Leawood Lifestyle/October 2013 issue Interviews Jane Kurtz
Who/what lives in your house?
My husband Paul O’Hanlon, sons Robert (17), and Nathan (16), daughter Eve (10), Boggs (a/k/a Big Brown, our Chesapeake Bay Retriever), and Bullseye (our loveable elderly pound cat). Our oldest son Daniel (19) is at college.
Do you work outside the home?
I worked as a health care lawyer for almost 20 years before “retiring.” But after a few months, I started a second career as a publisher and author. My company, evenSO Press, has published one of my books (Three Ingredient Cocktails, written under my pseudonym J.K. O’Hanlon) and will be issue this fall my second book (Twelve Happy Hours) and a women’s fantasy trilogy (Solace). My erotic romance book, Objection Overruled, won the Romance Writers of America®’s 2013 Golden Heart® award for best Contemporary Single Title and is now available from Loose Id Press.
Are you a native Kansas Citian or transplanted to the area?
I’m a transplant from Omaha, Nebraska by way of Maryland and Virginia for about 10 years.
What unique item is on the floor of your car right now?
I just cleaned the cars, so it’s strange that nothing is on the floor! But, the fact that I have over 200 bumper stickers on my Odyssey van is strange enough.
What is your favorite ‘pamper yourself’ or splurge item?
A massage every other week. Keeps me sane and feeling great.
What is your guiltiest food pleasure?
Snickers candy bar, which my masseuse gives me after every session.
What is the title of a book on your bedside table or the best movie you’ve seen in the past three months?
I’m constantly reading and enjoy every genre. Right now, I’m reading The Anatomist’s Wife by debut author Anna Lee Huber. Part mystery, part love story, this historical grips you from page one. I had the pleasure of meeting the author recently at a writers’ workshop.
How would your best friend describe you?
Individualist, sassy, and loyal
Which organization that gets most of your volunteer time? (school, church, charity)
Where was your best vacation ever?
A week in Paris with my boyfriend (who is now my husband). We never changed our clocks, which meant we strolled the streets of Paris every night until 3 a.m., then slept until noon!
What is your favorite date night restaurant?
A drink at Manifesto, followed by dinner at Michael Smith’s.
What is the best thing about living in Leawood, Johnson County or Lee’s Summit?
Because we don’t have any family in town, my neighborhood friends have become family to me. The supportiveness of the people here is astonishing.
What do your record on the DVR?
Game of Thrones
What is your favorite cocktail?
For someone who invents, mixes and writes about cocktails professionally, that question always makes me feel like I’ve been asked which of my children I love the most. If my life depended on it, I’d order a very cold Plymouth gin martini, extra olives. My new favorite though is a classic called Blood and Sand, which is Scotch, sweet vermouth, cherry brandy and orange juice.
Where do you wish your husband would buy your next gift?
We rarely exchange gifts, but often surprise each other with travel, so I’d love to see plane tickets to the French Riviera or Fiji. I’m not picky.
Share a unique or interesting fact about yourself or your college years?
I was the first woman from Nebraska to be appointed to and attend the U.S. Naval Academy. There, I learned to sail, make a bed, program an HP calculator, and parallel park a 100-foot patrol boat, among other things. I transferred after a year and a half, but still admire and keep in touch with my Navy and Marine Corp friends.
Heckler Criticizes Author J.K. O’Hanlon for “Just” Writing Romance; Her Answer: “Hell, Yeah, and Proud of It!”
Romance author J.K. O’Hanlon explains why romance writing is not easy.
Kansas City, MO, September 28, 2013 –(PR.com)– When a heckler at a book panel discussion chastised romance writer newbie, J.K. O’Hanlon for “just writing romance,” the author’s first instinct was to convert back to her life as an attorney and put the man under cross-examination.
But instead, she says, she understands all too well the man’s comment, and admits that, at first, writing romance novels did seem as though it would be easy.
O’Hanlon is author of “Objection Overruled,” debuting from Loose Id and winning this year’s best Contemporary Single Title for the Romance Writers of America®’s 2013 Golden Heart®.
“When I decided to take down my lawyer shingle and write, one of the reasons I chose romance was that I thought it would be easy. After all, there’s a formula: boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back, they live happily ever after,” O’Hanlon says. “Two books later, and well into my third book, I’ve learned my lesson. Writing romance isn’t formulaic or easy. For those who’ve never tried it, though, that phrase ‘it’s just a romance’ sometimes tumbles too easily from their lips.”
With no delusions now that it’s easy, she writes romance, O’Hanlon says, because a great love story is transforming. “Maybe not everyone dreams of finding a soul mate, but most people do,” she says. “A romance raises our spirits and reminds us of love’s transforming power over men and women, as individuals and as a couple. It brings happiness to many people’s lives.”
The genre has certainly pique an interest with millions. Romance fiction sales are estimated at $1.350 billion for 2013 and 74.8 million people read at least one romance novel in 2008, according to the Romance Writers of America. That’s more than three times the sales in literary fiction, says O’Hanlon.
