Jeanine Binder - Author Who Enjoys Busting Stereotypes
Somewhere in-between her 45-hour work weeks as a systems engineer, Jeanine Binder seems to find time to write riveting romantic novels. Occasionally, you would find her relaxing on a cruise ship to take a break from it all. Today, Binder chats about how her cover model for Holding Fast inspired the book's main character, how she enjoys busting stereotypes and what it takes to finish a book.
Tell us a bit about Holding Fast. What is the book about?
Eli is a detective with the NYPD - a ladies man, with no thoughts of any kind of permanent commitments. A chance meeting with a woman during an assault call, changes Eli's whole world. Despite the hurdles in front of them - besides his mantra of not dating the same woman twice - she's white, and that is something he had never crossed the line with. A love story that bridges the gaps of prejudice and politics, going straight to love.
You grew up in Palm Springs. Have you ever come across any Hollywood celebrities vacationing there?
I grew up near there – about 35 miles west. Didn’t meet many celebrities, only because I didn’t hang out there much. Joe Norton, the boxer, used to train in my hometown, and I knew Lance Kerwin (James at 15) because he went to a rival school.
You love to go on cruises. How much do your travels inspire your work?
Doesn’t inspire my work so much as it gives me the opportunity to relax. I work a 45 hour a week primary job as a System’s Engineer and I need those vacations to unwind. Clears my head to my writing can go forward.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I prefer e-books and I love Kindle Unlimited because I read fairly fast. Cheaper than buying books outright. However, if I’m flying on an airplane or taking a cruise, I like traditional paperbacks.
In Holding Fast you’re dealing with some difficult themes such as prejudice and politics. Do you feel a sense of responsibility as a writer? How do you deal with this?
I feel you should express how you feel. Personally, it’s no one’s business but theirs and it should be viewed this way. I try to be conscientious as a writer and not step on any toes.
Did you feel you had to sidestep certain stereotypes when writing from these perspectives?
I try to bust the stereotypes. In A Fine Line, the main female character is a blonde doctor. Blondes are stereotyped as dumb women who look good. Again, I try to not to anger anyone – there are going to be people who like my books and those who don’t. My cover model for Holding Fast was sincerely surprised I used one of his pictures that I used one of his pictures – a black man with a white writer…he said he’s had a lot of turndowns because he was black. I actually wrote the main character of Eli based on my model, Delonn Donovan.
Ainsley comes from an abusive past relationship. How does it affect her as a character?
She’s cautious. Keeps to herself – not one to be out and about all the time. Probably what draws Eli to her – she’s quiet, but she’s not a pushover.
Why do you enjoy writing about law enforcement officers? What would you say makes a man in uniform so attractive?
I respect cops – law enforcement in general. They do a dangerous job for little pay. Granted there are those that abuse their power, but the good cops more than outweigh the dirty ones. I like a man in uniform – makes him look hot. There were so many books about military men – SEALS especially – and motorcycle clubs. Wanted to have my own niche in the game.
What did you have the most fun with while writing Holding Fast?
Watching the player Eli fall for a woman. All his alpha male bluster just goes out the window when Ainsley looks at him.
How does Holding Fast tie in with your other Love and Order novels?
I have three in the Love and Order group – A Fine Line, Arresting Hearts, and Holding Fast. They have 2 things in common: 1) they are all standalones. You can read them in any order. And 2) the main male character is a law enforcement officer – sheriff, DEA, detective. The TV series Law and Order was my underlying focus – couldn’t use that name because of copyright enfringement. Arresting Hearts, I originally started co-writing with another author, but he quit due to personal issues and I was left trying to put the other parts together. I think people like to feel good about cops and how we are protected.
You have published quite a couple of books. Do you consider yourself as a disciplined writer with a schedule you manage to stick to? Or do you write more in the moment, when inspiration strikes?
I write more in the moment. I studied authors like Danielle Steel and Nicholas Sparks before I published my first book. What I learned was, they write more than one book at a time. They will start on one and when an inspiration on another hits, they’ll stop and move to the next one. And you don’t write the chapters in order unless you are doing solely a first person book, because then you have to follow step by step with them. You piece them up like a puzzle and weave them together. Eventually, one book will start outshining the others and that will be the one you finish. When I get about 40K works, I can start setting a release plan as most of my books are ~51K words, and I can write 10K easy to finish it up.
What are you working on right now? Do you have a sneak peek for our readers?
I have two efforts going on. The first is the third book in my “Time for Love” series, which features my rock star, Nick Marshall. Real Time was my first book and it was intended to be a standalone. So many people liked it and I started getting tons of requests for a sequel, which is named Prime Time – continuing where Real Time left off. My third book is going to go back before Real Time – show how Nick started off in the music business. Here’s a sample:
Nick sat on the couch, one foot propped up on the coffee table in front of him. He had an ashtray on the arm, his cigarette sitting along one side and he was keeping one eye on the television and the other on his two year old daughter playing across the room. Sharon was snuggled up next to him sleeping and he had his other arm draped casually around her. His thoughts were troubled as he did a mental housekeeping of his life to date. Getting married probably hadn’t been the best idea he’d ever had – he’d just been so overwhelmed when the dreamed-of contract finally arrived. Having poor family backing, Sharon had been his only support and not sharing it with her had never entered his mind. Now, three years later with a child, he was doing a lot of second guessing these days.
Their arguing wasn’t helping things. Sharon threw a drama fit every time he left to go on the road, saying she’d never signed up to just be his “maid and sex stop”. He’d had thoughts of taking her on tour with him, once he started doing his own band and things; the studio planned trips didn’t allow him to bring his wife. And then once Arianna came, bringing a baby along was just out of the question, even though things were now done his way, and not a part of a studio endeavor. So instead of having the supporting wife he’d thought he was getting, Sharon would pout and try to open arguments with him. He was starting to not want to come off of a tour, insisting Mickey make them longer each time. And now, the excitement of going to the US was all but encompassing his mind, causing a new ration of heated discussions between them. Nick wasn’t going to budge; he was going to the US alone and she was just going to have to deal with it. He didn’t understand what the issue was as she knew this was the life he had been planning.
The second effort is a series of books that are going to be named the Critical Response Unit series. It’s going to focus around a group of 6 highly trained SWAT/sniper kind of people. Each book will focus on an individual member with the books weaving in and out together. That one is still in the planning stage.
Where can our readers find more of your work or interact with you?
You can find me on facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJeanineBinder
You can check out my website – http://jeaninebinder.com
All my books are Amazon exclusive - http://www.amazon.com/Jeanine-Binder/e/B00MZO1QU2/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2…
And you can sign up for my newsletter – I let everyone know when something new and great is happening - http://jeaninebinder.com/newsletter/
Holding Fast is on sale for only 99 cents up until the 23rd of May, 2016.