Related to: 'The Dead Pass'

Author of the amazing One Week Girlfriend series

Behind the scenes with Monica Murphy

We love Drew and Fable’s story and the evolution of their romance in One Week Girlfriend and Second Chance Boyfriend. When did their story begin to take shape for you? Thank you! I love Drew + Fable too. The story began to actually take shape back in 2009 ― well, Fable took shape. I tried my hand at a YA idea with the main character named Fable Maguire. It didn’t pan out (quite frankly, it was terrible). But Fable stuck with me. Fast forward to late 2012 and (sort of a spoiler alert!) I saw a story on my local news about a young, pretty female teacher who was arrested for having sex with her 17-year-old male student. It got me thinking. When females are victims of this sort of thing, everyone’s appalled. When it happens to a male, a lot of the time he’s made out as a guy who just scored with an older woman. So I wanted to write a male victim and a strong female who comes along and saves him. You’ve written numerous romance books both as Monica Murphy and Karen Erickson ― did you find you approached writing a new adult romance differently? Yes! First of all, I’d never written in first-person point of view (POV) before so that was a challenge, but one I enjoyed immensely. I prefer writing in first-person POV now! Also, with a new adult title, all emotions are heightened. It’s a very dramatic time of our lives and everything has a newness, a freshness to it. First time away from home, first real job, first real love, and first chance to make major mistakes and have to fix them on your own. I wanted to capture that — as a writer, there’s a lot to play with during this time period. And with a new adult, it’s not just about the romantic relationship either. There’s so much more going on. Yes, the romance takes priority (and with Drew + Fable, how could it not, considering the situation they’ve thrown themselves into!) but there are other things happening. Family responsibilities, school, family trouble (ooh lots of trouble), jobs — it’s all an important part of their lives. We never imagined that the word ‘marshmallow’ could be so romantic! You made it so special for Drew and Fable ― what inspired you to pick this? It’s so random it’s almost embarrassing. I wrote OWG during the holiday season. I got to the part where Fable suggested they needed a “rescue” word to send or say to each other, and I paused. Glanced around my desk. Saw the box of caramel covered marshmallows (that I kept to myself for fear my children would eat them all) sitting there and thought...marshmallow. I never meant for it to become this THING. It’s so awesome. When Drew + Fable get married, they need a marshmallow wedding cake, right? *winks* Drew and Fable’s romance is powerfully moving ― were there particular parts of their story you found emotional to write? Yes, definitely. As I wrote OWG and got closer to the end, I kept thinking, should I go there? Should I take it there? I hesitated for a bit and then thought, I’m going for it. I’m so glad I did. I think it made the story that much more emotional. What Drew has to deal with is pretty difficult. My biggest fear was that he’d look like a wimp. So glad readers didn’t think he was one. And when I wrote the end of Second Chance Boyfriend, I burst into tears. Those two are buried so deep in my brain it’s sort of scary. It was hard to let them go. I still haven’t. They make plenty of appearances in both Three Broken Promises and Four Years Later, especially Fable. Have you always wanted to be a writer? What do you love most about your job? I’ve always been a reader and when I was in high school, I took journalism classes and was on the school newspaper. I became an intern at my local newspaper in college. So yes, I always wanted to be a writer. I discovered Jude Deveraux and Judith McNaught books during my teen years and I remember thinking, ooh I could do that. But then life got in the way for many years. Back in 2005, I was at home with my two youngest and I decided to try my hand at writing again. I was first published as Karen Erickson in 2006. I’ve been working hard ever since. I have the best job in the world. Where else can you work at home, be there for your kids when they need you and fall in love with a different guy multiple times a year, yet you’re not cheating on your husband (LOL)? Oh, and search the web for pictures of hot men and call it “research”? You can’t beat that! Do you have the most fun creating your heroes or your heroines? Do you have a favourite hero or heroine? It really depends on each book I write. Sometimes the hero speaks more to me and sometimes it’s the heroine. Lame answer, I’m sorry… My favourite hero and heroine? Why, Drew + Fable of course. Those two changed my entire career. I adore them. Who are the authors you read for pleasure? There are a ton of authors I read for pleasure. It would take me a month to list them all. But the one I read without fail? The one who I make sure and preorder so when I get the notice the book is on my Kindle, I drop everything to read her latest? Jill Shalvis. Ack, I love her books so much! What are your guilty pleasures? Chocolate, pedicures and purses. We are so excited to read Three Broken Promises and Four Years Later! Can you give us any hints of what you have planned for Jen and Colin and Owen and Chelsea? I’m excited for everyone to read TBP and FYL too! Okay, hints… Jen and Colin’s book is by far the sexiest of the series. I think it’s because they’re an older couple and Colin is rather demanding (heh heh). Owen and Chelsea’s book is the longest book of them all. Chelsea is the complete opposite of Fable and Jen. And Owen…Owen was a joy to write. I just turned the book in and I’m a little in love with him. Okay, I’m a lot in love with him. And we have to ask – will we get to see some more of Drew and Fable in books three and four?! As I mentioned, YES. Yes, Drew + Fable are all over books three and four. Especially Fable — she’s in the opening scene of TBP. She plays a huge part in Owen’s book because, well, she’s his sister. I hope readers will love those glimpses of D+F.

