Archive for December 3rd, 2007

NT: Hi Heather! Thank you for interviewing with RRAH. Can you tell us a little about yourself?



HW: Wow, what’s to tell? I’m married with two kids, live in Florida and…..ok that’s all boring stuff. And the truth is, I’m a fairly boring person lol. Average American, ex-military brat who got lucky enough to see a dream come to life. Oh, and I’m a complete geek. I play Word of Warcraft which I blame my brother and sister-in-law for, love spreadsheets, and collect books left and right!



NT: When did you know you wanted to be a writer? How long did it take for you to make your first sale?



HW: I’ve been writing my whole life, but I never realized it could be a career until after my son was born in 1998. I started scribbling words then, and was reading a 400 page book a day. In 2001, I joined a chapter of RWA, and seriously began to write straight regency set historicals. They were fun, but seemed to drag on forever as I wrote them. After that, I joined an amazing critique group that made it ok for me to start sneaking in my real passion – fantasy and paranormal. Since then, I haven’t been able to write one thing that didn’t have something strange in it. I wrote three full manuscripts and many, many half-manuscripts between 2001 and 2005 when I finally sold Devil’s Possession to Berkley.



NT: Is writing a full-time job for you or do you juggle another job?



HW: I’m lucky enough to be able to stay at home with my kids, who are both now in school, leaving me six full hours every day to write. During the summer, I switch my biological clock and write from about 10 PM till the wee hours of morning since they’re home.



NT: Tell us about your latest release, DESTINY’S WARRIOR.





HW: Destiny’s Warrior was my first attempt at creating my own world several years ago. I fell in love with the magical creatures and places, but I was still so new to writing that I didn’t have all the tools I needed to make it come to life. Then, when I sold the idea to Berkley, I had to go back and pretty much recreate everything from scratch. I think that, of any story I’ve ever put on paper, Destiny has more of my strange brain in it than anything else. It’s about a fae prince who grew up never knowing about his heritage, and now that the fae kingdom is in danger, he’s needed back in the Otherworld. It’s his journey through figuring out where he belongs and realizing that the things that made him different his whole life are what might save the world now…



NT: What inspired the idea for this story, about Nakkole & Gavin? Will you write more about this Fae World?



HW: I’m not quite sure what inspired it, per se, other than the fact that I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and more than that, a huge J.K. Rowling fan. I admire greatly the time she spent building her world and wanted to try my own. So yes, I would love to write another story set in the Otherworld, particularly if I could somehow turn the evil Dark King, Akrion, into a hero. I didn’t have enough pages to explore all the nooks and crannies, not to mention the creatures, that makes that world go round.



NT: Do you have a writing routine? What is your average writing day like?



HW: Ah, this question is going to make me look horrible. At the moment, I’m not on any particular schedule, so I’ll stick with what I do when I’m on deadline so I look a little more disciplined! I tend to do my actual writing while my kids are in school since I require silence (or lyric-less music only) when I’m putting fresh words on paper. I tend to write in spurts, a page, then get up and do something else, come back for another page. This is mainly because I don’t plot out my books a lot in advance, so the time away from the computer gives me a chance to think ahead a few pages. When I’m done with the full manuscript, then I go back and analyze for themes and plot holes and character growth. I don’t believe in editing a lot, I’d much rather re-write a scene than change sentences etc, simply because I’m terrified of editing out my voice. I think the freshest writing comes from the stuff that’s direct from head to paper. So I might re-write a full scene three or four times at the book’s end, until it feels not only fresh but just right…



NT: Is there any plot/setting/character that you’re dying to write but haven’t yet?



HW: Oh, many! It’s not a joke where I said in my bio that I’m waiting for the lush Sultan books of the eighties to come back. My background is rich in Turkish history and I know so many legends from there that I’d love to put my own spin on!



NT: What aspects of your life have you found creeping into your stories?



HW: Anyone who’s read Devil’s Possession and then goes on to read Destiny’s Warrior might notice that the hero or heroine or both is plagued with the issue of self worth. It’s something I struggle with every day. Good things happening to them that they feel they’re not worthy of, bad things happening and they take the blame for them. So I tend to work out my own issue with that in my stories. Hopefully, one day it will be resolved and I can find another issue to tackle!



