Welcome Heather Hiestand! Make sure you comment to enter her giveaway!
Please tell us a little bit about your current projects?
Heather: I’m busy working on my Redcakes Victorian romance series for Kensington. Book 2, One Taste of Scandal, Judah’s story, is at the copyedit stage, and Book 2, His Wicked Smile, Gawain’s story, is with beta readers. I’m editing a novella, Redcakes 3.5, right now. Then I get to write Book 4, which will be a holiday story!
When was the moment that you knew you had to be a writer?
Heather: It started early for me. I wrote my first story at the age of seven. I never stopped dreaming about being a writer, though I was in my mid-twenties before I buckled down and took my dream seriously. I took classes, researched by reading, and put in the hours to do the actual writing. Do you know there are people intimidated by the idea of writing entire novels? Even some creative writing teachers out there. Dream killers, all!
Every writer dreams of getting “the call”. What were you doing when yours came? Who got to hear the good news first?
Heather: My first “call” for novel-length fiction was an email from Ellora’s Cave in mid 2006. It was an acceptance on a sexy contemporary romance called Cards Never Lie, and came only eighteen hours after the request for the full, though fifteen months after I submitted the partial. I first sold a short story a couple of years before that. I’m sure the acceptance letter was via email too, but I honestly don’t remember!
Who gave you the one piece of writing advice that sticks with you to this day?
Heather: Gerri Russell told me to “finish the book.” The book in question was Cards Never Lie, which was halfway written at that point. Very good advice. It’s rare to sell a book you haven’t completed, as much as I’ve tried, LOL. Cards Never Lie was the fourth novel I completed.
Describe the “perfect” hero. What about the “perfect” hero for you?
Heather: I think any man might be a hero, so a writer has to give their male character the opportunity to show what he’s made of. If it’s a soldier character, they need to be in a fight and show their skills. If it’s a businessman, they need the opportunity to prove that there are things more important than money, while still being successful in their field. In the case of my Marquess of Cake hero, he has to learn that you can love outside your class and make it work. The perfect hero has to support and protect the heroine, along with enjoying her company and making her weak in the knees.
What are some of your favorite pastimes? Do you have any hobbies or collections?
Heather: I have a four-year-old so I collect Disney movies, Disney books, Disney figurines. You get the picture! I’m a huge reader, but other hobbies have fallen by the wayside with a young child ever underfoot. As I type this, he’s crawling under my desk, chatting away about a paperclip he just found.
What has been your biggest adventure to date?
Heather: A pregnancy where I developed pre-eclampsia, followed by watching my baby fighting for his life in the hospital for 4 ½ months, not to mention everything that has gone on in his young life since, has been a crazy adventure, with more twists and turns and ups and downs than an Indiana Jones movie.
If your fairy godmother waved her wand and whisked you away to the location of your choice, which place would you choose, and why?
Heather: Paris. I haven’t been there in over a decade, and my lifestyle today would require magic to get me there again anytime soon! I’ve been there twice, and I felt strangely comfortable there. Second would be London, where I haven’t been in even longer.
When it comes to food, are you the adventurous type who will try anything once, or do you prefer to stick to tried and true foods and recipes?
Heather: I love to cook, but I rarely make the same thing more than about three times. I read cookbooks or magazines and try new things, then lose the recipe. That said, I don’t go too far out of the box. You aren’t going to find me munching on chocolate-covered bugs. My son enjoys tempting me with spiders, ants and slugs, but let’s hope neither of us are eating them.
What is your favorite season? What do you love about it?
Heather: That seems to change with where I live. The last couple of years I’ve found myself crazy productive for half of August, so I must like high summer. The perfect amount of light leads to needing less sleep or something. But when I lived a couple of hours north of here, I hated August and struggled with migraines all month. May was my favorite month then—high spring.
What is the one modern convenience that you cannot do without?
Heather: I’m not sure I would have dared to write full-length historical romance without the Internet to help with research, but with a four-year-old around, I would have to say the TV/DVD/Cable/Netflix keeps us both sane. This is an only child who went through long phases of fussing or whining continuously unless there was background noise. Not to mention the child-caused sleep deprivation that turned me into a TV-watching slug for a while there. It got us through.
What is this romance writer’s idea of the “ideal romantic evening”?
Heather: I vaguely recall the concept of romantic evenings. These days, I’m just happy if my son will go to sleep before the adult bed times. Doesn’t happen nearly enough!
How do you describe yourself? How would your family and friends describe you?
Heather: My friends describe me as tenacious. Whatever life throws at me, I pick myself up and live to fight another day.
And lastly, no interview of a writer would be complete without this question: what is your favorite comfort food?
Heather: Some sort of baked good with a cup of tea will always make me happy.
Here is the blurb for Marquess of Cake:
Coffee. . .tea. . .or a pastry chef sweeter than any confection. . .
Scotch trifle fit for Queen Victoria, scones with clotted cream. . .Alys Redcake knows the way to a man’s heart. Yet she is unaware that with each morsel–and flash of ankle–she is seducing the handsome marquess frequenting her father’s tea shop. Unmarried at twenty-six, Alys’s first love is the family business. But thoughts of the gentleman’s touch are driving her to distraction. . .
With his weakness for sugar, the Marquess of Hatbrook can imagine no more desirable woman than one scented with cake and spice. Mistaking Alys for a mere waitress, he has no doubt she would make a most delicious mistress. And when he finds himself in need of an heir, he plans to make her his convenient bride. Yet as they satisfy their craving for one another, business and pleasure suddenly collide. Will Hatbrook’s passion for sweets–and for Alys–be his heart’s undoing?
To read about Marquess of Cake go to http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/22722 You can purchase there or find all the links to your favorite etailer, like Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/The-Marquess-Cake-Redcakes-ebook/dp/B00BNKMFGS.
Heather is on a blog tour during the month of July. Check her blog to find out where she is. Many of the blog spots have prizes!
Heather is offering an Amazon gift card for the purchase price of the book to one of the commenters on today’s blog.