Friday, May 22, 2009

Helen Hardt!

Hello and welcome to my inaugural 'First Sale Friday' bog.

Today I have with me my wonder and superbly talented friend and critique partner, Helen Hardt.

Welcome Helen!

Monica: So, tell us how long have you been writing?

Since I learned how.  But only seriously with the hope of publication since the fall of 2006.  I started writing romance in 2007.

Monica: What attracted you to the romance genre?

Nora Roberts, actually.  Though I used to read romance a lot when I was younger, I hadn’t read one in about a decade.  I needed a fun read for a plane ride in September, 2006, and I picked up her new novel, Morrigan’s Cross.  It was amazing.  I hadn’t read romance in so long, and I’d never read paranormal romance.  I devoured the next two books in the trilogy, then decided I wanted to try writing a romance.  It’s the relationship that gets me.  I’m a sucker for a good old fashioned happy ending.  With heart-pounding emotion and sizzling sex built in, of course.

Monica: How many manuscripts had you completed before you sold?

Quite a few.  My first completed manuscript was a young adult fantasy fiction story.  Then two historical romances, though the sequel still isn’t complete.  Then my first NaNoWriMo project, which is a contemporary western, a novella, and two shorts.  One of the shorts, Seduced in Seoul, was my first sale.  So I guess that’s seven altogether.

Monica:  Now what we really want to know!  Tell us about the day (the minute, the second) you got ‘The Call.’  What was your initial reaction?

I actually didn’t get “the call.”  I got “the email.”  But it was still amazing.  Total elation!

Monica:  LOL!  Isn't that how it goes nowadays.  At least tell me you did something to celebrate?

It was a Friday, and it was my sons’ last day of school in June 2008.  My older son had a truckload of friends coming over for a party, so I couldn’t go anywhere.  My husband and I popped open a bottle of wine and celebrated at home.

Monica:  The truth.  Was there anyone whom you wanted to rub your news in his/her nose?

Yeah – the agent (who shall remain nameless) who wrote me my first rejection letter.  It was nasty!  I stopped writing for two weeks.

Monica:  I hate her already.  It's a good thing you got back to it!  Otherwise you wouldn't be able to tell us about your new release.  Give us some details!

Thai’d Up is my third release.  It’s an erotic short, part of the Destination Pleasure series at The Wild Rose Press, Wilder Roses (  My first two releases, Seduced in Seoul and Passion in Paris, are also part of this series.  


Visiting Bangkok to do an interview for her employer, Heidi Clarke is intrigued by the wild and raucous nightlife. When a handsome and engaging stranger, dressed as the Phantom of the Opera, offers to escort her into a BDSM club, she's too curious to refuse. As the man behind the mask introduces Heidi to new and exciting pleasures of the flesh, she can't help but wonder who he is. Or if she really wants to know.

Monica:  Sounds awesome!  (And it is because I've read it!)  But for the rest of us, when can we get our greedy hands on it?

Right now!

Monica: Sweet!  Where can we buy your books?

At the Wild Rose Press’s Wilder Side,

Monica:  What are you working on now?

I have several other releases scheduled for 2009, so I’m knee deep in edits.  I also have several works in progress -- two historical novellas, a cougar story, and an erotic novella.

Monica: What advice do you have for us ‘Soon To Be Published’ writers (as I like to call us)?

Self-educate, self-educate, self-educate.  Never stop learning.  I went from dreary contest results, to winning contests, to being published in less than two years.  I attribute this to self-education.  Writing a romance is more than being able to formulate a colorful paragraph.  The genre has rules, and a romance author needs to learn them and apply them.  There are wonderful resources available, so take advantage of them.

Monica: Okay, now for the fun questions!  Boxers or Briefs on your man?

Boxer-briefs.  My husband has a great butt, and he looks amazing in boxer-briefs.

Monica:  Nice!  Who’s your ideal hero?

I’m such a sap.  My husband.  Trite, but true.

Monica:  Aww!  Not trite.  Sweet.  If you could have sex with one celebrity who would it be?

Monica, you already know the answer to this question ;).  I truly am desperately in love with my husband, but if Gerard Butler came knocking, I just might go for it.

Monica:  And I told you before, I'd fight you for him.  Bitch parts, remember!   Final question.  What’s the funniest or most interesting line in a book you’ve ever written or read?

Okay, I didn’t actually read this, but another erotic romance author told me about it.  It was a historical romance, she couldn’t recall which one, and the opening line was:  “My what a beautiful cock!”  And they were talking about a rooster!  I wish I could take credit for that one, LOL.

Thank you, Helen so much for visiting Harmless Smut.  I'm so glad you could be with us.

Now to all of you readers out there, GO BUY THIS BOOK!!!

Later Gators!


Helen Hardt said...

Thanks for having me, Monica!

Viola Estrella said...

Great questions and answers, Monica and Helen!! Very entertaining interview. Off to buy Thai'd Up right now. ;-)

Helen Hardt said...

Viola, thanks for stopping by, and as always, thanks so much for your support. I know I can always count on the Vixens!

Kaye Manro said...

Wonderful interview Helen and Monica! I can't wait to read Thai'd Up!

Monica Kaye said...

Thanks for coming to visit, Helen! Here's to another bestseller.

Cari Quinn said...

Great interview! Just bought my copy of Thai'd Up! :)

Christina Phillips said...

I'm following you through the blogosphere, Helen!! Better late than never, lol! Great interview, ladies and that beautiful cock line never fails to make me laugh!!!

Tricia Leigh Wood said...

Great interview ladies.

It gives us soon to be published authors some insight and hope as to what it will be like the day we receive the call or email such as the case may be.

I'm glad you ignored the nameless agent or else we wouldn't have all these fabulous stories to read.