Scribal Love Welcomes Betty Ann Harris!
Betty Ann Harris is an author of romantic suspense. Her newest work, Agent Of Mercy, is available from Red Rose Publishing.
What is the name of your latest book? And how did you come up with the title?
The title of my latest book is Agent Of Mercy. Sam Blake is an FBI Special Agent. He's assigned to bring into custody a woman who he ends up trying to save and falls in love with. Because he shows this woman mercy, he is the Agent Of Mercy.
What is this book about? And what genre is this book in?
Agent Of Mercy is a mainstream romance-suspense/mystery.
The story is about New York City FBI Special Agent Sam Blake who is working undercover on the Catherine Jones case. Catherine is a mentally disturbed woman who has a deep psychotic hate of men. She finds wealthy, single men and seduces them. Once in her clutches, she steals from them and takes off, leaving them heartbroken and broke, and sometimes dead.
Sam poses as a cunning criminal himself, gains Catherine’s trust and friendship and tries to bring her into custody, only to find himself feeling sorry for her and falling for her feminine charm.
They are both deceiving each other and become engaged in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse. Catherine deceives Sam and takes all the money and flies to St. Croix, the Virgin Islands. But he’s a good investigator and agent and he’s right on her tail.
Meanwhile, Sam’s assistant, Melissa, who had an affair with Sam previously and who is still very much in love with him, is trying to help him not fall prey to Catherine’s charms, and keep him alive.
Who is/are the main characters? And why did you choose them?
Catherine Jones is the main female character who is a pathological liar and a cunning criminal. I chose her characteristics to make her the perfect fem-fetale; a woman women love to hate but men cannot resist.
Sam Blake is a top-notch FBI undercover agent with a sensitive side. And he's good-looking with a dry sense of humor.
What is the coolest or best part about your book? (Any Favorite scenes, the world-building etc..)
Here is a scene from Agent Of Mercy that I particularly like and enjoyed writing:
“Well, I guess I’ve got nothing to lose.” Catherine took a deep breath and proceeded to lay it all out for Sam. She told him about her father, how he had been mean and abusive to her and her mother.
“My mother couldn’t take anymore and I think she was worried he’d do something to hurt
my little brother. And my little brother was so young, only three or four when she took him
and disappeared.” Catherine paused.
“Where are you from, originally?”
“I’m from New Hope, Pennsylvania.”
Sam, who had been looking out at the ocean, jerked himself around to face Catherine.
“Catherine, what’s your real last name?”
“Do you know your mother’s maiden name?”
“Yes, it’s Sinclair.”
Sam looked like an arrow had pierced his heart, and in a manner of speaking, it had. He acted
as if he had realized something unbelievable, but that’s exactly what it was, an act.
Catherine put her hand on his arm. “Sam, are you okay? You’re scaring me. You look like
you’ve seen a ghost. Should I call a doctor?”
“Catherine, I’ve got something to tell you and it’s going to be a shock.”
“Okay, don’t keep me in suspense. What is it?”
“I was born in Lahaska, Pennsylvania, which, as you are probably aware, is near New Hope,
your hometown. I’m thirty years old and you are thirty-seven. God help me, but I believe
I’m your brother.”
Now it was Catherine’s turn to be shocked, but to him, her shock appeared real.
“My brother? God, no, no, it can’t be true!”
“I can understand you being shocked by this, but you’re acting as if it’s terrible.”
“It is terrible.”
“Because, you see, Sam, I’m in love with you.”
Do you have a favorite character in the book? If so, why?
My favorite character is Sam because he's got a good heart and soul.
Is this book part of a series? If so? What can we expect in future books?
Yes, Agent Of Mercy is the fourth book in The Special Agent Series, and you will definitely be seeing more sexy special agents in the future.
If not? Are you considering expanding it?
I may branch out into a women's FBI series.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I don't think I'd change anything in the basic story plot, but I would have liked it if I had made this short novella a full-length novel. Some readers have told me that they hate it when the book ends, that they liked it and wanted more. Future books in the series will be longer.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I think I found out that I do like happy endings and I'm not sure I could write a book with an unhappy ending in every aspect. I'm a believer in the truth and like it when justice prevails.
Do you have a publisher? And if so, why did you choose them?
The Special Agent Series is with Red Rose Publishing and I chose Red Rose because they were definitely interested in a Special Agent Series. I really enjoy writing this series.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I have always liked Alfred Hitchcock, the King of Suspense, but also like James Patterson.
What books are you reading now?
I just started reading Catherine Coulter's Double Take.
What are the current writing projects that you are working on?
I'm working on the final read-through edit on the sequel to my first book, Eureka Point. The
sequel is titled Beyond The Point. I'm also working on finishing up the next book in the Special Agent Series and I'm about halfway through my first paranormal, Possessing Prudence.
Do you write full time? If not, do you hope to do so one day?
I write part-time, sharing my working time with author promotions and marketing, which includes making video trailers. I must say, I very much enjoy the promotional work, but if I wrote a NY Times Bestseller I'd be a very happy camper and would be as happy as a clam if I could write full-time.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My father was a fantastic story-teller and I think I inherited some of that. I have always loved words and started out reading and writing poetry at a young age. As a teenager I started reading mysteries, and once I started reading them, I couldn't stop. I read every Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Agatha Christie book I could get my hands on. Then came the 007 James Bond books and I was totally hooked on romance and suspense. I also had a fantastic junior high school English teacher who sparked my interest in actually writing myself.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes, I require total quiet when I write, and with a family, house and two dogs to take care of, it's hard to find enough quiet time. I'm also not too keen on formatting my work, but force myself to do it.
Do you have any advice for other writers seeking to get published for the first time?
One thing I think is important is to submit to publishers who already have books with them that are of the same genre as yours. Some publishers may publish a lot of erotic books, and if your book isn't erotic, they might contract with you for your book because it's good. But readers of one type of book may overlook your book at the wrong publisher.
As a promotor for authors, once your book is contracted and your release date is in sight, start getting your name out there and promoting yourself and your book. You should really have a website also.
Thanks so much for having me as a guest author.
You are welcome! Thank you for dropping by!
You can find Betty on the web at: