Prism Book Alliance would like to thank Heloise West for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: Hitting Black Ice
Author: Heloise West
Publisher: Loose Id
Cover Artist: Syneca Featherstone
Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance
ER physician’s assistant Hunter guards his heart carefully, but that doesn’t stop him from falling for Shawn, the front desk clerk. He keeps his distance from relationships for a reason, but just can’t help himself when it comes to Shawn.
Shawn is on the run from the law and love to protect himself and anyone else involved. One man is dead because of him, and his life now is simple and easily thrown into a bag at any hint of danger. Until he meets Hunter, and he no longer wants to run.
Forced into a hostage situation, buried passion explodes in the aftermath, and sex in the supply closet brings their hearts back to life. Tentatively, step by step, they begin to explore a relationship together until the past catches up with Shawn.
FBI agent Nick Truman has finally found his man, but when Shawn escapes, he focuses his attention on Hunter. Shawn returns, even though it means sacrificing himself to save Hunter from the man who framed him for murder.
1. We are here today to talk about Hitting Black Ice. What do you want to tell us about it?
Hitting Black Ice is my debut novel, but it’s the story that has surprised me the most out of everything else I’ve ever written. I consider myself more of a historical writer than contemporary. I’d put the story away more than once out of despair, but when it finally took off, phew, get out of the way! 😉 It’s a love story with two damaged heros, lots of suspense, and a sexy but evil FBI agent hunting them both.
2. Tell me more about Hunter and Shawn.
Hunter is on the run from love. His ex put him through hell, and he’s not willing, as he says: “to take responsibility for another heart.” He loves dogs and his job as a PA in the local hospital emergency room.
Shawn is on the run from sexy, snarky Nick the FBI agent. Shawn knows that anyone he gets involved with will be in the line of fire when he is inevitably hunted down.
They simply can’t stay away from each other, though the right thing would be to walk away. I might be accused of insta-lust/insta-love, but outside forces push and keep them together.
3. Your first published work was in the Juicy Bits anthology with Dreamspinner Press. How did the experience of publishing Hitting Black Ice differ?
Submission calls like the Juicy Bits one are a little nerve-wracking in that I fretted about the story not only fitting Dreamspinner, but the theme of the call. Also, in an anthology, there’s safety in numbers. When I was writing Hitting Black Ice, I wasn’t sure where I was going to send it. At the last minute on the advice of a writer friend, I sent it to Loose Id. I got a lot of support for both stories, but in the end, it is just the novel and me trying to find a place among all the excellent authors out there.
4. Will we be seeing more from these characters in a sequel?
Again, the novel surprised me when it took another unexpected turn (Okay, I was pushed 😉 ) and the sequel bloomed. My editor saw something redeemable in the villain of the story, Nick, so he’s going to get a chance to tell his story also.
5. What one story made you lose sleep as a kid?
Anne Frank’s story. Anything about Nazi’s always disturbed me. Slavery also; Janet Fox’s “The Slave Dancer.”
6. How do you keep characters consistent through a story? Do you write out extensive character bibles?
I made Hunter a compassionate person with connections to law enforcement early on so that later his reactions to Shawn as things escalate were natural for him. Shawn was tougher to maintain because logically he should have just stayed away from Hunter, but then again, if he did, the story would have ended there. He needed help, and Hunter believed he could help him.
Since I didn’t plan on writing a sequel, guess I better figure out how to work a character bible. 😀
7. What tool do you use to plan scenes? (such as index cards, white board, ouiji board, etc)
I write extensive meandering notes to myself. I have a few set pieces in mind, a handful of beat sheets, and a definite affinity for Scene and Sequel writing. When the scene won’t go, I get a big piece of paper and use circles (right brain stuff) to work things out by hand. Worse comes to worse, I’m not averse to pulling a tarot card or two to get things moving.
8. Rapid Fire time
- Underwear and socks: folded in the drawer or tossed? Drawer? They never get out of the laundry basket ;).
- Beach or Mountains? I lived in the White Mountains of New Hampshire for 18 years. I love, love, love the mountains.
- Australia or England? England for English Lit majors 😉
- Love Story or Thriller? Both.
- Salty or Sugary? Both.
- Steak or pizza? Steak. I’m a carnivore, though I was a vegetarian for 6 years a long time ago.
- Country or City? Definitely country. I live in rural Maine now, and I love Northern New England.
- Music or TV/Movies? I have to go with movies. It’s all about the story. I used to drive my dad crazy listening to “Rumpelstiltskin” on my little record player over and over again when I was a kid. But I also don’t spend any time watching television in general.
9. What are you working on? What’s next?
I’m trying to finish up a novella set in Tuscany during the 18th century that involves looking for missing artworks. It was rejected by Dreamspinner for the “Kindness” anthology, but the editor asked me to make it novella length and resubmit. I am not a short story writer. The story for Juicy Bits was a fluke.
I’m waiting to hear back on a romance/mystery novel that takes place in the artists workshops of Medici Florence. I’ve started the sequel to Hitting Black Ice–I’m sending the boys on a little vacation ala “Key Largo.” The working title is “Send Lawyers, Guns, and Roses.” 😉
Thanks so much for having me today!
It was nine o’clock. They’d long lost the reservation. Hunter turned away from the warm lights of the restaurant, heart heavy. Shawn was too good to be true. For all he knew, he had a problem like Jerry’s, who’d often left him waiting, wondering, and ultimately fearing as dinner sat cold on the table. He gave in and took a step toward home.
He whipped around.
Shawn rushed toward him. He slipped on the snowy sidewalk, nearly going down, but Hunter ran at him, and they crashed together so hard his teeth clicked. Shawn’s arms went around him and his around Shawn, and they managed to hold each other up.
“I’m sorry,” were the first words out of Shawn’s mouth.
“All you deserve is pizza crusts,” Hunter mock-growled and kissed him, unconsciously trying to taste booze on his breath. Like Jerry and too many broken promises. Relieved it was only peppermint mouthwash, he didn’t stop kissing him.
When Hunter let him speak, Shawn said, “I’m starving, I’ll take it.” He pushed Hunter a little away from him. “Jesus. You’re freezing.”
“And starving. There’s a Greek pizza place down this way, come on—”
“I’ll make it up to you,” he said, taking Hunter’s hand.
About the Author:
Heloise West, when not hunched over the keyboard plotting love and mayhem, dreams about moving to a villa in Tuscany. She loves history, mysteries, and romance of all flavors. She travels and gardens with her partner of 10 years, and their home overflows with books, cats, art, and red wine.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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