Monday, April 27, 2015

A Warm Welcome to K.D. Harp

Can you tell us a bit about your family, and what it is like where you live?

I live with the world’s finest husband and son and most skilled mooch of a dog in a suburb of Atlanta much like fictional Spencer. It’s big enough to have big box stores and fast food chains, small enough you recognize the cars on the highway and Mom ‘n Pop restaurants have a fighting chance of survival. It’s doing well enough most folks can afford to be civic minded, (or at least I cross paths with a high percentage of people like that.) I am blessed.

Is there a story behind RESCUE ME?

A couple of them, actually.

Heather’s backstory, being betrayed by her church family when her church leader husband gets caught cheating on her, is loosely based on real events in the life of a dedicated pastor’s wife I know and respect. In both cases, people confused their anger against the husband’s sins against them with the innocent victimized wife. We don’t have to go far to find similar instances of church people attacking their own wounded, and it’s alienated a lot of good folk from organized faith. My hope is Heather’s story will make people think twice about how they handle themselves when times get rough inside their sanctuary, and that any other victims out there might take comfort from Heather’s perspective, or at the very least, feel less alone and possibly understood.

In the course of research, I got interested in and joined Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) a few years ago. It’s the kind of self-empowering thing a woman so poorly treated would be smart to pursue during her healing, so Heather’s a CERT because she’d want to move forward, and I also get to raise awareness of this opportunity. Regular citizens can prepare for disasters and train to self-rescue, and if they so choose, assist others in times of crisis. CERTS can be found worldwide and I encourage anyone who can take a class to do so, (even if they have no intention of rescuing cops from swollen rivers). Contact your local emergency management agency for details.

What is the last thing you wrote?

The first title in the Fighting For The Heart of Spencer series is CODE PRODIGAL. Ike helps a military buddy protect his young niece and competes with him for the affections of Brianna Parrish, world’s most courageous summer camp director.

What’s your favorite genre of writing?

Romantic Suspense, hands down! It’s got action, nail-biting, the tug of heartstrings, adventure, high stakes, and usually some good laughs. (I suppose if we set in 1776, it’d cover ALL the fiction bases). Best of all, the research is tons of fun. How do I shoot an arrow? Fire a gun? Whack a guy in a padded suit with a foam baton for defense class practice? Defeat zip ties around my heroine’s wrists without a knife or scissors? You can’t beat the research, and No Corsets Required!

What’s the most unusual plot twist you ever wrote?

In a different series the heroine died. (This is the problem with being character driven and giving them loose rein. They sometimes go over the cliff before you can stop them.) It was what would’ve happened in a real life scenario and she went for it. Fortunately my hero had different opinion on the matter, (and more resources than I), or it’d be a very short series.

How much research do you have to do for the genre in which you write?

Accuracy, or at least, plausibility is key, so the research takes more effort than I thought.
Aside from details of locale, there are more critical factors like how a character would talk or behave. I grossly underestimated the number of volunteer hours, ride-alongs and police department courses for citizens an author can take before they can attempt a reasonable representation of what police work is like or at least not do stupid things like having them run with live guns pointed forward or go after known armed suspects without wearing vests and such. (I am very annoying to sit with when watching movies and TV crime shows as a result.) I’m grateful for the kind words people have offered about my stories thus far, but the highest compliment I’ve gotten was a policewoman who told me she summed my works up to a colleague: “She gets it right.”
HUGE sigh of relief! That’s the goal, but it ain’t as simple as I’d thought… Tons of fun learning, though.

How do you find the time to write?

You do not find time to write. It’s like finding time to do your taxes or go out for exercise. You MAKE time. You give up lunches with friends or the notion a house that never embarrasses you with roving bands of rabid dust bunnies thundering across the plains. You commit to it (and sometimes, the characters kidnap you until the wee hours of the morning.)

Do you believe in writer’s block? If so how often do you get it? How do you fix it?

Oh, I believe, and the best way to contract a bad case of it is to write an article about how to get over it! True story: No sooner had I sent a piece off on overcoming writer’s block to Southern Writer’s Magazine Suite T blogspot, than my brain seized like an old engine on winter morning. NOT pretty. (Ask me if God has a sense of humor….) The article’s mirrored at:  if you’re curious. I got over it by leaning on the outline for direction and forging ahead, pretty much like I wrote in the piece. I’m a pantser at heart and prefer to have the characters do what they’d do, not what an outline tells them to do. I hate outlines generally, but it sure saved me this time.