But there’s no need for any writer in any genre to feel threatened, O’Hanlon believes. “There is not a finite amount of reading that can occur in the universe. A romance lover can also buy a classic or a mystery or a high fantasy. Many do, including me,” she says.
O’Hanlon’s Midwest upbringing had her surrounded by all kinds of books, including romance. “My mother read every single Harlequin romance written for probably a 30-year time span, until her deteriorating vision moved her to audio books. Whether she was reading the latest romance or Moby Dick didn’t matter squat to a 5-year old girl. My mom read and loved it with an unquenchable passion. She turned that book addiction over to both my sister and me, both of us becoming avid readers and writers of romance,” O’Hanlon says.
“So when someone accuses me of writing ‘just romance,’ I tell them, ‘Hell, yeah, and proud of it!’” O’Hanlon says. You can read more on her blog at www.jkohanlon.com.
Mix a Bit of John Grisham’s Style with Hot, Steamy Sex and You’ve Got “Objection Overruled”
Sexy Legal Mystery is Author’s First Foray into Erotica Romance
PRLog (Press Release) – Sep. 22, 2013 – KANSAS CITY, Mo. — J.K. O’Hanlon is who John Grisham might be if he wrote erotica romance. Attorney turned author, O’Hanlon’s first venture into the erotica romance genre is “Objection Overruled,” (http://www.jkohanlon.com/) debuting from Loose Id (http://www.loose-id.com/) and winning this year’s best Contemporary Single Title for the Romance Writers of America®’s 2013 Golden Heart®.
Jackie North, a head-strong and independent Baltimore attorney, fights to reclaim the life savings of her clients from an unscrupulous investment firm and to financially shore-up her fledging law firm. North is thrown a World Series curve ball when she learns that a new key expert witness for the defense is a recently-wooed lover of hers.
When North sees her lover, the author writes, “She turned to face Brandon and looked deep into his soft amber eyes. They’d read each other minds last week, it seemed. She willed him to read hers now. I’m sorry, Brandon. I don’t want to hurt you, but why are you helping Ashe? Don’t you know he’s a rotten crook? Please understand. Please.”
But through ensnarement of murder, Ponzi schemes, self-doubts and incriminations of lovers, O’Hanlon holds true to the genre, giving readers as much raw and arousing sex as smart debate and legal maneuvers in the courtroom.
O’Hanlon does not shy away from strong, assertive, sexually-charged women as major characters. In the book, lover Brandon Marshfield describes North as, “She lacked an ulterior motive, unlike most of the women he knew who seemed to always want something from him. Her inconsistent mix of intensity and silliness refreshed him. Her aggressiveness challenged him. Yet underneath that tough exterior, a naive tenderness and frank honesty peeked out.”
O’Hanlon is writing other books featuring women who want it all and know how to get it. While working as a lawyer in the Midwest, O’Hanlon starred in her own love story, finding true love and marriage with the attorney down the hall. But even a sizzling office romance couldn’t spice up the daily grind of legal documents. Combining her background in law with her unfailing sense of humor, she now writes smart, sassy and sexy stories about women who balance exciting careers with their passionate desire for love.
In between penning steamy sex scenes, she mixes and writes about cocktails as The Thirsty Jane. (http://www.thirstyjane.com) She lives in the Kansas City area and enjoys running inappropriately long distances with her big brown dog, reading anything she can get her hands on, and travelling as much as possible.
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|City/Town||:||Kansas City – Missouri – United States|
|Tags||:||J.K. O’Hanlon, Thirsty Jane, Objection Overruled, 3 Ingredient Cocktails|
Leslie Lynch Interviews J.K. O’Hanlon (June 6, 2013) http://leslielynchauthor.wordpress.com/2013/06/06/welcome-jane-ohanlon-golden-heart-finalist/
Today’s interview is with J.K. O’Hanlon, author of Objection Overruled, a finalist in the Contemporary Single Title category of Romance Writers of America’s® 2013 Golden Heart® contest for unpublished manuscripts. This is the premier contest (worldwide) for writers of the romance genre. Welcome, Jane!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m an eclectic skimmer, enjoying a wide-range of activities that don’t always make sense. For example, I live in a fly-over state, but I know nothing about farming or small town life and I am most at home on a beach or in the mountains. I can craft a glorious loaf of sour dough bread, but you do not ever want me to bring the cake to the church social. Although I play four musical instruments, I’m always content to leave the symphony or ballet at intermission, and please do not invite me to a musical theater production!
Frequent exercise facilitates my obsession with food and drink. With over 100 different types of spirits in my home bar, crafting perfect cocktails for my friends is one of my greatest pleasures. When my husband needed coaching to mix me a drink, I wrote and published a book, Three Ingredient Cocktails. I’m wrapping up research on my second non-fiction book, Twelve Happy Hours, which should be out in the fall. It’s a fun, albeit quirky, life which gives me a leg up at Trivial Pursuit.
