An Interview with Molly O'Keefe, Romance Author (with a sneak peek at Naughty & Nice)

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Molly O'Keefe this summer while I was home in Canada, but we talked about everything under the sun, except writing... of course we were watching our children play at the neighborhood park, and you know how much of a conversation I can have while keeping an eye on Erik... so it's taken me until now to get the chance to set up an interview with her... coincidentally, it coincides with the launch of Naughty & Nice, a great holiday anthology that features Molly, as well as two other fabulous authors... but more on that (including a sneak peek) after the interview:

1. Tell us a little bit about how you write your books:  

At the beginning - I have an idea. For Crazy Thing Called Love - I wanted to write about a guy, a rough around the edges guy who in an effort to win back the love of his life, agrees to get a makeover on her morning television show. I loved this idea - the shift of power, the chance for laughs, how vulnerable my hero would be.

For the book I just finished, WILD CHILD,  I wanted to write about a good guy mayor of a small town who has the chance to win a contest that would pull his town out of bankruptcy, only to have his plan foiled by one of the world's notorious bad girls, showing up on his doorstep. I thought this idea would be fun because the bad girl no longer wants to be bad, and the good guy is DYING to be bad.

So, then I take this idea and I walk the dog and I talk to my husband and some writer friends and I get it all hammered out. Or at least I think I do. I send the idea to my agent who usually has some ideas. I change the idea, my agent sends it on to my editor who usually has more idea. I make more changes. And about a month after I have the idea, I sit down to write it. After that point, if all goes according to plan and my kids don't get sick, it takes about four months to write the rough draft. And another month to edit.

2. How long have you been writing and what do you love about it? 

Writing has allowed me to be home with my kids but it's given me something to think about during those long days at the park or in the drop in center. For those of you who have stayed at home - you know the key to survival some days is just having something of your own to think about and be important. Something that keeps your brain moving past what's for lunch and what the heck am I going to do if this kid doesn't nap!!
I've been writing romances since I was in college. I sold my first one when I was 25. I love love love romance novels.

3. What hobbies/interests do you have? 

I enjoy cooking and hiking. My husband and I have been very lucky and been able to travel both before kids and with them. We took an epic six week vacation to New Zealand last year and hope to go to Great Britain in another three. 

4. Something people would be surprised to know about me is…   

I'm from the States but live in Toronto Canada. I met my husband when I was nineteen. You know the older I get, the younger that seems. NINETEEN?
5. If you could invite 4 people (real or fictional, living or dead) to a dinner party, who would you invite and what would you serve?  

I think about this ALL THE TIME! Right now, I would have my husband, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart and myself. We would have chicken wings. Something messy and equalizing.  I couldn't be in total awe if Bruce had bbq sauce on his face, right? 

7. Tell us a little about this current book - what was your favorite part about writing it?

ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU, is my  novella in the Naughty and Nice Christmas Anthology. It's a prequel to Crazy Thing Called Love and in it, Billy and Maddy are very young and telling their families that they are planning on getting married.  I really loved writing this story, largely because I love Billy and Maddy so much and this is a glimpse into their marriage before it all falls apart. I am fascinated by what happens to marriage, not just over time, but when something cataclysmic happens - in this case, Billy's hockey career takes off. How do couples cope? How do they survive?

8. Is it different writing a short story vs. a full novel?

Yes - it's actually harder to write a short story. Because you have to give the reader every feeling you give them in a longer story, but with fewer words. So, you need conflict and growth and sex and angst and a black moment and redemption. So choosing the scenes for the story can be really hard. 

9. What's next for your writing?

After the Novella, Crazy Thing Called Love comes out at the end of January. And after that 2013 is a new series with Bantam. I'm not exactly sure when the first book is out but it's called Wild Child. 

10. How can your fans stay up to date with what you are doing?
 Please drop by my website Sign up for my newsletter and monthly contest. You can also follow me on facebook: And Twitter:

 I want to thank Molly for taking time out of her busy day to share a bit of herself with us - and I agree with her... The Boss and Jon Stewart would make for a fun dinner party - I hope I'd be invited too!  I'd even brave the 16 hour drive home to Canada with the kids to come ;-)  For those of you who don't remember, I've reviewed two of Molly's books here on Acting Balanced - Can't Buy Me Love and Can't Hurry Love - and I've been fortunate to be able to read Naughty & Nice (and a sneak peek of Crazy Thing Called Love, the final book in the trilogy!)

And now, as promised - here's a little excerpt from the Naughty & Nice holiday anthology, featuring stories by Ruthie Knox, Stefanie Sloan and of course, Molly O'Keefe!

’Tis the season for romance with three original holiday-themed novellas! Unwrap this festive eBook bundle and discover why these authors are quickly becoming the biggest names in the genre. Ruthie Knox tells a heartwarming contemporary story of first loves given the gift of a second chance; Molly O’Keefe releases the ghosts of Christmas past with a prequel to her novel Crazy Thing Called Love; and Stefanie Sloane weaves an irresistible Regency tale of fiery passion that burns deep on a cold winter’s night.

ROOM AT THE INN by Ruthie Knox

Carson Vance couldn’t wait to get out of Potter Falls, but now that he’s back to spend Christmas with his ailing father, he must face all the people he left behind . . . like Julie Long, whose heart he broke once upon a time. Now the proprietor of the local inn, Julie is a successful, seductive, independent woman—everything that Carson’s looking for. But despite several steamy encounters under the mistletoe, Julie refuses to believe in happily ever after. Now Carson must prove to Julie that he’s back for good—and that he wants her in his life for all the holidays to come.

Maddy Baumgarten and Billy Wilkins are spontaneous, in love, and prepared to elope the day after Christmas—that is, if Maddy’s family doesn’t throw a wrench in their plans. After all, Maddy’s barely out of high school and Billy’s a notorious bad boy. Maddy doesn’t care about Billy’s rough past—all she cares about is living in the here and now. But after Maddy’s mother stops speaking to her in protest, and a Christmas Eve heart-to-heart with her father leaves her with butterflies, Maddy starts to get cold feet. She loves Billy, but is she taking this big step too soon?

After being jilted by her fiance, Jane Merriweather turns to her dear childhood friend, the Honorable Lucas Cavanaugh, for support—and unlocks the smoldering desire simmering in the man’s troubled heart. Frightened by his newfound feelings, Lucas flees to Scotland. But when the Christmas season brings them together again, one glance is all that’s needed to reignite his yearning. If Lucas can convince Jane that his intentions are as pure as the falling snow, they’ll turn a dreary December into a joyous Yuletide affair.

Excerpts from Naughty & Nice (3-Story eBook Bundle) by Ruthie Knox, Molly O'Keefe, and Stefanie Sloane