Friday, February 06, 2015

Friday Fun - You Want Me To Do What? Facing Our Fears

Barb Han is talking to the Pink Heart Society all about facing her fears, new challenges and approaching Noir...

When my editor contacted me to see if I wanted to write a story for Harlequin’s new digital-only line, Harlequin Intrigue Noir, I was ecstatic…

I wanted to know more. Immediately! She suggested I go out to the Web site to get more details and then submit an idea.

There on the site, I learned Noir would be "a counterpart to Intrigue", so I couldn’t wait to find out exactly what that meant. The stories would be "darker, grittier, and sexier." Seriously? Awesome! I was ready to go ‘all-in’. I quickly ordered all the movies mentioned and then set out to watch them. Some, I found boring. Zzzzzzzz.

I fell asleep watching them. 

And then, I saw Haywire. I’d always wanted to do a non-James Bond spy story. A tough-as-Kevlar female was even better. Especially if I turned her loose on one of her own. I set out to write my own version, dark and gritty.

It was all good until I finished those first few chapters and realized I was so far outside my comfort zone that I couldn’t even see it anymore let alone find my way back. 

Did I mention these stories were dark and sexy? I had developed a heroine that had suffered so much pain in the past she’d been a cutter. And the sex in chapter two literally sizzled off the page. 

I went from…

...and feared I’d never be able to do the story justice. Me? Write dark, gritty and sexy? Let it all hang out? *breathe in, breathe out*

Cue chest feeling tight.

So, I did what any red-blooded American woman would.  I called a friend who wrote erotica and asked how she did it. She told me this, “Forget that your momma’s gonna read this, and then write the way it deserves to be written.”

Her advice was empowering. I broke free from my inner critic and became obsessed with the story. I tossed my comfort zone on the floor like a worn sweater and then jumped up and down on it. I wrote and fell in love with every word, even the sexy ones.

I turned in the very bravest story I could write…and then waited. Waited. Waited.

The release date shifted twice, but finally arrived on Monday.

And I couldn’t be more proud of this book. Apologies in advance to Mom.
Tell me about an experience that shocked you out of your comfort zone and what you did to power through it.   

Barb Han's Noir, Atomic Beauty, is available now:

"You wouldn't call me angel if you really knew me," Erika said.

Erika Nile knows her devastating beauty always leaves men begging for more, but her lust for Jace Mitchell is raw and powerful. And although she's just obeying orders when she cozies up to the rogue agent, giving in to temptation is the worst possible idea. 

Still, how can she ignore what her body craves: to be with Jace, no matter the cost. And that cost will be high. Because there's a lot more to this case than anyone is telling her—including Jace. Trust and feelings have no place in her work, or in her life. And yet there's no denying Jace is a distraction. They're perfectly matched as adversaries—and as lovers—and if this mission goes wrong, it could be Erika's undoing. Especially once the kill order comes in and it's clear only one of them will get out alive…

Since selling her first story to Harlequin, Barb’s written seven books for Harlequin and is hard at work on her eighth. You can find out more about her writing on her website and Goodreads.  Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for regular updates and pretty pics!