Her latest book, Whispers In The Shadows, is a collection of short stories chock full of paranormal romance, intrigue, and mysteries.
I asked Heather a few questions about writing and got some pretty awesome answers. Heather's also letting me give away pdf copies of one of her books, so read on below!
What inspired you to write your latest book?
My latest book, Whispers In The Shadows, was inspired by my love of paranormal romances and the idea that anything is possible. I enjoy creating surreal plots and settings, and with this anthology, I’ve allowed my imagination to run wild. It has a ghostly love triangle, a sexy Egyptian tour guide who hides an ancient secret, a perfect man who really can offer eternal love and so much more. One element that is consistent throughout Whispers In The Shadows is the presence of a strong female protagonist who transcends her daily life to find an extraordinary world; it’s about fantastical emancipation told in a fun and sexy way.
What book are you reading now?
I have a ton of projects, both books and screenplays, in various stages of development so, unfortunately, I don’t have the time for recreational reading at the moment. However, as a huge fan of paranormal romances, there are many books being published right now that I’d love to read.
When did you first start writing seriously?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I have a great imagination when it comes to creating characters, plots and settings for stories, and writing is a very natural activity for me. At the risk of sounding clichéd, I just feel like I was born to be a writer. Throughout school I loved writing essays, stories and plays and was even encouraged by teachers to publish some of these assignments. However, it wasn’t until I was sixteen that I started writing professionally. While writing my first book, I did a lot of research on the publishing industry. The more knowledge and experience I gained, the more interested I became. After receiving my first publishing contract, I was hooked. I wrote several more books and, to date, have worked with eleven small, but traditional, publishers.
Is there any element of writing you find particularly challenging?
The most challenging aspect of writing is finding the time to execute all my ideas into books and screenplays. While writing, I like to be wholly engrossed in my work. However, having other commitments can sometimes make that a difficult thing to do. I also find editing and re-writes to be somewhat tedious, but they are crucial steps in making one’s work the best it can be.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
My favourite authors are Tennessee Williams and Jack London. I’ve read all of Williams’ plays and am amazed by his ability to be so blatant, accurate and compassionate about the human condition. He really gets to the core of what it means to be human, and he does so in a beautiful and entertaining way. In my own writing, I strive to achieve Williams’ signature feat. Regarding London, I am impressed by his depiction of the struggle between man and nature. This is a theme that has always interested me, probably due to my love of nature. London has helped to shape my goal of writing a great wilderness adventure.
Did you learn anything about yourself while writing your book?
I think the opposite is true – what I’ve learned from life, I’ve put into my books. I feel like I’ve had a lot of unique and even cinematic experiences in my life, so I draw on that while writing. I’m usually pretty discreet when I include my experiences in my work, though. I alter situations but still rely on how I felt and reacted in real life. Every single book or script I’ve ever written has a bit of me in it.
Any advice for those trying to get into writing?
My best advice for aspiring authors is to be hopeful yet realistic. The publishing industry can be brutal and making a living as a writer is extremely difficult. That being said, it’s definitely not impossible to be a successful writer. You must have an unwavering belief in your talent, be knowledgeable about the industry, have a hard work ethic and be wholly dedicated to your writing. I’d also advise aspiring authors to have a day job since breaking into this industry can take a long time. Additionally, education and experiences broadens one’s horizons, which ultimately helps to shape one’s writing.
What inspired you to make the jump from screenwriting to novels?
I actually started off writing novels. I became interested in screenwriting when one of my books was optioned for a TV show. From there, I began to seriously study the art of screenwriting. Writing scripts is very different from writing books. Scripts have rigid formatting guidelines and you must always “show, not tell” your story. In books, however, there’s more opportunity for writing inner dialogue and descriptions. Another huge difference between scripts and books is the amount of people involved and the cost of production. To produce a book with a small press, you will have a few editors for different stages of your manuscript, an art and PR department, a printer and distributors. However, with films, there could literally be hundreds of people involved in just one production. Using a small publishing house as an example again, it takes much less money to produce a book than a film. My first short film, Young Eyes, cost the production company $7500 to make; The Rarity cost $25000! Although I think the publishing industry is tough, I find the entertainment industry to be even more difficult. Nevertheless, I love writing books and films, and I strongly believe it’s worth the effort.
Thanks so much, Heather! Below are the books up for grabs - simply leave a comment on this post and I'll choose the winner randomly (pieces of paper in a hat - guys, we're doing this old school).
- Sir Tristan's Estate (Click to read a summary!)
- Blue Water (Click to read a summary!)
- Where Feelings Go To Die (Click to read a summary!)
- Hot Egyptian Nights (Click to read a summary!)