Interview with Lea Bronsen
Somewhere in some city, some building is burning down. Amid the spits of fire and falling ashes of the structure’s sordid past, two figures sit across a burning coffee table. One of them is Lea Bronsen, amazon best-selling author and two-time winner of Evernight Reader’s Choice Award. The other is a creature of darkness who is-
L.J.: *squeals* Oh my God! Lea Bronsen, I have loved your work since Wild Hearted. So excited to talk to you!
…the worst at being dark and mysterious…
L.J.: So where you from?
Lea Bronsen slyly lifts a cup of coffee and looks around the flame-soaked room.
Lea: I like to say I’m a European because I have ancestors from all over the place – France, Norway, Scotland, Germany…
A piece of timber crashes across the room. The squalls of a baby and the bark of a small dog are heard somewhere above. Lea notices the fire flare as if acknowledging the sounds, and sips her coffee.
Oh, she is so much better at being mysterious, L.J.
L.J.: I guess, what I’m really asking is… are you actually married to Charles Bronson and just changing the name ever so slightly to avoid being accused of using it to gain popularity?
Lea: *swoons slightly* No. No. I don’t have… Nothing ever happened between me and Charlie… I mean, Charles Bronson, actor extraordinaire, love of my life… Nothing.
A door breaks and a firefighter, who looks suspiciously like Charles Bronson, races in the room taking no notice of the two authors. Instead, he rushes up the staircase.
L.J.: Right. So we’re here to talk about Fiery10-16? That’s a cool title. What’s a 10-16?
Lea: 10-16 is the American police scanner code for “domestic problems”, and I wanted to use it in the title because one of the themes of the book is domestic violence.
L.J.: That’s dark.
Lea: I prefer the edgier side of romance.
L.J. So what inspired Fiery 10-16? Brooding love affair? Daring rescue? Troubled past?
Charles Bronson coughs as he returns to the staircase cradling a little girl who looks suspiciously like the mysterious Lea Bronsen and a mini-schnauzer.
Lea: *laughs* It’s pretty funny, because I got the idea for this book after responding to a private ad for children’s clothes last year. The seller gave me an address in town…and I ended up knocking on the door of the main fire station. Of all places! The guy just happened to be a daddy selling children’s clothes online. He wore shorts and sandals, like he was on the beach.
Another piece of falling timber lands directly across the stairs and Charles Bronson is caught behind looking suddenly underdressed in shorts and sandals instead of his protective gear.
Lea: I left the station laughing and shaking my head. It was a most surreal experience, but real enough that I started the book with the same scene! At the same time, a friend of mine showed me a pic of the excruciatingly handsome actor, footballer, wrestler, and rugby player Geno Segers.
Lea swoons a little as another door is kicked down by another firefighter, this one bearing a strong resemblance to Geno Segers.
Lea: And there and then I swore I would write him a book!
L.J. and Lea both watch appreciatively as Geno Seger sweeps Charles Bronson, the child, and the dog off their feet and carries them to safety.
L.J.: The weirdest things happen to me at interviews…. Anyway, what kind of research went into a firefighter story? Are you on any watch-lists for arson, now?
Now is when you ask her if she’s into arson, L.J.?
L.J. pointedly ignores the narrator and listens attentively to Lea. There are applauds and sounds of weeping from outside as the gathered crowd celebrates their heroes.
Lea: Research… let me see, I googled everything from firefighting equipment to the interior of a station, the trucks, the ladders, the schedules and routines… I looked up how carbon monoxide works, how a fire spreads… I visited firefighter forums and learned about their fears and hopes, personnel issues, interpretation of the law… I downloaded tons of photos from all kinds of situations… and I read a few firefighter romances to make sure I got the vocabulary and jargon right.
Lea leans closer and whispers, very mysteriously.
Lea: crucial, since I’m not a native English speaker.
L.J. looks at narrator and mouths “did you know?” Of course, not or I would have mentioned it. Do you want me to revise? Stop making faces. You have a guest.
Lea: If I’m on a watch-list for anything, it’s not arson but “hot, sexy firefighters.”
L.J.: I’m told if you google, “not an arsonist, just a romance writer” they take you off the list. Which sounds really untrue when I say it… New topic… new topic, uh… Sex or action scenes!
Smooth, L.J. By the way… upstairs there is a creak and a groan as the support beams of the building begin to lose their fight against the flames.
Lea: Honestly, sex is complicated. You need to include so many things like emotions and senses etc. My beta readers always tell me to extend, extend, extend. It makes me pull my hair out!
Out on the street Charles Bronson shouts in a husky smoke-stained voice. ‘The roof is collapsing. Stand clear!’
Lea: Action scenes are all about choreography and maintaining an intolerable level of suspense, and I find that much easier to write. I also LOVE to add a dash of gore here and there, lol.
Above the floor gives way and what appears to be a charred corpse lands on the coffee table.
L.J.: So… you’re just an arsonist, right?
Lea: I told you I’m not an arsonist.
Lea smiles mysteriously and winks before ducking out the back of the unstable building and being lost to the flames.
Lea: Thanks for the coffee.
L.J.: Well, I guess there’s other reasons to start fires… Thank you to Lea Bronsen for letting me interview her about her latest release: Fiery 10-16. Scroll on down to buy her sexy new novel. Follow Graceful Indecency to encourage me to meet more of these fabulous characters. Now, let me out of this firetrap!
About Fiery 10-16
Runo Wiggins is a scarred man, the wounds etched into his psyche deeper than those on his skin. But he loves his job: fighting fires helps reenact his survival of a house fire as a teen, one that killed his mother and brutal stepfather.
Dawn Caravello is married to a psychotic drunk. She can take his beatings as long as he doesn’t touch their children, and she’ll do anything to put food on the table, even if it means stealing from the town hero.
When Runo meets the fiery Dawn, sparks fly. But he suspects she is victim of the same abuse as his mother was. As day turns to night, the past and the present blend in an exhausting, hold-your-breath chase to prevent another death.
Excerpt from Fiery 10-16
Dawn’s eyes shimmered with a mix of stubborn pride and extreme sadness. They seemed to be made of molten brown stone. Runo had never seen eyes like these. So vibrant, saying so many things. They revealed her life, her endurance, her dreams, her combats, her despair. And she was still so young.
While he stared, she leaned forward and kissed him, an act a whole lot more intimate than he was comfortable with. A short, hard peck, a statement. Not the tender gesture a kiss was supposed to be, but one telling him her gratitude as well as her dignity. She thanked him, but was going to go back to her life and continue fighting.
He stood shocked, his whole body rigid, didn’t know what to do. She, such a small woman thing a whole head shorter, shook him, a giant of muscle and stupid testosterones inside a hard shell.
He would definitely take care of Dawn and her kids. Any way possible. Alert the authorities and make sure they got the protection they desperately needed.
She stepped backward, her features softening, and turned on her heel.
Not so fast.
He cleared his throat and called, lifting a weak hand. “Hey, wait!” His heart hammered in his chest, blood pulsed in his ears.
She turned. “What?”
“Promise to be good. Promise it’s the last time you do it.”
“Do what?” Her eyes gleamed with humor. “Kiss you?” In the midst of this emotional turmoil, she found the strength to tease.
She pursed her lips, looking like a disappointed little girl. Maybe she still was a child inside. A child taking care of children. A child beaten savagely.
He swallowed. “Promise.”
After several long seconds, she nodded. But her gaze told a different truth.
Copyright @ 2017 Lea Bronsen