It is my absolutely pleasure to sit down with Desiree Holt to talk about her new book, Hide and Seek. I got to meet Desiree in Florida at this summer’s Romance Writers of America conference, and we fangirled over how amazing our shared editor, Rebecca, is. Desiree is an inspiring writer and delightful person, and I’m excited to share her work with you!
When did you realize or decide you wanted to be a writer?
Probably as soon as I could read and write. I was always making up stories, and in high school even wrote a one-act play in French for an assignment.
What has been your best experience as an author so far?
The wonderful emails I get from readers. All their good words make me cry.
What sort of challenges have you faced as a writer? How did you overcome them?
Initially it was even getting published. This was before digital was barely even a hint on the marketplace. Midlist authors had a lock on agents and publisher. But I never gave up, even after 137 rejections and here I am today.
How do you research and plan your books? Do you find outlining helps or hinders your process?
I never used to outline but with so many books going at one time, and so many series going, I discovered that it helps my brain,. Of course, that doesn’t mean the outline won’t change. (Grin). I research in a lot of different ways. I get everything I can from the Internet. Then I find people who are knowledgeable in the topics and bug them to death!
Have you learned anything really cool or interesting while researching your books? What’s been the weirdest research you’ve ever had to do?
Lot’s of cool and interesting things. Everything from visiting working ranches to practicing on a gun range. The coolest thing was visiting the company that makes sniper rifles for Marines. (I write a lot of military and former military series.)
What advice would you give to new writers in the field?
Learn the basics like grammar and punctuation., That can sink you first. Make our characters believable. And finally, never ever give up. Not ever.
Tell us a little about your writing nook! Favorite tea/coffee/writing snack?
I have a nook just off my living room where I write. On my desk at any time you can find a cup of English Breakfast Tea, Hazelnut decaf coffee, or a tumbler of Smart Water (which doesn’t really make you smart!). Favorite snacks these days are coconut toasted almonds and brie cheese.
Of all of your own characters, who would you most want to date?
Easy. Dan Romeo, head of The Phoenix agency. I see him in my dreams!
What project are you currently working on?
At this very moment I am working on Retreat to the Rear, Book #3 in Strike Force, my military series for Totally Bound. I am loving the story about two wounded souls—a Delta Force soldier and an intensive care nurse who end up running from terrorists.
What’s next for you?
I just finished Book #3 in Vigilance, my r/s series for Kensington. It will be out in October 2018. Then Book #2 in Corporate Heat, about double dealing in the Internet business. I have my eight Naked /Cowboys rereleasing November 13th, and in the next couple of months my three-part Erector set will rerelease. And November 24th will see the rerelease of Downstroke, a bout an aging country rock star, the girl he walked away from and the stalker trying to kill hm. Loved writing that book.
USA Today best-selling and award-winning author Desiree Holt writes everything from romantic suspense and paranormal to erotic, a genre in which she is the oldest living author. She has been referred to by USA Today as the Nora Roberts of erotic romance, and is a winner of the EPIC E-Book Award, the Holt Medallion and a Romantic Times Reviewers Choice nominee. She has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and in The Village Voice, The Daily Beast, USA Today, The (London) Daily Mail, The New Delhi Times and numerous other national and international publications.
Find her on:
♥ ♥ ♥
About Hide and Seek!
Where did your inspiration for the book come from?
I love romantic suspense and my publisher wanted something set in a small town. So I conjured up an elite security agency headquartered in a small Florida town on the west coast of the state. All the agents are former military. My hero actually came to me before anyone else in the book. And it deals with drug smuggling, which is so prevalent in any state on the water these days. Interesting note: I have a friend, a sheriff’s deputy and former Air Force Raven, who helps me a lot with stuff for my books. There is a kidnap scene in Hide and Seek that was a little complicated so we acted it out in my living room!
Did you outline the story, or dive right in?
I wanted to dive right in but both my editor and my publisher wanted an outline.
How did your characters come to life?
In my head. As I put the story together I cold “see” them. Logan Malek, my hero, is actually based on someone I know. Devon is a combination of people.
Did you do any cool or interesting research for this story? What did you learn?
I contacted some private security agencies, those with public relations people, ands cored a lot of info from them. My older daughter and her husband live in Fort Myers Beach, about where Arrowhead Bay (in the story is located) so they were able to give me a lot of info about the town and also about the boats I used. And of course there is the famous kidnap scene! (See above!)
What was your favorite part of working on this story? What was the most challenging?
Favorite is watching my characters come to life. Hardest part? Chapter One, always. That sets the tone and pace for the story.
What’s next for this story – is it part of a series? When does it come out?
It releases April 17th and yes, it is part of a series. Vigilance, which is the name of the agency. Without Warning (Book #2) about a famous writer who has acquired a stalker and the bodyguard he hires who just happens to be a girl who had a crush on him in high school.
Book #3, A Deadly Business, releases October 2018. I just finished it and I love it. About a former CIA agent with a price on her head and the bodyguard assigned to her. People ask me what it’s about and I say, Die Hard in the Caribbean.
Avery gave her a studied look. “I think if we get some coffee into you it might settle your nerves. Although I have to say, you’ve done a damn good job of not showing them.”
Coffee. That sounded wonderful. She would kill for a cup right about now.
Clanking sounds echoed in the air and when she looked over she saw the driver hooking up her vehicle. She’d have to make some kind of arrangements for a rental to use until it was fixed. She’d ask the March sisters who in town handled that. Someone would have to give her a ride back to the house, too, but right now Logan and the sisters were huddled in discussion. She wondered what on earth that was all about.
More clanging and grinding from the tow truck got everyone’s attention.
“I’ve got ‘er all hooked up,” the driver called out, “and I’m ready to leave. I’ve got your cell number, Miss Cole. I’ll call you when the mechanic assesses the damage.”
“Thank you. Listen, where can I rent a car in this town?”
She couldn’t be without wheels. Right now she’d get one of them to give her a ride back to the house, and she’d make a call and take care of it. She pushed herself out of the truck, then had to lean against the open door, surprised to find she was lightheaded and unsteady on her feet.
Avery was next to her in a hurry, reaching out to steady her. “You’re okay. Take a breath. Delayed shock, and probably adrenaline crash.”
“That’s what Logan said before. Holy Hannah!” She put a hand to her forehead.
Avery looked her over to make sure she was steady on her feet. “What’s up?”
“I need a ride back to the house.”
“Devyn, you can’t go back to that house alone.” Avery looked at her sister. “Right, Sheri?”
“Absolutely. Until we know what the hell is going on with your father, it isn’t safe for you to be there alone. Those guys from today aren’t finished with you.”
She’d been afraid of that. “So what am I supposed to do?”
“I’ll stay with her.” Logan’s deep voice startled her.
Devyn stared at him. “What?”
He grinned. “Looks like you need a bodyguard. That’s part of my job.”
“B-But I can’t pay you,” Devyn protested.
“Did I say anything about money?” He glanced over at Avery. “I just finished a job and I have nothing up on the books right now. This okay with you?”
Avery shrugged. “Hey, it’s your time. And I agree she needs protection. God knows who else is out there waiting for her. And let’s not forget the reporters hanging around.”
“I-I don’t know what to say.” Devyn was independent but she wasn’t stupid.
Logan’s mouth curved in that killer smile again. “Say ‘Thank you, Logan. I’d love to have you stay at my house with me.’”
A little shiver of anticipation raced along her spine, making her wonder if she’d truly lost her mind. She needed to focus on something besides how sexy her new bodyguard was. But then she thought about what had brought her to this point. The chill that raced over her had nothing to do with sexual awareness and everything to do with fear.
Read more at