I’ve actually read Hart Broken, and I absolutely loved it! My review is here if anyone wants to check that out.
Hope you guys enjoy the interview!
But first, the boring stuff:
I’m a Vietnamese-Canadian with my BSc in Biology and minor in English, which I don’t use. Run a fitness company to feed myself.
As for interests, I’m a bit of a weirdo. I enjoy a hodgepodge of activities. Love rock climbing, running OCRs, and shooting guns (not at people!). Also enjoy modeling for fitness and import car shows.
I’m somewhat of a nerd too. Love Disney. Love anime. Love Marvel. Have flown thousands of miles to attend Comicon many-a-time. See? I’m a weirdo.
Oh, and I tend to be painfully long-winded. You’ve been warned.
What is your typical writing process?
Errr. Puh-raw- cess? What the heck’s that??
Seriously, though, I am and forever will be a chronic word vomiter.
Wake up in the dead of night to pee? Jotting down my dream. Have a lightbulb moment while driving down the highway? Pulling over to whip out my iPhone. Whatever you do, don’t write and drive! And now I sound crazy.
But, yeah, if a character, idea, scenario, or anything else pops into my head, you can bet your butt I’m gonna write it. I have this ginormous folder of “Random Shizz” (that’s the actual title) with a whackload of half-written couples, chapters, and stories. 98% of it never gets looked at again but once in a blue moon, I become attached to the characters…
Is this how Hart Broken came to be?
I literally sat down one day last year and started typing up this story. No outline, no game plan, no direction whatsoever. I mean, I do this all the time so I didn’t think anything of it.
Fast forward to 8 weeks later, I realized that I had written 40,000+ words *GASP* and thought, “Huh, maybe I should share this somewhere, eh?” So I ran to Google, found an established fiction blog featuring disabled male characters and started serializing chapters. Later on, I ended up creating my own website which has now evolved into an online publishing platform for multiple authors of the wounded hero genre.
Anyhoo, by the time I finished Queen of Harts (original title) roughly 9 months later, my very humble following of insanely loyal readers asked me to flesh out the story and release an ebook for them. Well, I absolutely adore those awesome possums and could never say no to them sooo…
I wrote up a bunch of extra content, edited, whipped up a cover, and granted their wish exactly 3 weeks later. Yeah, 3 weeks was a stupid deadline. But I’d already made a promise and I’m a woman of my word, if nothing else. Even when it’s a disastrous idea. Hahaha…haha…ha…
Why did you decide to write about a paraplegic main character?
Umm, how much time do you have? ROFLMAO!!!
In all seriousness, I never made a conscious decision to write a paraplegic hero.
I’ve been writing romance and even erotica from an insanely young age. We’re talking about 9 or 10 years old. And yes, I absolutely remember writing mildly disabled characters (scars, a limp, etc.) very early on. So I think it’s been a pretty “organic” progression for me.
Moreover, disabled protagonists are few and far between. Not to mention, the rare instances where they are represented, it tends to be in either one of two ways: “tragic” or “inspirational”, which is simply not the case. Disabled guys are just regular men at the end of the day. Nothing more. Nothing less.
“The Canadian Association of Broadcasters report found that disabled “individuals are viewed as the objects of pity, and depicted as having the same attributes and characteristics no matter what the disability may be.”
I am determined to obliterate these ridiculous stereotypes one reader, one review, one interview at a time. My vision for the wounded hero genre is to become more mainstream. Come into its own. Be seen in a new light. Defy expectations. Demolish preconceptions. This is my personal mission and what I am determined to do with every single book I publish.
Where did you get your inspiration for your main characters?
Ooooh, this is an easy one to answer.
Mickey Hart is me.
Last week, I had a reader ask me where I came up with the line, Best looking whack-a-mole that I’ve ever seen (Mickey thinks this when Cale pops head up from the foot of the bed).
