Posted by Diana Belchase
Sometimes things just don’t go well.
Rebecca is a fellow member of two of my writing groups. Knowing the interview/blog was coming up, I had my husband snap a photo of the two of us at a party we attended together. Rebecca wore this drop dead elegant faux leopard coat, I was in my holiday best. The photo he got had my hair standing on end and both of us in the midst of smiling. We ended up looking as if we were gnashing our teeth! I called Rebecca and told her we couldn’t use the photo and she laughed. Her husband, who is an excellent photographer, apparently hadn’t gotten a good shot of her that day either. Oh well. That’s life, and I’m sure rotten photos plague bestselling authors even more than they do me. After all, how often have I been in the paper compared to the incomparable Rebecca York? Glad she could send this lovely photo of herself instead.
Doesn’t she look mysterious against that black background? I couldn’t let Rebecca get away without asking her a few questions today! She graciously set aside some time to let me ask away. At the end of the interview, please scroll down and see the lucky person who will receive one of Rebecca’s Harlequin Intrigues. Oh! Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for Daphne du Maurier winning author, Roxanne St. Clair, and our own Sharon Wray! So…. Here we go….
AN INTERVIEW WITH REBECCA YORK
1. You’re known as one of the premier authors in romantic suspense, how did you start writing in this genre? What drew you to it?
My first published book was a kids’ science fiction novel called INVASION OF THE BLUE LIGHTS. Then a friend asked me if I wanted to write romances. I love relationship stories, but I wanted that danger element too, so I proposed a romantic suspense series that everyone turned down. (Some said, “We like this. Put in more suspense.” Others said, “We like this. Put in more romance.”) It turned out to be just what Dell was looking for in the mid-80’s, which got me in on the beginning of modern romantic suspense.
2. What other genres did you start out in? Do you ever long to go back to them?
As I said, I started with science fiction. In a way I’ve gone back to it with all the paranormal I write. I’ve also written 15 cookbooks, but I’m too old for all the physical labor of recipe testing.
3. Your characters are unforgettable. You write your male characters, many of whom are paranormal creatures, in an exceptionally believable way. What is your secret to making them seem so real?
I think it’s making them as human as possible. Giving them the emotions, fears and conflicts that we all have. They may have superhuman traits, but we can always identify with their feelings.
Rebecca’s newest book is Dark Moon
4. What is your favorite flavor of ice-cream? Sprinkles? Nuts? Whipped Cream?
This is hard. I love chocolate but also coffee and strawberry. Also peach if I can get it. I don’t like a lot of goop in my ice cream. Just plain, please. I will admit that when we were in Italy last May, we often had gelatto instead of lunch.
5. Your husband is so visibly supportive of your career — he’s awfully cute, too! So many female writers — and women in general — don’t have that kind of support. Any words of advice?
Naive me at the age of 18 picked the right guy. Apparently I could recognize quality when I saw it.
6. Congratulations on the Romance Writer’s of America Centennial Award, for having written over 100 novels! A little birdie told me you’ve written way more than that. How many novels have you written and what does the award mean to you?
Hum, I guess I’ve written about 115 or 120 novels. And those cookbooks. I think of the award as recognition for a lot of hard work.
7. You’ve been on the USA Today bestseller’s list forever — and I mean that in a really good way <G>. How did it feel the first time it happened? How does it feel when it happens now? How many books must sell to get on that list?
I have no idea how many books it takes to get on the lists. How did I/ do I feel? Excited. It’s always wonderful to know people like my work. And I’m hoping they want to read my Decorah Security series that I’m publishing as e-books. They’re already up on Amazon and B&N.
Now for the lucky winner! Remember you have ten days to send us your email address. ………..DRUM ROLL PLEASE ……….
The winner is: Gabby Diangelo. Please send us your email address within ten days to qualify.
Posted by Diana Belchase
We’re so lucky today to have with us, Rebecca York, winner of the RWA Centennial Award, USA Today bestselling author, with more than 100 books in print. Rebecca’s books deliver in three ways – suspense, paranormal, and romance. Handling those three plot arcs can be like wrestling an octopus for an average writer. Then, again, Rebecca is anything but average. Her plots thrill, her characters defy normal parameters, while being incredibly realistic, and her romantic elements sizzle.
