SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR: KELLEY HECKART
Before we get started talking about your books, tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? I moved around a lot as a child, but lived in Southern California for most of my life before moving to
What is your occupation outside of writing?
I’m writing full-time right now so I guess that really translates into being unemployed. I was working part of the year the last two years at a tax preparation company, but was unable to work this year.
Would you describe yourself as an introvert or an extrovert? Introvert. I enjoy being a writer and spending time by myself daydreaming.
Do you have any pets? Yes. I have two dogs. They have names, but I like to make up nicknames for them. Right now I call them Stinky Man and Pretty Polly. Stinky Man is a chi-weenie and Pretty Polly is an American Eskimo. I would say their real names, but I am one of those stupid pet owners that sometimes uses their names as passwords.
What are your favorite books to read? I like to read historical fantasy or paranormal books. I do read straight historicals too. I’m kind of a history geek. My favorite time periods are ancient, Dark Ages and medieval, but I will read pretty much any historical.
Where is the most unique place you have traveled? I hate to travel. We do go to
a lot because it’s not that far and that is a unique place. I am always captivated by the red rock formations and the beauty of the canyons. Sedona, AZ
Aside from your successes in the writing industry, what in your life has given you the greatest sense of accomplishment? I was a musician for about fifteen years before becoming a writer and those were some of the best years of my life. My band played a lot of gigs, we met a lot of people, some famous, some really weird and we spent time in a recording studio. I have some songs that I can say give me a sense of accomplishment.
How many books have you written and how many of those are published?
*Of Water and Dragons,
*Of Water and Dragons,
*White Rose of Avalon,
All are published with Awe-Struck. Night’s Daughter and Winter’s Requiem are contracted with Awe-Struck but not released yet. I also have a couple of short stories published-- The Enchanted Meadow (Freya’s Bower) and A Winter Solstice Kiss (Noble Romance).
Do you have one particular genre that all your books fall under (i.e. suspense, romance, etc.) or do you write in many different genres? I write Celtic historical romance with fantasy and paranormal elements.
How much character and plot detailing do you plan out before you begin writing a novel, or are you a “pantser” (fly by the seat of your pants)? I am more of a pantser. I do have character sheets and an idea for the plot, but it always changes. I have a notebook that gets filled with random notes on characters and plot ideas for each book I write. Some books have several notebooks full of crazy notes that are in no particular order. If I have time, I put some of the information into a computer doc so that it makes more sense. For my trilogy, I had to create a timeline so that was pretty detailed.
Prior to becoming a published author, how many rejections did you receive? How did you handle the rejections? My intitial plan was to self-publish, but I had no idea what I was doing at the time. And then I stumbled on ebook publishing and small publishers on the Internet. I read about some of these publishers and the first publisher I submitted to rejected me. I tried again and Awe-Struck accepted Of Water and Dragons. I was in shock because I really didn’t think I would get accepted on the second try. I can’t say the same for some of my first short stories that received numerous rejections from various fantasy magazines and remain unpublished.
How and when do you write? Do you keep yourself on a schedule or do you work while the muse is with you? I want to have a schedule but my Muse doesn’t seem to want a schedule. I attempt writing every day. Some days I get a lot written, some days not so much.
If you have a new release coming out, tell us about it. My latest release is Beltaine’s Song, the second book in my Dark Goddess trilogy.
Here is a short blurb:
For each of them, spring's song has a different meaning.
Aedan and Domelch must battle earthly foes—enemy kings and traitorous allies. For the first time, the arrival of spring heralds the sound of a harsh battle horn as their foes close in. Through all this turmoil, can their love survive?
For their son, Gartnait, spring brings with it the promise of new love and the thrilling sound of the battle horn, putting those he cares about in danger.
If you could give one piece of advice to writers trying to get published, what would that advice be? My advice to writers trying to get published would be to make sure you are submitting your best work by editing and revising until the book is ready and follow the submission guidelines.
What's up next for you and your writing? I should have a new book out soon—Winter’s Requiem is the final book in my Dark Goddess trilogy. I have also started on a new book set in pre-Arthurian Scotland/Pictland with a Saxon heroine and a Pict hero. I’m playing with the werewolf myth. This could turn into a series.
Anything else you'd like to share with my blog readers? *Waving hi to your blog readers* Yes. I am part of a free read blog with some talented authors called Truly Madly Deeply Romance Authors and we have a free romance read each week plus some contests going on. The link is http://trulymadlydeeplyromanceauthors.blogspot.com/
Susan, Thanks for having me as a guest on your blog.
Where can we read more about you and your work? I can be found all over the Internet. Here are a couple of my links:
http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/ Check out my long hair hotties!