Interview With Kathryn Freeman, Author of Too Charming

Too Charming, a contemporary romance by Kathryn FreemanWelcome, Kathryn. So glad to have you visiting here today. Tell us a little about Too Charming:

Does a girl ever really learn from her mistakes?

The heroine of my book, Detective Sergeant Megan Taylor, likes to think so. She once lost her heart to a man who was too charming and she isn’t about to make the same mistake again – especially not with sexy defence lawyer, Scott Armstrong. Aside from being far too sure of himself, Scott’s major flaw is that he defends the very people she works so hard to imprison.

But when Scott wants something he goes for it. And he wants Megan. One day she’ll see him not as a lawyer, but as a man  …  and that’s when she’ll fall for him.

Yet just as Scott seems to be making inroads, a case presents itself that’s far too close to home, throwing his life into chaos.

As Megan helps him pick up the pieces, can he persuade her that he isn’t the careless charmer she thinks he is? Isn’t a man innocent until proven guilty?

What inspired this story?

When I started to think about the hero for this book, I wanted him to be everything the hero in my previous novel (Mitch in Do Opposites Attract – out in paperback, July 2014) was not.  I loved Mitch – he was rugged and gruff – but now I itched to create a hero who was handsome and smooth.  Both have their charm –  how can a woman not love Sean Connery and Roger Moore?  Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan?  Ryan Gosling and Ryan Reynolds?

With the outline of his character in place, Scott needed a job where his pushiness, his confidence and his eloquence would be an asset.  Suddenly an image of him striding into court, bristling with self assurance, mesmerizing the jury with his wit and intellect came to mind. Defence lawyer Scott Armstrong was born.  He’s a ladies man.  A handsome flirt.  He’s irresistible.

Of course if he were, there wouldn’t be much of a story.  So before I got too carried away, I needed to create a heroine not so easily convinced by Scott’s charm.  A woman strong enough not to be immediately captivated by a gorgeous man showering her with compliments.

Enter Megan, my feisty, no-nonsense heroine.  Badly let down by a man who dazzled then seduced her, she’s not about to be taken in by Scott.  In her eyes, he’s just another smooth charmer.  When I first pictured her she was staring down a man who towered over her.  That’s it, I thought.  I’ll make her a police officer.  It suited her character but also added to the tension between her and Scott.  Now he had to work really hard to impress her.

What is your favorite scene from this story and why?

The scene I most enjoyed writing was when Scott takes Megan and her daughter Sally for a trip to the seaside.  This is a lighthearted scene (quite different to many of those that follow later) and I had great fun with the handsome, sophisticated Scott carrying a vivid purple dinosaur…

What are you working on now? Do you have any releases scheduled for this year?

As well as my two books above, I was lucky enough to receive a contract from The Wild Rose Press for my novella, Life After, which I hope will be out before the end of this year.  It features Jake, a sexy carpenter who is trying to carve out a new life for himself.  But as he starts to fall for pretty school head Kat, his old life comes crashing into his new one – with dangerous consequences.

How do you come up with ideas?

I love my heroes.  They are what drive my stories.  As I did with Scott from Too Charming, first I develop their character, then a heroine who is a perfect match for them (though they might not always realise it).  The plot follows from there.

What do you enjoy most about writing?

Escapism.  I love the fact that in my head I’m falling in love with so many dishy men.  Of course in real life, one is more than enough for me!

What did you learn from writing your first book?

I learnt that writing is easy, but crafting a story, developing characters who come alive, who fire the imagination, who make you carry on reading even though there are a thousand other things you should be doing – that’s the really difficult part.

Do you have a favorite hero and/or heroine in your books and why?

My heroes and heroines are a bit like my children – I really don’t have a favourite.  I love Scott’s sense of humour, but the gentle strength of Jake and the gruffness of Mitch also melt my heart.  My husband has pointed out that, as he’s in the acknowledgements so technically in the books, my answer to this question should be him…

These are few of my favorite things:

1.  Fish and chips (I’m English – it’s in the genes)

2.  Swimming in the sea (but I’m fussy – we’re talking Caribbean or similar)

3.  Jenson Button (he’s the inspiration behind the hero of the book I’m currently writing, about a formula one driver)

And now, Kathryn has a question for you all: As I said at the beginning, I can’t decide whether I prefer a hero who’s rugged and gruff, or smooth and charming. How about you, which do you prefer?

