HelenKay Dimon is at the Explosive Contest! I met HelenKay at the Lori Foster even last year. She’s a very smart, nice lady, so join me in giving her a big welcome!
BK: Thank you so much for joining me at the Explosive contest, HelenKay!
Your latest, Impulsive, sounds just wonderful. I love the idea of a bad-girl being reformed by a straight-edge, hot guy. Where did you get the idea for this book? Why did you decide to set it in Hawaii?
HKD: Thank you for inviting me! I’m thrilled to be here.
This is the book I never planned to write. I have a series of contemporary romances set in Hawaii. They are standalone stories but share some of the same characters. While writing the previous one, HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO (November 2010), a secondary character appeared and took on more of a role than I expected. Eric Kimura was this serious prosecutor with an eye toward political office. He was also the ex-boyfriend of the heroine in HOFAH. He wasn’t the typical lousy ex. He was a decent guy who tried to the do the right thing and it backfired on him.
By the time I finished HOFAH I knew I had to write Eric’s story and let the guy have a happy ending of his own. Of course, the only way to do that was to loosen him up a bit. And then along came wild child Katie Long and poor Eric didn’t stand a chance.
BK: Your Mouth Drives Me Crazy, Guns and the Girl Next Door, Victoria’s Got a Secret…OMG, your titles are the best! Do you usually come up with your titles or is it a group effort with your editor, publisher, etc.? (However, you get them, I’m really jealous ). 🙂
HKD: They’re great, aren’t they? Honestly, I can’t take credit for any of them! Three different editors and three different publishing houses came up with them. I can write the books but, for whatever reason, when it’s time to come up with a title all I get in my brain is: “uh…” I have zero ability to pick good titles. Thank goodness my editors excel at the task.
BKK: You’ve expanded your writing into the Harlequin Intrigue line. I spoke with you a bit about this at Lori Foster’s event last year, but can you tell the readers what that shift has been like for you? What changes have you made in your plot research, writing style and voice, if any? What was the reaction of the readers when you added category to your repertoire along with super steamy love stories? Any stories about the opposite…reactions from Harlequin Intrigue readers who discover your hot romances?
HKD: It was more of an addition than a shift. About two years ago my agent asked if there was something I wanted to write in addition to single title contemporary romance. I had always been a huge fan of mysteries and romantic suspense, and I had just read several Intrigues as a judge in the RITA contest (the annual Romance Writers of America contest for the best books of the year), so I said I ‘d love to write an Intrigue. My agent’s response was so practical. He said, “so, why aren’t you trying that?” That’s all it took for me to try.
My Intrigues are different in tone from my contemporary single titles but I think my voice is the same ““ a teeny bit sarcastic. The biggest differences is that the Intrigues aren’t as sexually graphic, although the ones coming out in 2011 are steamier than the ones I wrote for 2010. The pacing is shockingly fast and the plot has to be very tight to fit into the short word count of an Intrigue. I actually think writing Intrigue has improved my writing overall and helped me focus in on what is really necessary for the story.
I have been very lucky in that Intrigue fans have welcomed me. These readers are devoted to the line and very sweet. A few who have crossed over to my single titles were surprised the heat level was higher, but overall the reaction from both sets of readers have been good. From the editing to the readers, my experience with Harlequin has been very positive. I’m hoping to be able to juggle both a single title career and a category career for a nice long time.
BK: What’s coming up for you in the near future?
HKD: I have a four-book miniseries coming out in 2011 from Harlequin Intrigue called Mystery Men. Talk about good titles: GUNS AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR (January), GUNNING FOR TROUBLE (February), LOCKED AND LOADED (August) and THE BIG GUNS (September). The books center on a conspiracy in the Witness Security Program (WitSec). The heroes are tough undercover agents and the women are just as strong.
In March I have a single title in the new reality-based True Vows line called VICTORIA’S GOT A SECRET. I am so excited about this book. It tells the romance of Victoria Sinclair, the original and lead anchor of Naked News. Her story is amazing and her husband Paul is pure romance hero material.
Thank you again for inviting me!
Katie Long was supposed to be undercover. She was just supposed to watch Deputy Prosecutor Eric Kimura at his ex’s wedding and gather intel on his campaign for prosecutor. But he’s a lot hotter in person, and the kind of intel they accidentally shared in the hotel bathroom might lose both of them their jobs. Especially since it seems to be a recurring incident. Is it possible for a one-night stand to last ten days?
Kimura isn’t usually the impulsive type. He’s driven, he’s ambitious, and he knows what he wants—a respectable future in Hawaii politics. Which means wild half-public sex with a beautiful stranger in a short little caterer’s skirt is just tabloid fodder waiting to happen. Conveniently, just as his campaign is coming under attack. Sabotage, media gossip, and an insatiable desire for a woman he just met? If he’s not careful, Counselor Kimura might lose all control…
Read more about Impulsive here.
HelenKay has generously offered to give away one copy of IMPULSIVE to a commenter here today! Please check for the winner tomorrow.