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Fire and Brimstone

Bateman
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Maid of the Mist

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Empire State

Bateman
Authors:
Bateman

Nathan Jones - scarred for life by one night of horror in his Northern Irish past. And also by having the same name as a Supremes song.Hoping for a fresh start, Nathan moves to New York but when his girlfriend leaves him, he only has his new job for company - that of a security guard at the Empire State building. Recently acquired by a computer billionaire, the building is about to be visited by President Michael Keneally, an army of FBI men, and George Burley of Alabama, a white supremacist with the President at the top of his assassination Top Ten.Wildly dark and wonderfully entertaining, EMPIRE STATE takes the world of politics - international, racial and sexual - and holds it hostage at the top of one of the most famous buildings on Earth.

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The Prisoner of Brenda

Bateman
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Bateman

When notorious gangster 'Fat Sam' Mahood is murdered, the chief suspect is arrested nearby. But he seems to have suffered a breakdown. Incarcerated in a mental institution, he's known only as the Man in the White Suit. The suspect remains an enigma until Nurse Brenda calls on Mystery Man, former patient and owner of No Alibis, Belfast's finest mystery bookshop, to bring his powers of investigation to bear... However, before our hero can even begin, the Man in the White Suit is arrested for the murder of a fellow patient. But is he a double murderer or a helpless scapegoat? Intrigue, conspiracy, and ancient Latin curses all combine to give the Small Bookseller with No Name his most difficult case to date.

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Cycle of Violence

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Wild About Harry

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Mohammed Maguire

Bateman
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Bateman

When the Marines destroy a terrorist training camp in the Libyan desert, they also kill both the parents of a ten-year-old boy, Mohammed Maguire.Brought back to Ireland, the land of his mother's birth, young Mohammed is treated as a public relations commodity by both sides of an argument that he doesn't understand - but which he can see with the clear eyes of a child.Wickedly funny and wonderfully abrasive, MOHAMMED MAGUIRE is Bateman at his very best.

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Shooting Sean

Bateman, Bateman
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Bateman, Bateman

When maverick movie star Sean O'Toole is forced to leave the glamour of Hollywood to make a film about an Irish gangster, he's not best pleased - and even less so when he finds out he'll be joined by hapless local journalist Dan Starkey, who is writing his biography. It's a job that plunges Dan into the murky underbelly of the movie business, and from the backstreets of Belfast to the fleshpots of Amsterdam and the glitz of the Cannes Film Festival. Along the way a smouldering romance threatens the frequently rocky balance of his marriage to Patricia while he battles his way through kidnap, extortion and murder, and all of it liberally sprinkled with Hollywood gold dust.

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Turbulent Priests

Bateman
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Of Wee Sweetie Mice and Men

Bateman, Bateman
Authors:
Bateman, Bateman

The title, the terrorist and the punch-drunk pugilist. Fat Boy McMaster is a hopeless heavyweight boxer, who has somehow managed to become champion of Ireland. His devious manager succeeds in setting up a gigantic payday (largely for himself, admittedly) - a St Patrick's Day fight in New York against Mike Tyson - and he wants journalist Dan Starkey to write a book on it. Starkey's as yet unsuccessful efforts to persuade wife Patricia to give their marriage another try are put on hold, and he boards a plane to the Big Apple with McMaster and his deeply suspect entourage. Once there McMaster's wife is kidnapped, almost every interest group is outraged, the Champ is chased all over town by gunmen of varying allegiance, Starkey's marriage is saved - and there's the Big Fight to consider too...

