I had the pleasure recently of interviewing best selling author, HelenKay Dimon. I had read her in the past and enjoyed her writing quite a bit. She just had a book come out on June 10th and it was reviewed today on the blog. Here are some of the things we got to talk to her about.
Welcome to Dirty Girls Good Books, HelenKay! Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions regarding your latest book, Just What He Wanted, which features an older heroine paired with a younger man. I read it and I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Dirty Girl Kay: You've written about the age pairing before in Hard As Nails. Is this a favorite of yours?
HelenKay: Actually, I usually go for older hero/younger heroine or books where they are close in age. But the hero in Just What He Wanted, Travis, just needed an older woman. He had a tough life and is a self-made, down-to-Earth guy. He's pretty smart about women and I just couldn't see him with a younger twenty-something. I thought he needed someone who would totally shake up his world and take him from "I got this" to "what's happening here?" and Andie does that.
DGKay: Andie is curvy or full figured. Was this an effort to show that women can and should be confident in any body shape?
HelenKay: Absolutely! Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. As someone who has struggled with weight issues and who has lost weight, looked in the mirror and still seen the larger body size, I wanted to introduce a heroine who is smart but has that nagging voice in her head that tells her the extra weight matters. Andie has the same insecurities a lot of us have, and Travis doesn't get it because he thinks she is this beautiful zaftig woman, so letting them figure each other out was so much fun. It's actually why I picked the title Just What He Wanted. I thought it was perfect.
DGKay: This is the fourth book in the series. Are you planning to write more?
HelenKay: I don't think so. Originally I envisioned this as a three-book series. Then Travis stepped on the page in book #2, Lean On Me, and I kind of loved him. Happily, readers liked him, too, and asked for his story.
DGKay: What else can we look forward to from you in the future?
HelenKay; I write romantic suspense for Harlequin Intrigue and start a new miniseries this summer with two brothers in Fearless (July) and Ruthless (August). By the way, in my head the oldest brother looks like Tom Hardy. I also have the second book in another contemporary romance series-the Hanover Brothers, about the sons of a notorious con man-coming out in July, A Simple Twist Of Fate. And in a bit of really exciting news, I'm one of the launch authors for the new Cosmo Red Hot Red Line from Harlequin. My book, Everything You Need To Know, comes out in October. Take a somewhat serious businessman, a smart woman with a secret and a white-hot attraction and you get Everything You Need To Know.
DGKay: Congratulations on the Harlequin launch! Do you write about any personal experiences in your books?
HelenKay: All the time. I should clarify that by saying I borrow bits and pieces from people, my life, things I see, things I read in the newspaper all the time. I'll read or look at something and think, "now what if X happened" and a book idea is born.
DGKay: Are there any writers you read or look up to for inspiration?
HelenKay: I am an avid reader. I love Gillian Flynn and Rosamund Lupton in suspense and read across all romance genres. Some of my current romance favorites are Alison Kent, Jill Shalvis, Anne Calhoun, Lauren Dane and Maya Banks. As far as inspiration goes, I am constantly inspired by the authors in the romance genre. Watching their careers inspires me to do better and work harder.
DGKay: Is there a specific book that ranks as your favorite or as one of your favorites?
HelenKay: It's so hard to pick! I would say I do have three sentimental favorites in romance- The Bride by Julie Garwood, Daniel's Bride by Linda Lael Miller and Perfect Partners by Jayne Anne Krentz. They were the first romances I ever read. I was thirtyish and reading those books literally changed my life. I read them, fell in love with the genre and eventually started writing one. Romance made the change from full-time lawyer to full-time writer possible. It's been an amazing journey so far.
DGKay: We again appreciate you taking time out of your schedule to talk about the book and what's coming next for you. This was great fun and I hope to do it again with you in the future. Thank you so much. We also want to thank Morgan at Romantic Times magazine who approached us with this opportunity and was so very helpful in planning this interview.
Here are some links for you to buy Just What He Wanted: