Libby Waterford and I are both newbie authors over at Decadent Publishing. Her new release, Love Unlocked, is a romantic suspense set in California, and I've heard it packs quite a bit of heat. You can buy the book directly from the publisher, or at other major eBook retailers such as Amazon and B&N.
1. I'm a huge fan of the romantic suspense genre (my favorite writers are Linda Howard and Elizabeth Lowell). Are there any authors or books that helped inspire you to write Love Unlocked?
Some of my earliest favorites were romantic suspense such as Perfect by Judith McNaught, and lately I’ve gotten into Sandra Brown. I was a mystery lover before I discovered romance, but looking back, I see that my favorite mysteries were always ones that featured a key romance plot line.
2. I love Judith McNaught's books too! I didn't mention her since my favorite of hers is Paradise, so to me she's a contemporary romance author. We need to chat about her someday. Now, since you live in California, I can't help but ask--is the small-town in your book based on an actual place you've visited? Does the setting play a significant role in your book?
Chelsea, the small Central California town where most of Love Unlocked takes place, is loosely based on Cambria, California, a quaint town near San Simeon, which has gorgeous coastline and a really nice small town feel. The setting is important – it’s a link to Eve’s past before she became a thief, and it ties Hudson to a tragedy in his family, one of the reasons he continues to be unable to paint.
3. Why do you think dangerous situations lend themselves to romance (when it comes to fiction)? Is it the adrenaline rush?
I think life or death situations make it clear what’s really important to a person. Feelings come to the surface, and it becomes impossible to put off acting on your emotions if you might not get another chance. That’s why I think suspense elements added to romance can give the characters the kick they need to take things to the next level.
4. It's clear that Hudson has quite a few talents (painter, locksmith, etc.), yet I'm shallow enough to ask about his other assets. Physically speaking, what does he look like (please don't spare any details)?
I thought you’d never ask! Hudson’s tall, lean, and strong. He has the deliciously sensual hands of an artist, but because he can’t paint he’s been engaging a lot of physical labor lately, from working in the town’s community garden to helping his brother install security systems, so he’s strong and cut. Thanks to his German immigrant ancestor marrying a California girl with Mexican and Native American heritage, he’s got exotic good looks that make him more of a candidate for posing for paintings rather than painting them!
5. My, my, he does sound yummy. Now that you've made my imagination run amuck, I'll end the interview with this final question--How did you go about getting your first book published? Were there manuscripts you trunked along the way?
Great question! Love Unlocked was my seventh full-length manuscript, but the first I put out into the universe to see what would happen. Joining RWA and my local chapter, East Valley Authors, a few years ago was instrumental in getting me to pitch and submit Love Unlocked to Decadent, and I’m so glad I did.
Since Libby's book just came out, she's quite the busy lady. As such, I'll let her run off to her next engagement. For more information about the book and author, just scroll down. Comments are always much appreciated.
All she wants is a fresh start…
Retired art thief Eve Caplin traveled all the way from Paris to California looking for a fresh start in a small town. When she locks herself out of her home, she gets much more than she bargained for in Hudson Cleary, part-time locksmith and world famous artist. She wants to resist Hudson’s seductive pull, but can’t refuse his help when a man from her past blackmails her into stealing a ten million dollar painting. Not only does Hudson have access to the painting, he may hold the key to her damaged heart.
All he wants is her…
Hudson hasn’t picked up a paintbrush in two years. When he unlocks Eve Caplin’s door, the mysterious beauty arouses much more than just his creative impulses. He needs Eve in his studio and wants her in his bed. When he discovers danger closing in, he must decide how far over the line he’s willing to go to protect her. Will he lose his heart, his muse, and his freedom all in one unforgettable night?
About Libby Waterford
Libby Waterford writes California-set steamy contemporary romances. She’s currently Vice President of Communications for the East Valley Authors chapter of Romance Writers of America. She lives in Los Angeles, where she enjoys stair-walking, swimming and In-N-Out burgers, not necessarily in that order.