AAD Interview & Contest: Liliana Hart

Author Spotlight Long

LilianaJen: Today we welcome another Author After Dark author to Romancing the Book! Liliana Hart, will you share a short bio with us?
Liliana: New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Liliana Hart has published more than 20 books, including the popular MacKenzie Family series. After starting her first novel her freshman year of college, she immediately became addicted to writing and knew she’d found what she was meant to do with her life. She has no idea why she majored in music.

Liliana is an avid reader and a believer in all things romance. Her books are filled with witty dialogue, steamy sex, and the all-important happily-ever-afters her romantic soul craves. Since self-publishing in June of 2011, she’s sold more than half a million ebooks all over the world. She lives in Texas with her husband and four children, and they occasionally let her meet her deadlines.

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Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Liliana: SINS AND SCARLET LACE is the next book in my MacKenzie Family Series and it features Declan MacKenzie, who is a not so polished James Bond-type/man of mystery. Sophia Huxley is the heroine and she and Dec already have a tumultuous past. So much so that she married another man after Dec broke her heart.

I really struggled writing Dec’s book because I knew he’d been built up to be a larger than life character in previous books, so I knew he had to live up to those expectations in his own book. I feel like I accomplished that and fans will fall in love with Declan MacKenzie even more than they were. What makes him so great is that he’s such an Alpha character, but Sophia is more than his match and through it all how much he loves her is always at the root of the story.

Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Liliana: I am definitely a pantser. I’ll usually have a vague idea about the plot or I’ll see a key scene in my head, but I never know until I write it what actually happens. It makes it much more interesting for me to be as surprised as the reader while I’m writing. It drives my husband crazy because I’ll be writing and then all of a sudden I’ll burst out with a gasp and say, “I can’t believe he just said that,” or “Why did he just do that? He ruined everything.” And then my husband is like, “You realize you’re a crazy person, right? You just wrote that stuff. How can you be surprised by what they say?” Which technically I know is true, but that’s the beauty of not plotting. I get immersed in the story to the point where I’m like an observer of what’s happening on the page instead of writing it.

Jen: Do you have a writing routine?
Liliana: My routine starts with the alarm going off at 6am and the kids getting up for school. I mostly just stand there slack-jawed and droopy-eyed, hoping they put their clothes on right-side-out. No caffeine yet.

My husband takes the kids to school and I immediately check email and answer anything that’s super important. I also check Facebook and Twitter to see if I missed anything during the six hours I was sleeping. I also take my turn on all of the Words With Friends games I have going.

It’s now 8:30am and my husband walks through the door with a giant cup of caffeine. My head clears and I hope I didn’t say anything too incoherent in the emails I answered earlier. It’s now time to write since I can think. I have a 1500 word per day goal, so I’ll sometimes finish before noon, but sometimes I don’t finish until midnight. It just depends.

At noon I’ll check email and social media again, and then my husband and I will grab some lunch and catch up on the business side of the book business.

After lunch I get back to the computer and write until the kids come home at 4pm. Then it’s homework/family time until they go to bed, and then I get the computer back out and do more social media and email responses. I’ll end the day by reading in bed for a couple of hours.

Jen: How do you remember ideas that come to you at odd times?
Liliana: I carry pen and paper on me at all times. I’ve had to pull over on the side of the road before to jot down an idea. I have a notepad by the bed when I wake up in the middle of the night with an idea. I’ve also written ideas on napkins in restaurants or on the back of my hand. Ideas can come from anywhere at anytime. I have to be ready.

Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Liliana: I loved to the research aspect of KILL SHOT. I love history, so I spent a lot of time reading World War II history, most specifically about Adolf Hitler and his personal life. I was an art history minor in college, so I knew I wanted to bring Hitler’s love of art into the book somehow as well. I also did the standard research on weapons and bombs, which I’m always terrified I’m going to end up on FBI watch lists, but so far so good.

Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors? What are you reading now?
Liliana: Ooh, I have a lot of favorite authors. Linda Howard, Diana Gabaldon, Julie Garwood, J.D. Robb, Lee Child, and Elizabeth Lowell are all automatic buys for me. I’m currently reading HIGHLANDER MOST WANTED by Maya Banks.

Jen: What’s next for you?
Liliana: Up next is KILL SHOT, which releases on May 14th. Gabe Brennan is a familiar character from my MacKenzie series, but this book is the first in a whole new series called The Collective. Gabe and Grace are absolutely my favorite characters in all the books I’ve written. Their chemistry is electric, and this series is quite a bit darker than my MacKenzie series. It’s a true romantic thriller, and I can’t wait for my readers to get their hands on it.

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75 thoughts on “AAD Interview & Contest: Liliana Hart

  1. may says:

    Julie Garwood’s book, I think. Can’t believe the title but remember loving it and reading it in one setting!

    • I’m in love with all of Julie Garwood’s books, but Ransom is my very favorite. True story: At RT last week I totally took a covert photo of JG walking by my table during the booksigning.

