Interview & Contest: Julie Ann Walker

Jen: Today we are excited to welcome Julie Ann Walker to Romancing the Book as she celebrates the release of the first book in her Black Knights series.  Julie Ann, please tell us about Hell on Wheels and where the idea came from.

JW:  HELL ON WHEELS is the first in my Black Knights Inc. romantic suspense series.  To give you an idea of the concept behind the series, Black Knights Inc. is a covert government defense firm operating under the guise of a custom motorcycle shop.  Think The Expendables, but with younger, hotter guys, cooler weapons, and meaner bikes.  HELL ON WHEELS is the story of Nate “Ghost” Weller, a former marine scout sniper, and Ali Morgan, a chatty-Kathy kindergarten teacher.  And, baby, do opposites attract!  He’s solemn and aloof.  She’s bubbly and chatty.  He’s made a promise to keep his hands to himself where she’s concerned.  She’s determined to put a crack in his tough exterior.  And when you throw in a crooked Senator, the Italian mob, and missing files, things really start to heat up!

The idea of Black Knights Inc. came about in two parts.  The first part, the military men who’ve started their own covert government defense firm, stems from my time volunteering at the USO.  I’ve been humbled and privileged to meet real life heroes in the men and women of our armed services, so I knew from the get-go I wanted to tell their stories.  The custom motorcycle part?  Well, that came about because I think leather-wearing, Harley-riding bad boys are delicious! 😉  I mean, who doesn’t?

Jen:  What kind of research did you do for this book/series?

JW:  I had to study up on military hierarchy, lingo, weaponry, etc.  But the nice thing about volunteering at the USO is that I can always pull a soldier aside and ask questions.  They’re more than happy to talk machine guns, flash-bangs, and hand grenades.  Usually too happy.  By the time they’re finished, my brains are sliding out through my nose and ears.  I’ve fired handguns to get a feel for how they kick and to hear the different noises they make.  And I’ve consumed every episode of Orange County Choppers so I’m current on all the bike-building jargon.

Jen: Who has inspired you as an author?

JW:  That’s such a difficult question since I’m a prolific reader.  But I can tell you I started writing my own stories after I read all the Romana books by Beverly Cleary.  As for those authors who inspired me to write romantic suspense, I’d have to give credit to Cindy Gerard, Tara Janzen, and the queen herself, Suzanne Brockmann.

Jen: Do you have a writing routine?  Are you a plotter or a panster?

JW:  I’m a total panster.  My characters are always very clear in my mind, but what their specific journey will be unfolds for me as I go along.  Which probably means I do a lot more deleting than a plotter would, but that’s all part of the fun.  Going, “No, no.  That didn’t work.  Let’s go somewhere new, shall we?” is such a rush.

Jen: What’s next for you?

JW:  I’m currently finishing up the fourth book in the series.  It’s the story of Richard “Rock” Babineaux and Vanessa Cordero.  It’s set in the jungles of Costa Rica.  Rock has been listed as a rogue operator and he’s on the run.  And, oh, my, my!  Is it ever STEAMY!!!



Deep in the heart of the Windy City, three things can be found at Julie Ann Walker’s fingertips: a keyboard, a carafe of coffee, and a sleepy yellow Labrador retriever.  They, along with her ever-patient husband, keep her grounded as her imagination flies high. Look for the next two books in her fast-paced series: In Rides Trouble (September 2012) and Rev It Up (October 2012). For more information, please visit or follow her on Twitter, @JAWalkerAuthor and Facebook,


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33 thoughts on “Interview & Contest: Julie Ann Walker

  1. Maria D. says:

    Good interview – I have the first book on my Kindle so I’m not entering the contest but I really dig how much research Julie did for this series. Volunteering at the USO is something more of us civilians need to do and it sounds as if it had an added benefit for Julie….very cool!

    • Yay! Happy to hear you’ve got HELL ON WHEELS on your kindle. Fair makes an author’s heart go pitter patter. 😉 And I agree with you that it would do many civilians a world of good to volunteer at the USO. Not only because the USO always needs volunteers, but also because it’s such a great opportunity and an eye-opening experience. You need some humility? Just go visit your local center and watch all those soldiers about to go on another tour. It’ll move you like nothing else.

  2. Jolene A says:

    I love reading books with Military Hero’s. They have that Alpha attitude that I love so much. I’ve read a lot with the marines and the Seals, rangers and I think I have yet to read one that features the Navy. I need to look out for more of those. Thanks for the chance to win

  3. Fiery Na says:

    I like reading about military romances and it doesn’t the branch. I find the heroes to be great because of their exciting background.

  4. Jen B. says:

    I love all of the books with military heroes. I have noticed a lack of Coast Guard heroes. Thanks for the giveaway. I am really looking forward to reading Hell on Wheels.

  5. barbara says:

    Great interview! This series sounds action-packed. Look forward to reading. 🙂

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  6. Andie Wardlow says:

    I enjoy reading about all branches of the military but i think it would be cool to read about the MP’s. I don’t think anyone has really written about them.

  7. Maureen says:

    I don’t really have a preference but if you ask my husband I’m sure he would say Army since that is where he served.

  8. Susan W. says:

    When I went to school to be a lab tech I did my clinical training at the local Air Force Base and since then I’ve loved military romances. Doesn’t matter to me which branch or military group. They all are heros whether in real life or fiction. Thanks for the giveaway!

  9. Carol L says:

    I’m looking forward to reading Hell On Wheels. It sounds Hot and juicy. 🙂
    I have no favorite. They are all Heroes in my mind. Both of my sons are career Army and one in Special Forces. Volunteering at the USO is a wonderful feeling isn’t it ? Thanks Julie for the chance.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  10. Damaris says:

    I like reading all of them. If the job evokes a sense of danger and requires specialized training, then I’m hooked. Thanks for offering the giveaway.

  11. Patti P says:

    I don’t think I have a preferred branch, but I definately look at Marines differently because that was my Dad. Before he married my mom he held a few different jobs in the service. One was a drill sgt. and he never let any of us forget it. YUCK. Not fun for a kid let me tell you. 🙂
    But my mom still gets all starry eyed when she talks about when she met him. He was smokin’ hot. I found a picture of him when I was little and asked who it was and my Mom said that is your Daddy and I said “No Mommy, Daddy is fat, this guy is HOT!!!!”
    She laughed so hard she was crossing her legs. I was about 7. LOL

  12. JoAnne says:

    I love to read any books with military or special ops in the plot and as characters.
    Seals would be my favorite to read about – all their adventures, wow!

  13. Joanne B says:

    I don’t prefer one branch of the military over the other. They are all wonderful and I love reading stories about them all.

  14. Colleen C says:

    I would like to see the Navy or Air Force featured as a branch of service in a book. Thank you.

  15. The Marines/SEALs! There’s just something so protective and strong about all military men, but they are the hottest in my mind (plus, I love their uniforms;) Thanks for the giveaway!

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