Friday, February 4, 2011

Interview with Deirdre Martin, author of Icebreaker

Please join me in welcoming one of my favorite authors - Deirdre Martin! I love her NY Blades hockey series and her latest book in the series, Icebreaker, is out this month:

Before I get started, I have to fangirl gush for a moment: Your books have turned me into a lover of all things hockey, although I’ve never seen a game (in real life or TV). I’ve added “seeing a live hockey game” to my Bucket List!
(Hopefully hubs is reading this, lol)

Book Addict: First, the obvious question: Are you a fan of hockey? If so, do you have a favorite team?

Deirdre Martin: Oh yeah, I’m a hockey fan!I wasn’t a fan of any kind of sport (unless you count tangling with others at a Used Book Sale) until 1993 or so, which is when Mark Messier came in as Captain of the New York Rangers. My husband was so riveted (He’d been a Mess fan for a long time) I started to watch hockey with him, and I was soon hooked. And continue to be. My favorite team is still the Rangers.

Book Addict: Do you base any of your characters on real players? Do you have a favorite character in this series?

Deirdre Martin: Ty Gallagher, the hero of BODY CHECK, is an amalgam of Messier and the former Captain of the New Jersey Devils, Scott Stevens. If you stretched it a bit, you could probably say Quinn O’Brien in WITH A TWIST is based on a real beat reporter for a tabloid in New York.

As for my favorite character in the series, I’d have to say it’s Michael Dante from FAIR PLAY. He’s emotional, he’s determined, he’s romantic..and he’s also quite funny. I love writing scenes between him and his brother, Anthony (who’s the hero of JUST A TASTE). They both have quick tempers that flare up when they’re together, but you’re never in doubt that the love is there between them.

Book Addict: I love picking up one of your new books and revisiting with familiar favorites as well as meeting new characters. After 10 books, how do you keep all your characters straight?

Deirdre Martin: I’ve been waiting for someone to ask me that! I often don’t keep them straight. I should probably make a big family type tree and pin it to the wall by my desk, but somehow I just haven’t gotten around to it. As a result, I do wind up spending time going through the books, often to double check the dates on things. I once had MONICA from POWER PLAY with the wrong Mitchell brother throughout the second half of the book. Thank God I caught it before I handed the manuscript in! I also have to go back a lot to double check what positions I have various heroes’ playing on the ice, what years the Blades won the Cup and what years they didn’t, and the names and ages of Michael and TY’s kids, which obviously progresses as the books go on. Again, a chart would be handy, but I just haven’t gotten around to it.

Book Addict: I really enjoyed Icebreaker. Sinead and Adam are both private people and watching them open up and get closer to each other was engaging. As their relationship progresses, they struggle with real life issues regarding male and female stereotypes. Did you draw from personal experiences while writing Icebreaker?

Deirdre Martin: I did. I put a lot of myself in Sinead: the workaholism, the migraines..when my younger sister had her first child, I didn’t handle it very well. I was envious, and a wreck whenever I babysat my niece. I was convinced I would do something wrong: overfeed her, underfeed her, drop her on her head, you name it. Thankfully no harm came to her while in my care!

A long time ago I was a copywriter in an office that was predominantly male, and always felt I had to work twice as hard to be taken seriously. Obviously it didn’t work: the day one of the head honchos said, “Can you go get me some coffee, hon?” was the day I was outta there.

Book Addict: Is it difficult coming up with new stories and keeping the series fresh? What do you do for inspiration?

Deirdre Martin: I do have a hard time coming up with new stories. I’m always envious of writers who say they have tons of ideas in their head, and they can’t write their books fast enough to keep up with them.

For inspiration, I try to keep it close to home and see what happens. For example: the inspiration for Gemma from TOTAL RUSH sprang from the fact I was learning to read tarot cards. Monica in POWER PLAY was inspired by the lack of respect for romance writers in the world of fiction. We’re often called hacks, as are soap actors. Quinn emerged as the hero for WITH A TWIST because there’s a beat reporter at the Daily News in New York who I think is amazing, and I thought it might be interesting to build a world set in the newspaper office of a tabloid at a time when newspapers are disappearing.

Book Addict: I like the Irish storyline that weaves through your books – have you been to Ireland?

Deirdre Martin: I’ve been there, and I love it. If someone offered me a job in Dublin, I’d be on a plane within an hour. I hate to stereotype, but I’ve never encountered any rudeness in Ireland, either in Dublin or in the country. Unless you count sheep; they’re very rude, spilling onto the country roads and making you wait for them to clear.

Book Addict: Do you see a definite end to the NY Blades series or will you keep writing as long as you have stories to tell? (Please say you’ll keep writing, lol)

Deirdre Martin: I don’t see an end to the Blades series at all! As long as I have stories to tell that will keep readers interested, I’ll keep writing them.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions and congratulations on Icebreaker’s release!

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: February 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 0425239799
ISBN-13: 978-0425239797

Good thing high-powered attorney Sinead O'Brien has a rule about never dating clients. Because Adam Perry, the newest star of the New York Blades—and her newest client—has her headed for the penalty box. If only she could prove he's just another jock...

Adam's been charged with assault after a borderline hit on another star player, but off the ice he's a private, no-nonsense guy who knows the Blades are his last shot at Stanley Cup glory. Assembling her case, Sinead tries not to get distracted by Adam's dazzling good looks or strong work ethic, but she quickly discovers that there's a wounded man under that jersey, and she's starting to fall for him—hard.

Now Adam's having trouble focusing on the goal with Sinead in his sights. And Sinead is tempted to break her "no dating clients" rule. Can they play on their new found feelings without penalties?


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