Today we are happy to introduce you to another medical romance author who “branched out” and published her first romantic suspense novel, In His Sights at Carina Press just last week, please give a warm welcome to Tina Beckett, who besides spending her days in the (fictional) company of drop dead gorgeous sexy doctors lives in exotic Brazil and even did some barrel racing! Talk about a glamourous and adventourous life!
Stella: Hi Tina, can you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Tina: Hi, Stella, first of all, I’m thrilled to be here with you! Let’s see, what can I tell you? Well, although I’m an American by birth, I’ve traveled extensively and currently live in Brazil. I’ve done some wild and wonderful things in my life, like taking barrel racing lessons (in Portuguese) and giving birth to a child in a non-English speaking country (let’s just say that pain medication does not make communication easier, but it does make it interesting). I’m a fan of all things medical and am sure I should have been a doctor or nurse in addition to being a writer. Best of all, I’m doing what I love the most: writing the types of stories that I’ve always been drawn to.
Stella: Describe a typical day of writing? Are you a planner or pantser?
Tina: I think I’m a combination of planner and pantser. I normally come up with an opening line and then write a chapter or two before sitting down and working on the plot. For In His Sights, I did a lot more advance planning than I normally would for one of my non-suspense books. I wanted to know who the real villain was before I started, so I could lay out the twists and turns in the story.
Stella: What do you think is the difference between a reader and a real Book Lover?
Tina: To me, a Book Lover is someone who gets so caught up in a story that they lose track of time, putting off chores or staying up long into the night just so they can squeeze in a few extra pages. I’ve never been able to discipline myself enough to read…say, one chapter per day. The book—when it’s done its job—consumes me, and I often think about those characters long after I’ve finished that last page.
Stella: Your latest novel In His Sights was released by Carina Press just last week, congratulations! Can you tell our readers what they can expect of it?Tina: Thank you so much! I’m excited to finally have this book out there. It went on quite an adventure before publication, including finaling in RWA’s Golden Heart® contest two years in a row (under the titles The Surrogate and Wanted: Dead). It even went through a drastic rewrite for an agent, before I decided I really wanted to put it back into its original form. That’s the book that sold.
Stella: Could you introduce Cole Scalini and Callie Nascimento, the hero and heroine of In His Sights?
Tina: Callie and Cole are both strong, independent characters who are used to making their own decisions. They each have a rebellious streak which makes for some interesting reactions when they’re thrown together and are forced to outrun terrorists. Callie, who’s pregnant, knows she has to trust Cole for her very survival, which goes against her grain, but she’s willing to do anything to ensure the safety of the baby. Cole, a Special Forces sniper, is not used to targets making it out of his rifle sights alive, much less having to whisk them away to safety. It’s a first for both of them.
Stella: Do you still remember what inspired In His Sights? Was there a specific moment/event that sparked the idea for the story?
Tina: Well, I have to admit my inspiration for In His Sights is a bit morbid. I’d been reading different news stories about celebrities who were using gestational surrogates, and I wondered what would happen if something terrible happened to the mother before the baby could be born. Would the child stay with the surrogate? Would he or she go to other family members? My mind started to concoct different scenarios—sinister ones—and the idea for In His Sights was born. Callie is a surrogate for her sister, who dies not long after Callie learns the implantation was a success.
Stella: Now can you tell us 3 reasons why people should read In His Sights?
Tina: I can tell you the types of people who might enjoy this book. If seeing the world through the eyes of a very evil villain doesn’t make you shudder, you’ll like this book. If you like seeing two characters—who each embody the other’s biggest fear—overcome the odds to find love, you’ll like this book. If you like plot twists and turns and a surprise ending, you’ll like this book. At least, I hope you will!☺
Stella: Can you summarize In His Sights for us Twitter-style (140 characters or less)?
Tina: My publisher did an awesome job with this, so I’ll borrow from their twitter feed. Her only hope for survival is a rebel of another kind, a handsome loner IN HIS SIGHTS.
Stella: Prior to In His Sights you have published medical romances. Why did you choose to write in this subcategory of romance, and why did you decide to venture to the realm of romantic suspense with In His Sights? Was the writing, release of In His Sights in any way different than your previous ones? If so, how?
