Today, we’re doing something a little different. I know it’s been a while since we did one of these. If you remember, we interviewed Maggie Blackbird’s character back on November 1st in 2018, and it was so fun that I thought we may as well make an occasional habit of it. I had the pleasure of meeting Kat Schuessler, the author of Think of Me, on my author journey and I asked if I could borrow a character, Josh Hartnell, from the book. We’ll get a chance to talk to Kat in a bit, but now we have on the stage…Josh!
Marie Lavender: Hello, Josh. Please have a seat.
Character Josh Hartnell: Thank you for having me, Marie.
Marie: Of course! It’s my pleasure!
We’re going to start out with some simple questions, all right?
Marie: So, what is your occupation? Are you any good at it? Do you like it?
Josh: I am a police officer on the Cuyahoga Falls police force. I like to think I’m good at it, and I’m learning more every day because my partner is a sergeant. And to answer the last question, I love my job.
So, tell us…what is your family like?
Josh: I have no siblings but my parents are the best in the world. I also have a four year old daughter, Sammy.
Marie: If it doesn’t bother you at all, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?
Josh: It was pretty normal. Three bedroom, two story house, crocheted blankets on every couch and chair, swing set in the yard. We also had a piano in the living room because my mom plays. She tried to teach me but I lack any sense of rhythm, so that lasted about a week.
Do you have any hobbies, Josh? What do you enjoy doing?
Josh: I love to listen to music and watch movies. I have an entire wall of shelves filled with movies. I especially love classic movies with powerhouse women in them. I admire their strength and their ability to move on after horrible things happen to them.
So, what is your greatest dream?
Josh: My greatest dream isn’t really about me; it’s that Sammy is able to grow up and succeed in whatever she wants to do.
Marie: (Nods.) I see…
What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
Josh: I’m actually very happy with who I am right now. I lived through something terrible and managed to keep my sanity. Hell, I saved my daughter’s life. That makes me proud to be who I am.
Okay, I’m going to throw another random question at you now.
Who was your first love?
Josh: My first love was Vivien Leigh. Her portrayal of Scarlett O’Hara made me fall hard when I was nine years old. Oh, you meant someone who I’ve actually met? I guess that would be my freshman girlfriend, Julie Hammond. We dated for a few years but things just didn’t work out.
Marie: All right.
So…not to be a downer, but I do have a pretty deep question next.
What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Josh: My ex-wife attacked Sammy and myself when Sammy was two. I won’t go deep into details, you’ll get those when you read the book, but basically she thought I was cheating and lost her fucking mind.
:/ Sorry to hear that…
Let’s move on to something a bit lighter now, shall we?
What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
Josh: My dream was always to be in the criminal justice system, either as a cop or a lawyer, but mostly as a cop. Obviously, I achieved that dream, and it’s not at all like I thought it would be. As a kid, I guess I thought cops were allowed to do whatever they wanted, which is clearly not true, but it’s not like I want to do a lot of illegal stuff so I’m okay with the limitations.
Marie: (Chuckles.) So, who is your role model, Josh?
Josh: My role model is my partner and lieutenant, Jason James. He has been there for me relentlessly for years and has dealt with his own heartbreak over the years.
Now, you’ll probably think I’m digging for dirt on the next question.
Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?
Josh: Besides a couple of my mom’s annoying friends, not really. I’m fairly accepting of most people so unless they’re a complete ass, I don’t have a problem.
Marie: Let’s try another question.
What is your deepest desire?
Josh: My deepest desire is to have a normal, risk-free life – well, as risk-free as a cop’s life can be. I just don’t want my family’s lives to be in danger ever again. I also want things with Rita to go further than it is.
Marie: Hmm…I wondered if there was a new love interest. 😉
(Sighs.) I love romance. ♥
So, tell me something, Josh. What is your greatest fear?
Josh: My greatest fear is Sammy’s life ever being endangered again. I know that if I lose her, I’ll lose everything. Even thinking about it panics me.
Marie: That’s understandable.
I’m glad you were comfortable enough to tell me everything.
Well, it looks like we’re out of time. Thank you for visiting us today, Josh. It was so interesting getting to know you! 🙂
(Waves goodbye to her guest.)
Now, let’s shift over and get the author’s perspective. We have author Kat Schuessler on the stage today. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Hello, Kat!
Author Kat Schuessler: Hi, Marie! Thank you for taking the time to interview me.
Marie: Of course! I love to have authors on ILRB. 😀
So, we just got to talk to a male character from your story, Josh Hartnell. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us about him?
Kat: Josh is a sexy police officer who has had to live with the memory of his ex-wife’s attack. He still has PTSD from the incident, but he’s working through it.
So, what are your character’s greatest strengths?
Kat: His greatest strength is his resilience. He has powered through the hardest times of his life without letting it affect Sammy, which is basically a miracle. He’s also an amazing dad who will do anything for his daughter, including risking his own life.
And what are your character’s greatest weaknesses?
Kat: His greatest weakness isn’t even really a weakness, just a symptom of his past. He suffers from severe PTSD and tends to panic whenever Sammy spends more than a few hours away from him. I can’t even imagine what will happen when she goes to school, but hopefully Rita will be able to help him get through it.
Marie: True enough!
Let’s try something fun, shall we?
