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April 5, 2013

Writer Wrangler: Julie Ann Walker


Love bad boys in motorcycles? Julie Ann Walker's got the perfect fix for that. Read up and find out why Black Knights Inc. is the series for you.



Braine: Hi Julie! First of all thanks for dropping by Talk Supe! Congratulations on the success of Black Knights Inc. and the release of Thrill Ride. Woot! For those who are not familiar with the series, can you tell our Supies a little something about Black Knights Inc. that's not mentioned in the blurbs?

Julie Ann Walker: Thanks for having me on! It's an honor! As to Black Knights Inc., for the uninitiated Supies out there, think: Sons of Anarchy meets 007. The Black Knights are ex-military men who've formed their own covert government defense firm operating under the guise of a custom motorcycle shop. Or, more simply, it's hot guys on hot bikes going on hot covert missions. Sounds fun, right? ;-D 


Braine: Yes, motorcycles and badass men is a formula that will never fail! Now we can cut it in different ways, but at the end of the day it's your men who steal the show. Can you describe your Knights in a five-word sentence?

Julie Ann Walker: I think author Catherine Mann said it best after she read the first Black Knights Inc. book, HELL ON WHEELS… "Edgy, alpha, and downright hot!" LOL!


Braine: And I agree! And to add to that, these Knights are broken, and yet readers find them addictive; where are you getting the materials for their respective backstories?

Julie Ann Walker: I volunteer for the USO. (United Service Organization) So I'm fortunate to get the opportunity to interact with soldiers. Basically, I listen to their tales of war, some are happy, some are sad, all are poignant, and then I just kind of, you know, let the ideas run wild. Sometimes a service member will relate something to me - about seeing a fellow warrior injured, or about losing a fiancĂ©e because of the time and distance separating them - that will strike a chord and a story, complete with a backstory, will begin to materialize in my overactive imagination. 


Braine: That's a fascinating volunteer job and it sounds like a real legit source of information. Back to writing, like most series writers, each book is or should be better than the first, and Black Knights Inc. is like that! Do you feel the pressure of setting the bar higher and higher with each book's release?

Julie Ann Walker: Wow! You think the books are getting better and better? Thank you! And I didn't feel any pressure before, but I do now! LOL!


Braine: LOL... well I think I'm not the only one who thinks so or at least that's what we all hope for right? What should your fans and readers expect from Thrill Ride and how is it different from the previous three books?

Julie Ann Walker: The first three books were release back-to-back-to-back. I knew this was the strategy going in, so I tried to tie their plots together… a somewhat continuing plotline, if you will. THRILL RIDE very much stands alone as a novel. It benefits from the three earlier books, but doesn't depend on them. At least I hope that's the case… ;-)


Braine: Rock and Vanessa. What is it about these two that's special and readers will find appealing?

Julie Ann Walker: Well, first and foremost, Rock has a sexy Cajun drawl. (I love a good accent.) He's honorable, loyal, and dependable - just like all awesome-sauce heroes should be. But he's also got enough emotional baggage to be interesting. I hate stories that have great plots but cardboard characters. As for Vanessa, a cardboard character she is not. She's tough, tenacious, and talented. And she stands by her man even when the whole world is fighting against him. You've got to love a heroine like that! 


Braine: Yes on the accent and furious nodding on feisty females. Let's make this fun, we're fond of doing casting couches for our favorite series. Who can you see playing the heroes of your books so far: Nate (Hell on Wheels), Frank (In Rides Trouble), Jake (Rev It Up) and Rock (Thrill Ride)?

Julie Ann Walker: Oooh, I love this idea. Hmm, let me think. I'd go with Manu Bennett for Nate. He's got the right stillness about him, the right level of… quiet alertness. And those piercing black eyes… *shiver* 

As for Frank, the actor would have to be big - built like an Abram's tank - and badass. So, maybe I'd pick Vin Diesel. Although, we'd have to put some hair on him. Frank isn't bald! :-D 

Chris Hemsworth could play Jake. Chris has the right look for Jake's character, the beach-boy, sandy-colored hair and eyes you just want to drown in. Plus, when Chris smiles? Total heart-stopper. 

