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Anna Destefano | How does a story like The Firefighter's Secret Baby happen anyway???


I've been in love with heroes my whole life. Show me a romance fan who hasn't. We want to believe in the hero in all of us, and most especially in the hunky leading men that Harlequin and Silhouette bring to life on their covers every month, right? But how exactly does a novel like The Fireman's Secret Baby get dreamed into being???

My Atlanta Heroes series started as a challenge to myself to find a way to write action and suspense into my "home and family" Superromance stories--because I've also fallen in love with suspense and intrigue as I write more and more novels. Plus, I wanted to write about everyday heroes that a reader might see in her own life. Lawyers and nurses and doctors and public defenders who put so much on the line to help others, but don't always get their share of the drool-worthy romance novel covers. I've had a blast hearing from readers who've fallen hard for my "manly" Atlanta men and their feisty heroines. It's been a great three years--including winning last year's Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award for Book 2 of Atlanta Heroes, To Protect the Child.

Along the way, my series created a family of three firefighter brothers, yet they'd never gotten their own chance to save lives and dreams and hearts. Firefighters were too obvious, I guess, and I was looking for my everyday guys to step up and take charge of saving the day. To the point that my editor finally sat me down to ask--what gives?

"Why haven't you written the firemen? WHY? It's a heroes series, for heaven's sake."

It occurred to me that perhaps I'd teased everyone for far too long.

And she'd loved to see something with a rough rescue hero having to deal with a little baby.

"Baby's are always great. What do you have against babies?"

It occurred to me that I used to write a lot of babies but had gotten away from it when I started writing more suspense into my stories. And that keeping my editor entertained was important to my career...

So, firemen and babies (and why not a secret baby, I figured, while I was at it) and suspense, because that's what Atlanta Heroes has turned out to be--my own fun world of action and suspense within the Superromance line. Cool. And since I was falling in love with the USA network's In Plain Sight at the time, why not add a heroine on the run from the mob and her federal protection, and maybe that could be why the cute little baby turns up as a secret that knocks our hunky hero onto his fire and rescue butt?

"Sure," my brave editor said, "we can do that at Super--as long as you make all that come together in the first scene of the first chapter, because we want an opening that will rock!!!"

Long story short (too late???) that's how The Firefighter's Secret Baby came to be, so if you read it and become a fan, be sure to think kindly of my editor, because it was all her idea ;o)

Check out the excerpt in my April Fresh Fiction Contest (where you can win a $20 Amazon gift certificate) and let me know if I hit the mark with the opening. Or if I didn't. Or if you've been following Atlanta Heroes for a while now. Or if you have any questions at all. I love to hear what readers think of the creative writing process and the stories that somehow find their way onto the page and into readers' homes. You're the best for giving our heroes life, so they can live on in your imagination ;o)

Comment out here today to be in the running to win one of the FIVE signed copies of The Firefighter's Secret Baby I'm giving away.

Oh, and over at my author blog. I'm running a release contest for the rest of the month, where you can comment as often as you like for your chance to win more Atlanta Heroes and another gift certificate.

Atlanta Heroes goodies for everyone!

Because everyone's a hero in my book ;o)





35 comments posted.

Re: Anna Destefano | How does a story like The Firefighter's Secret Baby happen anyway???

Heroes are wonderful! So glad that I have one in my life!
(Marjorie Carmony 7:31am April 16, 2010)

OMG, what a teaser! Thanks for sharing! This one definitely goes on my TBR list. I LOVE reading about guys who "step up to the plate", even under such risky circumstances. My hero ... and everyone else's too!
(Elaine Seymour 8:03am April 16, 2010)

Hey everyone!

Hope you're having a great spring morning, and that you find a hero to hug in your life today ;o)

Looking forward to chatting with everyone...

(Anna Destefano 8:57am April 16, 2010)

Firefighters are heroes everyday. I love to read books about all of our men & women who risk their lives for ours.
(Pat Wilson 10:03am April 16, 2010)

Unsung heroes all of them.
(Diane Sadler 10:55am April 16, 2010)

Sounds good. Can't wait to read.
(Sherry Russell 10:59am April 16, 2010)

Everyone needs a hero in their life especially those who are never recognize for their heroic deeds.
(Kai Wong 11:47am April 16, 2010)

Anna, I am SO hooked after reading the opening excerpt! It really makes me want to know the rest of the story. I am an Atlanta girl, so I am intrigued by your series of Atlanta heroes. Firefighters are great heroes in books and in real life. I also think I am halfway in love with the guy on the book cover! ;-)
(Cheryl Castings 12:20pm April 16, 2010)

I feel the same way about heroes. Most of my "Atlanta Heroes" guys have been more everyday Joes.

