Today I would like to welcome back to the blog author Heather Snow. Heather is currently on tour promoting the release of her debut book Sweet Enemy. Heather was kind enough to let me ask her some questions and I would love to share them with you all. First lets get to know a little bit about Heather.
Heather Snow is a historical romance writer with a degree in Chemistry who found she much preferred creating chemistry on the page, rather than in the lab! She is forever trying to wrangle her left and right brain to work together (some days with more success than others!), but if her two sides had to duke it out, left would win every time--which can be a creative challenge. Luckily, she loves challenges...she just goes about solving them analytically.
She lives with her husband and two sons in the Midwest and truly hopes you find her stories have just the right chemistry...
Places to find Heather:First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
Well, I’m a historical romance author with a chemistry degree who discovered I preferred creating chemistry on the page, rather than in the lab! I’m also a wife and mom of two boys, known affectionately on the web as The Heir and The Spare. This is, of course, some historical romance author humor, and not an actual reflection on how we view our children ;). The boys are 3 ½ years old, and 6 months. As you can imagine, that makes me a little crazy at times…I’m imagining that will pass…in 18 years or so…
I’m also a movie lover—a lake girl—I prefer water skiing over snow, despite my name—and I love solitude, though I rarely get it with young children.
Did you always want to be a writer?
No. My degree is actually in chemistry. In fact, I’d never really done much writing outside of homework assignments. I was always an avid reader, however, and always had a creative side to me—and one day my reading just spilled over to writing!
What kind of writer are you? Panster or Plotter?
The chemist in me is a HUGE plotter, a stubborn one who feels terrified if I don’t know exactly what is going to happen. However, the creative writer in me feels stifled if I over plot. So I guess I’m a plotser…I compromise and loosely plot the mystery, character arc, and romance arc, then discover the fun details about the characters and story during the writing process.
Why historicals? What about this era draws you in?
Historical romance is my very favorite for many reasons. To me, it’s more like a grown-up fairy tale than other genres. I love the language…I attribute a huge chunk of my vocabulary to reading historical romance growing up. I love that you get to learn bits and pieces of history as you read. I love the fantasy of glittering balls and palatial estates with manicured gardens, without the everyday worries of our modern world. It’s like another layer of escape, one more step removed from the life I live.
Where do your ideas come from?
Actually, all of the ideas for the three books in the Veiled Seduction series came in different ways. SWEET ENEMY was inspired by an exhibit I went to at a museum about a scientific event that happened in the Regency Period which sparked a “What if?” mystery in my mind. When I finished the book, featuring a science-savvy heroine, I knew I wanted to write an entire series about smart heroines who solve mysteries. The idea for SWEET DECEPTION, due out in August, came from the heroine’s ability and what I wanted her to do with it. Whereas the idea for SWEET MADNESS came totally from the title.
A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
A lady chemist goes undercover as a husband-hunter at a house party to investigate the earl whose family she thinks murdered her father.
Out of any of your books, which one would you like to be a character in? And why?
Well, since I’ve only written two at this point, I’m going to say SWEET ENEMY. Since they are at a house party, there would be dancing, ball gowns, great food and people I could hide behind and observe everyone else. SWEET DECEPTION, on the other hand, is set in a more remote place with an active killer on the loose, and since I’m the author, I know who the villain is—which would make me a target. Nope, I’ll hang out in SWEET ENEMY, thank you very much!
What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
You know, when I sat down to write SWEET ENEMY, I wanted to write the kind of book I loved to read...highly emotional, fast paced historical romance that has a mystery to it, yet makes you laugh. It’s not light and fluffy, but it has light moments. (Although I do love lighter stories—I devour Julia Quinn, for example!). I also write very sensual stories, which I love to read also—Lisa Kleypas has wonderful, sensuous love scenes!
Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
Being asked to pick a favorite book is not quite like being asked to pick which of your children you like better, but close! =). Hmmm…I’ll answer it more like “what books do you re-read from time to time because you loved them so much?” I love “Devil in Winter” by Lisa Kleypas, “Castles” by Julie Garwood, “Tender Rebel” by Johanna Lindsay, and “Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake” by Sarah MacLean, just to name a few.
Have you ever fallen for another author's hero? If so, who and why?
