Sunday, December 22, 2013

Welcome author J.K. O'Hanlon

Please give a warm welcome to author J.K. O'hanlon, who joins me today.

To get us started can you tell us a little about what you are working on or have coming out?
                My first book, Objection Overruled, came out last summer with Loose Id. It's what I call "legally erotic romance."  I have another similar book started, and a series of short stories, but my current project combines my romance writing with my cocktail writing.  Part drink recipe book, part romance, I see this next project as revolutionizing the book club world.  Who doesn't want to talk about intoxicating sex or sexy cocktails?

How would you describe yourself using only five words?
                Persistent, irreverent, loyal, passionate, intelligent.

Name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you.
                I attended the United State Naval Academy at Annapolis. I left after a year and a half. The Navy wasn't the right place for me, but I still keep in touch with and admire my Navy and Marine Corp friends.

When you begin your stories, do you go with the flow, or go with an outline?
                For the first two books I wrote, I started with detailed outlines. Organization dominated the process, like it did when I practiced law.  Character templates, conflict charts, and a box of index cards outlining every scene cramped my desk. For my current work in process, I tried a totally different approach.  I started with a high concept, 3 characters and a blurry plot somewhere in the back of my head.  Then I started writing and have been letting the characters write the story. I actually called a friend up one day in total shock when my heroine ended up having sex with a guy.  I had no idea they were going to sleep together that early in the story!


What do you do when characters stop talking to you when writing?
                I try not to layer too much of my own personality onto my characters, but strong independent heroines will always feature in my work. Often a person's greatest strength also exposes their most vulnerable side. In Objection Overruled, heroine Jackie North overcomes financial and personal tragedy as a young adult to rise to the top of her profession as a litigator of complex financial fraud cases. Yet, that very impressive independence and ability to solve problems on her own eventually becomes Jackie's biggest obstacle in finding love and in wining the case of her life. Only by recognizing the limits of her independence can she risk and then achieve those things she deeply desires. 

Is music a factor for you while you are writing? Do certain songs put you in the right frame of mind to write certain stories?

What do you feel is the most important thing that a first-time author should know? 


Who has been the biggest influence in your writing?
                My sister, Anna Steffl! She started writing about 5 years before I did and suggested that I try writing a book when I became bored with practicing law. She's patiently critiqued horrible first drafts and encouraged me in submissions, entering contests, and getting edits finished. I'm thrilled that her first book, The Solace Trilogy, is debuting January 2014.

What has been the defining moment in your career that made you think “Yes, I am now a writer!”?
                Getting a contract from Loose Id for my first novel, Objection Overruled. Winning the Golden Heart comes in a close second, but knowing that a quality publisher wanted to pay money for my book changed how I fill out that box on every other form that asks for your employment.  I now unequivocally state: Writer.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?
                Probably still practicing law. I worked as a regulatory and transactional attorney in the health care field for almost decades. Sound geeky and dry? It was! Writing hot sex scenes makes for a much more colorful existence. My man agrees. 

It was a muggy summer by me this year. What is your favorite cool drink to enjoy during the summer?

                My alter ego (Thirsty Jane at www.thirstyjane.com) writes about cocktails, so picking a favorite cocktail is like asking a mother who is her favorite child. But, summer for me always means gin and tonic. This summer I discovered Tomr's Tonic which is similar to the tonic Brits drank in India over a hundred years ago. My G&T recipe of choice is 2 oz. Broker's London Dry Gin, juice from 1/2 lime, 1 oz. Tomr's Tonic, and 4 oz. club soda in a tall glass with as much ice as possible. 