  2. I grew up reading lots of YA with romance in it (Judy Bloom, Meg Cabot, etc.), but the first book in the actual (adult) romance genre I remember reading… oh! It was one of those Julie Orlorton mass market paperbacks I covertly bought at a garage sale for 50 cents. Dear Cupid I believe it was called. I was 11 or 12, and remember having to read it under the covers because I didn’t want my mom to find me *grin*

    Karielle Stephanie @ Books à la Mode
    thestephanieloves AT gmail DOT com

    • LOL! I did that too. I was 16 and my dad had brought home a box of paperbacks from a garage sale, and I distinctly remember him telling me I shouldn’t read Trust Me by Jayne Ann Krentz. So of course, I snuck it out of the box and read it in a day. My love for romance started there.

  3. Laura says:

    The first romance novel I read was Nick Spark’s The Lucky One, I’ve not been a big reader in my lifetime….. up until about a year ago I really hadn’t ever read for enjoyment. But I got ahold of The Lucky One and it started my interest in romantic stories, I haven’t been able to stop reading since!

  4. Timitra says:

    I don’t remember the name of the book but I do remember the author’s name, Rebecca Rhys and the that I loved the book!

  5. Candace Johnson Fox says:

    Liliana Hart is one of the best authors I have read in recent memory. Keep up the good work…

  6. Becky says:

    The first romance novel I ever read was Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson and I loved it as well as the others in the series. It was one of the first books I purchased for my Kindle. I’ve been hooked to romance/suspense books ever since I got it two years ago. I did read a lot of Mary Higgins Clark in high school but don’t remember the titles.

    • Yep, I cut my mystery teeth on Mary Higgins Clark. To this day The Cradle Will Fall is one of the creepiest books I’ve ever read. The only other book that got to me like that was House of Thunder by Dean Koontz.

  7. Shannon says:

    Twilight was my first romance novel. I used to hate reading in school, so I never figured I would enjoy it as an adult. My friend told me the books for the Twilight series were better than the movies, so I had to see if it was true. It was!! After reading the 4 book series, I was hooked on reading! I guess I just had to discover the “right type” of books!!

    • That’s why I always ignore the negative comments from people who talk about the Twilight series, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, or even 50 Shades. I think books like that open doors to new readers who otherwise wouldn’t read, so I’m glad those books came along.

  8. The first romance I read was a Mills & Boon/Harlequin but I can’t recall the name, it was that long ago 🙂

    The first great romance novel I remember reading was DARING TO DREAM, book one in Nora Roberts’ Dream Trilogy

    I love that series!

  9. Kimmi Swart says:

    Oh man I can’t remember the name of my first romance because my grandmother received harlequin books every month so she had boxes upon boxes of these romances and she let me read them whenever I wanted. I started reading these books when I was 13.

  10. Tory McCord says:

    The first romance that I remember reading was Pride and Prejudice and to this day is one of my all time favorite books. I was never a fan of reading growing up, but that book changed my perspective and now I read several hours a day. I absolutely love Liliana’s books and cannot wait for Kill Shot. Are there prospective dates for the next Addison Holmes or J.J. Graves books?

  11. Amy R says:

    The first romance type books I remember reading are the Sweet Valley High series and the Couples series in middle school.

  12. myia l says:

    i think my first romance book i started to read was the MacKenzie series and i got hooked on some of the best books

  13. Kristina says:

    I can’t remember what book it was. I used to flip through my mothers when I was younger. In my early teens I read a lot of Meg Cabot which is YA romance.

  14. Pauline Cassie says:

    I remember ‘cutting my teeth’ on Mills and Boon. Can’t remember what it was though.

  15. Meghan Mack says:

    The first romance book I read that REALLY got me into reading I am sad to say was Fifty Shades of Grey. While it was a good book, there are so many other romance books that kick its butt!!

    • Don’t be sad to post that. Anything that gets you excited about reading means that the author did their job, especially when there is controversy surrounding it. I devoured all of the 50 Shades books and enjoyed them.

  16. I used to sneak my mom’s Harlequins and Silhouettes and hide them in my pillowcase. I thought I was so sneaky!! My mom knew and didn’t care because, of course, back then, these were fairly tame books. But OOOOOO!! they seemed naughty to me XD

  17. laurie g says:

    The first romance type books I remember reading are the Sweet Valley High series but that was years ago

  18. Pamela Hargraves says:

    Wow, that was so long ago. But I think it was probably one by Barbara Cartland. Then I got into the gothic romances, I have never looked back.

    • I used to read Barbara Cartland out loud in a secret girls’ club I belonged to. We were all very adult about it and didn’t giggle at all 🙂

  19. Leanna H says:

    I would say it was probably a Lavryle Spencer novel. She’s from Minnesota where I grew up.

  20. katrina whittaker says:

    Id have to say I honestly cant remember my first romance . But now Romance is certainly my favourite. After a long lull of not reading – and picking up a book again years later I have to say I brought the entire Twilight collection and read them in 5 days 😉

  21. Vickie Milizia says:

    I love Liliana Hart! I have all of her books and look forward to every and all books that she writes. Liliana, thank you for all you do!

