When did you realize or decide you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. After I was published, my parents gave me a gift of a framed certificate from my 6th grade teacher. It said I was most likely to become an author one day. I can’t believe they saved it! But I proudly display it in my office.
Why (and when) did you decide to write romance novels? What kind of romance novels do you write?
I write military romance and romantic suspense. Before I found my voice in romance novels, I tried to write mysteries and thrillers. They mirrored my love for action movies (Die Hard, Bourne, et cetera), but they never gave me that satisfying delight that came from the happily ever after of romance novels. Once I wrote my first HEA, I knew I’d never turn back.
What are your favorite types of romance novels to read? Who are your favorite romance authors? How much time do you spend reading?
I will read most any type of romance so long as there is a happily ever after. I tend to stay away from love triangle and cheating. If I have free time, I’m reading or listening. I’ve become a voracious audiobook listener. Washington, DC metro traffic isn’t as bad when you have a book on.
What are your favorite non-romance genres?
I love middle grade fiction and constantly reread Judy Blume and Rick Riordan. I’m drawn to a wide variety of nonfiction.
What has been your best experience as an author so far?
I have had so many that it wouldn’t be fair to pick just one. So, I’ll share the freshest in my mind. My upcoming release is dedicated to my sister. I gave her a copy for Christmas… that moment will always stay with me.
What sort of challenges have you faced as a writer? How did you overcome them?
Another question that I could answer with a list! I realized that my challenges as an author mixed with everyday challenges. They could be such a heavy burden at times. I asked myself if worrying about everything mattered. It didn’t. Funny how that cleared so much up. I asked myself how I could live my best life. Once I decided what that meant for me, I saw many challenges as superfluous tasks that didn’t hold meaning. They seemed to disappear.
How do you research and plan your books? Do you find outlining helps or hinders your process?
I’ve always been a pantser. Occasionally, I’m terrified that I’ll forget a storyline and I’ll try to outline. Most recently, I worked with a professional to help me flush out an outline. Ha ha, it wasn’t my best decision, but I learned a lot about my pantsing style in the process.
Have you learned anything really cool or interesting while researching your books? What’s been the weirdest research you’ve ever had to do?
I soak in as many real-life stories as I can through the news, true crime novels, or the occasional fall through a rabbit hole on the internet. Later, I’ll have a storyline or characters that tickle a memory. That’s when I dive into research and flush out how I can pair real events with my books.
Most of my books have this type of inspiration. For example, HART ATTACK was heavily influenced by news reports on museum looting in Iraq, the controversy surrounding Judith Miller inspired parts of LOCKE AND KEY, and the allegations of the CIA’s involvement in drug trafficking played a central role in JAX.
As for weirdest… there’s a lot of weird out there. Maybe one day it’ll be useful. LOL.
What advice would you give to new romance writers in the field?
Write and read. Reading fuels your muse, and writing is a repetitive exercise to strengthen your skills. Don’t worry about writing to trend. They come and go. Don’t compare yourself to others. Find a safe, supportive group of writers that you can grow with.
Tell us a little about your writing nook! Favorite tea/coffee/writing snack?
My home office is a converted sunroom. The windows have big, white plantation shutters and my desk is white too. The walls are a serene blue-gray. I can hear almost everything in my house from my desk—so I know what the kids are up to if I have to work while they’re home—but somehow, it can acts as an oasis where I can disappear without being bothered.
I like coffee with too much cream. I always try to drink more water, and for the time being, I’m without a go-to snack. It used to be pita chips. Maybe I tired of them? I don’t know. But nothing’s filled the spot as of right now.
Of all of your own characters, who would you most want to date?
I always say Cash Garrison (GARRISON’S CREED), but sometimes a current/ recent hero manages to knock him down a notch. That happened in THE PROTECTOR. Chance Evans takes risks that’ll make your heart jump, but he’s thought through the consequences. I like how he flexes confidence and strength but will allow the right woman to see his more vulnerable sides. Basically, he’s a swoon-worthy badass.
If you had to be a fictional hero from any book or movie, who would you be and why?
Annabeth Chase from Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books. We’re both blond and wise beyond our years. (LOL) She’s athletic, educated, and doesn’t let her fears, peers, or love slow her down.