They’re also handy for making sure you’re going to hit your target release.

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it?

I am doing that now. MURDER BY MASCARADE is the working title of a piece targeted at a popular secular publisher years ago. It got favorable interest from an editor but found out I was in a high risk pregnancy (complete bedrest, no stress of any kind) and quit the project. Years later, the “baby” is over six feet tall and counting and I’m thinking MBM would be much improved by adding its unspoken faith subplot and launching it instead as another faith-infused romantic suspense.

What are your five favorite words?

I love you unconditionally, eternally.

How do people react when they find out you write?

I’m new to the game and not well known enough to impress anyone with it, if that’s what you mean. Worse, a year into the process, I decided to withdraw CODE PRODIGAL from a well-known house and went Indie with it. As a result, most people look like they’re desperately refraining from patting me on the head. Run along and play, Dear. Avid readers will ask follow up questions, not because of an interest in me per se, but because books and the whole process are their thing. I know if they’ve read something I wrote when I see them the next time. I’m much more popular then! …Very gratifying and rather humbling, seeing real people affected by my fake ones.

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?

For the FIGHTING FOR THE HEART OF SPENCER series, the next title is not finalized. It’s a prequel to CODE PRODIGAL, and will explore the story of the missing mother in PRODIGAL, Katie Ballestra Doyle and her fight for survival as a key witness prior to the murder trial of her ex-husband.

It is tentatively scheduled for February 2016.

Thanks for asking, and for having me here. This has been fun -- almost as fun as having an enthusiastic police K-9 attempt to rip my (well padded) arm off. THANKS!

Back Cover Blurb
A hurricane's a bad time to learn why people say 'no good deed goes unpunished'.
For Sergeant Ike Porter, a solo rescue of two citizens stranded in raging flood waters should earn him the final gold star on his way to a slot on Georgia's new anti-gang task force. When his victims' car slams into the rescue boat, both Ike and the tin can passing for a rescue vessel sustain damage, leaving the three of them high and far from dry.

It could be worse.

He could be Heather Harmon, the CERT emergency response volunteer who sees their plight and tows them all to safety. Heather thinks fast on her feet, but has no way of knowing the same tool she used to save the flood victims is fresh from a murder.
It isn't often a cop gets rescued by a civilian. Widower Ike is quickly smitten with this brave woman and isn't about to let the sins of her ex interfere with their future, but he doesn't quite know the solution to helping Heather let go.
...Or that rescuing a killer has made her his next unwitting target.

Picking up a cop boyfriend should be pretty handy under such dire circumstances, but as the bodies pile up and evidence of murder mounts against Heather, close proximity to law enforcement becomes a double-edged sword for them both. Sharpshooters like Ike aren't known for their Cassanova skills and he soon learns voicing your doubts is a real romance killer....

Heather distances herself from his protection, leaving the field wide open for the murderer to strike again, frame his heroic victim, and walk away clean. ...All while rubbing every bit of it in Ike's face. Heather and Ike's faith in God is strong enough to sustain them individually, but if they can't show some faith in each other, history will repeat itself. Heather will face off with a practiced killer alone, Ike may lose his last shot at love, but this time, he'll know he had the power to save her.

To purchase her book:
CreateSpace (Be sure to use coupon code YHLSNV2Q to save $4!)

About K.D.
K.D. Harp enjoys world travel, volunteering, and educating people about the appropriate use of the phrase "Bless his heart," the original meaning of which has nothing to do with sarcastically calling someone a sucker or dimwit, and is properly used to imply a 'there but for the Grace of God' sentiment.

The BBA graduate of Georgia State University loves truly smart female leads, and most of hers will MacGyver their way out of some sort of situation whether it's jury-rigging a flamethrower with kitchen supplies or finding new uses for a fire extinguisher to escape an inferno. Bored and dismayed by the trend in fiction to equate genuine love with the pale imitation of lust without personal investment, K.D. chooses to portray people of character engaged with a world that lacks it. When they do it without losing the physical passion and sense of humor God would give to them, it's a total win.]

To connect with K.D:

K.D. Harp is giving away a copy of Rescue Me.  The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.

To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice -- once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)

Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart


Sharon A Lavy said...

Thank you so much for sharing with us K.D. Harp

Patricia Bradley said...

Sounds like a great book/series. pat at ptbradley dot com

Anonymous said...

After watching my town flood this past week this book is certainly on an interesting topic to me.. I'd love to read it :)
dkstevensneAToutlookD oTCom

Casey941940 said...


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