Tee O’Fallon (Author Interview)
June 22, 2016
Please tell us a little about yourself, the romance subgenre(s) in which you write, and your newest book.
I’ve been a federal agent for over twenty years, and now that I’m a romantic suspense author I pretty much live a dual life. Cop by day, author by night. But I also like girly-girl things, like wearing pink, which I generally don’t do on-the-job. Not your typical attire for serving warrants and making arrests, although I could possibly start a new fad. They do make pink handcuffs now, after all. My newest book is entitled BURNOUT, Book 1 of my NYPD Blue & Gold Series. There’s a lot of me in this book. The heroine is a cop, but is considering a change of lifestyle and turning chef in a small upstate New York town. I’ve often wondered how different my life might have been if I’d gone in a different occupational direction.
What inspired you to write romance fiction?
My inspiration for writing romantic suspense comes partly from my love of romance, and partly from my career experience. I love creating two characters that are destined to be together, but have major hurdles and, in some cases, serious internal demons to overcome before reaching the HEA. Gotta make my characters work for it, or it’s no fun. With my federal law enforcement background, romantic suspense seemed like the perfect subgenre for me. As much as I love the romance, I’ve always equally enjoyed the suspense angle of a story. Writing romantic suspense not only allows me to pull from my own knowledge of law enforcement, but gives me an opportunity to throw the hero and heroine together under extreme circumstances, perfect fodder for erupting passions.
Some people love them, some hate them. What’s your stance on alpha heroes?
Personally, I not only love them, but I love writing about them. I’m like most red-blooded American girls, I gotta go for the strong, protective type. It’s in my genetic makeup, attached to that X chromosome. But, my alpha hero can’t be perfect. Not a chance. He needs a flaw, some kind of internal struggle that has to be overcome before he can find his HEA. Bottom line, I Iove to torture my heroes. I give them all a deep-seeded vulnerability to balance out the macho, always-in-control aspect of their personalities. He has to be confidant, strong, and tough, but eventually figure out that when it comes to the woman he loves, he’s a pile of mush and will do anything to have her, protect her, and win her love.
What’s your favorite part of writing?
My most favorite part of writing is having the ability to create stories from my own mind, and I can do whatever I want with my characters. I can make them be anyone and anything I choose. My hero can be a cop, a fed, a deputy sheriff, a fireman, or a pilot. My heroine can be any of those things, or she can have a more traditional occupation for a woman, such as a chef or a florist. What other profession besides writing allows you to create people from scratch? The only thing limiting me is my own imagination.
Tee O’Fallon has been a federal agent for twenty-two years, giving her hands-on experience in the field of law enforcement that she combines with her love of romantic suspense. Tee’s job affords her the unique opportunity to work with the heroic and sexy men in law enforcement on a daily basis. For Tee, research is the easy part!
This cop might be too hot to handle…
He’s been a cop too long not to recognize the signs of a woman running from her past. She’s not who she says she is—and isn’t about to share her secrets.
Sexy-as-sin Police Chief Mike Flannery knows the new arrival to Hopewell Springs is trouble. She has a smoking-hot body and a quick wit…and he’ll be damned if that’s not a turn-on. But this former NYPD cop and small-town heartthrob has been burned before, and there’s no way he’ll let that happen again.
New York City Detective Cassie Yates is on the run. A six-month undercover sting in a sleazy bar seemed like a textbook arrest—but now there’s a hit out on her. Armed with fake ID, her K-9 companion, and a police-issued SUV, she flees to a quiet upstate town where she trades her badge and gun for a spatula, finally finding peace in the dream she tossed aside to follow her family into law enforcement.
There’s no denying the fire and ice between them. But as the hired assassin closes in, Mike’s past comes roaring back and secrets are revealed in an explosion destined to tear them apart—if not destroy them.
Cassie felt Mike’s intense blue eyes taking a walk all over her body. “Checking out my a** again, Chief?”
A slow, annoying smirk crept to his mouth, and for a split second Cassie was tempted to smack it off his gorgeous face. “If you don’t want folks checking out your a**, I suggest you not wear hot pink. Tends to attract attention.”
“So that’s the key, wearing boring colors?” Cassie tried another lug nut, and again had no success.
“I don’t think there’s any color you could wear that would make a difference. You’ll attract attention no matter what you’ve got on.”
She glanced at him, again wondering whether that was a compliment or an insult. What she wound up noting most was the effortless ease and competence about him. With his starched navy blue uniform outlining his incredible physique and that gun strapped to his side, he was as intimidating as a cop should be. A poster boy for the NYPD. So how did a guy like him end up in a quiet place like Hopewell Springs? And where did he get that doggone confident sexuality? The man wore it like a second skin.
“You know,” he said, “if you let me help I could save you some time and you wouldn’t risk breaking a nail. I am here to protect and serve.”
Cassie dropped the wrench and it clattered onto the hot road. She choked down the urge to flip Mike off and shoot back, “Yeah, service this.” Instead, she straightened stiffly and answered in a civil tone, “Like I said, no thanks.”
“Suit yourself.” Mike hooked one of his hands on his duty belt and leaned against the Trail Blazer, sporting an irritating, masculine smirk on his way too handsome face.
Cassie snatched up the wrench, fitted it onto the topmost nut, and yanked with all her might. She felt something give.
Finally. Nope. Oh, s**t. The nut hadn’t given way.
Her sweaty hands slipped off the wrench handle, and she felt herself flying backward. When she expected her a** to hit the pavement, a pair of strong arms slid around her bared waist, catching her in mid-air.
Mike turned her in his arms but didn’t release her. She clung to his forearms for balance. When she looked up, their faces were close together and Mike’s warm breath blew across her forehead. Why does the man have to smell so freaking good all the time? Her throat constricted, and she swallowed.
Raven’s nails clicked on the pavement as she bounded to where they stood. Cassie expected the dog to interpret Mike’s nearness as an attack and launch straight at his chest. She didn’t. Her K-9 was merely curious and sat dutifully beside her.
“You okay?” He gave her a look of concern.
The air around them seemed to spark and sizzle. Every place his fingers touched on her bared waist skittered with goose bumps. She’d thought him handsome before, but… Oh, man.