Here's the dedication for TFSB, to give you an idea of what I mean--

"To those who stand and fight. To those who run toward danger, so others may be free. To those who put all they are on the line. To heroes."

(Anna Destefano 12:22pm April 16, 2010)

There's nothing like a firefighter
hero! Thanks for the post. I feel like
I've been in love with heroes all my
life, too ;)
(Amber Leigh Williams 12:50pm April 16, 2010)

I love to read about our everyday hero's and their is nothing better than a Firefighter!!!
(Brandy Blake 1:26pm April 16, 2010)

I like to read about heroes because somehow they become more human than the idolize figures we normally see them as.
(Leni Kaye 2:48pm April 16, 2010)

I have been seeing this book around and really really want to get my hands on it!
(Colleen Conklin 3:10pm April 16, 2010)

I enjoy reading about a hero who puts his life and love on the line and at the end I want them to have a 'happy ever after'. It sounds like this book does just that. Congratulations!
(Rosemary Krejsa 3:46pm April 16, 2010)

Heroes don't have to come on a white horse! They are those around us who are there when they are needed and do the best they can for everyone involved - just like your fireman!
(Karin Tillotson 4:52pm April 16, 2010)

Congrats on the new release, Anna.
(Jane Cheung 5:15pm April 16, 2010)

Nothing like a firefighter hero! Congrats on the new release!
(Cheryl Bradley 5:26pm April 16, 2010)

This is the type of "hero" I think deserves that name, not sports or movie stars. It's people who choose to put their lives on the line, but are often underappreciated. I'll certainly be looking for this one--if I don't win it.
(Sigrun Schulz 5:30pm April 16, 2010)

I'm definitely going to pick this book up! I love firefighters (what's not to love?!)! Of course, then I'll be hooked and I'll be looking for the books that came before!
(Kelli Jo Calvert 5:32pm April 16, 2010)

Since I was born and raised in Georgia, this series appeals to me.. I had not heard of your books so have added you as new author and your books on my to buy list. I love hero books both male and female so I will have to push your books up alittle on my list. LOL Thanks for the wonderful series and I look forward to reading them all.
(Brenda Hill 5:51pm April 16, 2010)

Firefighters are the ultimate in heroes. Well done!!
(Mary Preston 6:42pm April 16, 2010)

I definitely want to thank your editor for the idea and you for writing the story! My husband is a firefighter! I plan to get a tattoo that says "My Husband" above and "My Hero" below either the firefighter or EMS symbol (since he is also a paramedic)! He truly is my hero! Thank you for the chance to read and comment on this story!
(Dawn Detkowski 7:27pm April 16, 2010)

There are a lot of unsung heroes who aid our lives today and honoring them in a book is a reminder of that. Congratulations on doing a superb job with your Heroes.
(Gladys Paradowski 7:37pm April 16, 2010)

Firemen are soooo cute!!!
(Lori Roche 7:44pm April 16, 2010)

I have firefighter friends who are definitely heros! This book sounds great.
(Lisa Garrett 8:45pm April 16, 2010)

I love any story that has babies
or kids in it. They are my
weakness when deciding which new
titles I must have.
(Lisa Richards 9:33pm April 16, 2010)

Hello Anna, Please enter me in your fantastic contest and this sounds like a fantastic book to read. I love entering and winning contests from FreshFiction.com
God Bless Everyone, Cecilia
(Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez 9:36pm April 16, 2010)

I have been waiting for this books
since reading the excerpt last year
during your DARK LEGACY lead up
blogs. I haven't read the rest of your
Atlanta Heroes series, but by the
sound of things I'd better remedy that.
Good luck with the release.
(Patricia Barraclough 10:27pm April 16, 2010)

knocks the hero on his fire and rescue butt...cute!!
they are indeed heroes.
(Robyn Lee 1:47am April 17, 2010)

The series sounds great!
(Marlene Breakfield 10:29am April 17, 2010)

Sounds like an excellent book; cannot wait to read it.
(Barbara Studer 12:39pm April 17, 2010)

I love firemen....
(Brandy Blake 6:00pm April 17, 2010)

Congrats on your new release! The first chapter is great and definitely has hooked me into the story. Thank you!
(S Tieh 7:39pm April 17, 2010)

I love the premise of this book... probably because I'm also a big fan of In Plain Sight. This is going to be one heck of a series if this first short exerpt is anything to go by. You're a new artist for me, and now I'm excited to get a chance to read my first book by you. Hopefully I'll be lucky enough to win my first book and then just keep adding to that one.
(Donna Holmberg 10:40pm April 17, 2010)

This book and series sounds wonderful! I love stories about firefighters and your excerpt really got my attention.
(Cathy Phillips 8:04pm April 18, 2010)

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