What are some of Josh’s favorite foods?
Kat: He loves pretty much any international food; Italian, Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, et cetera. The only exception is Mexican food. He also likes burgers.
Marie: Sounds delicious!
How about another question?
What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
Kat: Though he’s been told by many people, he doesn’t see how charming and gentlemanly he is. He thinks he’s just being polite, but his charm attracts a lot of women and a fair amount of men.
Marie: (Laughs.) All right.
Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
Kat: I hope they’ll like him. I think they will because of his charm and willingness to put his life on the line for the people he cares about. Not to mention the fact that he’s a total hottie.
Marie: (Fans herself.) He’s got my vote! 😀
Now that we have a real taste of Josh, we have a few questions for you as well as the author.
What first gave you the idea for Think of Me?
Kat: I was actually reading On Writing by Stephen King, and a writing exercise that was in the book was vaguely similar to part of the plot. I originally started it as a short story, which then grew into a novel.
Marie: Awesome! Isn’t it fascinating how the muse works? 😉
Let’s try something else.
What is your writing style like? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Kat: I am a pantser, absolutely. I try to keep a timeline and do character outlines, but as for the minor details I basically let the book write itself.
Marie: Me too!
How about another question?
Now I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing Think of Me or publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?
Kat: Well, the biggest challenge was the fact that my original publishing company went out of business as soon as Think of Me was ready to go to them. I obviously looked for another publisher, but I was rejected by all of the companies I reached out to. That led to several years of writer’s block, because I felt like there was no point in writing if I couldn’t find a publisher. Finally, I reached out to my contacts from my old publisher and they helped me learn how to self-publish without spending all of my money. I should’ve reached out sooner, but once the writer’s block set in it was hard to get out of that rut.
Marie: Can’t blame you! There are definitely some discouraging parts of the publishing journey!
Congrats on your new release! ♥
Well, it was a such a pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great story Think of Me appears to be.
Readers, you will just have to pick up a copy of this erotic romantic suspense by Kat Schuessler, a very talented author!
Here is the blurb for Think of Me, book one of the Point of No Return Series:
When Detective Josh Hartnell’s wife had a psychotic break, he needed to figure out how to raise their daughter on his own. Two years later, when his friend and partner decides to set him up with a woman, he doubts that anything will come of it.
Rita Morgan is a law student at Kent State University. After her disappointing relationship with a professor ends, her friends insist on setting her up with a single dad. Although Josh is sweet and incredibly sexy, he comes with some baggage — in the shape of a little girl.
When Rita’s life is unexpectedly put at risk and her heart on the line, she needs to decide if their relationship is worth the risk, or if they should end it before the price gets too high.
Kat is also offering us a great excerpt from the book!
Rita was enjoying this bantering between them, and when she casually glanced down at their hands, she noticed that Josh had gotten slightly closer to her. When she subtly moved her hand closer to his on the banister, he covered it with his own. Rita felt a rush of heat at the contact, and when she looked up at him, he was already gazing at her, his eyes practically shining with desire. Her face flushed from his gaze, and she found herself staring at his lips, wanting to taste them. She told herself it was too soon to be thinking this way, but her sudden spike of lust shut her up – she wanted to kiss him as she ran her hands up his arms, feeling the muscles there.
Her eyes met his again and she swore she could see into his mind, and what she saw was the same desire she had. As if they shared one mind, they simultaneously angled their heads toward each other and kissed. There was no tentative brushing of lips or shy pecks, but crazed kissing and languid sweeping of tongues as they pressed their bodies together. Josh reached up and took her hair out of the bun, and it flowed past her shoulders in waves. He groaned and plunged his hands into it, kissing her more furiously. Rita took this opportunity to touch the muscles in his arms and across his chest, feeling them ripple under her fingertips. When she felt his erection pressing against her, she moaned and lost herself in his kiss.
Sizzling! ♥♥♥ Can’t wait to read this book…🙂
Universal Reader link: https://books2read.com/u/38xM1V
Add it to your Goodreads bookshelf: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43798777-think-of-me
Link to book one: http://bit.ly/NoBackwardGlances
We’ll be sure to get a copy of this hot romantic suspense! ♥
About Kat Schuessler
When I was eight years old, I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and ten years old when I decided I wanted to be an author.
From that moment on, I wrote all the time – short stories, poems, essays, and news articles for my high school paper. I tried writing horror, fantasy, and sci-fi, but I couldn’t get my footing in any of those genres. They just didn’t call to me.
Then I read A Hunger Like No Other, a paranormal romance by Kresley Cole.
I realized that I never tried to write romance. I sat down to write an erotic short story, and the words just flowed out of me. Suddenly, everything clicked. I immediately started working on No Backward Glances, convinced that this would be my first published book. I was determined to finish this novel and to see it on Amazon one day.
Seven years later, here I am; still writing, a mother to a beautiful daughter, a contestant on Food Network’s “Worst Cooks in America,” and just doing my best to get more books on the shelves.
And, if you want to know how to connect with the amazing Kat Schuessler, here are some author links:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Kat-Schuessler/e/B00WTCQPZQ/
Once again, I want to thank both of our guests, Josh, a male character from Think of Me, and Kat Schuessler, the brilliant author of the novel, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! 😀