Interview with Tina Beckett + Giveaway

Filed in featured , Giveaways , Interview , The Latin Lover , Tina Beckett Posted on September 7, 2012 @ 7:00 am 44 comments

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.

Read an excerpt

Buy at Amazon

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.

For more information, please visit her website, or follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Goodreads.


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.

Good Luck!

About Stella

Stella is a proud bookaholic and a self-taught multilinguist in training. Besides reading, her other great passions are travelling and baking. When she is not globetrotting she lives in sunny Budapest, where she loves to spend her free time preparing (and feasting on) delicious cookies or devouring equally yummy books. Her favourite genres are urban fantasy and romance and she couldn't live without her daily dose of sunshine. Besides being the Latin Lover on BLI Stella also blogs about books and a bookish life on Ex Libris.

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Join the Discussion
  • Cris September 7, 2012 at 7:16 am

    As an avid romantic suspense reader, I definitely enjoy venturing into the villain’s mind & seeing the world through his/her eyes. There’s nothing more chilling than witnessing their warped perception of the world firsthand!

    Congrats on the new release! Adding it to my (admittedly epic) TBR queue 🙂

    • Tina Beckett September 7, 2012 at 11:28 am

      I definitely find it interesting to see what motivates a villain to do what he does! And really, you can only get that by seeing the world through his eyes. I DO think writing from that pov makes my hubby a bit nervous at times. 😉 Thanks so much for weighing in!

  • Michele H September 7, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Thanks for the interview! In His Sights sounds like an exciting read!! I haven’t read very many stories from the villain’s view point, but those I have I enjoyed quite a bit. It’s so interesting to see something from a completely different point of view.

    • Tina Beckett September 7, 2012 at 11:32 am

      Hi Michele! Thanks for your input. In His Sights does has some rather dark scenes that involve the villain’s POV. Hopefully they’re balanced out by the other characters’ viewpoints. It was a fun book to write!

  • aurian September 7, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    Thanks for the great interview! I love those peaks in the villains’ thoughts, to know why he acts like he does, and perhaps what he is planning to do to our hero and heroine. I adds that little bit extra suspense. Of course, not knowing who he is, makes it even more creepy.

    • Tina Beckett September 7, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      Thanks, Aurian! I agree completely. Seeing the world through those villains’ eyes makes you extra glad the good guys/gals are going to swoop in and save the day!

  • Estella September 7, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    I definitely enjoy venturing into the villain’s mind.

    • Tina Beckett September 7, 2012 at 4:47 pm

      Yes, Estella, it definitely gives you a different perspective, doesn’t it? Thanks so much for stopping by and weighing in. Much appreciated!

  • LSUReader September 7, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    I like the added perspective of seeing things through the villain’s eyes. He/she has so many answers to questions everyone else is chasing. Sometimes, that’s the only way the reader can fully understand the story. Thanks for visiting.

    • Tina Beckett September 7, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      Yes! Seeing things through the villain’s eyes certainly gives me more of an idea of the whys behind his behavior, something that is really important to me. I want to really believe the villain’s motivation as much as I do the other main characters’. I think experiencing the world through his/her eyes for short periods of time helps me do that.

  • Diane September 7, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    I want to know the villain’s side though not in gory details; but yes how his mind works, what made him (or her) the way he is and why of course. A good romantic suspense!

    • Tina Beckett September 7, 2012 at 8:15 pm

      I agree, Diane. A romantic suspense is richer (for me) if I’ve experienced a little of what driives the villain. It doesn’t have to be presented in big bites, just a taste here and there. Thanks!

  • JenM September 8, 2012 at 1:03 am

    I do enjoy it when there is insight into the villain, but I don’t want too much because they are usually pretty twisted and I don’t like reading a lot of that.

    • Tina Beckett September 8, 2012 at 8:36 am

      Thanks Jen! They do tend to be pretty twisted, which is my hubby got a bit nervous. He didn’t know why I would even want to go there at all. 😉 But I’m fascinated by what would make a person do such terrible things.

  • Mary Preston September 8, 2012 at 3:54 am

    I do enjoy crawling through the mind of a villain. It can be scary good.

  • Tina Beckett September 8, 2012 at 8:42 am

    Mary Preston
    crawling through the mind of a villain.

    That’s a perfect way to put it, Mary! I love it! And if the villain’s motivation is good enough it’s hard not to feel just a little something for him (or her). It’s a whole lot safer to explore those kinds of things in books, though, than to hear about them in the news.

  • sienny September 8, 2012 at 9:30 am

    yes, cause it’ll give us more knowledge about the villain and the reason why he/she did such thing.

    • Tina Beckett September 8, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      Thanks, sienny! I do like having that extra bit of knowledge.

  • draconismoi September 8, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Well that depends on the villain. Some villains are so boringly narcissistic that I don’t need to see into their minds. We already know what they are thinking: “Blah blah I’m the embodiment of perfection. Yammer yammer ooo, shiny. Yackity yack my wang my precious wang.”

    Give me a complex bad guy with backstory and more motivation than masturbatory self-congratualtions….and THEN I will want to see things from their perspective.

