Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for the blog.
Thank you for having me!
Tell us a little about yourself and your books?
I have the best job in the world: writing contemporary romance and romantic suspense. My books are a little bit sexy, a little bit angsty, and a whole lot of fun. I have it bad for blue collar heroes who fall in love for independent career women, and almost all of my books are written in that vein.
You have a tendency to write “hero” characters (cowboys, spec ops, and wounded warriors) is there something in particular that draws you to them?
There is a raw masculine quality to working class heroes that really revs my engine. Heroes who have a lot of money, who can buy their way out of any situation or into any party/group/situational outcome don’t interest me at all. I prefer the nuance that comes with writing characters who have to fight, and keep fighting, for a slice of the pie. As far as the iconic “romance hero” quality of the male characters I write, my perspective is that my readers know what they like—and the kinds of romance heroes they want to read about—and I see it as my job to deliver. And who wouldn’t love a cowboy or a wounded soldier or a spec ops agent?
Tell us more about the Bomb Squad books?
I’m so excited about this series. Bomb Squad is the name of the men’s league ice hockey team that the wounded veteran heroes of the books belong to. The series concept came to me in a dream. That sounds like a cliché, but, hey, it isn’t every night that my dreams are invaded by a brooding, testosterone dripping, motorcycle riding French guy. (I wish!) So I did what any self-respecting writer would: I leapt out of bed shouting for a pen and paper. Mr. Cutler happens to be used to this kind of craziness, so he just rolled over and went back to sleep after a muttered “have fun, dear” while I got to work on what would become Risky Business.
That brooding French guy ended up being Theo Lacroix, the soldier hero of my first Bomb Squad hockey romance. With Risky Business, Undefeated, and Game Changer, I wanted to explore the lives of combat wounded vets after the dust settled. After they re-harnessed their power and their peace of mind, after rehab was over, and they’d gotten back to the business of living. And I wanted to pair each of them with a woman who’d challenge them, but also love them fiercely.
I just started reading Risky Business and I love the beginning. I did notice there are four guys that seem to hang around together, but only three books? With the remaining “brother” get his story at some point?
With each book, the Bomb Squad series “world” is expanded. Risky Business focuses on the friendship of four guys on the team, but I’m sure that by the end of book 2, Undefeated, you’ll be asking me about even more characters’ books. J All I can tell you now is that I’m contracted for three books, but I sincerely hope I have the chance to give all the guys on the team—as well as all the women in Allison’s new circle of friends—their own happy endings.
You are a southern California girl, so what made you decide to create Destiny Falls in western New York?
A few years ago, I became enthralled with the Erie Canal—its history, as well as the gorgeous towns that line its banks. It’s a beautiful section of the world and as soon as I saw it, I knew I needed to write a series set there. After that dream I had, I knew exactly what the perfect setting for the series would be.
Are you a hockey fan?
Yes! I was just starting high school when the Pond was built to house the Mighty Ducks, which was about 30 minutes from my house. Along with my best friend’s family, I was a season ticket holder until I moved to San Diego. I’m still a rabid fan. I was so sad when they were knocked out of the playoffs this year, and even sadder to see Teemu Selanne retire, since he’d been with the team since that first season the team was formed and I got my first season tickets.
Dogs or cats?
Cats, for sure. I have two rescue cats at home who are my sweeties.
Wine or beer?
Depends… On hot summer days, I enjoy white wine or a cold beer, but honestly, my year-round go-to will always be bourbon. In the summer, over ice and topped with ginger ale and in the winter, in a Manhattan.
Beach or mountain?
Beach and desert. Never mountains.
What’s next for you?
I’m thrilled to say that I’ll be releasing my first Christmas romance. Yes, The Trouble with Cowboys takes place at Christmas, but The Mistletoe Effect—which releases on October 7th—is my first dedicated Christmas romance…and wouldn’t you know it’s about a cowboy? I know readers are going to love it as much as I loved writing it.
Risky Business is now available digitally at most e-retailers:
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1ju6akN
Canada Amazon: http://amzn.to/1k2to0u
And don’t forget to add Risky Business to your GOODREADS shelf: http://bit.ly/1cRHpbY
Toni, thank you for hosting me today on your blog! Since you asked me about the types of “hero” characters I write, I’m curious about your readers’ preferences. Who’s your favorite type of romance hero?
Melissa is generously donating a $10 gift card to one lucky commenter. Answer her question for a chance to win!
Melissa Cutler knows she has the best job in the world writing sexy contemporary romances and romantic suspense. She was struck at an early age by an unrelenting travel bug and is probably planning her next vacation as you read this. When she’s not globetrotting, she’s enjoying Southern California’s flip-flop wearing weather and wrangling two rambunctious kids. She loves hearing from readers at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MelissaCutlerBooks ) and Twitter (@m_cutler). Visit www.melissacutler.net to learn more about Melissa and her books and don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter: http://bit.ly/16mkpCs