Sunday, January 30, 2022

Writing for Harlequin Intrigue as a Male Author: Guest Post by R. Barri Flowers

R. Barri Flowers: Writing for Harlequin Intrigue as a Male Author

In mid-2021, after I had completed and sent in my first Harlequin Intrigue crime thriller, Chasing the Violet Killer, that was published in January 2022, I was surprised when my editor told me that I was the only male author in the modern era to write for the Intrigue line. Evidently, there were two other male authors who wrote for Intrigue many years ago. Not sure if they used pseudonyms or not. It made me curious about male authors who have written for Harlequin in general, over the years. I discovered that some of its early writers included Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, George Orwell, and W. Somerset Maugham; along with Tom Huff and Harold Lowry, both of whom wrote romances, using pen names. 

Back to the present, interestingly enough the Intrigue line is promoted by Harlequin as “books for fans of novels by Sandra Brown, James Patterson and Iris Johansen.” With those stellar suspense and thriller writers noted as representative of what Intrigue looked for, I was thrilled and honored to join the Intrigue family of authors, using my own name. With a background in criminology and having written a number of true crime books and mystery thrillers, as well as romance novels, the Intrigue line was a perfect fit for me as a writer, in blending knowledge, verisimilitude, and creative juices to carve out page turning romantic suspense fiction. 

In Chasing the Violet Killer, Secret Service agent Naomi Lincoln witnessed the murder of her uncle, during a video chat. She returns to her quaint hometown of Pebble Creek, Oregon, where she comes face to face with the ex-boyfriend she left behind, Dylan Hester, a police detective, who is investigating the crime. Turns out there is a serial killer is on the prowl. Dubbed, the Violet Killer, he targets attractive women, leaving behind a single violet with each victim as his calling card. Naomi and Dylan must put aside their differences and renewed attraction to one another to solve two interconnected cases, even as an elusive killer sets his sights on Naomi as his next victim. 

It kept me going in working my way through the storyline and making adjustments along the way when the plot shifted direction every now and then from my initial gameplan, as part of the process in keeping the characters interesting and the suspense building till the very end, when all the pieces of the thriller puzzle are put into place. 

Happily, since writing Chasing the Violet Killer, I have written two other novels for Intrigue, The Big Island Killer and Captured on Kauai, that will be published in September and October of 2022, respectively. They are part of a four-book miniseries, Hawaii CI, with the other two, Honolulu Cold Homicide and Danger on Maui, slated for release in 2023. 

I look forward to continuing to be a trailblazer in lending my voice to Harlequin Intrigue for years to come with some exciting thrillers in the works!

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R. Barri Flowers is the award-winning author of over a hundred books, including crime thrillers, true crime, criminology, romance fiction, and teen novels. He has appeared on Biography and Investigation Discovery, and can be found in Wikipedia. 

 

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