Keira: What inspired Hell on Wheels and the Black Knights Series?
Julie Ann Walker: I first knew I wanted to write military romance after I began volunteering at the USO. Interacting with soldiers, bearing witness to their courage and valor, instilled in me a deep desire to honor them by writing their stories. But I also knew my series needed a hook. So I thought to myself, "How can I make a military man even sexier?" The answer? Give him a leather jacket and put him on the back of a tricked-out Harley. Just like that, Black Knights Inc. was born...
Keira: What do you love best about Military romances and why?
JW: Are you kidding me? The men in uniform! ;-) Of course, when you add in heroism, patriotism, loyalty, honor, sacrifice... the list goes on and on... what you wind up with is a hero too yummy to be denied. So the better question is, why NOT military romances?
Keira: Why did Nate “Ghost” Weller choose to be a marine?
JW: We never learn the reason behind his choice in the story. But in my head, he was born with a natural talent for marksmanship. And because he was raised a patriot, it was a foregone conclusion he'd put his god-given ability to use working for the government. Since there's no better venue to hone and showcase a innate aptitude for sharpshooting than in Marine Scout Sniper school, it's almost like the Marines chose him...
Keira: Do you own a Harley like the men of Black Knights Inc.?
JW: I wish! And someday I hope to. But for now, I look and dream and draw sketches of my fantasy bike. Bad sketches. Really, really bad sketches. I'd show you one here, but then I'd never be able to show my face in public!
Keira: Unrequited love – your thoughts? Nate experiences this with Ali, whom he’s loved half his life.
JW: Oh, I think unrequited love in stories is fantastic. There's a romance there, a yearning that's simply delicious. Now, when it comes to real life? Eh, not so much... LOL!
Keira: Ali Morgan has a stalker – besides finding a hot hero to help you out what’s the first thing a girl should do when confronted with a situation like that?
JW: First and foremost, you have to admit there's a problem and seek help from the professionals. Unfortunately, in Ali's case, that doesn't work. She tries to explain to the local police that there's a man following her, but because she has no proof, and because she's never actually SEEN the man, they discount her statement - which is why she's left with no recourse but to turn to Nate for help.
Keira: Does Ali know who is stalker her or why they might be doing it?
JW: Ali has no clue who is following her or why, but she suspects it has something to do with her older brother, Grigg's, activities. Because though Grigg tried to convince her he'd quit the Marines and was nothing more than a simple motorcycle mechanic, things never quite added up. So when the mysterious man starts ghosting her every move, she assumes it MUST have something to do with him. After all, she's just a simple kindergarten teacher... who'd want to follow her around?
Keira: Why does the trope brother’s friend – friend’s sister work?
JW: I think it works because so many of us grew up with siblings and experienced that whole unspoken "hands-off" policy. And any time you have wants and desires that conflict with familial bonds, it creates a scrumptious setting for tons of angst. And I, for one, love my romance novels filled with angst!
Keira: Who is your favorite romance novel hero or heroine and why?
JW: I love Rhett Butler. I've read GONE WITH THE WIND at least a dozen times, and every time I find something new to admire in him. He's dark and complicated, but at the same time tender-hearted and genuine. How can a girl not fall in love with such an intriguing, multi-faceted man?
Keira: What’s next for the Black Knights?
JW: I'm currently finishing the fourth book, tentatively titled RUNNING ON EMPTY. It's the story of Richard "Rock" Babineaux, ace interrogator and sexy-as-sin, slow-talking Cajun. Because of a job gone wrong, he's been listed as a rogue operator and is forced to go on the lam in the jungles of Costa Rica. Vanessa Cordero, Black Knights Inc.s' sexy communications specialist, ferrets out his hiding spot and is determined to bring him back into the fold in order to help him clear his name. Unfortunately, she's followed into the jungle and what happens next will keep you on the edge of your seat. As always, bullets fly, passions explode, and secrets are revealed. I can't wait for readers get their hands on this book!
HELL ON WHEELS BY JULIE ANN WALKER – IN STORES AUGUST 2012
Black Knights Inc.—Behind the facade of their tricked–out motorcycle shop is an elite special ops team assigned the jobs too hot for anyone else to handle.
Hold On Tight...
Ex–Marine Nate "Ghost" Weller is an expert at keeping his cool—and his distance—which makes him one hell of a sniper. It's also how he keeps his feelings for Ali Morgan in check. Sweet, sexy Ali has always revved his engine, but she's his best friend's baby sister...and totally off limits.
Rough Road Ahead…
Ali's never seen anything sexier than Nate Weller straddling his custom Harley—or the flash of danger in his eyes when she tells him she's in trouble. First something happened to her brother, and now she's become the target of a nasty international organization. With Nate, her life is in the most capable hands possible—but her heart is another story altogether.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 www.julieannwalker.com or follow her on Twitter, @JAWalkerAuthor and Facebook, www.facebook.com/jawalkerauthor.
GIVEAWAY: I have 1 copy of Hell on Wheels. Open to US and Canada only. Enter by asking Julie a question or leaving a comment! Last chance to enter: September 1, 2012.