the great pleasure to welcome the wonderful Karin Harlow, debut author of the newly released paranormal suspense romance novel ENEMY LOVER. Karin was kind enough to answer my questions and tell you more about the behind the scenes of writing ENEMY LOVER.

1. Hey Karin, welcome to Ex Libris! Could you please tell us a bit about yourself. How did you discover/decide you wanted to become a writer?

First of all, I want to say, thank you, Stella for featuring me and ENEMY LOVER today! Now to your question: Writing wasn’t a discovery for me, I have just always written. I wrote my first full-length novel in high school, and continued to write. Having a family and building a couple of businesses from the ground up took me away from serious writing for years but not completely. Once the kids were older and the businesses established, I pounced back on it, and never looked back!

2. Good for us! :-) And what was this first story you wrote, what was it about?

I wrote my first full-length story in high school. It was a copulation of my daydreams. I was the oh so lovely and tragic heroine who no one understood, then along came my rock and roll white knight who ‘got’ me. I still have it and take it out for a good laugh every so often.

3. Could you tell us about your L.O.S.T. series, and especially the first novel published in May 2010: ENEMY LOVER.

When you have no alternative, then you call in L.O.S.T., because with L.O.S.T., it’s do or die.

L.O.S.T. Last Option Special Team

Are a group of rogue cops, their lives destroyed, who rise from the ashes like the mythical phoenix...

Caught acting outside the law, they are given a choice by the enigmatic Mr. Black: Spend their lives in prison. Or break all ties with their past, assume a new identity, and become part of an elite crime fighting team unofficially sanctioned by the U.S. Attorney General’s Office.

Their sole purpose is to close the cases that normal law enforcement channels cannot touch. What they discover is there are no rules--not for them and not for the Others.

L.O.S.T. operatives are the hunters, the cleaners, the end of the road for the bad guys. Immortal. Or not.

No boundaries.

No laws.

No compromises.

When the balance of humanity is in jeopardy, failure is not an option.

Semper Invictus, Always Invincible.

And the cover blurb:

It’s Jax Cassidy’s first mission for L.O.S.T.—one that will give the former cop who went rogue a chance to prove herself. Her assignment: gain the trust of assassin Marcus Cross . . . eliminate him . . . then take down Marcus’s mentor, Joseph Lazarus, a man with a bold eye on the White House. But the woman who’s known by her team for being a femme fatale succumbs to passion, only to discover Cross’s deadly secret. He’s a vampire, and Joseph Lazarus is his creator.

Left for dead by his platoon in the violent hills of Afghanistan, special ops sniper Marcus Cross was given a second chance at life. His newly heightened skills make him the perfect killing machine, and as Lazarus's right hand man, he’s quickly rising to the top of his dark empire, purging enemies with speed and precision. Only when dangerous beauty Jax Cassidy is sent to bring him in does he begin to question Lazarus’s motives and his own actions. But when Jax’s life is threatened by the one thing that can destroy them both, Marcus must make a bitter choice—her death or his.

4. What inspired you to write the L.O.S.T. series?

The movie The Dirty Dozen inspired me. We pitched the L.O.S.T. series as The Dirty Dozen meets Mission Impossible with a paranormal twist. ENEMY LOVER turned out to be an action adventure, paranormal romantic suspense, urban fantasy, political thriller.

5. Any fun story about how an ordinary everyday event inspired a scene/dialogue/character in Enemy Lover?

My husband was a beat cop for a long time. I spent a lot of years listening to war stories, so I feel that I write with authority when it comes to guy and cop speak. ENEMY LOVER is loaded with bits and pieces of conversations I’ve been privy to.

6. Do you have a favourite character in Enemy Lover, someone who you either loved writing or simply love as a character?

I love all of the characters in ENEMY LOVER! I’m in lust with Marcus, but since he belongs to Jax, I’d have to say she is the one I’d hang out with if I could. I know she’d be the first person I’d call if I got into trouble! She is the ultimate kick ass heroine wrapped in a femme fatal skin.

7. Why did you choose to write paranormal suspense romance?

At my core I’m a romantic suspense author. But Marcus Cross, the hero in ENEMY LOVER, had something about him that just kept niggling at me. Lo and behold, he had a secret, he was a vampire. A vampire of the highest order. While ENEMY LOVER has paranormal aspects to it, the overriding theme is suspense, and of course, I could never write a non- love story. I love the passionate roller coaster ride of a good love story. Couple it with heart pounding suspense, and voila, the perfect recipe for a great story.

8. Could you tell us about any work-in-progress, current projects, what we can expect from you in the future?

Currently I’m working on L.O.S.T. book two, which features dark and brooding L.O.S.T. operative Nikko Cruz and half daemon, daemon huntress, Selena de la Roja. The two have a troubled past and are forced to unite to prevent the Russian mafia and certain immortals from constructing a dirty bomb that could eliminate millions of humans.

9. As a paranormal romance author, I guess you love reading paranormal romance novels. But besides them, what other genres do you enjoy?

Actually, I’m not a big paranormal reader. I don’t like to read the same genre I’m writing in. I do watch paranormal movies though. I love passionate sweeping historicals and edgy romantic suspense.

10. Who are some of your favourite authors/novels?

Sylvia Day, CL Wilson, Linda Howard.

11. What are you most proud of (can be an achievement, a great quality trait, etc.)?

I’m most proud of my family. My kids aren’t perfect, but they are healthy and they are happy and we laugh a lot.

12. Laughing is the most important thing, if you can laugh, you can surmount anything :-)  And what is your worst fault (I'm the procrastinator queen that's just how I got inspired for this question.. lol)?

Stella, if you are the procrastinator Queen then I am first Princess! But my biggest fault, sadly, is, I tend to judge people very quickly. I’m seriously working on this because I have found I’m usually wrong. Because when I get to know someone I have too quickly judged as someone I would not care to associate with, I discover more often than not, they are someone I really enjoy and they are not what I thought they were.

13. What question do you wish people would ask you in interviews?

Hmm, I’ve actually been asked this a few times recently and my question would be: Why do I write? My answer has been the same, “I want my stories to matter. I want to touch someone, to show that though life can be rough and tumble and more than hard, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t give up. Keep positive. Keep moving.” I know that sounds like the pat answer at a Beauty pageant: If you could have one wish what would it be? Answer: World peace. And as cliché as that answer is, it is the answer I’d give. :-) 

To whet your appetite for ENEMY LOVER, you can read a short excerpt here at Karin's website.

Thank you Karin it was lovely to have you! Wishing you lots of success for the future, and people, pick up ENEMY LOVER, if the intriguing premise did not grab your attention, then just take a look at the yummy cover and you won't be able to put it back on the shelf ;-)


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