Battle of the U.S. Marshals – Diaz vs. Morgan!
Posted by Lena Diaz
On February 5th, two Harlequin Intrigues hit bookstore shelves: THE MARSHAL’S WITNESS, by Lena Diaz, and DANGEROUS MEMORIES, by Angi Morgan. Both authors are here today, both stories feature yummy U.S. Marshal heroes, so let’s have some fun! Sarah Andre will interview Lena Diaz and Lena will interview Angi Morgan. Kinda like a game of tag.
This is Kiss and Thrill’s own Lena Diaz…
And welcome Angi Morgan
Lena, let’s begin with you: This is your first Intrigue. How did you alter your writing from your single title romantic suspense novels?
LENA: It has been quite a challenge! Single-titles aren’t constrained by word-count/length, and pretty much the only ‘rule’ is a ‘happily-ever-after’ (HEA) ending. Total freedom. Intrigues, on the other hand, have very specific requirements. Shorter pages (212 vs 350) an action-packed plot, few to no subplots, and hero/heroine have to be together on almost every page.
The trick is to read a lot of Intrigues and learn pacing, flow and expectations of the line. Then cater your writing to the constraints, but still offer something fresh and new. No easy feat, but I’m enjoying it immensely. I can’t wait to see what readers think of my first Intrigue!
What are your favorite types of heroes and plots?
ANGI: Strong heroes who have something to learn and actually laugh when they learn it. LOL I love realistic settings and situations that could actually happen to a character (okay almost happen). Then I force it to happen with the one person who can change their life forever. My stories are fast-paced and take only a few days to play out, so to make the love story believable, I like heroes and heroines who have known each other prior to the story opening. I think true love takes a bit of time to happen.
Where did you come up with the idea of a US Marshal and WitSec?
LENA: I do love, love, love alpha males, so I try to think about different law-enforcement types of jobs that would work in an Intrigue. When I thought of the hero as a U.S. Marshal I wanted a heroine who would be the one person he’d NEVER want to be with. Who is that? A criminal, of course! It was so much fun putting these two totally opposite characters together and weaving their story. They had to work really hard for that HEA ending!
ANGI: Honestly? My proposal had been rejected and my editor said the only thing she liked in the story was that the hero was a WitSec Marshal. So I knew I had to write a US Marshal and thought, “how would a WitSec protector know the heroine before having to protect her?” Then the story wrote itself.
Pick Hollywood stars for the roles of your heroine and hero.
LENA: I’m one of those people that prefers no faces on book covers because I want to picture my hero and heroine in my mind my own way. But…Sandra Bullock? I can see her being the fish-out-of-water heroine that Jessie is in the book, and then her inner strength as the story progresses. For the hero, Ryan, if I’m shooting for the top here, how about Ian Somerhalder? The smoking hot vampire from The Vampire Diaries? A little young for my hero, but HOT.
ANGI: Oh, wow. This is actually very hard for me. Joe Manganiello was the inspiration for Levi. (http://www.celebuzz.com/photos/joe-manganiellos-sexiest-looks/joe_manganiello_looks_sexy_in_suits_shades-2-435×580-splash/)
And I have to admit that I don’t do too much staring at the heroine inspiration for my stories ( big grin ), it’s mainly the guys. So I was very surprised when I received my cover and wow !! The heroine looks exactly like the character I wrote. I love the DANGEROUS MEMORIES cover. I think my husband did an awesome job on the book trailer, really bringing Jo to life. If I had to choose, it would probably be a young Nicole Kidman with auburn hair. (YOUTUBE LINK: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8V7pBI_I6O0 )
Pretend you were forced into WitSec. Where would you hope to end up living?
LENA: My dream location would be the Tennessee Smoky Mountains. They are so gorgeous and littered with the most beautiful waterfalls.
ANGI: Florida Gulf Coast: If I have to leave Texas…might as well live in the sunshine with a beach nearby.
What identity (new name and profession) would you hope to be saddled with?
LENA: I can’t imagine a profession I’d love more than being an author, so hopefully I could still do that. If not, maybe a librarian or a bookstore owner. My first name would still be Lena (they teach you at Witsec to keep your first name if possible) but my last name would be something sensible that didn’t attract attention, like ‘Davis’ or ‘Smith.’
ANGI: I like my name, but if I have to change…let it be Sydney. If money weren’t an issue, please let me run a beach rental shack. I can’t think of anything more fun than to spend the day on the beach watching the ocean. But believe me, I’d still be writing whether they allowed me to publish or not. These characters scream to be put on the page–and I hate voices screaming at me.
What scenario would be a horror show?
LENA: A horror show to me would be to live in a big city and work in an office.
ANGIE: Alaska. I don’t sleep when the suns up. Period. And the idea of year-round snow…oh my, I’m shaking just at the thought. I’d love to visit, but please don’t make me stay.
What’s next for you?
LENA: I have 2 more Intrigues coming out this year and an Avon Impulse single-title. My next release is April 23rd, a Harlequin Intrigue: EXPLOSIVE ATTRACTION. The hero is a police detective and part-time bomb squad technician who must protect the heroine from a serial bomber.
ANGIE: I just sold THE MARINE’S LAST DEFENSE, a former Marine now Dallas PD homicide detective. PROTECTING THEIR CHILD is on shelves in May. Here’s a quick sneak peek:
The evil words closed Cord’s throat in a moment of fear. Just a moment that pierced him as fast as the bullet that had broken his back. The ache around the scar was real enough. He recognized it. Fought it. Shoved it aside.
Free on a technicality after three years in prison. Short years for the crimes Serna had committed. Incredibly long years as Cord’s life as a husband and Texas Ranger unraveled.
Both Lena and Angi are giving away a copy of their books, so two lucky commenters will win! Q: If you had a choice of NOT testifying and keeping the life you have, or testifying against a criminal and being forced to give up your friends, family and career to go into WitSec, what would you do? Check back on Thursday to see if you are the winner! (Snail mail address must be in the US or Canada to qualify for a print copy, otherwise winner gets choice of Nook or Kindle copy of book.)
Angi: LENA & everybody at KISS & THRILL !! Thanks so much for inviting me to share the page with you today. Having Lena’s debut Intrigue alongside shelves with mine is awesome. So happy for her. And yes, I’m happy to have another Intrigue there as well. I’ve wanted to write for Intrigue since the line first premiered at Harlequin and I’ve wanted to write for Silhouette (now Harlequin) since I read my first romance way way back in Jr. High.
“From the echoing shots in a cemetery straight through the hair-raising conclusion, this story of missing memories and murders will rattle readers from the opening pages, as they guess and guess again who the real culprit is.” 4 1/2 stars from Romantic Times Magazine
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Angi Morgan writes “Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love.” She combines actual Texas settings with characters who are in realistic and dangerous situations. Angi has been a finalist in the Bookseller’s Best Award, Romantic Times Best First Series, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the Daphne du Maurier.
Posted on February 5, 2013, in Author Interview, Author Spotlight, Lena Diaz, Sarah Andre and tagged Angi Morgan, Harlequin Intrigue, Lena Diaz, Romantic Suspense, Sarah Andre, U.S. Marshals, WitSec. Bookmark the permalink. 62 Comments.