Tipping One Back with NYT Bestselling Author Julie Ann Walker

One of the best things about blogging at Kiss and Thrill is having the excuse to get to know authors we’ve met only briefly at writer’sJulie Ann Walker workshops (and when I say “workshop” it’s a euphemism for “bar”).  It’s great fun to meet writers at workshops and talk craft and business, but the drawback is the crowds and the noise (and the pricey drinks).  I picked up met Julie Ann Walker at a workshop a year and a half ago and was thrilled to see her success this fall, when her debut trilogy hit the New York Times bestseller list.

I’m delighted to introduce our readers to Julie, who writes sexy, thrilling suspense centered around Black Knights Inc.–on the surface a tricked-out motorcycle shop, but really the cover for a team of  elite special operatives.

Julie is giving signed copies of the first three Black Knights Inc. books to one lucky commenter.

Rachel:  Julie, welcome to Kiss and Thrill!

HELL-ON-WHEELS-final1Julie: It’s great to be here! And in order to keep the vibe going, I have a full glass of Cabernet in hand. Okay, so you caught me.  It’s my second glass… 😉

R: And I have a pint of my favorite ale.  This feels just like a bar workshop! 😉  So, what published author (any genre) turns you into a total fangirl? Is there a particular book or is this based on their entire body of work?

J: I have to pick just one?  Geez, don’t make me work for this or anything.  LOL!  But, hmmm, let’s see… *scratches head*  I guess it’s best if I represent our lovely genre – the BEST genre in all of romance… nay, all the literary WORLD – and choose the reigning queen herself, Suzanne Brockmann. I love how she pushed boundaries in her Troubleshooters series.  I love that one of her heroes was gay.  I love that she – gasp – actually wrote a rape scene that was harrowing and graphic and real, and that it didn’t end up cut into a million pieces, lying like sad confetti on the editing-room floor.  I love that her stories were always a twofer, with dual romantic relationships for me to sink my teeth into.  I love that when the situation was dire, she threw in some gallows humor, not to take the edge off, usually, but to subtly accentuate each of the characters’ personalities.  Basically, I just love her.   And if I ever get the chance to meet her – fingers crossed – I’ll probably prostrate myself at her feet, swearing life-long fealty.   So… yeah, you might consider me one of her fangirls.  😉

R: Hmmm.  I wonder if she hangs out at the bar at RWA National?

J: *swoon* Just the thought makes me giddy!

R: Have you ever written fan fiction, and if so, what work was it based on?  If you haven’t, what would you be tempted to write fan fiction about?

InRidesTrouble_CVR.inddJ: I’ve never written fan fiction.  But if I had to choose a series I was sad to see end, a set of characters I’d like to continue to follow, it would have to be Christine Feehan’s The Drake Sisters series.  I want to see babies being born, dangit!  I want MANY more sexy times between the characters.  I want to see magic and mayhem and what their mystical-power-imbued offspring will get up to.  Did I mention I want more sexy times between the characters???

R: Facebook or Twitter?

J: Oy.  Now this is actually a more difficult question than you might think.  Simply because I LOVE the literary community which, as we all know, is made up of fans, writers, reviewers, bloggers, etc.  So, I adore Facebook for the opportunity it provides me to connect with readers on a daily basis.  But, in the same breath, I adore Twitter because that’s where all my homegirls hang out.  I get to talk shop with other authors who are struggling with characters and plots – just like me.  I get to touch base with bloggers and reviewers who are fundamental in getting the word out about new books.  So… I guess my answer is BOTH.  And, yeah, yeah.  That’s a total copout.  But that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

R:  What is the strangest weapon you’ve used to kill off a character, either on or off-scene?

REV-IT-UP-finalJ: Well, I wish I could say I’m really creative when it comes to death scenes, but the truth of the matter is, I tend to eighty-six everybody in the usual manner.  Gun shots, stabbings, garrotings.  I will say I’ve been toying with the idea of chopping off a villain’s head with a rotating helicopter blade.  But then the question becomes, do I chop off his head at the neck?  Or do I just nip the tip?  Take off the top three inches or so?  See, these are the types of questions we romantic suspense authors ponder on a daily basis.  Perhaps we all need to go to group therapy.  Obviously we have some not-so-subconscious violent tendencies.  LOL!

R: Tell us about your upcoming release.

Thrill-Ride-CoverJ: THRILL RIDE is the fourth book in the Black Knights Inc. series, and I think it’s the hottest one yet.  Of course, I’m biased.  😀  In a nutshell, it centers around ragin’ Cajun, Richard “Rock” Babineaux, and Vanessa Cordero, the Black Knights’ resident communications specialist.  Set mainly in the jungles of Costa Rica, the book opens with Rock on the run after having been listed as a rogue agent.  When Vanessa goes to find him, she inadvertently leads the men who are hunting him right to his door.  Bullets fly, engines rev, and hearts race.  Plus, you know, sexy times…

Thank you, Kiss and Thrill, for having me on today.  It’s been a blast!


Okay, I have one more question for Julie–and our readers–to answer in the comments: describe your dream motorcycle.  Julie is giving one lucky commenter signed copies of the first three Black Knights Inc. books!  Check back on Thursday to see if you are our winner.  Winner must provide a U.S. mailing address and contact us within ten days to claim the prize.

About Rachel Grant

Archaeologist Rachel Grant writes romantic suspense where archaeology, politics, and war collide.

Posted on December 18, 2012, in Author Interview, Rachel Grant and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 122 Comments.

  1. These books sound thrilling. Thank you for the generous giveaway.

  2. Rachel, LOVED the interview. And Julie Ann, so very nice to meet you. CONGRATULATIONS on making ‘the list’ with your debut! That is the dream, I think, of most writers. So happy for you! Now, to stay in the spirit of the post, I’m tipping my wine glass of Diet Dr. Pepper to your Cabernet and Rachel’s ale! As for my dream motorcycle, that’s easy. It’s the Harley my hero rides in my debut Harlequin Intrigue that comes out in February. This is my first hero on a motorcycle but I loved it! What inspired YOU to write books with motorcycle heroes? Is it your secret biker-girl life or do you just have a thing for hot guys in leather? Just between us girls. Dish!

  3. Wonderful interview, Ladies! I loved the first three and can’t wait to read the fourth. I wish I could ask a question about motorcycles, but I don’t know enough to come up with one. LOL. So I’ll ask another–how long did it take you to sell this series?
    Congratulations on the newest release. I am so happy for all of your success!

  4. Welcome, Julie Ann! And Rachel- as usual, your interview is hilarious.

    I’m hoisting my morning coffee (and unfortunately a cookie I baked, plated and saran-wrapped for the neighbors.) sigh.

    My personal trainer (Hottie Alpha, girls) buys, restores and sells classics from the 70’s. Often our hour at the gym is spent looking at Ebay photos on his cell phone. He’ll say “which one do you like better?” and I answer very seriously: “well, I like the color blue better than red so buy the blue one.” (Based on his lack of reaction I don’t think he heard anyway. Maybe didn’t even know he spoke out loud.)

    Spend a good part of an hour looking at pics of motorcycles? You won’t hear ME complain! Beats lifting weights. He prefers Yamaha, I think (can you tell I pay attn?)

    Me: I think anything made by Ducati is mouthwatering. It’s like the Ferrari of motorcycles.

    Looking forward to reading your work, Julie Ann! Wouldn’t it be a GREAT gift for my trainer?! 🙂

    • Just figured out how to reply to a comment as opposed to simply posting a new one. *Head/desk*

      And it’s interesting, Sarah, that your trainer likes Yamaha. The BKI series is sold in Japan, so my agent keeps pushing me to put one of the Black Knights on a Yamaha, and I’m, like, “But they’re a HARLEY chopper shop!” LOL!

  5. Thanks ladies, and welcome Julie!

    So, I’ve never had a dream motorcycle, but my husband had a 1972 BMW R75/5 with a toaster tank (don’t ask me what any of that means, I just think that’s what it was) for over 20 years. It was his commuter vehicle when we lived in Hawaii (and I was terrified for him during those sudden downpours), but after we moved back to the mainland, it sat in the garage for several years. Having small kids, he never had time to fix it and ride it.

    He sold it to a friend a year ago, and he’s happy to see it running again. Someday, I’d love to get him a new BMW.

  6. Clever interview, ladies. Chuckled several times. I’ll pass on the libations, try never to indulge before 6:30 p.m. LOL Congrats on your sales and success, Julie. Boy, you caught the gold ring we all yearn for.
    So, I’m not much of a motorcycle person. I remember attending a political convention a couple of years ago with a bunch of biker guys and girls there. They were accountants, lawyers, doctors. You name it, they were. Stereotype breaking experience, I’m telling you. But still, my life would have to depend on it, to make me get on one.
    But on Suzanne Brockan, I agree whole heartedly. Continued good sales, Julie.

