OMG!!!! I can’t even tell you how excited I am today!!!! I mean SUPER excited…
*tries to slow down my racing heart*
Why you ask?
Well my newest author crush is on the blog today.
Did I mention how SUPER EXCITED I am right now????? Did I?
Who might be my newest author crush?
Why it is the amazingly talented and super cute Julie Ann Walker and her fabulous, I could not put the books (yes, I have read the 1st three books) down for anything, stayed up way to late, bawled my eye out and am totally in love with her Black Knight Inc series… Okay so enough of me talking… Let me introduce you to Julie……
Julie, can you please share with us a little about yourself
JW: Ha! Only a little? Well, here goes… I grew up in rural Oklahoma riding horses and wearing cowgirl boots. I received my degree in mathematics – yes, you read that right, mathematics. Doesn’t quite gel with romance writing, does it? I married my college sweetheart. From Oklahoma, we moved to Michigan and then Chicago, and the Windy City is now my home. I’m a recovering shoe-and-handbag-aholic – recovering, that is, until Nordstrom’s has another sale… My favorite activity is riding my bicycle along the Lake Michigan shoreline. I drink way too much coffee. And, when I’m writing, my fifteen-year-old Labrador Retriever curls up around my feet.
Whew! Who knew a life could be condensed down to a few sentences?
Have you always wanted to be an author?
JW: My father calls me a natural-born story-teller. As a kid, I was perpetually relating this anecdote or making up that story – lots of hand gestures included. But, no, I didn’t always dream of being an author. In fact, I fancied myself more of a reader than a writer. But that’s not to say the stories weren’t in my head; they always were – at least that’s what I tell people to account for the pesky voices without admitting I’m completely cray-cray. But, seriously, one day I decided to write one of those stories down and a thought kept spinning through my mind during the process. That thought was, “this is what I was meant to do…” HELL ON WHEELS was born and the rest, as they say, is history…
Can you share with us your typical writing day. Is there anything you have to have while writing?
JW: My typical writing day starts with coffee. Then I sit down and take care of the business of writing, the answering of emails, phone calls, etc. Afterward, I usually procrastinate a little and get on Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest. *Wince* Don’t tell my editor and agent. And finally, sometime before lunch and after my third cup of coffee – did I mention I like coffee? – I dig in to my current work in progress.
Most challenging or rewarding part of writing?
JW: Oh, by far the most challenging part of writing for me is actually getting the words on the page. Like I said, the stories are already in my head, usually fully formed, so why bother taking the time to write them all down? Oh, so you guys can read them? Okay, I suppose… LOL!
As for the most rewarding part of writing, that would have to be the readers, people who come up to me or email me and say they loved my book. There’s nothing better than knowing you brought a little joy and entertainment into someone’s life.
Can you please tell us about your latest book(s)?
JW: The second and third books in the Black Knights Inc. series are being released in the next couple of months. IN RIDES TROUBLE, the story of BKI’s head hancho, Frank “Boss” Knight, and spunky mechanic, Becky “Rebel” Reichert, starts off in the middle of the Indian Ocean with Becky having been abducted by Somali pirates. It’s a thrill-ride and Becky and Boss set the pages on fire. The third installment, REV IT UP, centers around Michelle Carter and Jake “The Snake” Sommers. Those two have a history that will make you laugh and cry in turn, and Michelle’s holding on to a secret so volatile there’s no way to avoid explosions.
How did you come with the idea for this story?
JW: It’s total confession time here. Because the idea for HELL ON WHEELS began with my two favorite fantasies, the military man and the man on a motorcycle. We all know there’s nothing sexier than a guy in uniform and, for me, the concept of the rebel outlaw mounting up on a half ton of steel and heading for the open road is a total turn-on. Once it occurred to me that there might be a way to combine the two, the story just wrote itself. And is there anyone hotter than Nate? I fan myself just thinking of him!
Can you share with us your current work in progress?
JW: I’m currently working on the fourth book in the Black Knights Inc. series. It’s the story of smoking hot Cajun operator, Richard “Rock” Babineaux, and Vanessa Cordero, the sexy communications specialist who won’t take “no” for an answer. It starts off in the jungles of Costa Rica and I can tell you this, it’s hot and steamy and oh-oh-oh so delicious. I can’t wait for everyone to read it because I’m having an absolute blast writing it!
Who are some of your favorite authors?
JW: I love Suzanne Brockmann. Her stories are complex and intricate. I’m a total fan-girl. Stephen King can raise the hairs on my arm like no other, and John Grisham is always a pre-order for me.
Do you feel that any of your favorite authors have inspired your writing style?
JW: Oh, I definitely think Suz Brockmann is an inspiration. Her characters are so diverse and unique. And I absolutely love the way she handles internal dialogue. Plus, her pop-culture references always resonate with me. (Probably because I watch way too much TV. Shhhh. Don’t tell my mother.)
What is in your To Read Pile that you are dying to start or upcoming release you can’t wait for?
JW: My To Be Read Pile? Oh, you mean that tower of books over in the corner? The one that will likely kill my dog if he brushes against it and it falls on him? Ooph. Where to begin? I guess I’ll start by saying that last year I came upon an article about the 100 Best Works of Fiction of the 20th century, and I’ve been endeavoring to work my way through that list ever since. So currently, I have waiting for me, BRAVE NEW WORLD by Aldous Huxley, BELOVED by Toni Morrison, and A FAREWELL TO ARMS by Ernest Hemingway…
Is there anything else you would like to add?
JW: Thank you so much for having me on Books-n-Kisses. This has been wonderful. Now I’m off to get another cup of coffee!
HELL ON WHEELS BY JULIE ANN WALKER – IN STORES AUGUST 2012
Black Knights Inc.—Behind the facade of their tricked–out motorcycle shop is an elite special ops team assigned the jobs too hot for anyone else to handle.
Hold On Tight…
Ex–Marine Nate “Ghost” Weller is an expert at keeping his cool—and his distance—which makes him one hell of a sniper. It’s also how he keeps his feelings for Ali Morgan in check. Sweet, sexy Ali has always revved his engine, but she’s his best friend’s baby sister…and totally off limits.
Rough Road Ahead
Ali’s never seen anything sexier than Nate Weller straddling his custom Harley—or the flash of danger in his eyes when she tells him she’s in trouble. First something happened to her brother, and now she’s become the target of a nasty international organization. With Nate, her life is in the most capable hands possible—but her heart is another story altogether.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Deep in the heart of the Windy City, three things can be found at Julie Ann Walker’s fingertips: a keyboard, a carafe of coffee, and a sleepy yellow Labrador retriever. They, along with her ever-patient husband, keep her grounded as her imagination flies high. Look for the next two books in her fast-paced series: In Rides Trouble (September 2012) and Rev It Up (October 2012). For more information, please visit www.julieannwalker.com or follow her on Facebook www.facebook.com/jawalkerauthor or Twitter @JAWalkerAuthor.
Sourcebooks has given me one copy of Hell on Wheels.