Confession: I’ve said that to a man. In real life. Out loud. Yeah, my bedroom talk might be a bit questionable *cough* inappropriate *cough* He didn’t seem to mind, though LOL
With the exception of the ending (which I won’t spoil) Mickey and I are one and the same. Right down to her – our – favorite pair of shoes. Everything she’s done, I’ve done. Everywhere she’s been, I’ve been.
Yep. All me.
Even the men she’s irresistibly drawn to…
Which brings me to my perfect piece of fictitious man candy.
While I’ve never actually been with a disabled guy, everything else about Cale Windermere is eerily reminiscent of my men in real life. I am a huuuge sucker for the slightly tortured, self-made entrepreneur who’s misunderstood and a bit “lonely at the top”.
Cale is essentially every man I’ve ever loved – both physically and emotionally – all rolled into one delicious package.
And what about their romantic relationship?
That’s pretty true to life as well. I’m go-big- or-go- home when it comes to love. Not to mention, I’m an extremely physical person too, so that probably explains why Mickey is constantly ripping Cale’s shirt off…
What kind of research did you do to write a paraplegic character?
When it comes to disabled characters in fiction, I am sooo anal retentive in regards to accuracy! Anatomy. Physiology. Kinesiology. Every single last detail must be spot on!!
This is gonna sound a bit over the top, but I have 4 paraplegics on “standby” at all times to answer my questions because I am that obsessed with accuracy. And I might as well go straight to the source, right?
Every little thing Cale did that was affected by his disability (transfers, assembling his chair, pressure releases, etc.) I had at least one legitimate paraplegic either “beta read” or send me a video for reference. I realize that seems a bit obsessive. But what can I say? I’m a bit obsessive *smirks*
Here’s an example of my Q&A for research purposes…
Much love and appreciation goes to Mr. Brian Kinney who somehow puts up with my weird and totally inappropriate questions! I really can’t thank you enough, but thank you anyway!!!
Check out his YouTube channel, Paralyzed Living: https://www.youtube.com/user/blackpearlv6
I know you’re currently writing the 2nd book in this series. May we get a progress report?
Heh. That’s difficult because… *grins sheepishly* …I’m notoriously bad for writing everything out of order. Sooo, I actually wrote the ending of book 2 first, then the last three chapters followed by a random chapter in the middle. I finally got around to writing chapter one last week. No rhyme or reason, eh?
Do you have a release date for Hart of His? And will it be the conclusion of Cale and Mickey’s story?
Yes, ma’am! September 30th, 2016.
And, no, definitely not. That would be far too kind of me hahaha. Books 2 to 4 will be novellas that extend and complete this arc of Cale and Mickey’s journey. Now as for whether there will be even more books in this series…um…next question?
What has been your proudest moment as an indie author so far?
Hmm. Well, considering I’ve been “publicly” published for all of 4 weeks, just surviving the gauntlet?
Nah, I’m kidding. My proudest moment is definitely cracking a Top 100 paid Best Sellers list on Amazon the 4th of July. It was beyond humbling to briefly rub shoulders with some of the big names. JR Ward, Caro LaFever, Anna Zaires, Nora Roberts, Nicholas Sparks…
Do you have plans for a different series in the future? And will the hero be another paraplegic?
Yes. I 100% have plans for another series.
As for the main character’s disability, I’m still undecided. Truth be told, my personal preference is writing low paraplegics. However, my next hero will definitely be an alpha and there are certain scenes swimming around in my head that he might just need the use of his legs for. But…
You’ll just have to wait and see ^_~
Any last words?
Thank you for having me, Miss Catherine! I’m super duper honored!! And your blog looks freakin’ gorgeous!!! As for my wonderful readers…
I remain faithfully yours.
Thank you so much for answering these questions – It was super fun and exciting, and I can’t wait for Hart of His.
Hart Broken is a book that I would definitely recommend (read my review!), so go and read it!
Want to learn more?