Hi! To start off, please tell us your name, where you’re from, and what you write.
I’m Aimee O’Brian and the debut author of Steal My Heart, a hot, contemporary romance with elements of suspense. I was born in Southern California and grew up in Northern California, and except for a couple of years in Houston, Texas, have lived my whole life as a California girl. I currently make my home in the wine country; and despite floods, earthquakes and fires, I still love it. At heart, the wine country is a hospitality community, with a strong sense of cooperation. We really come out to help each other in times of need.
How did you become an author? Please share a bit of your journey with us.
I decided to be a novelist in the third grade, but got a little distracted on the journey and enjoyed careers in retail, teaching and office administration along the way. It wasn’t until I joined Romance Writers of America that those abandoned manuscripts jamming up my desk drawers became finished manuscripts on my computer.
What are you working on now? Do you have a recent or upcoming release?
Since the completion of Steal my Heart, I’ve been working on another hot contemporary set in Southern California, this one in the realm of LA fashion. But recently I’ve been distracted. (It’s a recurring trend with me.) Currently I’m revising an edgy, romantic suspense with a film noir feel. I’ve been toying with this story for several years. In fact, it often comes out to play as the nights grow longer. I’m putting the finishing touches on it this year, so it should soon be ready to share with readers.
What is the most challenging part of writing romance?
My biggest challenge is finishing a project, simply knowing when it’s done and it’s time to let go. Also, my stories don’t always fit neatly into the romantic subcategories. Maybe a romance is contemporary, as well as suspenseful, and is hot to the point that it brushes up against erotic romance. Knowing how to classify that story is difficult for me.
What kind of research do you do when you set out to write a new book?
I love to visit the settings of my stories, and my experience doesn’t have to be ideal, just genuine. For Steal My Heart, even being stuck in traffic on the 405 was relevant. The heat and pace of Los Angeles, the quality of the light there, bright, but hazy, and how it somehow permeates everything, the glare of the sun off of skyscrapers as the sun sets—all of this figured heavily in my storytelling. I especially love the energy of Southern California, and how it infused both the story and my writing with vitality.
Please share one piece of advice to aspiring authors—what do you wish someone would have told you?
The struggle with writing never ends. It’s a constant. The struggle to feel confident in my ability to write a great story from the first word to the last, knowing that I will smooth all the rough places and create something for readers to enjoy, is still a challenge even after having a book published. I’ve discovered that my self-esteem is wrapped up in how many words I wrote that day. Now that I’ve opened the door to all the stories in my head, there’s no holding back. I only feel complete when I’m sharing those stories.
What do you love the most about the month of November?
I love being in the midst of the holiday season— the sights, the scents, the decorations, and that anticipation as the air changes from heat to cool. It’s when the extra blankets and pillows come out to make everything warm and cozy at home.
Any last words before we go into the speed round?
Writing can be all consuming, and it is easy to neglect refilling the well. But it’s necessary to keep the words flowing. Whenever I visit settings for my novels, I inevitably find myself at a museum. I love art museums, natural history museums, and specialty museums. Wandering the halls and displays gives me time to mentally regroup and relax and just enjoy the beauty all around me.
City, suburb, or small-town?
I’ve lived in and loved them all.
Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate?
Wine, whiskey or punch?
Thanksgiving, Christmas, Halloween, or other?
Any excuse to dress up and party is always welcome.
Leather, lace, or silk?
Top, bottom, or against the wall?
YES, please. Also—desks, dining tables, pinball machines …
Steal My Heart
Hot contemporary ~ Romantic suspense
When a fantasy turns into a cold reality
Lexanne Harris had a plan down to the last sexy detail. Never did she think her attempt to spice up her love life with her boyfriend would involve her in a burglary with a sexier than sin thief whose emerald eyes and serious between the sheets skills are impossible to forget. As a police detective she is expected to stand on the side of the law and fight for justice. But what happens when the lines of justice blur and what’s wrong becomes way too tempting?
The situation might be challenging but Lexanne is determined to get assigned to the case, recover the jewels and catch the culprit.
The question is: What will she do with her sexy cat burglar when she catches him?
More About Aimee
Having lived in both California and Texas, Aimee O’Brian now resides in the beautiful wine country. With her three children grown and experiencing their own adventures, she and her husband are free to explore the world. When she’s not reading, writing, or planting even more perennials in her garden, she can be found stomping through ancient ruins and getting lost in museums.