And, last but definitely not least, I'd choose Trent Ford to play Rock. Trent is attractive without being over-the-top gorgeous, and that's totally what Rock is like. Then, there's the half-grin Trent does that is so reminiscent of the one I picture on Rock. Be still my heart! 


Braine: If you were to create a soundtrack for Black Knights Inc., what would be the top 5 songs on the album?

Julie Ann Walker: Definitely Bob Seager's Against the Wind. Also Bad to the Bone by George Thorogood. Then I'd have to throw in some Bon Jovi Dead or Alive. Next would be Born to be Wild by Steppenwolf. And just to prove that I listen to more than classic rock, I'd add Lonely Boy by The Black Keys.


Braine: Can you share your favorite line from Thrill Ride?

Julie Ann Walker: "Because while I have no doubt I could give you the thrill ride of your life, I can guarantee that's all it'll be. You see, ma belle, no matter what, you can't let yourself fall in love with me."


Braine: OMG! Imagining that with Rock's Cajun drawl is a panty-melter! SQUEE! So, how many more Black Knight Books are you planning to write?

Julie Ann Walker: If my publisher keeps buying the books from me, *fingers crossed* I'm thinking the series will stretch to twelve books.

Braine: Sourcebooks, keep 'em coming please!



1. Do you own a motorcycle yourself? If yes, what do you have? (picture optional) If not, are you planning to get one and what do you want to have?
I don't currently have a motorcycle. But I've been hankering for one of the new Indian motorcycles that looks vintage yet is built with all the modern-day comforts.


2. Which strip or area is the best place to cruise around Chicago, whether in a car or motorcycle?
I love cruising around Wicker Park. The neighborhood is very eclectic, filled with cool bars, good restaurants, wacky boutiques, and vintage clothing stores. It's artsy without being pretentious. And there's a cantina there called Big Star that makes the best danged margaritas on the planet. But be careful if you visit. One is enough to knock you on your ass! LOL!

Julie's dream motorcycle

3. Person you're looking forward to meeting?
I'm a huge Suzanne Brockmann fan. If you've never heard of her, shame on you! ;-) She's only the reigning queen of romantic suspense. And I hear she's going to be at one of the writers' conferences I'm attending this summer. I'm going to have a total fan-girl moment, complete with hand-wringing and squeezing. You just wait and see!


4. If your characters could cross over into another series, what would it be and why?
I think the Black Knights would fit in well with J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood boys. The heroes of both series are kickass and like to talk a lot of smack. I figure they'd get on famously together!


5. You love movies! What movie are you most looking forward to seeing this year?
The Lone Ranger because I absolutely love Johnny Depp. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire because Jennifer Lawrence is bomb-diggity, my kind of gal. And World War Z because the book was great and I'm a huge zombie flick aficionado.


Thanks for stopping by Julie, that was a fun chat!
For those of you who can't get enough of tormented bad boys, better start reading Black Knights! 
And P.S. I get dibs on Rock!
Read our reviews here

Purchase Black Knights Inc


Julie Ann Walker is prone to spouting movie quotes and song lyrics. She'll never say no to sharing a glass of wine or going for a long walk. She prefers impromptu travel over the scheduled kind, and she takes her coffee with milk. You can usually find her on her bicycle along the lake shore in Chicago or blasting away at her keyboard, trying to wrangle her capricious imagination into submission.

Fangirl with us!







5 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for having me on today! What a blast!

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    1. Yes and I want that motorcycle too! YOu MUST come back once you've got that baby. That's a story that NEEDS to be shared!

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  2. I gotta agree, the books are getting better :) and Braine, as long as you're leaving my Ozzie alone Rock is all yours ;) lol great interview too! I love JAWalker, your hilarious ma'am lol. And I hope you record your fangirl moment, that be worth seeing xD LOL can't wait for the next installment, and I'm with Braine, Keep Emily comin Sourcebooks :D

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    1. Oooh I'm soo curious who'll JAWalker will match Ozzie with. He's so playful and super smart. Can't wait.

      P.S. Go at him!

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    2. >.< I don't want my Ozzie with anyone but me! LOL I can't wait either, it'll be fun to watch him and his HEA. I hope she'll be worthy :p

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