Rebecca graciously offered to blog for us today. She will also be giving away one of her favorite Harlequin Intrigues to a lucky commenter today!
Tomorrow I’ll be interviewing Rebecca and announcing the winner. So, make sure you come back and join in.
Now, please help me welcome, Rebecca York!
I’ve always thought that one of the best ways to connect with my readers is through related stories. I’ve done that with my long-running 43 Light Street series for Harlequin Intrigue and my Moon books for Berkley. And I wanted to use a similar format with the Decorah Security series, which I launched in December with three titles.
The usual thriller or detective series has one main protagonist who comes back book after book. Romantic thrillers are a little different because it’s not just about the peril. The focus is on the developing relationship between the hero and heroine as well as on the action plot. It’s also the story of a man and a woman falling in love against a background of suspense and danger, and it isn’t until after they’ve dispatched the bad guys that the reader is sure they’re going to work out their complex relationship.
That’s a challenge for the writer. But also fun. You’re always weaving the two plots together so that if you pulled out either one, the story would fall apart. And with the Decorah Security series, there’s another element as well. All of the agents have paranormal powers–or they’re dealing with a paranormal case.
Bringing the first three Decorah Security stories to publication was a year-long project for me. And though DARK MOON is the third book in the series, it’s the one I wrote first because I thought of it as a transition between my Berkley Moon books and the new series.
DARK MOON Cover
DARK MOON features the main Decorah Security players, Frank Decorah and the in-house staff who have secondary roles in all the stories. We also meet a guy who’s going to be the hero of a future Decorah novel, even though he’s playing the part of a bad guy in this story.
The spotlight is on agents Cole Marshall and Emma Richards, who are sent on a desperate mission to rescue Karen Hopewell, a young woman kidnapped by a business rival of her father. But Bruno Del Conte is no ordinary businessman. He lives on a cruise ship that’s been converted into a sexual playground for the rich and kinky.
Going under cover, Cole and Emma must play the role of lovers while they search for Karen. On the ship, they’re threatened by a mutiny in progress and also by Del Conte’s security chief who digs into their backgrounds to find out who they really are and why they’re on board. At the same time, they struggle with the intensity of the personal relationship neither of them thought they wanted.
And, oh yeah, just to complicate matters, Cole’s a werewolf who fears Emma will discover his secret in the worst possible manner.
I finished DARK MOON, let it sit, and went through my three or four edits. But I was nervous about the story. After more than 130 books with major publishers, this was my first indie project, and I didn’t want anyone to say, “It’s not up to her usual standards.” It helped me to send it to a beta reader who came back and said she loved it. But I wasn’t ready to loose the book on the world quite yet. I hired a professional editor, who made some suggestions and line edited. And of course, my faithful proofreader, my husband, made sure nobody would see my dyslexic spelling and typing errors.
Meanwhile, I was working on CHAINED. Originally it was a stand-alone novella until I realized it fit perfectly into the Decorah Security universe.
It’s the story of Isabella Flores, a woman on the run from thugs who want to kill her. When she hides out at a ranch her father owns, she hooks up with Matt Houseman, the ghost of the Decorah agent she loved and lost. Both are surprised that their relationship turns sensual. And when the bad guys find Isabella, Matt helps save her life. But is he really a phantom? And can Isabella turn the tables and bring him back to life?
Continuing with the series in reverse order, I edited CHAINED, then wrote AMBUSHED. Since it’s a short story, I made it the introduction to the series. Decorah operative Jordan Stone is guarding Elizabeth Bannerman, the only witness against an alleged terrorist. When Jordan and Elizabeth are ambushed, they hide from armed men out to assassinate her. And when it looks like they may not survive, they both acknowledge the sexual attraction that’s been simmering between them. Jordan is determined to save Elizabeth’s life, but can he cope with his strong feelings for her?
I worked on the Decorah Security series while writing two Harlequin Intrigues, SUDDEN INSIGHT and SUDDEN ATTRACTION, which come out in January and February 2012, respectively.
But now it’s launch time for Decorah Security, and I’m excited to see how this new venture works out.
Thanks so much Rebecca! Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for an interview with Rebecca and to find out who won an copy of her Harlequin Intrigue!