Interview with Karin Harlow

Jen: Please help us welcome Harlow to the blog this week as she promotes her new release. Harlow, will you please share a short bio with us?
Harlow: Yes but first thank you for inviting me to hang out here today!

Ok, so, the official version: A full time writer, Harlow spins dark tales of suspense, love and things that go bump in the night. Drawing from her life as a cop’s wife, her stories resonate with authority and reality. When Harlow isn’t writing, she enjoys traveling the California coast line with her husband and one or more of her four children or getting together in far off places with her writing buddies.

Jen: Tell us about Enemy Lover and where it’s available.
Harlow: Enemy Lover is my paranormal suspense debut. But it’s much, much more. It’s a big fat romance, with action and adventure wrapped all over a paranormal suspense. Enemy Lover is the first book of the L.O.S.T., Last Option Special Team, series, where highly trained black operatives with checkered pasts go toe-totoe with immortals. Each book is set in the human world. Enemy Lover pits L.O.S.T.’s only female operative and femme fatal, Jax Cassidy against the baddest vampire out there, assassin Marcus Cross, who by the way owns the term vampire. At his core, Marcus is a predator, and uses that part of himself to eliminate enemy’s of the state and those of his maker, Joseph Lazarus, who has his eye on the White House. Jax is sent to stop them both: permanently.

Here’s the blurb:
When you have no alternative, then you call L.O.S.T.

Because with Last Option Special Team it’s do or die…

It’s Jax Cassidy’s first mission for L.O.S.T.—one that will give the former cop who went rogue a chance to prove herself. Her assignment: gain the trust of assassin Marcus Cross . . . eliminate him . . . then take down Marcus’s mentor, Joseph Lazarus, a man with a bold eye on the White House. But the woman who’s known by her team for being a femme fatale succumbs to passion, only to discover Cross’s deadly secret. He’s a vampire, and Joseph Lazarus is his creator.

Left for dead by his platoon in the violent hills of Afghanistan, special ops sniper Marcus Cross was given a second chance at life. His newly heightened skills make him the perfect killing machine, and as Lazarus’s right hand man, he’s quickly rising to the top of his dark empire, purging enemies with speed and precision. Only when dangerous beauty Jax Cassidy is sent to bring him in does he begin to question Lazarus’s motives and his own actions. But when Jax’s life is threatened by the one thing that can destroy them both, Marcus must make a bitter choice—her death or his.

Enemy Lover released Tuesday May 25th and is available pretty much wherever books are sold!

Jen: At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Harlow: I wrote my first love story at 17. It was a messy copulation of my daydreams. I still have the ‘manuscript’. It’s hidden and will remain so. I’ve sold other work under a different name, but this is my first venture into paranormal romantic suspense action adventure! I vaguely remember my first call. I was heavily sedated after having had surgery the day before. The fact that I had sold to New York, slowly sunk in over the next week. Sort of anticlimactic.

Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?
Harlow: My dad writes, so does my husband and my eldest son. All unpublished, but I have faith in my husband. Once he makes up his mind to actually do the work, he’ll sell. He’s an excellent storyteller with a distinct voice.

Jen: How do you approach your writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
Harlow: I’m a panster by nature. But, before I type word one, I must know who my hero, heroine and bad guy are. What they want, and how far they are willing to go to get it. From there I have vague ideas, then sit, and write. Knowing where I’m going takes the spontaneity and excitement out of a story for me. I like to be surprised by my characters.

Jen: Have you noticed your writer’s voice has changed over the years due to your experience? If so, how?
Harlow: Yes and no. Yes in that it has become more distinct, and no in that it’s the same voice, just clearer, smarter, edgier.

Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Harlow: I did a lot. I learned how to shoot automatic weapons and shoot an M4 sniper rifle. I had to do a lot of research on the penal system in Maryland, Baltimore City specifically. My youngest son’s godfather just happens to be a Captain in Balto PD, so he was very helpful. I had to get up to speed on thigh tech gadgets, which involved the FBI cyber unit. There’s a jump scene where Jax jumps from a helicopter to a roof top in LA. That I used my imagination and watched you tube feeds. No way was I going to jump out of a helicopter, although I did take my first helicopter ride earlier this year. Very exciting.

Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest?
Harlow: Even though I am a working writer and it’s my full time job, the hardest part for me is ignoring the family going-ons during the day while I’m working. There’s a lot of it going on. The easiest part of writing for me is the actual the writing.

Jen: What’s the most rewarding aspect?
Harlow: Reader email! And while this is my debut paranormal romantic suspense action adventure and the book is not officially out until Tuesday May 25th, I have received so many phenomenal comments from those who had a review copy to read. I’m overwhelmed by everyone’s excitement over Enemy Lover, Jax and Marcus’s story.

Jen: How do you pick the character’s names?
Harlow: Jax Cassidy was easy, I stole it from my friend and uber author Jax Cassidy. Is it not the coolest name? Marcus’s name just came to me as I wrote his first scene. Love it when that happens!

Jen: If you could travel back in time for one year, what time and place would you choose? And if you could only take 3 things with you, what would they be?
Harlow: Oh, wow. I think I’d have to go the year leading up to the day Christ died and the three days following. And if I could only take three things with me? A camera, a recorder, and a huge battery to keep them both going for a year!

Jen: If Enemy Lover was made into a movie, which actors would you choose to play the hero and heroine?
Harlow: Kate Beckinsale as she was in Underworld but with darker hair and more in touch with her sexuality. For Marcus, that luscious cover model on Enemy Lover!! (who cares if he can’t act!)

Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Harlow: A reviewer said, “Enemy Lover by Karin Harlow is easily the most original and compelling vampire story since Anne Rice’s Interview with the Vampire.” That blew me away.

Jen: What’s next for you?
Harlow: Book two in the L.O.S.T. series, working title, LOST SOULS. Very dark, very sexy and more paranormal romantic suspense action adventure!

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?
Harlow: Everywhere www.karinharlow.com where you can read more about the L.O.S.T. and Enemy Lover fb, twitter, myspace.

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Harlow: What romance genre is your favorite and why?

Thank you for having me! I’m looking forward to hanging out today and chatting. Please, feel free to ask me anything about the industry, Enemy Lover or The L.O.S.T.. I’ll do my best to answer.

Jen: Readers, Harlow is giving away a very kewl custom L.O.S.T. latte mug to a lucky commenter! Just answer the question and be entered to win! Remember, we also need your email address in your comment, or a message sent to contests.bookblog@gmail.com after you comment. The winner will be chosen on Sunday, June 6.