Monday, January 11, 2016

[Author Interview]: Scarlett Cole


Scarlett Cole is a contemporary romantic suspense / contemporary romance author (represented by Beth Phelan at The Bent Agency). Her debut novel, THE STRONGEST STEEL, book one in the Second Circle Tattoos series, will be published by St. Martin's Press on 07/07/15.

When Scarlett isn't writing, she spends her time reading, hoarding mason jars, and working out to off-set an epic sour candy habit. 

Having travelled the world for work and fun, Scarlett is a citizen of both Britain and Canada. A true city-dweller, she considers Toronto and Manchester home and likes to set her books in vibrant locations such as Miami and Los Angeles.

Where to Find Scarlett:

TBQ: Welcome to the blog, Scarlett! Or perhaps welcome back, in a way, since we pimped your first cover quite hard when it was first revealed last year. :D

 I know Kame and Pat have both loved your books, so we're all excited to have you here today. I'll let Pat take it away.

Pat: Your first book, The Strongest Steel, my favorite of 2015 by the way, skyrocketed soon after release.  Were you surprised? 

Scarlett: Thank you so much for taking the time to read it. It’s wonderful to hear that you loved it so much. The easy answer is yes. I was totally surprised by how well it did and continues to do. As a new author, you do all this research about how many authors actually make it. The Strongest Steel was the first book I had ever written, and I was under no illusion as to how hard it is to get your first book published. The stats were not in my favor. But St. Martin’s Press loved it, and I have an awesome team there. With their support, the book took off. I remember the day I saw it as The Book Queen’s cover pick … I was beside myself. Now it’s going to be translated into French and German, is available in audiobook, and to coincide with the launch of The Fractured Heart, will be available in print. I’m filled with gratitude for every reader and blogger who took the time to buy, read, and review it. Without that support, I doubt it would have sold anywhere near as many copies as it has.

P: Your series, Second Circle Tattoos revolves around tattoo artists and their shop. Why tattoos, and did you worry about it being a little controversial for people who love/hate tattoos?

S: What a great question. The idea for Trent and Harper’s story, The Strongest Steel, came first. I’d read an article about someone who tattooed over a scar for someone for a reason I no longer remember. I started to think about what kind of scars would people want to get covered, and why. As I flushed out the idea, the other characters started to come to me, and I knew the setting would have to circle (pun intended) around Second Circle Tattoos. I did have a couple of moments where I wondered whether I should have set it around characters who worked at José’s, the coffee shop where Harper and Drea work, but it never felt right. It was Trent, Cujo, and the rest of the gang who spoke to me. I figured if I wrote strong enough stories with great characters and emotional depth then the tattoos wouldn’t matter to those who don’t like them. 

P: Cujo is fascinating to me, did you have a particular person in mind when writing his story? 

S: Trent, the hero of The Strongest Steel, developed over time. The rugby player, Stuart Reardon, was my visual inspiration. Cujo on the other hand forced his way into my head fully formed. He never changed from the moment I put his character profile down on paper. I swear I wrote his profile in less than an hour. I usually trawl the internet for perfect photos to use as inspiration, and I’ve never quite found him. His eyes are the color of the late actor, Paul Walker, and he has the laid back style/attitude of Chris Hemsworth, but everything else is simply Cujo.

P: The Fractured Heart is the next in the series, loved it by the way, and it had a lot of twists and turns and family drama. When you come up with the basic story, how hard is it to connect the plots?  

S: I’m so old school, you are going to laugh. I have a huge roll of paper that I cut a piece about two metres long from. I lay that down, and draw four horizontal lines on the page. In the case of The Fractured Heart, I assigned one to Cujo, one to Drea, one to their relationship, and one to the suspense plotline. From there, I use stickie notes, and start to post the key elements in each of the individual sections, before I begin to worry about the sequencing and how they connect across plotlines. Seeing what needs to happen along each of the plot lines serves as inspiration for how they need to connect and intertwine. My husband says we should invest in post-it note stock. After each session playing around with the plot, I take a photograph of it and email it to myself. I have small children and animals and I am terrified someone will mess around with my stickies one day, or worse, decide to color it in!

P: My last question is from TBQ herself. What book(s) have you read recently and would recommend to us?

S: Oh, great question!! I got the chance to get a sneak peak at Sidney Halston’s new release Fighting Dirty from her Worth The Fight series. She is one of my favourite authors. If you like your heroes on the hot-alpha-MMA-fighter side, these books are for you. And I just inhaled T. M. Frazier’s two books, King and Tyrant (but be warned, it’s not a gentle read!).

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today. It was the first place I ever saw The Strongest Steel after the cover reveal, so it’s super exciting to be back here today.

TBQ: Happy to have you back, thanks for stopping by today! 

The Fractured Heart by Scarlett Cole
Publisher: Swerve (January 5, 2016)
Series: Second Circle Tattoos, 2
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Contemporary

All things, when placed under pressure, eventually break or leave a mark.

Tattoo artist Brody "Cujo" Matthews knows how to keep things simple. In life and in love. Abandoned as a child by a mother who refused to stick around to raise three boys she didn't want, he's intent on staying clear of complicated women. The only things complicated in Cujo’s life are the killer tattoos he designs and inks. That all changes when he’s asked to help organize his best friend Trent's engagement party, which means working with Trent's fiancée's best friend, Drea, the definition of high maintenance and sizzling curves. And the one woman he doesn’t want to walk away from.

Andrea "Drea" Caron is broke and tired. After years of caring for her ailing mom, she's at the end of her rope trying to manage the piling medical bills, two jobs, and a life placed on hold. She certainly doesn’t need the added frustration of a sexy playboy tattoo artist messing up her best friend’s engagement party or her carefully balanced life. But when Drea witnesses the abduction of a woman from the café she works at, she can’t help but turn to Cujo who’s determined to prove to Drea that he’s someone she can count on forever…but as they attempt to bring the truth to light, someone is working to bring that forever to a sudden, deadly halt. 

Where to Buy*:
More Info:

Reviews of Cole's Previous Novels:

The Strongest Steel (#1) -- Kame

Thanks so much for the great interview, Scarlett! And thank you, Pat, for wanting to do it in the first place. I'm looking forward to reading this series for myself very soon.

Have you already started this series? Remember, Pat's review for Fractured Heart is up already.


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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