Excerpt:

‘Are you ready for the pier?’ Scott asked a little while later as he attempted to dry off their feet with the tissue that Megan had provided from her handbag. ‘I see your mother was too scared to venture into the water. Maybe she’ll manage one of the rides instead?’

‘Mum’s not scared of anything,’ Sally pronounced as she stood up. ‘Are you, Mum?’

Megan shook her head. ‘Life’s too short to spend time being scared.’ He arched her a look and she blushed, clearly recalling, like him, her earlier admission that he made her nervous.

‘So you won’t leap into my arms when we go in the haunted house?’

‘Unlikely.’

‘Not even if I make a really loud noise just when the ghost pops out?’ he probed, enjoying teasing her.

Again she shook her head. ‘Nope, not even then.’

‘What about if I kiss you?’

He heard Sally chuckling as Megan swallowed, hard, then darted him a loaded look. ‘Is that your technique for scaring off unsuitable suitors? Threatening to kiss them?’

He laughed, the wind blowing his hair across his brow. ‘No, that’s how I attract the women I want to make out with,’ he countered effortlessly.

‘Smug bastard,’ she breathed under her breath, quiet enough so that Sally couldn’t hear.

It only made him laugh even harder.

They walked amicably along to the end of the pier, Sally enchanted by the seagulls swooping overhead. At least she was, until her attention was caught by the stalls. ‘Mum, look, a shooting range. You’ve got to win me something.’

Scott eyed his small companion. ‘As the only male, isn’t that my duty?’

‘Nah, Mum should do it. She used to be an AOF.’

‘She means AFO. Authorised Firearms Officer,’ Megan interrupted.

Sally nodded vigorously. ‘She’s really good.’

‘Well, that puts me firmly in my place,’ he countered dryly.

Megan turned and smiled at him. ‘Hey, don’t feel too bad. It isn’t often you come out with the area champion marksman.’

He raised an eyebrow. ‘Pretty hotshot, eh?’

‘Yep,’ she replied cockily. ‘But don’t just take my word for it.’

Megan reached into her bag for her purse but Scott was already there, thrusting a note under the stall keeper’s nose. ‘Allow me. At least that way I can say I contributed to the prize.’

She raised the shotgun, eyed her targets and, using the three cork bullets supplied, knocked down each target in turn. No fuss. No fiddling around lining up the shots. Just bang, bang, bang.

As Sally beamed with delight at the giant furry dog thrust into her hands, Megan looked coolly over at Scott. ‘Want a go?’

He shook his head. He knew when he was licked. And damned if he wasn’t totally in awe of her style. It wasn’t just the fact that she could shoot like a champion; it was the manner in which she’d done it. Clinically. He realised she would be the same in a real-life situation, if faced with a real gun. Cool, calm, unflappable. He hadn’t considered that side of her before. The side that sometimes came across danger. That dealt with hardened criminals. Men who wouldn’t hesitate to intimidate. To shoot first, ask questions later. She’d never seemed more strong and tough to him than she did at that moment. Or more downright sexy.

In a bid to reassert his masculinity, Scott had a go at the basketball stall. The cuddly dinosaur he won might have been smaller and altogether less impressive than the stuffed dog Sally was proudly carrying, but he tucked it smugly under his arm nonetheless. When Megan smirked and gave him a knowing stare, he merely shrugged. ‘I was in the university basketball team.’

Her eyes laughed at him. ‘I played county netball at school.’

He stared at her, trying to work out if she was bluffing, then decided it wasn’t worth the risk. If he insisted on her having a go and she beat him at that, too, the day would be over for him. So, potentially, would the evening. He wasn’t totally sure whether she’d decided to sleep with him yet, but he had a horrible feeling he might struggle to perform if she took away much more of his manhood. ‘Lunch, I think,’ he pronounced.

You can find Too Charming at: Amazon (UK) and Amazon.com (US)

Kathryn Freeman, author of Too Charming, a contemporary romanceBio:

I was born in Wallingford, England and have spent most of my life living in a village outside Windsor.  A former pharmacist, I worked for over twenty years in the pharmaceutical industry in medical communications.  Good times, but my life long love of reading romance often led me to wonder if I could write about it, too.  If only I had the time.

Two years ago I made that time. I’m now a self employed medical writer who also loves to write romance.  Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…

I’ve two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) so the romance in my life is all in my head. Then again, my husband’s unstinting support of my career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises

You can find Kathryn at:

Website:  http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/kathrynfreeman

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/kathrynfreeman1

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