By Diane Holmes
Some women find trouble wherever they go. And some men are their only protection against it.
New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin writes Romantic Suspense novels that risk it all: not just life and death, but love, too. AGAINST THE STORM is the 4th in a series, this one set in Houston, TX. Each book is a stand-alone story about strong men and big danger.
Trace Rawlins, a former army-ranger-turned-private-investigator, can sense that something’s wrong—Maggie O’Connell isn’t telling him everything. If these menacing calls and messages are real, why won’t the police help her? And if they aren’t real, what is she hiding?
As Trace digs deeper to find the source of Maggie’s threats, he discovers a secret that no one was meant to uncover. And the only puzzle left to be solved is whether the danger comes from an unknown stalker…or from the woman he’s trying his hardest not to fall for.
Reviews for AGAINST THE STORM:
“Truly a Gifted Author. I’ve never read a Kat Martin novel that wasn’t destined for my keeper shelf.” –Joyfully Reviewed.
“The chemistry between them sizzles, the romantic suspense is tautly compelling and the psychological terror ratchets up with each red herring. Readers aren’t going to be able to put the lights out until the last page.” –RT Book Reviews
“Kat Martin is at her best with Against the Storm.” –The Mystery Gazette
I recent;ly had a chance to interview Kat Martin for the November edition of TheBigThrill:
Wow! You’ve written a string of successful novels (50 books in 25 years), from all types of romance novels (contemporary, historical, paranormal, & Western romance) to your current romantic suspense novels, and you just get better and better. Tell us about your move into suspense novels.
I’ve always loved reading suspense novels, but the best part is the romance. I find the two interact to make the novel more compelling. Since I started by writing romance novels and have always had a lot of plot in my books and usually an element of mystery, it was mostly just moving from historical settings into the present timeframe. AGAINST THE STORM is #4 in my Against series. The last book, AGAINST THE LAW, hit #13 on the NY Times bestseller list.
It’s not easy pulling off the best of two genres (thrillers plus romance). How do you juggle all the story elements?
I’ve never been great at writing description–which I also really don’t much care to read. So that meant I needed to focus on plot and dialog. And of course the romance has a plot line of its own. I work a lot by instinct, feeling when its time to move from one thread to another, trying to keep all of them balanced.
Every author is driven by an idea or scene that drives them to write the book! Tell us about the idea (and themes) behind your novel. What’s the fascination for you? The personal connection?
I think in terms of story. When I can’t sleep, I work out plots for novels. I like the idea that the conflict in the book shows the character of the hero and heroine, rather than doing it by giving details of their pasts. How they react in difficult situations, the respect that behavior garners says a lot about the character. And of course there is the physical attraction that pulls the hero and heroine together.
Tell us about the journey in writing this particular story. Smooth sailing or more like a twisted prison escape?
Pretty tough book. I didn’t know Trace as well as I would have liked when I started the novel. He had a small part in Against the Law, so I had to get to know him as I went along. Maggie was easy to know. She had secrets and reasons for keeping them. Trace had issues from his past. There is a great deal of plot so keeping all the balls in the air was tricky. Fortunately, it all seemed to gel by the end of the book.
How can we see the influences of your life in this story? What aspect or character is most like you?
I think I’m somewhat like Maggie. I like photography–but I rarely get them from the digital card into print! I certainly don’t have her kind of talent. Maggie’s dedicated to her work and I’m dedicated to my writing. And I’m married to a cowboy!
Research lover or hater? What were the aspects that required the most research and how did you bring research to life?
I hate research. I do it when I need to. I do it when I don’t know enough about the characters or the plot. The research often leads me to scenes I hadn’t anticipated, but I’d rather be writing, living in the characters’ world. In this book, I relied a lot on my husband. He’s a fantastic photographer and he was able to help me with the equipment Maggie would need, that sort of thing. I always try to get my settings right, so I researched a lot about Houston, though I knew the city from having spent a few months living there. I love Google Maps and those wonderful street cams. I researched the NASA information and some of the police gang tattoo info. I use the internet and Goggle tirelessly.
Thriller and mystery writers love to celebrate their genre and also bring unique stories, worlds, and characters to life. Tell us more about those fresh elements that compelled you to spend months (or years) writing this story.
I just love telling stories. I love thinking them up, working through the puzzle that makes up the plot and then solving it. I love the writing itself, making the dialog work, making the puzzle parts come together, working to try to make each book the best it possibly can be.
And what about your main character (or villain) makes that character so special to you?
I think the main character, Trace Rawlins, the hero in my story, is special because he’s larger than life. I could say that about all of my heroes and heroines over the years. Trace has that special quality of honor, determination, bravery, intelligence that makes him stand apart from other men. Maggie is the kind of woman who, though she’s had more than her share of trouble, keeps charging forward, doing what has to be done no matter how tough it is.
What’s the easiest way for Readers to find your book?
They’re pretty much everywhere. Bookstores like Barnes and Noble, Walmart, Target, grocery stores. If you are an e-book reader, STORM is available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and all other ebook stores.
Give us the scoop on what you’re writing now.
I’m just finishing the re-write for AGAINST THE NIGHT, which is Johnnie Riggs’ story. Johnnie’s a night owl, a PI who works the famous Sunset Strip, He’s in a lot of trouble when he meets Amy Brewer a kindergarten teacher gone undercover as a stripper to find her missing sister. There’s lots of humor in this one, which made it really fun to write. It’ll be out the end of February, followed by AGAINST THE SUN, Jake Cantrell’s story, out the end of May.
And finally, if you could have any thriller/mystery author write a story just for you, who would that author be and what would he or she write?
I’m pretty gone over Dirk Pitt so I’d love a Clive Cussler novel, I’d want lots of action and plenty of romance–and of course a happy ending.
Thank you so much, Kat!
New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and History. Currently residing with her Western-author husband, Larry Jay Martin, in Missoula, Montana, Kat has written over fifty bestselling novels, including Historical, Romantic Suspense, and Contemporary. Over ten million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in a dozen foreign countries. Among her many awards, Kat has won the prestigious Romantic Times Magazine Career Achievement Award. She is currently working on her next novel.