    • Tina Beckett September 8, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      Really good point! Love the need for complexity. Developing the villain’s character and making him three-dimensional is just as important as developing your other main characters. Thanks so much for your thoughts on this!

  • Victoria Zumbrum September 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    I am not a fan of the villian but I don’t mind seeing through the villians eyes. It makes the book more interesting.

    • Tina Beckett September 8, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      I agree, Victoria. You can see the world through the villain’s eyes without becoming his biggest fan. Understanding doesn’t necessarily equate to liking! Thanks for this!

  • Yadira A. September 8, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    I am definitely a fan of seeing the world through a villain’s eyes because once you do then you can really understand how and why they are the villain and maybe just maybe they really aren’t one.

    • Tina Beckett September 8, 2012 at 8:00 pm

      Ah yes, indeed. Sometimes the person you think is the villain really isn’t the true villain at all! Good point. Very tricky characters, those villains. 😉

  • Diane Sallans September 8, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    It can be a lot of fun to get the villian’s perspective. We may learn why they are like they are or it may confirm that they are completely insane.

    • Tina Beckett September 9, 2012 at 9:24 am

      Hi Diane! You’re right, sometimes a villain is just completely insane. I think that can be interesting as well, because his thought processes might appear cluttered and chaotic…or maybe even completely emptied of everything except his ultimate goal. Thanks for your thoughts!

  • Megan G. September 8, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    I don’t like it when authors spend a lot of time in the villan’s views. A few pages is ok, but when a 1/3 of the book is in their view it drives me crazy. It’s ok when the villan is someone you love for example Lothaire in Kresley Cole’s book. But I hated reading about Mr. O in JR Wards book.

    • Tina Beckett September 9, 2012 at 9:28 am

      Interesting, Megan. I didn’t think about it in those terms, but I think you’re right. It doesn’t take hundreds of pages to get across a villain’s personality and thoughts. Just a short scene here and there. Thanks for the clarification. I’ll be checking my villains’ page counts from here on out! Great point!

  • erinf1 September 9, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Thanks for a great post and congrats to Tina on the new release! It sounds fabulous 🙂 I love when we get the villian’s POV. as long as it’s not over the top I.e. Dr Evil style, cue the evil cackle, I think that it adds depth to the conflict.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    • Tina Beckett September 9, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      Your comment made me laugh, Erin! Yes, Dr. Evil doesn’t lend himself to scary romantic suspense villain-hood, does he? Loved this. Thanks!

  • Carin W September 9, 2012 at 11:41 am

    What a great premise for a book, I have a friend who did the who surrogacy thing for a friend and it was really hard on her. I can’t imagine. Thanks for the interview, I like some of the villains POV but not half the book or anything. Thanks Carin

    • Tina Beckett September 9, 2012 at 5:22 pm

      Kudos to your friend, Carin. It’s such a noble thing to do, and yet I know it’s got to be heartwrenching to hand that baby over after you’ve carried him/her for nine months.

      And I definitely agree that the villain’s POV shouldn’t take over the book. A sprinkling of it here and there should be plenty.

  • bn100 September 10, 2012 at 3:13 am

    Congrats on the book! I’d like to read a book through the villain’s POV.

    • Tina Beckett September 10, 2012 at 7:46 am

      Thanks so much for the congrats! I really enjoyed writing the book…and including those snippets from the villain’s POV.

  • Shannon September 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    You rarely get to see the story thru the villian’s eyes so I think it would be interesting to read one written that way

    • Tina Beckett September 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm

      Hi, Shannon! It’s not every book that includes the villain’s point of view, so it’s like getting a sneak peek into how his/her mind works. Thanks so much for weighing in on the subject. It’s been fun reading everyone’s opinions.

  • JessS September 13, 2012 at 2:03 am

    I think it depends on whether being in their mind helps the story, and if the character’s actually well developed and interesting. Thanks!

  • Tina Beckett September 13, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Hi Jess! Yes, being in the villain’s POV should help propel the story forward, shouldn’t it? Great point!

  • Maureen September 17, 2012 at 5:40 am

    I think some time with the villian’s perspective can give you an idea of why he/she is acting the way they are. It can make the story more realistic to me.

  • Tina Beckett September 17, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Hi Maureen, thanks for your thoughts. It seems quite a few of us like to be in the villain’s POV! Like you said, it can add a realistic element to the story, which I like. Thanks again!

  • Jbst September 19, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    I like to read about the villian’s POV. Sometimes, it heightens the suspense just by knowing some portion of the villian’s thoughts or actions.

    • Tina Beckett September 22, 2012 at 12:56 pm

      Thanks Jbst! Me too. Knowing what the villain is thinking and knowing exactly what he has planned for the hero and heroine can lend a real sense of urgency to the story. A feeling of not wanting the bad guy to get his hands on them under any circumstance.

  • Sarah September 21, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    I really like to get the villains point of view. I like to rediscover my self in them. Often that’s shocking and I think it helps me reflect a lot on myself

    • Tina Beckett September 22, 2012 at 12:58 pm

      Sarah I think we’re shocked by what villains are capable of–of what people in general are capable of under the right set of circumstances. I think we definitely can understand what motivates them as human beings (outside of simply being a villain). Thanks for your insight!

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