Welcome & thank you so much for joining us today, Heather!
1. Please start by telling us a little bit about yourself.
Hi. Thanks for having me on your blog. I’m a Heather (but not the kind of Heather depicted in the movie Heather’s) Australian, married to my childhood sweetheart, mother to two boys and one bossy cat, tech nerd (we don’t count gadgets around here anymore), fan of chocolate in all its forms, Smurf Farmer. Oh, and I’m a writer.
2. When did you know that you wanted to write professionally and how did you take the leap to get into the business?
I’ve been a reader all my life but I’m a late bloomer with writing. I started writing in 2008, long after the influence of teachers and school had worn off. I started writing for fun, longhand, on a boring holiday and kept scribbling for nine months without feedback of any kind. When I found a critique group in November that year, I discovered that I didn’t know enough about story structure. LOL But I’m a persistent girl and learned quickly. I had a short story published under contract in 2010, One Wicked Night, and I kept writing new material. In 2011, after pondering the decision for over a year, I took the leap into self publishing. I now have a dozen books published under my name.
3. Can you tell me a little bit about Engaging the Enemy and what inspired it?
Engaging the Enemy is the first book in my new regency series, The Wild Randalls. The series is about three brothers, and one hot-headed sister, torn apart by the machinations of their own family and the lengths they will go to find each other and their place in society again. Engaging the Enemy is Leopold Randall’s story as he returns to Romsey Abbey, home of his young cousin, the Duke of Romsey, in search of information. But nothing at Romsey is as he expects and his whole life is turned upside down by what he discovers there.
There isn’t one single thing that inspired the series. I’ve always been fascinated by what people will do for power and wealth, and when you combine that with the amazing great houses found in England, and dip into the study of inheritance laws, your imagination takes over. Leopold would inherit the title of Duke of Romsey and everything that goes with it should the current child duke of Romsey die.
4. What do you hope that readers take way with them after reading your book?
I hope they feel happy honestly. It’s one of the things I love about reading romance books myself. No matter how shitty my day has been a romance novel can make me feel a whole lot better. I strive to do that for others.
5. I find it interesting to know what environment authors find most productive… Do you use a pen and paper or laptop? Quiet room at home or bustling café? Basically, what gets your creative juices flowing?
I can type faster than write (and have a better chance of reading it later) so I use a desktop computer and a laptop instead of a pen. I write at home. Since I have a laptop as well, I’m not restricted to place - my office, comfy lounge chair, bed, outside - if there is not too much glare. I’ve tried writing in a café but I’m easily distracted and a little self-conscious.
6. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
The best compliment was hearing that a reader and her partner read a story of mine together in bed. The most frustrating: criticism that a story wasn’t long enough even when it’s tagged as a short story in the description.
7. What book is currently on your nightstand? And who are some of your favorite authors?
I don’t read as much as I should lately. No where near as much as I used to and my TBR pile is about to topple. On my night stand at the moment are three books: Samantha Grace’s Miss Hilary Schools a Scoundrel, Sami Lee’s Born Again Virgin, and Jane Charles’ His Not So Sensible Miss. The rest are hiding under the bed, and on my ereader, so my husband won’t notice them.
8. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Is there such a thing? LOL I’m fond of old things so I like markets and antique stores. New and Secondhand Bookstores are great, too. I have a family and they keep me busy. My hubby is a mad car racing fan and I’ve taken to watching the Australian V8 Supercars with him. The racing season is about to begin this weekend actually and I’m ready to support my team. Go DJR Car 17!
9. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Write the story through to the end. Then start the next one. Finish it too. Repeat process multiple times. Writers write. Constantly. Somewhere in there, show someone your work and consider their feedback. You do not have to take everything they say as gospel but good feedback can help you write the next story better and in a shorter time frame. If you want to be an author of one story, that’s fine. But if you want a decent income from your writing then you have to crack your own whip and produce completed stories.
10. What can we expect from you next?
Right now I am working on book 2 of the Wild Randalls series. Forsaking the Prize starts on the same night Engaging the Enemy ended. I shouldn’t say much more than that, otherwise major spoilers would ensue for those who haven’t read Engaging the Enemy yet.
And now for a little bit of fun:)
This or That?
Coffee or Tea? Both
Sweet or Salty? Sweet
Beach or Lake? Lake
Winter or Summer? Winter
Cats or Dogs? Both, as long as the dog is small.
Zombies or Vampires? Vampires
Country or City? City
Shower or Bath? Bath
Morning or Evening? Morning
M&Ms or Skittles? M&M’s
Trains or Planes? Both
Comedy or Drama? Comedy
Book 1 - The Wild Randalls
Release Date: February 14, 2012
Every great family has a few secrets best left unspoken. The wild Randall’s of Hampshire excel at them.
A duchess should be regal, aloof and the image of calm elegance. But those words have never applied to Mercy Randall, Duchess of Romsey. A widow and mother of a young duke, Mercy is lonely and floundering to keep the estate afloat. When she discovers the existence of Leopold Randall, her husband’s estranged cousin, Mercy commits to help him locate his missing siblings if he’ll return the estate to order. Although cautioned against trusting a man who would inherit everything should her son die, she impetuously hands over the estate to Leopold’s care in the hope of keeping him near.
Leopold Randall, heir to the young duke, has returned to Hampshire to demand information regarding the fate of his missing siblings. Unfortunately, the Duchess of Romsey is clueless about them, yet her struggle to maintain the estate tugs at Leopold’s sense of duty. At her insistence, he steps in to bring order to chaos while searching for hints to his family’s whereabouts amongst the old duke’s papers. Yet the duchess tempts him in ways best unspoken. He fights to hide his weakness for her and a shameful past that could see him banished again. But when Leopold discovers a threat against the duchess and young duke’s life, he must join forces with the temptress to protect his last known relative.
About the Author: