Today is a treat for me. I met Tiffinie Helmer in an author's group on Facebook. We tweeted each other's books for a while, and she fascinated me with saying she would be off line over summer because she was going fishing in Alaska. I'm sure I answered something eloquent along the lines of, "You're going to what and the what? Wow!" After a few months of chatting (yes, I'm slow, lol) I decided to try one of her books, and ended up reading nonstop for three days until I had plowed through all of them. I a delighted to introduce her here on my blog!
Tiffinie Helmer, Romancing Exotic Alaska!
Maria, thanks for the invite. It has been great getting to know you!
BEARING ALL, the 4th book in the Wild Men of Alaska Series was just released. I love this book. Love, love the characters. In one word, BEARING ALL is untamed. Here’s the blurb:
All he wants for Christmas is her…
Former Russian spy, Sergei Lavinsky, code name The Bear, is hibernating on the edge of Alaska. He lures the woman he loves to the Edge of Reason Lodge, hoping enough time has passed that her heart has softened and her knives have dulled.
All she wants is revenge…
Kate “No Mercy” Mercer is a CIA Agent sent to assassinate him. Again. This time she intends to succeed without ending up in his bed. She has a dozen reasons to kill him, and one of them is personal.
They’ll be completely unwrapped before the holiday is over…
I love how the characters in your books intertwine; it's like revisiting old friends. Do you have all that planned out in advance, or does it just happen?
It kind of just happens. Character is the first thing that comes to me. I am fascinated by people and why they do what they do. As a writer, it’s fun playing God and doing things to my characters and seeing how they react.
Are any of your characters based on real people?
I wish. I’d like to meet them. Talk about hanging with your peeps. Plus, the men are HOT.
Your books make me want to visit Alaska, and it's clear you know what you're talking about. Was it difficult to move away? Do you miss it?
I miss it a lot. Luckily, I do get to return for the summers, though commercial fishing is no vacation. I love that “wildness” that living “Outside” in the lower 48 doesn’t allow me. I need to be a little more civilized when I’m in Utah, where we live for the rest of the year. Both my husband and I are from Fairbanks, Alaska and have lots of family all over the state of Alaska. So its home. This time of year it’s killing me not seeing the Northern Lights.
The fishing-in-Alaska part fascinates me. Is it something you've always done? A family business, maybe?
My immediate family started commercial fishing in 1977. My grandparents and my uncle started in 1967. So, yeah, we know what we’re doing. When my kids were little my husband went fishing. Now I take the kids (he has to stay because of his job) and they fish with me. They are teenagers now. Nothing like having teenagers work and earn money while all their friends are getting into trouble or wasting their summers. I have great kids who know how to work and have serious skills in knowing how to survive.
When did you discover you are a writer? Was there a specific catalyst?
I always had a great imagination. I used to get called out for “making up stories” when I was little. That sounds so much better than lying. But in junior high writing saved me. It was the best escape…and revenge. You can do things to people with a pen and paper that you don’t get punished for. Just change the names to protect the innocent and you are good to go.
Hahaha, I can relate. What type of scene do you enjoy writing the most?
Well, with what I just revealed above you might be able to guess. Killing scenes are my favorite. Those and when the characters are rapidly firing with dialogue. Love dialogue. Believe it or not, the love scenes are the hardest (no pun intended, well, maybe a little). For a love scene there has to be a reason for me. It has to move the story and reveal more than what’s under the clothes. They are difficult and time consuming. I’d rather kill people.
What's the biggest challenge you've faced in writing?
Time. There is not enough time to do all that I want to.
Do you have a favorite object you need when you write?
Music. It helps me set the mood. Most of BEARING ALL was written to tango music. I hope, when readers read it, the music comes through with the action and the dialogue.
What’s your favorite place you’ve visited? Do you have a “must see” destination on your bucket list?
FINLAND! I was a foreign exchange student to Finland in high school. The people in Finland and Sweden (I was so lucky to have spent a few days) were the nicest people. Loved the place, the people, and the cheese! I can’t wait to return and visit all of Scandinavia.
Yay! Finland is beautiful, but I'm patriotic, so I'll say Sweden is the best. LOL. Is there something funny about you people don’t know?
I love onion rings but hate onions. Go figure.
Thank you so much for stopping by!
Check out the webpages below for more information on Tiffinie and her books!
See "Bearing All" on Amazon
Check out "Bearing All" at Barnes and Noble