    • Thanks for stopping by! I was always terrified of motorcycles until my boyfriend (now husband) took me for a ride on the back of his. But I have no interest in learning how to ride one myself.

      • Same with me, Rachel, but it was my older brother. I went to visit him in Daytona in the late-80s and he met me at the airport and handed me a helmet! We literally stood on the curb for 15 minutes arguing. I was NOT getting on that thing (and I was in a skirt, for the love of God!) But eventually I got on and we roared to his house and it was SO fun! Not that I’ve ever told him. 🙂

    • Thank you so much! And, yes, we watch Sons of Anarchy and get the impression all bikers are bearded, be-ringed, beer-guzzling bandits. Soooo not true.

  7. Fabulous and fun interview, ladies. I’m definitely going to have to check out your books, Julie! The whole concept sounds right up my literary alley. Suzanne Brockmann would have been my pick too. LOVE her. I attended one of her workshops in Orlando and somehow managed not to swoon.

    I know nothing about motorcycles except that my husband had a Honda with a 500cc engine when I met him. I remember being surprised that he’d ride one, and relieved when he sold it after college. I only rode with him twice, and I held my breath the whole way, both times. There’s a reason I *write* romantic suspense. 😉

  8. Julie, Welcome! We are so excited to have you have here and appreciate the generous giveaway. I adored Hell on Wheels, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series.

    Julie you have such a distinct and fun voice, and your characters leapt off the page and carried me away to a fantastic fantasy world of hot guys and hot rides! Nice work.

    Rachel, raising my morning coffee to you, and rofl. I said I didn’t make it to a single workshop at RWA last summer, but now I realize that isn’t so. I just need to broaden my definition of the term workshop!

  9. I love this series. I don’t know anthing about motorcycles but if the guys in the books riding them are hot that’s all that matters! Lol! Thanks for sharing, loved the interview!

  10. Ooooh, @Lena Diaz, you write about Harley riding bad boys, too? Fantastic! There’s just something about biker boots, leather jackets, sparkling chrome, and a rumbling V-Twin engine. I think the word I’m looking for is SEXY! LOL!

  11. @Sharon Wray, I wish I could tell you it was a long, tough slog to selling the series. But, the truth is – please, don’t hate me – my agent started shopping Black Knights Inc. in January and by March, after a couple of offers, I was signing a contract.

    So, for me it was very fast! Hot spies on hot bikes was obviously something the industry was interested in. I TOTALLY lucked out in that regard. Wish I could claim some great master plan, but it was 100% luck.

  12. I discovered Julie a few months ago when browsing for promising new RS authors and downloaded HELL ON WHEELS. I was not disappointed. What a fun read! Tara Janzen fangirls will love these books. Welcome to K&T, Julie.

    I’m clueless when it comes to motorcycles, but I’m hanging out with Rachel at the next “workshop”

  13. GREAT series!!! I couldn’t put the books down!

  14. Without a doubt a Harley! Only I prefer it blacked out as opposed to chromed! All that power is such a turn on, much like the men in your books!

  15. Just found th is series this past weekend, read all three books and loved them !!1 (due to a cold wasn’t doing much) can’t wait for Rock’s story – and um Christian sounds very intersting too 🙂

  16. I absolutely love this series and can’t wait for the next one! Great interview too! Never read any Suzanne brockman but its now on the top of my list

  17. Just discovered the series last week…read all 3 books in less than a week. Was SO upset when I finished!! I felt like I was being kicked out the family, that’s how real they are! I LOVE everything about your writing. Can’t wait for the next installment!

  18. Great interview Julie! I just started reading the series of your books and can not wait to get started on the next one. I have only rode on a motorcycle one time in my life and it enough to last me a very long time. But I love to see them when they drive by in groups or when the Harley Davidson place near me has a family fun day we go and check out the different bikes there. There was a Tri glide Ultra classic there one Saturday we went there. It was soooo cool I only remembered it because it had words on it and I got closer and the owner said that they had parts of books that he and his wife liked form books put through out the parts of the bike. There were alot of different lines from many different books. I wished I had my camera to take a pic of that pic cuase that would be my dream bike right there.

    Thanks for the chance for your readers in this contest!

  19. lizlincolnwriter

    I read your first book and loved it. Can’t wait to read the other two – if I can ever wrangle the kids into submission long enough to find reading time.

    I’m a Milwaukee girl, so my dream motorcycle is anything Harley. Preferably with a really hot guy driving.

