Our hot new series DARE launches this month, it’s our sexiest ever series. Stories will feature strong, empowered women who know what they want – in and out of the bedroom. We had a chat with JC Harroway author of A Week to be Wild to find out more…
A Week To Be Wild is a hot read! Have you always written sexy storylines, or was this your first?
No, it’s not my first rodeo… I have four other books published, which have their steamy moments. But writing for Dare took things to the next level in that the stories have the seductive escapism of glamorous settings but the strong female leads face very real problems and issues, all while owning their sexuality and chasing what they want in life. What’s not to love?
What can you tell us about the inspiration behind A Week To Be Wild?
I love to travel, so my stories often feature international locations or characters from different countries. For A Week To Be Wild, I loved the idea of throwing a sexy English gentleman and a feisty, straight-talking New Yorker together in a professional capacity. And what better backdrop than the thrill and glamour of London!
How do you feel about being one of the first authors to write for Mills & Boon’s new series, Dare?
I’m completely thrilled. It’s a dream come true for me to write for Mills and Boon and this exciting new line in particular. My grandmother, who shared not only my love of reading, but my love of romance, was a huge Mills and Boon fan—she’d be so proud of me.
Your book has a lead female character who is a powerful businesswomen. Do you consider yourself a feminist?
Absolutely. And an egalitarian. I believe in gender equality and equality full stop. And to me, feminism and equality are about choice and opportunity. I’m a doctor, a woman and a mother of a daughter and two sons. I write stories about women read predominantly by women.
Why did you choose The Shard to feature in your book?
It’s fun to use iconic landmarks in stories, and until recently, I’d never been anywhere near The Shard. But the main motivation for this choice was Libby, my heroine in A Week To Be Wild. She’s had a traumatic experience in her past and avoids risk at all costs. I wanted to throw her off balance for her first meeting with the hero, Alex (mwah, ha, ha *evil laugh*). So I chose a restaurant on the thirty-first floor of London’s tallest building—sophistication and toe-tingling danger all rolled into one and the perfect setting for my opening scene.
Do you envisage any celebrities when dreaming up your characters?
Great question, and the answer is, of course, yes! Now you’re going to ask me who…. I’m a visual learner, so I like to have an image to put with my creations so the odd celebrity snap or two has come in very useful… For the dark, intense, insanely hot romance hero like Alex Lancaster, it’s hard to overlook a certain British actor who occasionally plays Mr Poldark…
Do you read in the same genre you write?
Yes, definitely. I try to write the kind of story I want to read, but I also read widely. I always come back to romance though, because we all have our favourite genre. And I’m addicted to those happy endings. Did you know reading romance and the HEA in particular actually triggers an endorphin rush? Powerful stuff.
What are your top three books of all time?
That’s a really hard question to answer… But if I absolutely had to pick just three, I’d choose Jayne Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Little Women By Louisa May Alcott and Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to write but is too scared to start?
Just sit down and do it! I’ve always been a creative person, but I came rather late to writing. I’d halfheartedly toyed with writing some years ago, but never actually finished anything, or shown my efforts to anyone, because…terrifying.
But I had a story, some characters, that wouldn’t leave my head. One day someone said “You should just write it” and I did. I didn’t know where it would go, or if that story would ever see the light of day, but I finished it. I knew nothing of the craft of writing—just as well or I’d have been way too intimidated—but I’m learning all that as I go, by doing. And I’m so glad I was brave enough to try, because I’m here now, writing for Mills and Boon!
What was your biggest challenge in writing this book?
For me, the biggest challenge is fitting all the elements of story, plot and characterisation into the series requirement of fifty-thousand words—it’s a real skill and I take my hat off to all those writers who do it so well.
And finally, when can we expect another book from you? We loved this one!
The second book in this series, Her Dirty Little Secret is almost complete. I can’t share too much, but it features sexy Frenchman Jack Demont, Alex’s cousin from A Week To Be Wild. I have a thing for the French accent; I could listen to it all day, even if it was just the shipping report!
Can’t wait to get your hands on DARE? Enter our competition to be in for a chance of winning DARE books and exclusive goodies!