Rad-Reader:  When you were writing the Smooth Moves, did you plan to have Rafi in this book as well or did it just work out that way?

Marie:  When I wrote Rafi into SMOOTH MOVES, I was completely focused on that book. But knowing Kenzie had a brother, I started putting pieces together and decided to write Rafi in as a friend to make the story more cohesive (to me.) I love when past characters show up in later books. And I already knew Daniel (from HANDLE WITH CARE) would be a computer guru.

Rad-Reader:  Not that I want to know how to do it but what, Daniel did to Evan’s contact list.  Is that a real thing?  Should we worry about our kids can do that to us?  LOL!

Marie:  Well, my kids managed to change my name on my phone to “Mom with the Best Hair” (???). And for a while, it was also Mrs. Donut. LOL, You can definitely change someone’s name on their own phone. And changing their ringtone is easy enough. There are ways to set your outbound caller ID depending on what kind of phone you have. And you can also do this via a landline, which also involves changing it in the National Caller ID Name database. So yes, according to Google, it is possible. Scary, eh?

Rad-Reader:  Were the three characters Kenzie, Rachel, & Lila, ones that you had thought up a while ago or only for this book?

Marie:  I knew I wanted this book to stand alone as well as be a part of the series. I think the first two books are more connected due to the brothers’ dynamic, but this one needed to be more centered around the romantic pair. Kenzie needed her own family, and Lila and Rachel have been there for her for years. Raising a sibling while still, a young adult would be challenging for anyone. The women are closer than sisters, and I love that they all have their own dynamic. Rachel and Lila cracked me up while writing them. 

Rad-Reader:  Did you write these books together or separately?

Marie:   The overall story arc was written as one piece. So, I had a general idea of the series then wrote a loose blurb for each book, so I knew what it would be about. But I wrote each book separately, as I had other commitments between them.  

Rad-Reader:  Did you already have the storyline or idea with Evan’s, mom situation worked out before writing it or did that just come to you?

Marie:  The idea with Evan’s mom was in place before I wrote the book. I liked the idea of him leaning on her too much, and her wanting more independence. How often do older people hover around their children, trying to protect them? I wanted to flip that by having Evan being the worried one. Plus, it fed into is who he is—a protector at heart. 

Rad-Reader:  How did you come up with the backstory of Kenzie?  How she got guardianship of her brother?

Marie:  I wanted Kenzie to be on her own at a young age, which can cause a person to become guarded. She’s tough but loving. Sadly, I had to get her parents out of the way. A car crash seemed just the thing. (Now I feel like a Disney writer! The parents in those cartoons are always gone! LOL)

Rad-Reader:  Was it always your plan to add more to these books with each one, like finding out more about Hector, who works for the movers?

Marie:  Yes, exactly. Since I had four books to work with, I didn’t want to dump a lot of information on the reader. You get to know the characters more with every book, including prior protagonists. Hector and Lafayette intrigued me. For a little bit, I considered pairing Lafayette with a character I’m still dying to write about, but I wanted Lafayette to have his HEA sooner than later. And Hector’s new lady will surely keep him on his toes! 

Rad-Reader:  Was Smith, Ramsey’s character someone you always wanted in the books or did someone suggest him?

Marie:  No, Smith was a part of the planning from day one. He, in particular, was a character I wanted to develop throughout the books. He has a reason for that chip on his shoulder. But as you get to know him through the eyes of other characters, you come to realize he has a lot of depth.  

Rad-Reader:  Do you always plan on Daniel being a hacker?

Marie:  Yes. He’s a challenging kid. A smart boy but a troublemaker—hence the hacking. I really loved him and wanted to show how he was affected by what happened with Kenzie and Bryce. 

Rad-Reader:  How did you come up with the whole beginning dialogue between everyone, especially the three women?

Marie:  Ha. That just happened. I sat down to write and bam. The ladies were in a smackdown. LOL A lot of writing, for me, is letting my fingers just go. I end up surprising myself with where my characters lead me.

Rad-Reader:  Will we find out more about Cash & Jordan in any upcoming books?

