I’m very pleased to be hosting Harlequin author Geri Krotow on the blog today. Geri is an award-winning author whose 2007 debut, A Rendezvous to Remember, earned several awards, including the Yellow Rose of Texas Award for Excellence. Geri’s first novel as well as her second book, What Family Means, received critical acclaim from publications like The Chicago Tribune. She’s also had a very interesting personal life, as you’re about to find out.
You had a very distinguished career as a Naval Officer (thank you for your service to our country!). How did your training and service influence your writing?
You’re very welcome, and thanks for having me on your blog! My military background has made my writing more to-the-point, and I think my voice is cleaner as a result. But I had to work hard to go past “just the facts, ma’am” to be able to put real emotion on the page. The military doesn’t encourage random emotions! The military discipline has paid off in spades as getting into the chair and getting the words down regularly requires a tenacity I learned first-hand. The navy taught me to practice perseverance daily, which has helped me during times of rejection and career upheaval. I know that I can do it!
What can you tell us about your Whidbey Island series and your upcoming release?
My family lived on Whidbey Island for a total of five years during my husband’s career. I fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and was eager to use it as a setting for this series. The Navy series came about when my editor, Paula Eykelhof, suggested I draw from my experience and come up with a Navy story. I wanted more than anything to show an authentic slice of navy and military life. How the families live and struggle, and find hope no matter what. I’ve been on active duty and a navy spouse, so I’ve seen both sides of a tough coin. Our military families need and deserve all the support we can give them.
As a special treat, in NAVY ORDERS, the new release, there is a free chemo cap/TBI cap knitting pattern in the back. It was donated by Robin Celli and Schnapps, her Schnauzer, from Delaware Head Huggers, a non-profit that collects donations of knitted or crocheted caps. They’re at www.delawareheadhuggers.org
One of your older books has a WW II angle, and your publisher has asked you to write another WW II book. What can you tell us about that?
Yes, my first novel, A RENDEZVOUS TO REMEMBER, featured two parallel plots, contemporary and World War II in Belgium. World War II is a passion of mine and I happen to be married to a WWII expert of sorts, so it’s a natural fit for me. I love being able to honor the men and women world wide who sacrificed during this time period. I had a reader contact me earlier this year who had read NAVY RULES and wanted to tell me about how he’d served on Whidbey Island during WWII. I told my editor about it, and she suggested I think about doing a WWII book on Whidbey. NAVY CHRISTMAS will be a 2014 release and as with RENDEZVOUS it will have parallel plots. This time it will involve the War in the Pacific. It’s part of the Whidbey Island Series, so it will be interesting to see how it all ties together!
What else is going on in your writing life? Any more Whidbey Series books planned?
I just turned in NAVY RESCUE, a 2014 release (there will be 2 Whidbey Island books in 2014). As in NAVY ORDERS, it includes a mystery within the romance. When I started this journey so many years ago, I wrote romantic suspense. I’m back to my roots, but with more of a cozy mystery in each romance. I like to say that I’m throwing in a dead body! I’m going to be giving a workshop at RWA National, I’m on two panels at the Baltimore Book Festival in September, and I’ve already booked my hotel for RT2014 in New Orleans next year! Like all writers there are many, many characters clamoring for me to put them on the page in their own story.
Thanks so much for coming on the blog, Geri! For my readers today, Geri is giving away a copy of NAVY ORDERS. Just tell us what some of your favorite contemporary romance settings and series are. One person who comments will win the book!
And be sure to check out Geri’s website for excerpts and buy links!