Legitimized chaos, anarchy and the British Intelligence Service: I couldn’t hope for a more exciting, adventure playground in which to let my armed, untamable agents run amok. And the heroes of the Hard to… series certainly run wild, breaking rules and dodging bullets, in the war against corruption, conspiracy and threat… Not to mention rescuing damsels (hoydens) in jeopardy. Basically, I’m attracted by the secrecy, the things that can be done and got away with, because as members of the public we only know a fraction of what truly goes down in the corridors of power. (Yes, I’m a conspiracy-theorist at heart).
2. ‘M’ (in Skyfall) said that the best operatives were orphans. Why did you choose to give your protagonists families?
Families make you. They can also break, and even kill you. The raw emotional imperatives that arise from family bonds (good and bad) provide a means for torturing my characters, whether it be from carrying the heavy weight of responsibility, to a refusal to commit following a childhood of neglect, to falling in love despite a deep rooted fear of betrayal. Families (or the absence of families) lie at the root of what motivates my characters to act as they do.
3. You describe Jack as a ‘bastard’ yet he is ultimately very human, albeit flawed. How difficult was it to create him so ‘hard-as-nails’? What response are you hoping readers will have to him?
Most times ‘caring’ is accompanied by the fear of loss. Jack wasn’t hard to write, because all I had to do imagine what it would be like not to give a damn. The hard part came with making him brave enough to walk a path of pain to get back in touch with the emotions he was determined to deny. And I very much hope, that readers see past Jack’s brutish ‘dickishness’ to the gleam of courage, honor, and huge capacity to love, which lie behind the shield he holds so high.
4. Lowry-bloody-Fisk is beautifully delineated in all her fear and strength. Who/what inspired her character? One of my greatest fears is not being believed. How do you prove a truth that no one else can see? I channeled that fear through Lowry, torturing the poor woman, but hope I provided her with the skill set to fight back. No surrender!
5. Your villain is all kinds of creepy. What was the most difficult aspect of writing a villain who had to be an intellectual equivalent of the hero?
Capturing a brilliant, but obscenely insane mind, scared the bejesus out of me…I can’t tell you how often I had to sleep with the light on, after writing a scene featuring Patient Peter. If there are people like him out there in the world, I’m booking the first fight to Mars.
6. I’m kind of hoping there will be Will’s story, and Jack’s brother, Richard, definitely piques my interest for a future book. What’s next for Incy Black?
Will Berwick’s story is next. He gets to experience the true meaning of what it’s like to be compromised. And, Richard will get his own story…the bare bones of it are already rattling away in the back of my mind. And, then there’s a new series I’m dying to write. Again set in London, and populated with anti-establishment, men and woman who seize life and love by the scruff of the neck for a good shaking.
A warning ignored...a love denied
Four years ago, Major Jack Ballentyne followed Special Agent Lowry Fisk into a death trap. Fortunately, both of them lived to tell the tale, but when he had Lowry drummed out of the British Intelligence Service for her own safety—and his own peace of mind—he knew she’d never forgive him.
Lowry Fisk knew, she just knew, that the Service had a mole, and it was up to the Assassins, the secret black-ops unit of the Service she and Jack belonged to, to find him. And as the Assassins leader, Jack should have believed her, even though she had little evidence beyond a gut feeling. But when he hadn’t, she’d taken it upon herself to find the traitor—and ended up assaulted, shot, and left for dead. Jack had come to her rescue, but it had been too little, too late. Now all she wants to do is forget the attack, the Service, and the sexy, steely-eyed Major with the power to make her feel weak.
But the mole is on the move, and he’s coming for Lowry to finish what he started. Jack has to get the stubborn, dangerously gorgeous woman to let him back into her life and allow him to protect her—without allowing her to worm her way into his heart.
Free, Full Chapter 1 available here: Entangled Publishing
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