Like most writers, I read every day and love everything, rotating through mysteries/thriller, literary, non-fiction, classics, romance, commercial fiction, young adult and women’s fiction. My top three all-time most re-read books are: The Canterbury Tales, The Grapes of Wrath, and Middlemarch.
Now tell us about your manuscript, Objection Overruled, that just finalled in RWA’s Golden Heart contest!
Objection Overruled is my first novel and the second fiction work I’ve written. It’s a contemporary erotic romance situated in and around Baltimore, Washington DC, and the Chesapeake Bay. Although set against a backdrop of legal and financial intrigue, the sultry romance between a heroine and hero with opposing loyalties carries the day. With only a few weeks until trial, attorney Jackie North can almost taste victory until the opposing side’s last minute switch of its expert witness threatens to unravel her strategy. A loss will send her where she’s vowed never to return – the humiliation of bankruptcy she suffered through as a teen.
Brandon Marshfield is a sexy and savvy financial wiz. When a college fraternity brother calls in a marker, Brandon heads to Baltimore to fill in as an expert witness with hopes that once and for all, he can put his dark past behind him. Jackie and Brandon head into a deposition, confident of crushing the other until their gazes cross on the courtroom floor. A single night of passion they shared as strangers only a few weeks earlier left each with a smoldering fire in their heart.
Pulled together by physical magnetism, torn apart by opposing loyalties, can their objections be overruled?
I’m proud to announce that I’ve signed a contract with Loose Id for publication of the book. Release date is set for July 30, 2013. The book will be published under my pen name, J. K. O’Hanlon.
How do you feel about the Golden Heart experience!
Would surreal be overly dramatic?! I’d only entered a couple of contests before the GH, and wasn’t planning on entering until my critique partners goaded me into it. I’d planned another conference relating to my non-fiction writing (Tales of the Cocktails) for the same time as RWA Nationals, so when I got the call, I had to rearrange all of my travel plans, which was a nice problem to have. I’m not sure how many erotic romances have finalled in the Golden Heart, but I’m delighted that the judges enjoyed reading something that is both humorous and steamy hot.
Where do you get the ideas for your stories? And/or for this story, in particular?
Stories pop into my head. Too many, in fact. I keep a book of stickie notes with story ideas jotted on them. The idea for Objection Overruled came to me one day while driving to my office, when I was still working as a lawyer. As soon as I had a chance, I outlined the characters’ “goals, motivations, and conflicts.” The story has gone through three major revisions, but the core of it remains the same as that idea that came to me in the car one day.
What has your writing journey been like?
Growing up in a mid-sized city in a non-descript fly-over state, my childhood goal was to move to the East Coast or the West Coast. And become an aerospace engineer. Logging a 10-year stint during my early adulthood in the Mid-Atlantic area checked off one goal.
But, after realizing that a life existed beyond programming my HP calculator, I started the gradual de-escalation of my major, ending up with an unmarketable, but vastly entertaining, history degree. Law school seemed like a logical choice, so I stumbled around that area for a while, learning an immense amount of fascinating cocktail knowledge, while never knowing how to do anything useful like fix a speeding ticket or get a questionable relative out of jail.
When I left the practice of law to spend more time with my family, a disturbing number of friends suggested I write to fill in the gaps. While I chalked them all up as crazy, given the low overhead and the unsettling number of characters rattling around in my brain, I thought I’d give it a try. Three years later, after one short story, one novel (soon to be published), and one non-fiction book (published), I now officially put down “writer” on any form asking for my occupation. I am a member of Mid-America Romance Authors andGeorgia Romance Writers.
What’s your ideal writing environment?
I wrote most of Objection Overruled at one of our local libraries. I’d sequester myself in a study carrel until I made my daily word count. Recently, I transformed a spare bedroom into my office where I now work, and occasionally watch the slingshot weather shifts common in the Midwest. My critique partners and I have a standing Skype date each day at a certain time. Whoever is available logs in and after we catch up with each others’ lives and goals, we then set a timer and get to work. Knowing that someone else is out there working at the same time and checking in with my accomplishments helps me put words into the computer even when inspiration eludes me.
How can fans reach you?
I’m getting my website, facebook and twitter connections for my erotic romance personna finalized. Until then, people can find me under my alter ego, The Thirsty Jane:http://www.thirstyjane.com/; www.facebook.com/thirstyjane; Twitter: @thirstyjane
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Once I decided to follow my dream to become a writer, I heeded Michelangelo’s words: “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” In other words, DREAM BIG!!! Thanks for having me Leslie, and best of luck to you in your writing career!!!
Thank you, Jane, for visiting Leslie Lynch Writes – and we wish you the very best in your publishing future!
About Leslie Lynch
Leslie gives voice to characters who struggle to find healing for their brokenness – and discover unconventional solutions to life’s unexpected twists. Her manuscript, Hijacked, is a finalist in the Romance Writers of America® 2013 Golden Heart® contest. She is an occasional contributor to the Archdiocese of Indianapolis’s weekly paper, The Criterion, and can be found on facebook at Leslie Lynch Writes, as well as Twitter @Leslie_Lynch_