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Nine Inches

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Divorcing Jack

Bateman
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'I was upstairs with a girl I shouldn't have been upstairs with when my wife whispered in my ear, 'You have twenty-four hours to move out'. The book that started it all, Bateman's first novel published in 1995. It introduced the world to the hapless, endlessly wily and witty Belfast journalist Dan Starkey. Dan shares with his wife an appetite for drinking and dancing. But when he meets Margaret, things get seriously out of hand. Terrifyingly, unbelievably, she is murdered. Before long Dan is a target himself, racing against time to crack the mystery.

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Chapter and Verse

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The Horse With My Name

Bateman
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Bateman

Dan Starkey - international man of inaction - rides again. How far can he fall this time? Ex-journalist Dan Starkey is stuck in a grimy Belfast bedsit. His life is a disaster, and his only solace is the pub round the corner. He needs to get out more, particularly since the sessions at Relate with his wife Patricia have been cancelled and she's hooked up with new man Clive. Fellow ex-journalist Mark Corkery, whose secret persona is The Horse Whisperer, an internet horse-racing gossip, wants him to investigate Geordie McClean, the man behind Irish American Racing. Simple enough for a man with Dan's experience, surely? But Trouble is Dan's middle name. And trouble is what he finds...

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Murphy's Law

Bateman, Bateman
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Detective Martin Murphy has been given one last chance. After a terrible experience working undercover in Northern Ireland, he's in London, and about to fail another psychological assessment. While his life spirals out of control, his boss sends him back undercover to expose a gang of diamond thieves who have just burnt a security guard alive. As he gets closer to the gang's leader, Murphy realises their plans are more ambitious - and more deadly - than anyone expected...

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Driving Big Davie

Bateman
Authors:
Bateman

For many years Dan Starkey has been a journalist of some repute - mainly ill. Now he is back with his wife Patricia, and while they try for a baby he is aiming to keep himself out of trouble. Had he not been caught in a rather awkward position when he received a phonecall from Big Davie Kincaird, he might not have decided to return to the village of Groomsport. And had he not drunk too much in order to cover the awkwardness of seeing this friend he hasn't known for 25 years, he might not have found himself agreeing to go on honeymoon... in Florida... for three weeks... with Big Davie. What else could possibly go wrong?

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Dr. Yes

Bateman
Authors:
Bateman

The hilarious new Mystery Man crime caper from the master of menace and mirthYou don't say no to Dr. Yes, the charismatic plastic surgeon on the fast track to fame and fortune. But when the wife of obscure and paranoid crime writer Augustine Wogan disappears shortly after entering his exclusive clinic, the Small Bookseller with No Name is persuaded to investigate. As fatherhood approaches, our intrepid hero is interested only in a quick buck and the chance to exploit a neglected writer, but he soon finds himself up to his neck in murder, make-up and madness - and face to face with the most gruesome serial killer since the last one.

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The Day of the Jack Russell

Bateman
Authors:
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Black Books meets Lead Balloon meets Gavin and Stacey in this hugely entertaining follow-up to MYSTERY MAN, from acclaimed author Bateman. The Small Shop Keeper With No Name is back. Hired to find the vandals responsible for spraying graffiti on an airline mogul's advertising hoarding, he soon finds himself up to his ears in intrigue and battling to solve murders which echo in the corridors of power. With MI5 getting involved and everyone on the hunt for a missing Jack Russell, can Our Man Behind the Counter stay alive as well as keep his world renowned but criminally ignored No Alibis mystery bookshop afloat?

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I Predict a Riot

Bateman
Authors:
Bateman

I want a riot of my own... Die-hard copper Superintendent James 'Marsh' Mallow, of the Belfast CID, is nearing the end of his career, but he's not handing in his badge until he's nailed notorious politician and racketeer Pink Harrison. A dismembered body has turned up and Mallow is convinced he's got his man. Problem is, take Pink Harrison down, and the trouble of the full-scale rioting kind is likely to flare up. Then there's Walter, the civil servant who's infatuated with Margaret, the carrot-cake induced coma victim, 'Steve' in 'Office 12' and Redmond, terrorist and occasional birdwatcher, whose only way out of jail is to get himself killed and trust in reincarnation...

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Belfast Confidential

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