Monday, October 7, 2013

Meet Heather Huffman, author of 'Fool's Game'



What was the inspiration behind 'Fool's Game'?
When I was seventeen years old, I had a dream that my best friend and I were spies in the drug war. I laughingly told her about it the next day, and that conversation turned into the seed for a novel.
Which character was the most fun to write?
I had a lot of fun with all of the characters in Fool’s Game. The dynamic between them was, in some ways, a character all its own. If I had to pick just one who was the most fun, it would be David Zabukos. He was inspired by a friend of mine who never failed to be the comedic relief in my own life. In the pages of this novel, there were no bounds to his silliness. In the end, the character did a great job of breaking the tension when needed. He was also pretty good at ferreting out the back stories or moving the whole thing forward.
Will we ever see these characters again, either in a sequel or a spin-off?
That is a very good question. Since all of my books intertwine, I’d be really surprised if they didn’t turn up again. At the moment, though, I’m working on Karise McAlister’s story (a character introduced in Ring of Fire and Roses in Ecuador). When that’s finished, I have promised my fans that I would tell Vance Davis’s story. He’s a character introduced in Throwaway, back at the very beginning, who keeps showing up. Fans have been asking to hear the rest of his tale for a while now. If I don’t make good on my promise, they may form a mob…
What kind of research did you need to do for this book?
The good thing about my books intertwining is that research from one often carries over into another. I spent months researching Throwaway and Suddenly a Spy. Since then, I’m constantly learning and applying that knowledge to the next book or stashing a little tidbit away for something down the road. When I’m researching the technical side of a book (spy stuff), I do a lot of Internet research, reading, and talking to people who’ve been in special ops. When I’m researching something like human trafficking, which shows up in several of my novels, I talk to people on the front lines and change the names and little details of the stories of those who have been trafficked.

When it comes to settings, my favorite books are ones set somewhere I’ve been to and care about. The bulk of Fool’s Game is set in New Orleans and Florida, two places I know and love. I chose these places because of that first-hand knowledge. When I have to research a setting on the Internet, I think it loses something. It doesn’t quite come to life for me the way it does if I’ve actually been to the place I’m writing about. For Roses in Ecuador, I did my initial research online but then asked my editor, who has been to Ecuador and is married to a man raised in Ecuador, to set me straight on anything I’d overlooked.
Did you ever have daydreams about becoming a government agent?
Not at all! It’s much more fun to write about it from the comfort of my couch and then go for a walk with my dog when I feel a little brain fried. Besides, I’d miss my family too much!
Tell us about your other published books.
With eight other books out there, I’m not sure where to begin! I mentioned earlier that all of my books intertwine. Though not a series in the truest sense, the stories and characters all intersect at various points in their lives. The women in them come from wildly different walks of life, and some of them face some incredible odds, but they all cling to hope no matter how dark things seem. And sometimes I put those poor women through some pretty terrible things because I figure life doesn’t pull any punches, why should I? Despite all that, there’s always a lot of love and laughter in my novels. I like to laugh, and that comes through in my writing. My kids are kind of used to me sitting at my computer giggling like a Almost all of the books radiate out from the first one published, Throwaway, so that’s usually where people start reading my work. The books were intentionally made so you don’t have to go in any specific order, though. They all stand alone, so you don’t have to worry about missing something if you start with one of the others!
On what other projects are you currently working?
At the moment, I’m working on an untitled contemporary romance. In it, Karise McAlister – the character I mentioned earlier – is an architect living in Boston, engaged to Mr. Right. Her entire life is about coloring in the lines out of fear that she’ll turn out like her mother, whose carefree lifestyle left a wake of broken hearts. When she meets a man who challenges her idea of what’s right, it leaves her questioning everything she thought she knew.
You are passionate about raising awareness of human trafficking, which many people are not aware exists. What should readers know about this problem?
Slavery is still a thriving industry all over the globe, even in the United States. I was shocked once I realized that – but even then, I was under the misimpression that this somehow didn’t touch my world. It overwhelmed me to realize just how close slavery was to my happy little bubble. I own products made my slaves, eat food harvested by slaves, and there are trafficking victims hidden in plain sight right under my nose.

It broke my heart to think of women on the other side of the globe being treated worse than cattle. It changed my entire outlook on the world to realize it wasn’t just someone else’s daughter being lost into this black hole of evil, but children from my own backyard were disappearing into it at an astonishing rate.

