Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Interview with Mary Hjerleid, Author of Too Hot To Handle

Mary's penned a fantastic story about firefighting with a lot of romantic suspense elements. I'm glad to have her here at the blog today! Let's get going with the questions....

#1 - How did you get the inspiration for Too Hot to Handle?

MARY: I have been writing since 1994 and my friend Jane McBride Choate, who is multipublished and is my mentor, introduced me to article writing as a way of getting in print until I finished my books. We also meet every Wednesday for the past nine years. My first book was completed in 2001 and has since also sold. I came across an article in the newspaper on arson dogs and how they sniff out accelerants. Their evidence is used in court. I did several articles on arson dogs which were published in several magazines.

My husband's son-in-law is a Loveland, CO firefighter (my hero) and doing a lot of research I came up with the idea of a romantic suspense. I also worked with Jerry Means who is an arson investigator for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

STEPH: How interesting, Mary! Isn't it amazing how one "type" of writing can lead into another? I also notice there's a lot of romantic suspense in the police field, so seeing you tackle fightfighting I find unique!

#2 - Do you cast your characters? Who is Jennifer? Mark?

MARY: I generally come up with characters after I have a general idea of what I'm going to write about.

#3 - Tell me a little about the plot of Too Hot to Handle?

MARY: Female arson investigator Jennifer Valdez and Fire Marshal Mark Edwards are forced to work together to solve a series of arson-related fires. A series of sabotage incidents occurs that place the blame on Jennifer, and while Mark can't deny he attraction he feels to her, he still has to do his job.

Betrayed by Mark's assumption that she is guilty --- Jennifer is deeply hurt when he can't believe in her innocence. While solving the arson, they must both learn to trust before they can truly love.

#4 - Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one. Do you have a tip for it?

MARY: I have the Kindle. My My husband just purchased one for me so I don't have any tips at this time since I'm still learning. I've downloaded several books from some of my writer friends who have sold ebooks.

#5 - What was the last movie you saw?

MARY: The last movie we saw in a theatre (it had been quite sometime) was Amelia (Earhart). Terrific movie.

STEPH: I want to see that! I love flying, what Amelia inspired and Hilary Swank. I'll have to add it to my Netflix pile. hehe

#6 - Who are some of your favorite authors?

MARY: Favorite authors: Kathryn Shay, Irene Hannon, Jane McBride Choate, Amanda Hart-Cabot, Sharon Sala

#7 - I see that you live in Colorado. Can you tell us something you love about it?

MARY: Yes, I'm still in Colorado. I came here in 1981. My older brother and his wife lived here and gave me a chance to start over. I remarried in 1995. We now live in Ft. Collins, Colorado. I love the beauty of Colorado, the mountains, although I don't ski, the friendly atmosphere and the friends I've made here. My husband used to do Ride the Rockies and we travelled so many great places like Durango, Aspen and other smaller communities. Each year was a different area. I'm really glad a made the move.


Thanks for being here today, Mary. Too Hot to Handle is definately on my reading list.



  1. Mary,
    I enjoyed reading about your new release and about Colorado. I've never been to Colorado but hope to someday.

    Your romantic suspense, TOO HOT TO HANDLE, sounds awesome. I'll put it on my list to read soon.

  2. It's nice to see more of the personal side to you, Mary. :-)

    On another note, I'd like to see Amelia - purely based on the fact that Christopher Eccleston is in it. :-) I find that while many people enjoy his acting, not many find him as attractive as I do. You can take Brad Pitt any day - give me someone with the underlying sexiness of Chris Eccleston any time.

    Sorry, tangent there. :-)

    I'd love to visit Colorado some day. I set one of my books in it, and have never been there.


  3. Hi, Mary! Great interview. Thanks for singling me out as one of your favorite authors. I hope sales for Too Hot To Handle are hot! Irene Hannon