Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Writer with Sizzle: Helen Hardt

Please welcome a good friend of mine and an exceptionally talented, multi-published writer of some seriously sizzling romance, Helen Hardt!

Lia: Hi, Helen! What's your secret to writing a steamy scene?

Helen: Emotion, emotion, emotion! I never head hop, so I choose which character's POV I'm gong to use, and then I become him or her. I dig deep, get inside her head. What is she feeling beneath her fingertips? Smelling? Hearing? Seeing? Tasting? Feeling inside? How is her body reacting physically to the stimuli? To his words? I try to use all five senses plus inner feeling to create vivid word pictures of the scene. I've been known to devote five pages to a first kiss. Lots of sensory detail, lots of emotion, lots of sexy dialogue -- it adds up to one hot scene!

Lia: Sounds good to me! Do you have any advice for the budding romance writer?

Helen: Self-educate! Don't ever stop learning. Learn from every critique, every contest judge, every rejection. There is a wealth of valuable information available from successful authors. Use it. I went from dismal contest results, to winning contests, to getting published all within a year. I attribute that success to self-education. Also, for erotic romance writers, never shy away from anything. I once said I'd never write a ménage. Then I challenged myself to find a ménage situation that worked for me. Now I've written three. One is published and one is under contract. Something I once felt I could never do led to my first contract with Ellora's Cave, Slow and Wet, which released two days ago. So I'm glad I challenged myself.

Lia: Great advice, Helen.

Excerpt from Slow and Wet:

“Trav, this is my girl, Jillian Reynolds.”

A rush of warmth coursed through Jill at the words “my girl”.

“Mighty pleased to make your acquaintance, ma’am.” Travis squeezed her hand, and a flare of heat skittered over her skin. “Seems Dale has all the luck. Beautiful women have always flocked to him.”

Jill leaned farther into Dale’s chest, but Travis continued to hold her hand, rubbing his thumb into her palm. His touch felt nice. Which wasn’t good. She whisked her hand away.

“Remember the good old days?” He spoke to Dale, but he stared at Jill, dropping his gaze to her breasts which were still crushed against cowboy number one. “When we did everything together?”

Dale cleared his throat. “I remember.”

“We were team ropers,” Travis said to Jill. “Champions. Started when we were kids. Couple years ago, though, I went solo in ropin’, and Dale here switched to bustin’ broncs. I’ve been away since then, tourin’ the circuit.”

“And you, Dale?” Jill raised her gaze to his brown eyes.

“You know where I’ve been, darlin’. Here, helpin’ my grandma run this place. Doin’ the local rodeos.”

“But didn’t you ever want to tour?”

“Heck, no. I’m a homebody. I’m happy here, runnin’ the ranch,” he smiled, “hangin’ out with you.” He turned to Travis. “Jill’s from Denver.”

“I took you for a big-city gal,” Travis said. “What are you doin’ in a little cow-town like Sweetwater Junction, Wyoming?”

“I’m in computer sales. A few months ago, an opportunity came up to relocate here, and I jumped at it. I wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle.”

Travis chuckled and shook his head. “If only I’d come home sooner, I might have seen you first.” He winked. “’Course that didn’t always matter.”

“Trav…”

Jill’s heart raced beneath her chest. Why? From being held in Dale’s strong arms, no doubt. Or was something else going on?

Naked.

Shit, she was still naked. “Uh, Dale? I need to—”

“Yeah, you sure do, darlin’.” He grabbed her rump and lifted her, and she wrapped her legs around his waist. “We’ll be back in a minute, Trav. Fully clothed.”

“Damn,” Travis said. “Can’t say I’ve seen enough of the beauty of my hometown just yet.”

“Yeah, you have,” Dale said, walking back to the bedroom. He looked over his shoulder. “You’ve seen all of Jill you’re gonna see, pal.”

“Don’t be so sure about that, buddy.”

Had Jill imagined the words? Or had they actually come from the gorgeous blond cowboy?

She tightened her thighs around Dale’s sexy waist. Didn’t matter anyway. She needed to get dressed and then douse herself with about a gallon of Dale’s honey-lemonade.

Then maybe go jump into Sweetwater Lake.

And she wasn’t even sure that would cool her off today.
-----

Lia: Whew! I’ve had the pleasure of reading this sizzling story pre-published so I can assure everyone that the rest of this is just as hot. So go out and get your copy, folks! http://www.jasminejade.com/p-7760-slow-and-wet.aspx

Helen, thanks for being a Writer with Sizzle!

You can find more about Helen and her writing at http://www.helenhardt.com/

8 comments:

Cari Quinn said...

Wonderful interview! I agree, Lia...Slow and Wet's one HOT story! Congrats again on the release, Helen! :)

Helen Hardt said...

Thanks, Cari! And thanks for having me over, Lia!

Mary Ricksen said...

And boy does her writing sizzle. Helen you rock!
Great blog sweetie.

Amber Skyze said...

Great advice! And the excerpt - YUMMY.

Lia Slater said...

Thanks, Helen, for gracing my blog. I hope you come back soon!

And thanks, everyone, for giving Helen some love. This will be up all weekend so continue to comment, if you like!

Lynne Roberts said...

Dang, I think I need a cold shower! Nice excerpt Helen and great interview Lia.

Kaye Manro said...

Cold showers all around when reading Helen's stories! Sorry I'm late, Helen. But I'm here. Whew! Gotta get this one!

Becca Simone said...

Hey ladies! Fun post.

Helen--I, too, once said I'd NEVER write a menage. But...there's one in my WIP.

Your new EC book sounds awesome. I see a virtual shopping trip in my future...

:)Becky