NT: I recently also read THE DEVIL’S POSSESSION and had a question for you. Will you go back and write a book for Shane?






HW: I’m smiling here. You’re not the first to ask this question and I find it a brilliant possibility. I really would have thought people would have been asking for baby Aileas’s story, to be honest, and had no idea readers were going to attach themselves to Shane. There is no story idea in the works for him yet, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be one in the future! Someone talk to my editor…..


(Sidenote: I didn’t ask about Aileas because Shane kept jumping out at me *G* but hey, I’ll take a book about Aileas too after I get Shane’s story. hehe And oh yeah, what’s the name of you editor? I think we need to talk! LOL)


NT: Who are some of the authors who inspired you when you were still working towards becoming published? Who are some of your favorite authors to read?



HW: The ones who inspired me, and I still love to read!, were Johanna Lindsay, Jude Deveraux, and stretching into my teens, Christopher Pike who wrote teen horror novels which might explain the strangeness in my stories. But far and away the biggest inspiration to me was Julie Garwood. I got the chance to meet her a couple of years ago and cried like a baby. I told you I was a geek! Right now, other than Harry Potter, I have a few authors that are auto-buys for me. Sherrilyn Kenyon, Julie Garwood (still), Alex Kava, Janet Evanovich, Sharon Sala. I really read across the board!



NT: What was the most interesting thing you had to research and what was the hardest thing to research?



HW: It’s all interesting to me! I love history. I really like the daily stuff of what they ate, wore, and their customs. The hardest thing for me are the tiny details which I go far and away to avoid in my stories! For example, I wanted Draven to climb a ladder at some point in Devil’s Possession and ended up deleting the whole scene because I could never find out what kind of ladder they would have had then! The bigger detail stuff is all there for the taking in research, but those little things…they get me every time!



NT: As a member of RWA, what has joining local and national writing chapters meant to you and how have they helped you?



HW: Within my local chapter, I found my critique group, which has meant everything to me. I belong to Ancient City Romance Authors now and they’re a brilliant lot of women spread across the U.S. The greatest asset, for me, to belonging to ACRA is the support. They understand how big the good news is and how bad the bad news is, when other, closer people in my life who love me and know squat about the writing industry can’t possibly understand it.



NT: When not busy writing, what do you like to do in your spare time? (If there is such a thing *G*)



HW: I mentioned above I play World of Warcraft. I enjoy the game in itself but have met so many wonderful people there that the socializing has become the biggest draw for me to keep going back! I adore reading, of course, and really wish I could start hiking again. That’s a pastime I used to do a lot and thoroughly miss as life seems to have gotten too busy to do it.



NT: What are the latest additions to your TBR? What are you most eager to read?



HW: I just got The Other Boleyn Girl in the mail yesterday by Phillipa Gregory. I’ve never read her before but have heard such great things about it that I had to order it. Plus, I hate seeing book-based movies before I’ve read the book, and with the movie of TOBG coming out soon, I have to get a jump start. Same with The Golden Compass, which is also coming out as a movie. I’m about to dive into both of those soon.



NT: Any advice to aspiring authors? What craft books helped you that you would recommend to aspiring writers?



HW: My advice is simple and probably the hardest thing to achieve, and that’s the Sticktoitivness. Don’t stop. Rejected? Try again. Every page you write is better than the last. Every manuscript you try to sell is better than the one before. It’s those who quit who will never see publication. Those who keep trying have all the potential in the world.


As for book recommendations: GMC by Debra Dixon, The Dreaded Synopsis by Elizabeth Sinclair, and Techniques of a Selling Writer by Dwight Swain are the three I go back to for nearly every book.



NT: What can your fans look forward to from you in the near future? What are you working on now?



HW: I hope they can look forward to a lot more! I’m working on several other projects, but am unsure which will be the next to hit the shelves or even when! But whatever they get from me, they can count on a touch of strangeness! I just don’t do normal well.



NT: How can readers contact you?



HW: My website is www.heatherwaters.net and I can be reached at HDW@heatherwaters.net. Thanks so much Fatin! This has been fun!



Hope you all enjoyed the interview. Make sure to leave a comment for the chance to win one of Heather’s books. 🙂 I hope you like them as much as I did!

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