Debby Conrad - Sexy Reads with a Dash of Humor & a Slice of Suspense
As an award-winning author, with 26 published romance novels to her credit, it is always a surprise as to what Debby Conrad will work on next. Even she doesn’t know sometimes; not until the fingers hit the keyboard. As our Author of the Day, Conrad talks about her Overbearing Billionaires series, shares how she became an author and reveals her secret skills.
Please give us a short introduction to what Mack the Wife is about.
Sexy read with dash of humor & slice of suspense. Mackenzie O’Brien believes the only way her overprotective brothers will stay out of her life is if she is married. But how can she marry the man who just accused one of her brothers of murder?
Mackenzie (Mack) O’Brien believes the only way her overprotective brothers will stay out of her life and find loves of their own is if she is married and settled. When an old love returns to town, Mackenzie is anxious to see if she and Grady Sullivan can pick up where they left off.
Grady tries to fight his attraction to Mackenzie. He wants nothing to do with the spoiled little rich girl who broke his heart years ago, or her ridiculous marriage scheme. He’s a cop, living on a cop’s salary, and she is . . . well . . . rich and way out of his league. And besides, her brothers hate him.
But Mackenzie won’t take no for an answer—until Grady suspects one or more of her brothers may be guilty of murder. Then she has no choice but to reconsider her plans. Because when it comes to family, the O’Briens stick together, even if it means giving up on love.
What inspired you to write about a girl with a bunch of overprotective brothers?
I have a cousin who has 5 older brothers and they always looked out for her since she was the baby of the family. I thought it was quite amazing. So the seed was planted.
Tell us more about Mack and Grady. What makes them so good together?
Mack has been in love with Grady since high school, but her brothers didn’t think he was good enough for her. Although she learned as she got older that they don’t think anyone is good enough for her. She also realizes her brothers are never going to stop trying to protect her or let her live her own life. Time to take charge of things herself, which is why she makes an offer of marriage to Grady. She truly believes her brothers will be happier if they no longer have to worry about her and if they find mates of their own. So I guess you could say she is being selfless while at the same time getting the guy she’s always wanted in the process. Grady has never gotten over Mackenzie either. But he also respects her and wants to protect her reputation. Sure, he could accept her ridiculous marriage proposal, if he cared about her money. Which he doesn’t. He only wants her and it is very obvious to the readers. He is torn between doing the right thing and choosing Mackenzie above all else.
Why did you title this series "the Overbearing Billionaires"? What, do you think is appealing about an overbearing protagonist?
Funny you asked that. I have contemplated changing the series title several times. I thought the title summed up the brothers perfectly. They all have type A personalities and are sort of control freaks, but they are still loveable guys—good guys—who only want the best for their little sister. When their parents die and they sell the family business they become billionaires. Thus the title. But I hate that readers may look at the title with a negative view. Fingers crossed they give it a chance.
Your romance novels also contain a lot of humor and suspense. Why do you take this approach?
I love romantic comedy and I also love suspense. But writing suspense is a difficult process. A writer must have multiple layers and plant several red herrings along the way. This takes way longer to produce a book, and quite honestly I don’t have the patience. I want to write like I read. Fast!
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Secret skills? Well, let’s see. It isn’t exactly a secret but I was an aerobics instructor and I owned my own exercise studio back in the mid 80’s and early 90’s. After I fell and had to have knee surgery I wasn’t able to go back to teaching. I gained a ton of weight afterward, but have recently lost 50+ pounds. I now have a personal trainer 2 times a week, walk the treadmill with my daughter 2 times a week and, don’t laugh, but I take a ballet/barre class once a week. I also gave up sweets and desserts a year and a half ago. Not bragging, just very pleased with my accomplishment.
Why did you decide to throw a police investigation into the mix?
As a writer you need to add conflict and I thought that with as tight as the O’Brien family was it would be a very difficult choice for Mack to choose Grady over her brothers, especially if Grady was the one accusing them of murder. Besides I love writing about cops.
This is the first in the Overbearing Billionaires series. How do the other books in this series tie in with one another? Will we hear from Mack again?
Yes, Mack will be in all 5 books in the series. She has found a mate for each of her brothers and is determined to make sure each of them make it to the altar. So each brother has his own story.
Any amusing story that happened to you as an author?
Nothing amusing as an author but before I decided to write, and after my knee surgery, I was hobbling around on crutches and a little depressed that I could no longer teach aerobics. So I made a list of all the jobs I had ever thought about doing. Pop singer, home economics teacher, restaurant owner, author, etc. I forgot all about that silly list until I found it a year later. I laughed because I can’t sing, I didn’t want to go back to school to be a home ec teacher and besides where would I even get a job? Home ec isn’t exactly a popular subject these days. I have a friend who owns a catering business and used to own a restaurant—too much work. The same thing went for the other career choices. I crossed them all off the list, so the only thing left was author. I called my mother to tell her the good news, and she said, “You can’t write a book. You don’t even read!” Well, that was partly true, but I knew how to read. So I started reading. The first book I read since I was 20 was See Jane Run by Joy Fielding. Then the Firm by John Grisham. Then practically every book by Sandra Brown. I swear I read close to 400 books before putting pen to paper, and I mean that literally. Yes, pen and paper. Then after a few months I graduated to the computer and away I went. Since selling my first book in 2006 I have since published 26 titles.
How do you force yourself to finish what you're doing before starting the next project when the new idea is nagging at you?
That is very difficult. Sometimes the next book sounds way more interesting than the current work in progress. The characters start talking to me and I can’t shut them up. But since publication I have only abandoned 1 book in favor or writing the next one first, but I went back to book 1 and finished it as well.
Which one of your characters do you think you would get along with the most? What about the least?
The most is definitely Owen O’Brien. He is Mack’s twin brother and his story is Blaming Owen—book 5 in the series. I love him! Don’t tell my husband. I would have to say I like Aidan the least. He is Mack’s oldest brother. He was the most difficult to write because he is so unbending. But his love interest eventually brought him to his knees.
Your books feature dreamy guys. What's your advice on how to meet a nice, dreamy guy?
Not sure I am the person to give such advice. It has been a long time since I found my dreamy guy. The only thing I can say is to be yourself. Yes, in my romance novels I would never say that. A lot of my characters have relationships built on lies—again, conflict—and they have to work through all this to find true love. In real life, it doesn’t work that way. At least I don’t think so.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on a brand new series and hope to have 6 books by the end of 2019. The first is called A Girl, A Guy and A Big Fat Lie. Here is a mini blurb: Rowan Kavanagh takes over his father’s ski resort but had no idea the amount of renovations needed to make the place a success. When he runs out of money and defaults on the loan, his banker, Emma Fischer, is ready to start foreclosure proceedings. There’s only one problem. She is injured on his property and has no memory. The good news; she won’t be able to foreclose now. The bad news; she thinks Rowan is her husband and the teenage runaway on the property is their daughter. But with the possibility of Emma’s memory returning soon, will their fake family last or will Emma end up hating Rowan?
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
They can sign up for my newsletter on my website. www.DebbyConrad.com