Tina: I kind of did things in reverse order (par for the course, for me). I was writing romantic suspense before I ever tried my hand at writing a medical romance. The medical romance ended up being the first to sell. But I love both subgenres, so I feel fortunate to be able to branch out in more than one direction. The editorial process for each book was very different, but I love working with both of my editors. As far as differences in writing, I live in Brazil at the moment, so I love exotic locations. My first published medical romance is set in the Brazilian Amazon and In His Sights is set in Angola (both are Portuguese speaking countries). So while the subgenres are very different, I’m still able to incorporate elements that are attractive to me. And I get to show off my Portuguese vocabulary in both books! ☺
Stella: What kind of research do you do for your medical romances, how do you prepare for them? And what research did you do for In His Sights? Any weird/funny/interesting tidbit you learned during your research?
Tina: I try very hard to make sure the medical details in my books are accurate. So, even though In His Sights has a much higher word count, it takes me longer to write and research my medical romances. One really quirky detail I was able to include in In His Sights is how to use a hammock. The typical hammock in Brazil doesn’t have wooden spreader bars on either end. While that construction makes them easier to store and transport, it makes them trickier to use. You have to lie diagonally across the hammock, because if you try to stay parallel, the hammock will roll up around you, trapping you in a fabric cocoon. We have a hammock at our house, and I can attest to having this happen the first time I used it!
Stella: What is your favourite part of a romance novel to read or write? The beginning, the first meeting, first kiss, getting to know each other, first love scene, big fight, HEA, or something else?
Tina: This is the easiest question so far. My favorite part of writing a romance novel (whatever the subgenre) is that very first line. It means I’m on my way back into the world I love, with imaginary characters I will grow to care deeply about…and who I will miss long after I type the words The End.
Stella: What is next on your schedule? Any future plans you’d like to share with us?
Tina: Right now I’m working on a medical duet (linked books written by two different authors) that I’m very excited about. The hero is another military guy—being the daughter of a career Navy man, it makes sense that military men are high on my list of heroes. And I’ve written about four chapters of my next romantic suspense book (which features Cole’s buddy “Moss” from In His Sights).
Thanks again for having me, Stella! I’d love to ask your readers a question. I have this weird kind of love affair with villains in books—whether I’ve written them or am reading someone else’s work. It makes me curious about what other readers like. Are you a fan of seeing the world through a villain’s eyes, or would you prefer that authors never venture into that character’s point of view?
In His Sights by Tina Beckett
During a hostile situation at the American embassy in Angola, Special Forces officer Cole Scalini is ordered to take out a suicide bomber and rescue a hostage. Simple enough for a sniper with his training, until he realizes that the woman in danger is neither a random nor a typical victim. She’s pregnant.
Callie Nascimento is carrying her sister’s baby as a surrogate when she discovers her sister was killed under suspicious circumstances. Now Callie’s become a target. Her only hope for survival is a rebel of another kind, a handsome loner of a military man who’s risking his life to save her.
As Cole strives to keep Callie safe, fighting the terrain and terrorist attacks, his respect for her grows. She’s strong, capable and sexy as hell. But before he can explore if their attraction is something deeper, he has to get her safely back on U.S. soil. Because the enemy is much closer to home than they realize.
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A three-time Golden Heart® finalist, Tina Beckett is the product of a Navy upbringing. Always on the move, her travels eventually took her outside of the United States, where English reading material was scarce. Her supply of books ran out, and she started writing her own stories, fashioned after the romance novels she’d loved through the years. She finished that first book and moved on to the next. After the fourth manuscript, she realized there was no going back…she was officially a writer. Tina has won several writing awards, including the Linda Howard Award of Excellence, The Molly, The Tara, Finally a Bride, and the Four Seasons.
When not in the middle of her latest book, Tina enjoys crafting stained glass panels, riding horses and hiking with her family. Fluent in Portuguese, she divides her time between Brazil and the United States and loves to use exotic locales as the backdrop for many of her stories. You can often find Tina hanging out on Facebook and Twitter.
Tina has very generously offered a $10 USD Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter!
All you have to do is answer Tina’s question: Are you a fan of seeing the world through a villain’s eyes, or would you prefer that authors never venture into that character’s point of view?
(You can read our full giveaway policy here)
Please be sure to include a valid email address in the comment form (need not be in the actual body of the comment).
This giveaway is open to everyone!
Giveaway ends on 22 September 2012 and we will announce the winner on Sunday.