Heather, what inspired you to write your first novel and did you always know your genre would be romance?
My novel, the saga was actually inspired by a dream I had. I couldn’t get the characters or a particular scene out of my head. I have a very active imagination, as all artists do, so my husband suggested I write.
As for romance, I never considered the Natasha’s Saga a romance novel. My publisher classified it into that genre. It has a romance to it, but I considered it more than that. That’s probably why the guys reading it are enjoying the story. To me a romance novel is ‘boy meets girl, chases her, they experience some type of crises, they make up and all is good in the world’. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good romantic drama comedy. The Boat House, The Notebook & Ever After are some of my favourite chick movies. I must add Safe Haven to the list. I read the book and then watched the movie and became a fan of Josh Duhamel.
My saga isn’t a typical romance novel and anyone expecting a fast pace romance will be disappointed, or won’t like it. Personally, I like a good drama that gets me thinking and touches a nerve. If it brings a tear to my eye or gets me sobbing, struggling to see through my watering eyes, even better. That’s why I enjoyed your novel, Killing Jenna Crane. I didn’t cry, but it touched a nerve. (Ah geez). When I’m looking for a break, I want something lighter. I’ve begun reading YA and really enjoy them. I also enjoy a fun easy read book.
Ooh, another author who finds inspiration from dreams, like me. I'm thrilled! I see your first novel has been described as a classic fairy tale - does this reflect what you like to read yourself and do you have specific views on what should and shouldn't be included in romance novels?
I hope people have a different view by the time they read the second book. It’s different than the first. The interesting part of a saga is the fact it does continue. Natasha’s Dream is the first in a four part saga which means it takes a reader 1/4 of the way into a story. I broke the story into four because it was so long. My editor finished my first book and raved about it. When she finished the second book, Natasha’s Diary she sent me an email describing how much she enjoyed it and then spoke of her favourite sections. She preferred the second book over the first. She hasn’t seen the third, yet. (I’m privileged to work with two editors, content and line)
There is a moral to the entire story, more than one. It’s the reason I wrote it.
Has any part of yourself crept into the heroines of any of your romances?
There is a lot of me in the sub character, Keeghan. She has the vivid dreams, she has a soft heart and she holds grudges. I shouldn’t admit that, should I! Yikes!
What is the most desirable characteristic you've bestowed on the hero of your latest novel?
Stewart is compassionate and wants to do what’s right. The last thing he want to do is hurt anyone, especially family. He loves with all his heart.
Do you think you'll always write in the same genre and style or do you have desires to experiment and if so, in what way?
I hope not. I don’t want to get stuck in a rut. The Natasha Saga is a historical romance. Never say never, but i don’t plan anything historical again. It was interesting researching things, the telephone, the automobile, electricity, clothing styles, but no need to do that twice.
I use the term Wow throughout the series. One reviewer questioned it, saying it was too modern. Researching the term, it dates back to the 1700s in a poem. My heroine, Natasha is an avid reader of anything she can get her hands on so she could and apparently did come across the word and took a liking to it. Technicalities!
The Natasha Saga has strong female characters. My line editor called Natasha and later a future character a bada$$. I’m thrilled that came through. Historical women had guts and brains. They weren’t barefoot and pregnant all the time.
I’d love to team up with my husband as a writing partner. He’s an avid reader and a beta reader for me. Unfortunately he has a million things on the go at any given time so I’m not sure I get keep him sitting and typing long enough to be of value in that sense. Time will tell.
I feel privileged to have the opportunity to meet (through the cyber world) and read works by some amazing authors, yourself included. There are some wonderful stories out there from lesser known authors. Readers simply need to step away from the fan favourites.
I totally agree! What do you do when you're not reading or writing?
I love being outside, gardening, cutting grass, playing with our dog, whatever.
Hubby and I are both curlers. That indoor winter sport that’s played on the ice with brooms and granite rocks. I play a minimum of twice a week and manage the league for our future curlers. I have three regular coaches that work with me and together we teach 6 to 18 year olds.
I love to travel. Both hubby and I have a passion for photography so the camera is always ready, I like shots with us, he likes to take pics of stuff.
I also assist a not-for-profit organization called the Healing Cycle - Hospice Palliative Care. I volunteer at their large annual fund raiser. It’s a long but rewarding day. In 2012, a gentleman with stage 4 cancer rode 160km on a bike (pedalling) Next year I plan to find the time to assist volunteering at my local hospice.
Growing up, her only friends were her brothers and Nanny. In her parent’s mind, she was a mistake. As a result of an innocent swim, she discovered life existed beyond the walls of her home. Families, peers, underprivileged children. Can a dream turn into reality? Anything is possible, but dreams come with consequences that not only affect her, but those she loves. What is Natasha willing to risk to persevere?
Natasha's Diary - The second in the saga...
Keeghan’s subconscious has played tricks on her in the past, but she’s
normally able to control the outcome of her dreams. No such luck with this story. The mystery magnifies when her husband William discovers something else by the eroding sea wall, something that peaks their curiosity even further. Now, Keeghan wants the saga to continue. Drawn into the story more than she was prepared for, she needs answers.
Hope is growing up quickly. She's intelligent, independent, and stubborn. Negative traits inherited from both her parents surface at inconvenient times. Will her beauty help or hinder her?
A tragedy. Stewart is forced to make a decision that will affect his life and the rest of his family. Then, an encounter that changes everything. Is he ready for this? Has Stewart’s past really been left behind? Will history repeat itself? Trust, integrity, and tradition all come into question.
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