Grab a mug of tea and sit down for a chat with R.J!
Thanks so much for agreeing to be with us today!
Thank you so much for having me!
What 5 things should readers know about you?
- I am completely addicted to tea. I always make a hot cup of tea before I even think of writing a word.
- Every single word that I’ve ever written has all been by hand. I write in black ink in black journals and then type up what I’ve written when I get to the end of the chapter. My boys often wanted to scribble in the notebooks or for me to draw around their feet and hands. So those journals are now full of memories of my boys growing up.
- I absolutely love tattoos but don’t have any myself.
- I’m a sucker for a ‘happy ever after’. I usually won’t read a book or watch a movie unless I know it has a ‘happy ever after’ or at least a ‘happy for now.’
- I’ve never had a day so bad that a hug from my kids, a bar of chocolate and a cup of tea didn’t make better.
I love #2! That’s just so awesome. I agree, #4 is crucial 🙂
Tell us all about your main characters—who are they? What makes them tick? Most importantly, what one thing would they need to have with them if stranded on a desert isle? 😉
O’Connell is big, ripped, tattooed and hot. He’s a young Irish boxer boxer with a LOT of potential, but a bad start in life has made him aimless and self-destructive. Em is the purest, gentlest, kindest person that he’s ever met. She unwittingly becomes his moral compass and ultimately his reason for wanting to become a better person, for fighting for a better life for himself. But Em is battling her own insecurities. The victim of an abusive stepfather, she is both drawn to and intimidated by O’Connell. She falls in love with him, but can’t believe that opening up her life to him won’t invite the darkness from her past to hurt him in some way. It takes O’Connell’s strength and relentlessness to convince her that together, there isn’t anything they can’t fight. As for being on a desert isle O’Connell would only ever say that he needed Em. Em would probably roll her eyes at him, then crawl into his lap and kiss him senseless for being so romantic without ever giving you an answer!
Where did the inspiration for this book come from?
So many different parts of the books were inspired by so many different people and experiences. I grew up with three brothers, all of similar ages and became used to their banter with one another. My husband Lee kick boxed at a boxing gym for years, so I spent a lot of time around boxers. Many of my friends in Bristol are Irish and some of my memories from my time with them at university, inspired different scenes. O’Connell though, was created as the type of Alpha male that I love to read about.
They do say, write what you want to read…
How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
I’ve been writing now for about 7 years. I started one Christmas when my son was sick. He was sleeping restlessly and I knew I couldn’t go to bed until he’d settled down and I’d run out of books to read (these were in days before I had a kindle) or iPhone. My aunty had given me this blank journal and I thought I’d have a go at writing. From then on I continued, chapter by chapter, and eventually I ended up with a book. As much fun as it was, it wasn’t ready to be published. When I started writing The Hurricane I mentioned to my close friend that I was writing again. She asked me if she could read a few chapters and then hounded me relentlessly for more until I’d finished. Without her encouragement, I’m not sure it would ever have been written.
That’s a true friend right there!
What do you like best about being a writer? What is the most challenging part?
Whatever I write, I see the story first like a film in my head and I just try and capture on paper what I can see. I love that writing gives me the freedom to direct that movie and to create the sort of Alpha male that I love reading about. The most challenging part is trying to find the time to write. Between having a family and a full time career, I am literally writing whenever I have a few free minutes but it’s definitely been worth it. Writing has given me such a great opportunity to meet some wonderful new people from all over the world.
I definitely agree with your “challenging part”!
What are you working on right now? What can readers look for from you in the next year?
At the moment I’m working on the sequel to The Hurricane called The Aftermath which is set a few months after the first book. Just as O’Connell is finally starting to get the success he deserves, Frank goes on trial for rape, but nothing is ever as straightforward as it seems. It’s written entirely from O’Connell’s point of view and will feature more from Danny, Kieran, Tommy and the rest of the gang.
What authors and/or books have inspired you?
Where do I start? Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful series, Katy Evans’ Real series, The Boy Who Sneaks through my Bedroom Window by Kirsty Moseley, The Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost, the Obsidian series by Jennifer Armentrout… I could keep going for hours. There are so many amazing books out there are the moment that it’s hard not to be inspired.
Very true! You have some excellent choices there!
What are you currently reading? What are your thoughts about it so far?
I’ve just finished Poles Apart by Kirsty Moseley and I absolutely loved it. I honestly don’t think that she has created a book boyfriend that I haven’t fallen in love with.
Now THAT’S inspiring! 😉
If you had to “sell” this book in a single Tweet, what would you say?
Irish, tattooed, ripped, possessive, protective and loving. Who could possibly resist Cormac ‘The Hurricane’ O’Connell?
Not me! (Great job, BTW)
Publication date: February 16th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Cormac “the Hurricane” O’Connell is cut, tattooed and dangerous. He is a lethal weapon with no safety and everyone is waiting for the mis-fire. He’s never been knocked out before, but when he meet Em he falls, HARD. Unlike any other girl he’s ever met, she doesn’t want anything from him. Just being around her makes him want to be a better person.
They are polar opposites who were never meant to find each other, but some things are just worth the fight.