Have any of your books been made into audiobooks (or movies or plays)? If so, what was that experience like?
I’ve worked with Jeffrey Kafer on all my audiobooks, and I have loved the process! He’s talented and knows my characters so well. I encourage everyone to listen to the books they’ve already read. Narrators bring a new facet to stories that you love!
What project are you currently working on? What’s next for you?
I’m working on THE SURVIVOR. It’s the third book in the Aces series. I have a picture of who the hero and heroine are separately and am learning who they are as a couple. I cannot wait to see where these two take me.
Cristin Harber is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. She writes sexy romantic suspense, military romance, new adult, and contemporary romance. Readers voted her onto Amazon’s Top Picks for Debut Romance Authors in 2013, and her debut Titan series was both a #1 romantic suspense and #1 military romance bestseller.
Tell us a little about your new release:
THE PROTECTOR is the second book in the Aces series. It can be read as a standalone romantic suspense novel.
Jane Singleton stumbled her way into the perfect nannying job. She cared for the sweetest little boy, adding a sense of ordinary into the eccentric billionaire family—until the family is abducted.
Chance Evans has a simple code. Do what’s right and don’t ask for trouble. Until the Thane family abduction, he’d never struggled with a mission… or found himself attracted to a woman he doesn’t understand.
Thrown together in a fight for their life, Jane and Chance dodge the enemies they can see, questioning who else wants them dead.
Where did your writing inspiration for the book come from?
Gigi and Dax are secondary characters that formed in my mind after a several conversations with a group of Girl Scouts about social media influencers and reality TV. I found myself wanting the girls to understand the how and why of the content on their screens. Also, I was a bit traumatized by the stories they shared about social acceptance. That’s a lot to pack into secondary characters, but Gigi and Dax created an environment where the hero/heroine Chance and Jane could find love and themselves.
Did you outline the story, or dive right in? What’s your process?
It was different than my normal writing method, but I learned a lot about the characters in the process. For the next book, I think I’ll stick to my normal pantser ways.
Did you do any cool or interesting research for this story? What did you learn?
I stumbled upon a news report about an American tourist was kidnapped and held for ransom in Uganda. It stirred a lot of ideas as I was drafting my first thoughts. I knew I had a plan when I realized that Dax was a so much like Mayhem from the Allstate commercials. Craziness ensued.
What was your favorite part of working on this story? What was the most challenging?
Originally, I was going to use this book as an opportunity to work on my outlining skills. It’s not a process that I like, but I see the value in mapping out the direction of a story. While I didn’t end up with a fantastic new outlining process, I re-wrote this book from start to finish several times, and reaffirmed my normal method.
This book was so much fun to write, but I think my favorite parts are the little signs that have started to appear around the Abu Dhabi headquarters. They’re going to drive Chance’s team leader batty. Haha!
What’s next for this story – is it part of a series? When does it come out?
THE PROTECTOR – December 31
THE SURVIVOR – April 30
Share an Excerpt:
“What the hell? No, man. What’s up with you and Mary Poppins?”
He shoved his hands into his pockets. What the hell? Boss Man tore into him for impressing Jane. Now Camden had questions? “Nothing.”
“Right.” Camden smirked. “Because that wasn’t you who held her on the flight back in.”
The back of his neck heated. “On the helicopter? She’d been through hell.” He rolled his eyes. “Tell me you didn’t come over this morning to bust my balls over the nanny.”
“Her name’s Jane.”
Tension vibrated up his spine. “I know her name.”
Again, Camden laughed. “Easy, buddy. I’m here for the food.”
“Which you have.” Chance gestured. “You gonna leave now?”
Slowly, Camden set the stew can on the counter. “It’s interesting, ya know. I ask you about Jane. Then you tell me to take a hike.”
“You need to get out more if you find that interesting.”
“You like her, huh?”
“Jesus, dude. Are you trying to get under my skin?”
Camden flipped his hands up defensively. “No, jackass. I was trying to make fucking conversation, but I guess that isn’t going to fly.”
Chance walked out of the kitchenette and settled onto the couch. He hunched over. His forearms rested on his legs, and his fingers steepled together under his chin. “She surprised me. That’s all.”
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Google Play: https://smarturl.it/TheProtectorGP