By Jaime Rush
I’m sitting down with Adrienne Giordano to find out all the juicy details about her new romantic suspense, OPPOSING FORCES.
Adrienne, how exciting it must be to see your next book come out! Congratulations! Tell us what this story is all about and what drove you to write it.
The hero in OPPOSING FORCES is Jackson Lynx who is an executive at Taylor Security. Jack is steady, smart and reliable but he’s not perfect. He’s approaching the one-year anniversary of kicking his prescription-drug habit and has spent the last year avoiding the dating scene. Then Jillian Murdoch asks for his help and the poor guy is cooked!
Jillian is a manager for a pharmaceutical distributor and becomes suspicious when she sees an unscheduled delivery late on a Friday night. When someone breaks into her home, she knows she’s seen something she wasn’t supposed to and asks Jack for help.
I wrote the story because I have a friend who works for a pharmaceutical company and based on conversations I’d had with her, I got an idea. That’s all I can say or it’ll give away the book’s ending!
Jackson Lynx, your hero, is a recovering addict. So many have dealt with addiction, either personally or through someone they care about. Was there a personal reason for including this element?
Thankfully, there wasn’t a personal element. It came to me while doing my character sketches for the book. Lynx has been a secondary character in each of my books, but there hasn’t been any backstory on him. In the previous books, he worked for the State Department and helped provide information for the operatives at Taylor Security. I thought it was time to give mystery man Lynx a job at Taylor Security.
When I did his character sketch, he was too perfect. He’s the guy who always wants to help. He’ll strap on his cape, swoop in and save the day. I landed on him being a recovering addict because Lynx getting hooked on prescription pain meds (as a result of knee surgery) would be in direct conflict with his need to make everyone proud of him. The addiction embarrasses him and makes him question everything he’s become. It forces him to realize he can’t continually push himself to be everyone’s savior.
You post playlists for your books. How much does music figure into your writing process?
I don’t listen to music when I’m actually writing, but if I get stuck on a scene, I’ll listen to the playlist for the book while walking. There’s something about the fresh air and the character’s favorite songs that gets my creative juices flowing. Sometimes it’s my favorite part of the process. I’ve been known to choreograph a fight scene on the bike path near my house. My neighbors think I’m insane.
OPPOSING FORCES is part of your Private Protectors series. Tell us more about this series and what inspired it.
I actually hadn’t intended to write a series. I have a newspaper background and was always fascinated with Katharine Graham. Mrs. Graham was the publisher of the Washington Post at a time when most executives at metro newspapers were men. I wondered what that would have been like for her to have such a position at that time and wanted to explore the idea of a woman having to suddenly take over her family’s large newspaper. I wrote RISKING TRUST, the first book in the Private Protectors series, to tell Roxann’s (heroine) story. The hero in the book is Michael Taylor, the CEO of Taylor Security, a company under contract with the government to protect diplomats overseas. As I was writing, Michael’s friend and business partner, Vic, started chattering at me for a book. I wrote Vic’s book and realized I had a series that centered around the employees of Taylor Security. The series has been great fun to write because each book is a stand-alone, so I’m not limited to any location or storyline.
I know writers aren’t supposed to love any of their “children” more than the others, but some of our characters just reach out and grab us by the heart. Is there one character who did this to you?
Vic Andrews from MAN LAW. From the beginning, he’s been talking to me (he likes to be heard!) and seems to wind up in every book. I always tell people I’d like to be Vic when I grow up. He lives by his own set of nutty man laws, and he always says what’s on his mind. He’s a fun character to write and readers have really embraced him. Flaws and all.
What’s your best reader comment? The funniest?
A few months ago, one of my readers told me her daughter read RISKING TRUST while on a rather long lockdown at her school. The young woman went on to read my whole series. At graduation she told the audience she would not have made it through school without my books to keep her going. Hearing that is a gift I wish every author could receive.
Is there a theme in your books, a thread you see coming up in your stories? For instance, underdog fighting for justice?
No matter what the assignment, my characters always want justice. They may break a few laws to get there, but they get there!
Do you have any writing rituals before you begin a book or start your day?
I always interview my characters before I start writing. I have a set list of questions that I answer “in character” and it helps me build a character sketch. I like to free-wheel my way through the answers and try not to edit as I’m going. I like them to be raw. The interviews are great for determining what the character’s biggest fears are and what makes them angry. The character interview of Jack Lynx revealed his addiction to prescription meds. There’s always some important nugget that comes out of those interviews.
What does your writing space looks like?
I have an “L” shaped desk. On the wall in front of me, I hang all of my awards so when I’m feeling like I’ll never finish a book, I look at the wall and let it remind me of what I can do when I set my mind to it. On the wall beside me, I have a huge poster that outlines plot structure. It’s handy to look at while I’m writing and reminds me to stay focused.
What’s the best way for reader’s to get in touch with you? Do you Tweet/blog/etc.?
Thanks for spending time with me and sharing your exciting story! I wish you all the best with it.
Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery. She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction.
To learn more about Adrienne, please visit her website.