Marie:  You will get to see them again in Evan’s and Smith’s books. As for future series set in Seattle, if anyone needs a mover in any of my newer books, don’t be surprised if Vets on the Go! is on the scene.

Rad-Reader:  Did you always have plans for Evan’s mom to start dating and sell the house?

Marie:   Yes, I did. That’s a large part of her moving on, something Evan needs to deal with.  

Rad-Reader:  How did you come up with this series to begin with?

Marie:  Actually, my editor came up with the idea! She’d moved a lot when younger and shared how vulnerable and emotional moves can be. I haven’t moved that much, but this past summer, I was planning to. And it was SUCH a hassle. I totally understand how movers help in a time of need. 

Rad-Reader:  What was your inspiration if any on the Reid, Cash, & Evan characters?

Marie:  I’m a huge fan of writing about military members. Having served in the military, I know how jarring the transition can be to go from the military to the civilian world. So, I wanted characters who have adapted to civilian life in different ways. Evan and Reid had a much easier time of it than Cash and Smith. I’m also a sucker for the emotional and soft hero buried under a gruff or even polished (in Evan’s case) exterior. 

Rad-Reader:  Besides the whole moving storyline how did you come up with their whole family background?

Marie:  I wanted a dysfunctional family dynamic for Reid and Cash. Evan needed to be different, more rounded. And Smith is a hot mess. I listen to a lot of advice shows and love observing people do the things they do. The histories of the characters came easily, though Smith’s situation was amended a few times as I was writing the other stories, for consistency.

Rad-Reader:  Did you always plan to have Evan being the one to talk to Smith about the family or did you just let the story flow that way?

Marie:  The story just flowed that way. Evan is a cousin, not a Griffith brother, so while he’s biased, he’s also a man apart with a clearer view of things. For that reason, Smith listens to him more than he would his brothers. (Wait until you read his story!) 

Rad-Reader:  Do you write out how you want the characters to be before you start a book or do you let the characters write themselves?

Marie:  I have a general feeling of how their characters will respond to things, as to how they’ve been shaped through their experiences. This is before I start writing. If a character behaves inconsistently, I usually get stuck when writing. Then I know I’ve made a mistake. 

Rad-Reader:  I know Miriam does not show up in this book but how did you come up with that character?

Marie:  Ha. I love Miriam. When I wrote her, I’d been listening to (and reading about) a lot of feminist articles as well as bias against romance and sex from another source. Both of those topics annoy me, frankly. I’m all for feminism, but not when it’s shoved down my throat. And the thought that sex is somehow dirty or wrong just irks the crap out of me. So, I combined the two, giving the reader an empowering woman who gains strength through being very openly sexual. She made me laugh and also made me proud because Miriam is Miriam. If you don’t like her, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.  

Rad-Reader:  Where do you like to go for your quiet place to read or write?

Marie:  My office at home is for writing. I shut the door and put a DO NOT DISTURB sign out for my kids if they’re home. No, that doesn’t always work. *sigh* But my office is my haven. As for reading, I read all over the place. Once in the reading zone, I ignore everything else. Sadly…  

Rad-Reader:  Your three favorite foods?

Marie:  Coffee, chocolate, coffee. Or coffee, coffee, coffee. I’m not picky.
Rad-Reader:  Wow amazing my wife's too. :)

Rad-Reader:  What is your next project and when is it coming out?

Marie:  I’m currently working on a Christmas story coming out this December (still working on the title). I wrote ANY GIVEN SNOW DAY two years ago. This story is a stand-alone Christmas romance following Deacon and Nora, two characters introduced in ANY GIVEN SNOW DAY. Both books are stand-alone but connected. 

Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers buy your books?  Links

Marie:  My website has links to several distributors under each book (Amazon, iBooks, B&N, etc.).  Check out http://marieharte.com and select a book. You’ll see links under it. 

Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers find you on the Web?  Links

Marie:  I’m usually working but do goof off on Facebook more than any other place. Thank you for having me!

Thanks for coming through for us again.  Your books are always great to read.  I like that your characters are so interesting and fun.  My wife likes that you are so easy going to work with.  So, thanks for that too.
Pat & Char

1 comment:

  1. Great interview and the books sound amazing. Looks like I know what I'm going to be reading!


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