Hi Virna and welcome back to Under the Covers. Thanks for helping us celebrate our third year of Burning Up July!
Thank you for having me. I’m so glad to be back!
Lets talk about your latest release, Arrested by Love. This is compilation of 3 novellas that were written by your pen name Ava Meyers. For those who do not know, can you tell us a little about that?
Sure! In late 2009, I sold my Para-Ops series to Berkley but the first book wasn’t going to come out until May 2011. As such, I decided to use the time to try my hand writing erotic romance. I’d been reading them for quite some time and approached the project as a challenge. Since I have a thing for men in uniform and loved reading romantic suspense, I decided what better way to start than with some hot cops. It was hard at first because I found my natural inhibitions getting in the way. But I told myself just to keep pushing forward. Copping To It was the result. I was proud of it, but I was also reluctant to publish it under my own name given I had my debut series with Berkley coming out and I didn’t know whether the erotic romance would be received well. That’s why I decided to use a pen name. The novella ended up selling well and I wrote Cop Appeal and Copping Attitude.
In Copping To It, Ty infiltrates a motorcycle gang in order to avenge a fellow cop and is unexpectedly reunited with Claire, a good girl longing to be bad in the best ways possible. In Cop Appeal, Luke is determined to claim the woman he lost ten years ago; that means proving Sarah’s not the sure thing but he is. And in Copping Attitude, Noah is an internal affairs cop who helps Jenna rediscover her sexuality with equal amounts strength and gentleness. The novellas are super-charged sexy, but as author Julie Kenner has said, the heroes’ strengths are “balanced by tenderness and devotion to the women who steal their hearts.”
I was thrilled when Loveswept decided to publish the novellas into an anthology.
These books were actually some of your earlier works. What kind of research, if any, did you do for them?
I’d love to be able to say something titillating considering two of the novellas involve menages with hot cops, but the truth is I mostly used personal experience and my imagination to write the stories. I already knew a lot about cops given my background as a criminal prosecutor. The hot sex, on the other hand? Well, would it be shocking to say I wasn’t too outside my comfort zone? At least not too far to write about it. LOL.
As one of your fans, I found these books equally good compared to the more recent releases. Do you find that you have grown to be a better writer? How so?
That’s so wonderful to hear. Thank you! In the past few years, I’ve learned more about craft and the business side of things. I don’t think this has necessarily improved the quality of my writing. However, I have been able to try different genres and each genre comes with its own challenges. For a long time I was focused solely on paranormal and romantic suspense, but now I’m working on a sexy contemporary, a sequel to my one contemporary novel, Bedding The Wrong Brother.
Your write PNR, Romantic Suspense and Erotic genre novels, which one is your favorite?
Wow, that’s a hard question. It’s not a matter of favorites. Instead, it’s about giving each genre its fair share of time. I do think there’s a unique freedom in writing PNR because while you have to build a complex world, you also get to make the rules. With romantic suspense, you have to make things both believable and compelling, and the line between those two things is a fine one. Plus, there are readers who enjoy more suspense than romance, and vise versa; it’s difficult to please both. I love writing erotic romance that’s both smart and steamy (at least that’s what my goal is), but it’s also easy to burn out on writing too much sex, especially because all my books are steamy. The biggest challenge is balancing contracts and deadlines while still maintaining passion and excitement for each new project. When it comes down to it, however, if I feel invested in my characters and their struggles, the genre is just the frosting on the cake.
Do you take inspiration from real life for your novels? Has anything ended up in your books that happened to you or someone you know?
My novels are rarely based on specific people or events, but they are definitely entrenched in my world view. I bring a lot of my experiences as a former criminal prosecutor with me. Almost all my stories are about truly damaged individuals who have to go through something dark before things can get better.
We always love hearing what our favorite authors are reading. What’s currently on your TBR that you are most excited to read?
Right now I have Sylvia Day’s Bared To You sitting on my nightstand. I’ve heard great things about the series and am excited to start it.
What is next for Ms. De Paul?
I’m currently working on The Belladonna Series for Random House; this is a prequel series to the Para-Ops books, and is set during the time paranormal creatures, vampires, are first discovered living amongst humans. The series centers around a group of female spies. The tagline is “Some flowers thrive better in the dark.” Here’s a little teaser:
A gang-related shooting has far-reaching implications for four young women, all strangers with no common connection except tragedy. Seven years after the incident, the women are brought together for one common purpose—join an all-female private intelligence agency called Belladonna, a black ops organization formed by the FBI to protect its secret—vampires live amongst humans. Most of them want to live in peace. Some, however, do not…
Thanks so much for stopping by UTC!
Thank you again for having me here today. I love connecting with your readers and am so appreciative of your support.
In the steamy world of bestselling romance author Virna DePaul, there are bad boys and good girls on both sides of the law. And when they mix, it’s always an explosive combination. Now the three novellas of her contemporary Red-Hot Cops series are available together in this eBook anthology:
COPPING TO IT
Though Claire Fullerton, a respected journalist, isn’t afraid to walk on the wild side, she’s terrified that unleashing her inner vixen will expose her to getting hurt. But when Claire is captured by a notorious gang of bikers, she recognizes a friendly face from her darkest fantasies: undercover cop Ty Williamson, who has managed to infiltrate the gang to bring them down from the inside. Now Ty’s determined to bind Claire to him and prove that he wants all of her: the good with the bad. In fact, the badder she is, the better they’ll be—together.
People used to call her Sure-Thing-Sarah, but the only thing Sarah Larson’s sure about these days is the torch she’s carried for undercover cop Luke Anderson. Four years ago, Sarah made the biggest mistake of her life: leaving Luke to marry another cop. Now, a year after her divorce, Luke’s back in her life—ready to convince Sarah that he’s the one when it comes to love. But Sarah has a big fear—that her dangerously possessive ex-husband is out to make sure that her second chance at happiness is destroyed forever.
As a former centerfold, Jenna Mills is a pro at deflecting male attention, and with good reason. A painful past has made her mistrustful of all men—and hell-bent on getting revenge on one in particular. But first she needs help overcoming her fear of physical intimacy. And honorable cop Noah James might just be the perfect place to start. Noah’s used to making a woman feel safe, in bed and out. But when Jenna makes him an indecent proposal, Noah’s willing to give her everything she’s asking for . . . and more.
Arrested by Love is erotic romance intended for mature audiences.
About the Author:
Virna DePaul is a former criminal prosecutor and now national bestselling author of the Para-Ops Novels (Chosen By Sin, Book 3 now available; see www.chosenbysin.com.) Virna also writes contemporary romantic suspense for Harlequin Romantic Suspense (It Started That Night, May 2012) and HQN (Shades Of Desire, June 2012). Finally, Virna is a national bestselling author of numerous indie published novels. Sign up for her mailing list for access to her monthly writing cheat sheets and reader contests. www.virnadepaul.com