Author Molly Harper is known for her lighthearted, fun paranormal tales about sexy supernatural men and the women who love them. But stories of vampires and werewolves aren't the only ones Harper pens. She debuted her first contemporary romance back in 2010, and recently broke the news that she will be returning to the side of romance that has fewer fangs and less fur with a brand new series! We're anxious for the first in Harper's yet-to-be-titled digital-first series, releasing this December, and asked the author to share a little bit about what readers can expect.
It was just announced that you have a new contemporary romance series coming from Pocket. Can you give readers a short summary of what they can expect from these books?
In addition to three more paranormal romance titles, I am writing a series of three original e-books focusing on characters in a tourism promotion office in Kentucky. Each title will explore how a different couple falls in love and other messes. I don't know how much I am allowed to reveal in terms of plot, but I will say over the course of the series, the characters encounter underwear manufacturers, chainsaw enthusiasts, funnel cakes and Civil War re-enactors.
The first book, still untitled, will be released as part of Pocket's new e-book line, Pocket Star, in December 2012.
Aside from humor, snappy dialogue and Southern-fried romance, readers will learn a lot about Kentucky and the unique attractions we have to offer. I had no idea that my state is home to the world's only ventriloquist dummy museum until I started writing these stories. There are times that I wish I didn't know that.
I have dummy issues.
After a slew of paranormal set romances, you have ventured into a contemporary setting. What prompted this choice?
I have ventured into the contemporary world before with my lone trade paperback romance, And One Last Thing ... After years of writing about vampires, I really enjoyed writing about people who could go out during the day and eat solid food!
I love paranormal romance and I'll always come back "home" to it. But it is relaxing not to worry about mythology or lore for a while and just play with people's emotions. (That sounds way more sinister than I intended.)
Do you remember the beginning germ of idea that eventually became this series?
Yes, I blame my agent, Stephany. She's always sending me a link to some weird news story set in Kentucky, like a hunter being treed by a possum or some guy eating aluminum siding on a dare. The emails always arrive under the subject line, "Have you seen this?!," with this implied note of humor/horror.
I've told her all about the things you can only find in my home state, like Tater Day, the dummy museum and Derby Pie. She told me I was going to have to find a way to fit all of that in a book someday, and it evolved from there. I've tried to balance the wackiness with affection, because I definitely don't want anyone to feel like I'm making fun of Kentucky. I love the people here, but we have more quirk per capita than any population has a right to. This must be documented for the greater good.
You are rather well known for your light, witty banter and fun happenings in your other series. Can readers expect a similar tone in these books?
Yes, I'm really looking forward to reader reactions to how two of the lead female characters, Sadie and Kelsey, speak to each other. They have a very close, sisterly relationship and it's very similar to how I speak to my sister, Manda. I've written about sisters before, but I've never been able to capture that rapport as well as I have with these ladies.
And the tone is definitely humorous. I try for "smart slapstick" in my books and I don't think I'm ever going to get away from that. When I wrote the How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf, I was so excited when I sent Stephany the draft because I really thought I'd gone "dark" with the tone. After she read it, she wrote back with, "Aw, darlin', no." Even when I try to be dark and serious, it comes off as funny.
And speaking of the werewolf series, I am very pleased to tell you that there will be a third Naked Werewolf book. On pain of death — or at least, a stern talking-to — I cannot tell you when it will be released or who the main characters will be. But it will be set in Alaska and the main characters will be connected to Mo, Cooper, Maggie, Nick and the pack. I am so glad that I can finally share this news with readers, because I've been getting a lot of emails. And telling people, "I know, but I can't tell you" doesn't make them happy. I’m very excited to be going back to Alaska. I have so much more to say about the Grundy pack and can’t wait to introduce readers to the new wolves!
I am also working on a ghost story entitled, Better Homes and Hauntings. I'm doing some research on Newport, RI's Gilded Age and the mega-mansions there. It's been so much fun, designing the mother of all haunted houses in my head. The release date is undetermined.
You can pick up Molly Harper's next release, The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires, on July 31. For more spectacular love stories, visit our Everything Romance Page.