Objection Overruled
Loose Id
 Contemporary, Mystery & Suspense
Available at Publisher

Baltimore attorney Jackie North is finally on her own, personally and professionally. With only a few weeks until trial, she can almost taste victory. This one will be particularly sweet when she takes down the creep defrauding seniors of their savings. Then the opposing side’s last minute expert witness swap threatens to unravel Jackie’s strategy, and a loss will send her where she’s vowed never to return – the humiliation of bankruptcy she lived through as a teenager. Brandon Marshfield is a country boy who’s become Washington DC’s most financial phenom. His high IQ, impish grin, and a devil-may-care risk tolerance charm investors and women alike. When a college fraternity brother calls in a marker, Brandon heads to Baltimore to fill in as an expert witness in a financial fraud case with hopes that once and for all, he can put his dark past behind him. Jackie and Brandon head into a deposition, each confident of crushing the other. The wind is pulled from Brandon sails, and Jackie must recalculate her moves when they meet, however. A single night of passion they shared as strangers only a few weeks earlier left each wanting more. Pulled together by physical magnetism, torn apart by opposing loyalties, can Jackie’s and Brandon’s objections be overruled?

Teaser Excerpt:

What a damned depressing way to spend her last night on the town. Jackie hunched over the moored sailboat’s rail and stared into the lapping water below where the twinkling stars’ reflections danced playfully. Even they were having more fun than she. So much for her last night on the town before she hunkered down to prepare for Baltimore’s financial fraud trial of the decade.

As the attorney representing the retirees who had lost their savings in a pyramid scheme, Jackie would be the star of that show. A victory meant she’d never again have to worry about making her mortgage payment or floating the check for her office rent. Maybe she would even buy one of these fancy boats and learn to sail.

With a loss…

She could never completely shut that possibility out of her mind. Letting her clients down topped the list of unmentionables. They weren’t just clients. They were friends. Family, almost. Bankruptcy also shared the top spot, without a doubt. She’d already lived through that humiliation as a child and had vowed never to return.

From there, her uncertainties spiraled into the dark place she hid deep inside her. If she lost a case this big, she’d be damaged goods in the legal market. Even if she wanted to return one of the big firms, and she didn’t, no doors would be open to a loser, especially a loser who’d snubbed her nose at the blue-blooded Baltimore legal community by leaving a prestigious firm to start her own practice.

Before the spiral spun down further, Jackie slammed the door shut on her fears and downed the dregs of her gin and tonic. She hurled the flimsy plastic cup into the garbage bin tied to the sailboat’s steering wheel.

She checked her cell. Her friend had been down below with the boat’s owner, a charming Brazilian guy, for almost an hour. They’d planned to hit a few bars near the Inner Harbor with the hope of meeting some sexy international hunks sailing in the weekend’s regatta. Her friend struck gold.

Jackie struck out.

Once again relegated to the status of wingman.

She leaned backed and stared into the starry sky, wondering if the fates portended nothing but abstinence and grueling work for her future. The moored boat swayed rhythmically under her. Or was she just imagining that? If this boat is rocking, don’t bother knocking. She sighed. Time to call it a night and get some rest before hitting it hard tomorrow.

She got up to leave, but a flock of fashionistas disembarking from the sailboat tied up in the next slip cluttered the dock. Although a sailing novice, Jackie guessed from the gleaming wood and shiny brass that the boat next door was expensive.

The guy who seemed to be in charge of that boat had shaggy, blondish hair, and his white pants hugged an ass to die for. He looked over at her and gave her a fleeting, but definitely warm, smile as he moved the glamorous crowd down the dock toward solid ground. Maybe the night could be salvaged after all.

Jackie took the one step up from the cockpit to the deck of the boat and held on to the line that ran around the boat like a railing. She tightened her abs, cocked her hip slightly, and hiked up her dress a few inches to show off her long and lean runner’s legs.

Mr. Hot Buns veered toward her boat on his way back from escorting the revelers off the dock.

© 2013 J.K. O’Hanlon

About the Author

J.K. O’Hanlon believes that a woman should have it all. While working as a lawyer, J.K. found true love with the hottie down the hall, but even a sizzling office romance couldn’t spice up the daily grind of legal documents. Combining her background in law with her unfailing sense of humor, J.K. now writes smart, sassy and sexy stories about women who balance exciting careers with their passionate desire for love. In between penning steamy sex scenes, J.K. mixes and writes about cocktails as The Thirsty Jane (www.thirstyjane.com). Find out more about J.K. and her books at www.jkohanlon.com. Follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jkohanlon and on Twitter @jkohanlon.

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