Snort! Um…yes. More than one! Let’s see, I LOVED Anthony Mallory from “Tender Rebel”, I loved Caine, the Marquess of Cainewood from Julie Garwood’s “Guardian Angel”, I loved Derek Craven from Lisa Kleypas’ “Dreaming of You”…all for different reasons, although come to think of it…they were all tall and dark and sinewy…love the dark-haired heroes (as opposed the to blond, bulging Fabio-types). Looking at these three men I loved, they are all different – Anthony is a rake about town with a wicked sense of humor, Caine is an ex-spy with a sense of duty and protectiveness, and Derek is a dark, dark character who doesn’t think he can be redeemed. Guess I’m fickle =)
Belle of the Ball, Wallflower, or Widow?
Can I be a Wallflower Widow? I would certainly crave the independence being a widow would afford, yet I would probably still be an observer. If I were a romance heroine, I’d probably be that chit who fakes a marriage so everyone would think I was a widow…
Describe the characteristics that make up your perfect hero.
Well, we already talked about the tall, dark, leanness…so let’s go for true characteristics. Honorable, even if only to his own personal code of honor versus what society considers honorable. Ambitious, and for a goal that helps others, not just himself. A willingness to change—I don’t care if he starts out an ass, as long as he learns and grows.
What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write?
The really emotional ones. I have a chemistry degree, I am analytical by nature and act first with my mind, rather than my heart. Sometimes, I have to dig deep to let those emotions come first. I usually have to come at those over a period of a few days, and layer them on—give myself a bit of rest in between!
If you could have dinner with any three book characters, who would you choose and why?
I’m going to limit this to romance characters. Hmmm…wow…should I pick heroines who fascinate me, or men I would just sit and stare at in wonder? I’m going to pick heroines, because I would have a great time talking to them (and maybe they’d share juicy tidbits about their men who fascinate me!). I don’t think I’d invite Anthony Mallory’s wife, because she’s too much of a spitfire for me…I don’t think we’d have much in common—other than an appreciation for her hot husband! I’d DEFINITELY invite Caine’s wife, Jade, though—she was a pirate for many years, after all—she’d be fascinating to talk with! I’d also definitely invite Derek Craven’s wife, Sara—she’s a writer, you see—we’d have much to discuss. And then, I’d have to invite Dougless Montgomery from Jude Deveraux’s “A Knight In Shining Armor”—she did get to travel through time, after all. It would be awesome to hear about that!
If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
Again, I’m going to limit my answers to romance. Lisa Kleypas, definitely. I’m a huge fan of her writing, first of all. Second, listening to a talk she gave at a Romance Writers of America® conference is what pushed me over the edge into writing historical romance when I was debating about leaving behind my career to write. I’d like to thank her for that. Next, Julie Garwood—she had young children and an outside job in the early days of her career—I’d love to talk with her about how she juggled it all and still created such amazing stories. Finally, Sabrina Jeffries—she’s an author on my auto-buy list and there are always one or two moments in her stories that I just stop and think “Wow…that part was awesome!”.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Free time? What is that? Between a toddler, a baby and a book contract, I haven’t had free time since 2008! I used to love to travel, read, watch movies, attend the theatre…okay, I still love those things, I just don’t get to do them often. I’m a lake girl, as I mentioned, so swimming, boating, playing cards and board games (no TV at the lake unless it’s raining—that’s the rule!) and singing songs around the campfire with friends is a perfect summer day.
I’m too fickle to have a favorite! I’ll just name the first 5 that come to mind, okay? The Princess Bride, Field of Dreams, The Awful Truth, Shawshank Redemption and Heart and Souls.
You’re killing me! =) I can’t. I can’t choose. I can’t!
Ah…one I can answer. Green. Not the bright, Kelly green, but a rich, dark green. Ask me tomorrow, however, and it might change…
Last question, are you working on anything right now?
Yes! I’m finishing up copy edits on SWEET DECEPTION and plotsing the third in the series, SWEET MADNESS.
Liliana Claremont, a brilliant chemist, doesn’t want to be any man’s wife, much less a Countess. If she had tuppence for every time she’d been told her place was filling the nursery, not experimenting in the laboratory, she could buy the Tower Bridge. However, when she receives a coveted invitation to the Earl’s house party, she trades in her beakers for ball gowns and gladly takes on the guise of husband hunter—for the chance to uncover what the Earl had to do with the murder of her father.
Liliana believes the best way to get the answers she needs is to keep her enemy close, though romance is not part of her formula. But it only takes one kiss to start a reaction she can't control...
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Good Luck =)
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