  22. erinf1 says:

    Congrats Liliana on the new release! It looks fabulous. For me, was For the Roses by Julie Garwood. I was 16 or 17 and the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie just came out. I remember buying it b/c it had the movie cover and since I liked the movie, I took a chance. I was able to get it past my uber religious mom and boy did I get an awakening! After that, I snuck to the library and glommed all her books that I could find 🙂

    • I LOVE Julie Garwood. She’s one of my all time favorite authors. I’ve re-read all of her books multiple times. And now that you’ve mentioned For The Roses I kind of want to go read that again right now 🙂

  23. Elena Moreno says:

    The first romance I read was HeartBreaker by Carly Phillips. I got it in an eBay order by mistake one and a half years ago. It was my gateway to series books. I now have a Library with over 650 books (all series) and a Kindle with over 800 books.

    Liliana Hart is among the ones I have in book form as well as Ebook form. ( because she Rocks)

  24. Emma Fitzgerald says:

    The first romance novel I read was Pride and Prejudice when I was 9. Not your usual type of romance but it was for the times it was written!
    All the best Liliana on Sins & Scarlett Lace & Kill Shot 🙂

  25. Joy Whiteside says:

    I think it was a Johanna Lindsey book, as I was on a kick read one of hers and then proceeded to buy everything else that she had done.

    • I’m in love with the Mallory’s. One of my favorite series of all time. I especially like Gentle Rogue and The Magic of You. Now I need to go read them again!

  26. Mary Preston says:

    Too long ago to remember, but it would have been a medical romance. My older sister was so into those & it was her books I ‘borrowed’.

  27. Patoct says:

    I read these a long time ago and may not quite count as romance – The Carpetbaggers by Harold Robbins and Exclusive by Sandra Brown. After reading Exclusive, I read every Sandra Brown romance I could get a hold of til I read them all. So I cannot remember the title of the first one.

    Liliana, I just discovered you a few mos ago and have so many of your titles to get. Loved Dirty Little Secrets and have Catch me If you Can on my nook.

  28. Joanne B says:

    The first romance book I remember reading was Lord of the Air by Carol Gregor from 1985 that I got in a box of books from a yard sale. I still have it and it’s one of my comfort reads.

  29. Margaret Taylor says:

    First true romance I read was Catherine Coulter, back in the day. Circa 1980 ish? I think. But I was reading long before that in every form/genre my mother could get her hands on. One of these days I’ll tell *that* story…*laughs*

    But, currently Julie Garwood and Liliana’s works are about the only Auto buys I have. I’m too busy writing my own stuff at the moment to have much time for reading if you must know! 😀

    • I enjoy Catherine Coulter’s FBI series with Sherlock and Savich 🙂

      And thank you! I’m honored to be on the same autobuy list as Julie Garwood.

  30. Trisha says:

    I believe the first one I read was a Harlequin But to say as to which one I am not sure. I do enjoy the romance tho.

  31. Ellie says:

    The first romance book that actually got me “Addicted” to romance was Man In Control by Diana Palmer a Harlequin romance. I love that book so much I think I literally read the cover off the book. And after that I think that’s what led up to my five thousand physical books and over five hundred e books. So I guess you could say I am a fan of the happily ever after. 🙂

  32. Sylvia says:

    Hi Liliana! I can’t remember what was the very first romance novel I read since I started sneaking my mom’s Harlequin Romances that were delivered monthly way before I should have been reading romance novels! lol I know that it got me hooked and my mom and I still share books today!

  33. Filia Oktarina says:

    My first romance novel i reading was White Lies by Linda Howard. I remember my sister borrow this book from her friend, and i read too her book. Cause that time i very boring, and then i like that story, make me hunt almost all Linda Howard books. From there i buy Johanna Lindsey’s Malory Family Series and then Anne Gracie’s Devil Rider Series…etc.

  34. Kaethe says:

    The first romance novel I ever read was by Danielle Steel. I went through a phase with her and read every book I could get my hands on in high school! Then I moved on to Mary Higgins Clark! The latest book I have been reading is not actually in the Romance genre at all, it is a fantasy book (instead of dragons more like crazy half man creatures) by Robert Jordan. I must say though the connection between the characters in the Wheel of Time series of his IS a romance all in itself. I have not been able to put his books down. I really hate saying this to another author. =/ Sorry and forgive me! 🙂

  35. Lisa says:

    I can tell you I have LOVED every one of Liliana’s books that I have gotten my hands on. I love love love the Mackenzie family!! Thank you for the interview!!

  36. nurmawati djuhawan says:

    the first romance novel i remember reading is DEVIL IN THE WINTER by lisa kleypas..
    still become one of the best book i’ve ever read..
    thx u for the giveaway :0

  37. Carol L says:

    It was Nora Roberts Irish Trilogy. Can’t remember the individual names but that’s when I started reading every single day and ended being a Romance reading addict. 🙂 I love that you are giving away Print books. Love it. Thanks so much for the opportunity.
    Carol L

  38. Veronica says:

    I can’t remember what it’s called, but basically this woman wanted a child and asked a work colleague to help her and then they fell in love and I was hooked.

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