To be honest, I’m not sure what to do about it. The whole thing is such an enormous industry that I don’t really even know where to begin to make a change. But I figure that shouldn’t stop me from trying to do something. There are a lot of good organizations out there who are fighting the fight, and I do what I can to help them.
Is there anything else that you would like to share?
Only that I’m eternally grateful to all of my amazing readers. I didn’t think I’d enjoy anything more than writing, but I’ve since come to realize that getting to know the people who read my novels is by far the best part of my job. Many thanks to those of you who’ve reached out to me online or shared my books with others!
Thank you so much for your time!
Thank you for having me as a guest! I’ve really enjoyed the interview.

Fool’s Game

by Heather Huffman

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

At the request of the U.S. Government, Caitlyn O’Rourke faked her death years ago, only to be reborn as the Cat—a deadly black-ops agent tasked with working for the shadowy organization Chameleon and doing the jobs that can’t be done in the light of day. Now, on the verge of taking down a notorious drug lord and rescuing a captured Chameleon agent, Cat is targeted for assassination…from within. But who’s making the call, and why?

As she attempts to uncover answers and stay alive, Cat finds herself working alongside Cody Kingsley, the mysterious senator who broke her heart and betrayed her long ago. Along with an inner circle of fellow agents, Cat and Cody must untangle the web of lies that surrounds them before it’s too late.

From the sultry streets of New Orleans to a secluded plantation in Ecuador to Washington, DC, Cat must elude an agent hell-bent on her destruction while figuring out how high up the ladder the conspiracy reaches. At the same time, she must work through her tumultuous and conflicting emotions where both Cody and fellow agent Galloway—who may or may not have her best interests at heart—are concerned.

A thrill ride of emotions, suspense, and action, Fool’s Game intertwines matters of the heart and survival …and the only thing certain is that Cat will never be the same.

Read an excerpt:
Their bodies melded perfectly and they stepped as one into a waltz. Cat tilted her head to look up into Cody’s eyes, completely enraptured as he twirled her around the immense floor. There was something terribly romantic and sexy about being all dressed up and dancing like you knew how.

From across the room, the president tried to concentrate on his conversation, but his mind and his eyes kept drifting toward Cody and the woman in his arms. There was something eerily familiar about her. He’d nearly passed out from shock when Cody had entered the room, bold as can be, an hour earlier. He honestly hadn’t thought Kingsley would show up. It was gutsy, the president had to grudgingly admit. But what worried him more was Cody’s date. He couldn’t shake the feeling that he somehow knew her.

As they sat down to dinner, his eyes were glued to the strange woman. He knew she wasn’t someone he should know. Her coffee brown hair was swept up elegantly, though a few tendrils escaped to trail down her back and over her shoulders. Her brown eyes were lively as they stayed locked on Cody’s face. This woman was deeply in love; that much was certain. Every woman was deeply in love with Cody, the president reminded himself. But it was more than infatuation that he read on her face as the woman hung on Cody’s every word. She wore the look of a woman who would lay down her life for a man—that man.

In his mind’s eye he could see a cougar moving stealthily across the room. He shook his head and looked down at his drink, contemplating switching to water. He looked up again. The woman’s eyes met his and he again saw a cougar watching him, panting in anticipation of the kill.

Book links
Also on Booktrope


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Heather Huffman calls the beautiful Missouri Ozarks home. When not writing, this homesteading mother is cheering one of her three sons on at a sporting event, making dandelion fritters, or tending the family’s myriad of animals, which includes alpacas, goats, chickens and ducks. Heather’s optimistic and sometimes quirky view of life often finds its way into her novels. Heather is the author of Throwaway, Ties that Bind, Jailbird, Suddenly a Spy, Ring of Fire, Tumbleweed, Devil in Disguise and Roses in Ecuador. You can find out more about her family’s adventures as they strive to live off the land on a small farm, as well as her writing and charitable work, on www.heatherhuffman.net.

Heather will be awarding an ebook (international) of ROSES IN ECUADOR by Heather Huffman, at each stop, along with a grand prize of an autographed paperback (US only) of RING OF FIRE to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour for more chances to win!

2 comments:

  1. Nice awareness of the issue

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete

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