  20. picked her 1st book up during a business trip to the US…
    actually expected more action … but whatever …
    really do like her style & awaiting number 4 …
    thx to amazon … no prob to get it in Germany …

    thumbs up … big time 🙂

  21. I don’t know much about motorcycles…. It has have speed and weight. Looks like a classic, but with modern custom paint job. The most important, the hot, strong guy driving with just enough room behind him for me to fit!

  22. I loved the series so far and can’t wait to read the newest installment. I own two of the digital books but would so love to have actual copies for christmas, I actually have them on my list!! thanks for sharing, & thanks for writing such amazing characters Julie.

  23. It would have to have a side car since I am in a wheelchair and am unable to drive a motorcycle. Thank you!!!!

  24. I read all three books this past weekend and pre-ordered the next one! Too bad I have to wait a few months!!

  25. The books look great. I can’t wait to try them out!!

  26. Harley sportster ~ black with LOTS of chrome!!!

  27. I’ve been wanting to start this series. Thanks for the giveaway. 🙂
    I have a strict policy to stay off of motorcycles. My parents were almost killed on a Harley when my mom was four months pregnant with me. I’ve chosen to NOT tempt fate. Why irritate the Gods? My dad still rides a Harley Road King though.
    Great interview. Thanks!

  28. Thanks for the give away. I have the first book and would love to get the others.

  29. Loved these books! I would stroke out if I won signed copies of them from Ms. Walker! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  30. I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE to win this I have bought them all on my kindle but would love signed copies!!!

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!!!


  31. um…yeah any bike that Nate comes on is the one I want..but shhh don’t tell my husband. I would love to win this and find it under my tree on Christmas

  32. I love love love this series! Would love to have signed copy!

  33. At the risk of sounding lame, my dream motorcycle would be a small, baby blue and white Harley Sportster. I saw another shorter statured woman riding one a couple of years ago and feel in love. It was cute! If a motorcycle can be described as cute 🙂

  34. Emily Van Der Vaart

    Just finished reading Hell on Wheels, and I LOVED it!! Julie Ann Walker is an excellent author!

  35. I absolutely love the series! Patiently waiting for more. Happy Holidays!! leann

  36. These books sound awesome. Thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  37. My dream motorcycle is a Harley driven by one of the BKI guys! I’ve never been on a motorcycle, so it’s probably best if I didn’t drive it.

    I wish the Drake Sisters series continued too! The spinoff series doesn’t give me enough of the Drakes!

  38. Ha! And I’ve been going to the real workshops while you’re all having fun at the bar. LOL. No wonder those conference rooms look so empty? Great interview. Thanks for coming Julie!

  39. Motorcycles are awesome! I often think they look like works of art when I see custom designed pieces. I’ve heard many good things about these books! What a fun & generous giveaway! 😀

  40. I’ve been wanting to try this series for a while now, thanks for the opportunity to win them!


  41. Can’s wait to read the next book!! I just found your books and LOVE them!!!

  42. I love these books! Can’t wait for the next one 🙂 They live on my “favorites” shelf. I’d love any cycle that had my hubby on it 😉

  43. Raced through your first three books (speed being an indication of enjoyment), and I already told you I love the sketches of your characters you have on your website. Now according to Facebook I’m supposed to comment what my dream motorcycle would look like. My dream motorcycle would have an accessory — a ripped bad boy with tats, who decides I look interesting.

  44. Love bikers….stumbled upon your books, loved, loved, loved them. Recommended them to several book lovers who agreed after reading the first book. We can not wait for the next book. Keep em coming!


  45. I LOVED these books!!! I can’t wait for the next one and hope there are tons more to come!!

  46. Sounds like a great series. I cant wait to read them. Sadly I have never ridden a bike. I would love to but havent had the chance so no idea what my dream one would be.

  47. I’ve always wanted a sports bike with lime green accents on it. 🙂 Hopefully one day I will take a course to get my license and I will buy one. Thanks for the giveaway! I can’t wait to read the series!

  48. I’m late as usual, but I have to say that one of the first things that attracted me to my husband when we first met, was his sexy red sports motorcycle. I’m not usually a bike girl and to this day, can’t even remember the brand. It was a crotch rocket, sleek, sporty and sexy as hell. He had tat’s, a big red truck and a red bike and when I saw him zoom away on it, I melted 🙂 I never rode on it with him, I was too scared but I was content to watch him roar away on it. He sold it after we had our first kid and bought another one, this one blue several years later. Sold that one down the road too. Now he is bikeless and a father of three and has no interest in getting another one even though I hound him daily. It’s dangerous, but oh so sexy 🙂

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