Hey Naughty Boys and Girls Kelly Heckert joins us today to share a bit about her and her new book, Cat’s Curse at Awe-Struck.
Q: How long have you been writing?
I have been writing for a long time—since I was a teenager. I started out writing songs/lyrics, then short stories and then I decided to tackle a novel. I didn’t take writing books seriously until about 2002.
Q: Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
Yes, I do suffer from the occasional writer’s block. Music helps me get motivated and creative. Lately, it is Icelandic metal that breaks the writer’s block–bands like Nightwish and Apocalyptica.
Q: How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
I usually come up with the main characters first and then a basic plot. I get ideas from mythology and information I come across while doing research. The story grows from there. I don’t use outlines, but I have a notebook I use to write down ideas and before I start writing, I usually have an idea of how the story will end.
Q: What were your feelings when your first novel was accepted/when you first saw the cover of the finished product?
I was in shock, wondering if I read the email response correctly. I think I still have it saved somewhere.
Q: What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?
A list of strong verbs is very helpful to a writer. I refer to that list all the time. A good dictionary and thesaurus are must-haves. I use the online Merriam-Webster, but I also have an old dictionary with a lot of archaic words in it. Every writer should have a good grammar book. The Elements of Style by William Strunk is another helpful book for writers that I would recommend for writers of all stages.
Q: Are you working on any books/projects that you would like to share with us?
I have a new release called Cat’s Curse. This is the first book is a trilogy titled Dark Goddess. The series is about an Irish clan whose destiny is entangled with that of Cailleach, a Fae/goddess. Cat’s Curse is my first book with a vampire, but not an ordinary vampire. She is a Lamia, half-woman, half-serpent. This is also my first book based on an actual person in history. Aedan mac Gabrain was a sixth century Irish warlord who is mentioned in Adomnan’s Life of St. Columba and in the Welsh poems. His younger years were shadowy and he may have fathered a king of the Picts. He caught my interest and I imagined what his younger years may have been like and what kind of woman he would be drawn to.
I also have another book coming out August 28, 2009 called Night’s Daughter. This one is the prequel to Of Water and Dragons and Ravenwolf, but can be read separate. Night’s Daughter is a historical romance/fantasy set in ancient Greece amid the battle between the Titans and Olympian gods. The heroine in the story is one of Night’s Daughters, which is another name for the Roman Furies and Greek Erinyes.
On November 13, 2009 the second book in my Dark Goddess trilogy will be available. This one is titled Beltaine’s Song and continues the story from Book One. Beltaine’s Song covers the time when Aedan is finally king of Dal Riata. Of course, being a king isn’t an easy task especially with a Dark Goddess trying to destroy you, and having to contend with earthly foes as well. I also introduce another being who is somehow associated with Cat Anna (Cailleach). Their son, Gartnait, is one of the few people who can see her, but she may or may not be a threat. I had a theme going on through this second book that although spring brings about new life, it is also the time when clans battled one another so spring also brings about the harsh sound of the battle horn, and danger.
The third book, Winter’s Requiem, brings foes together to try to break the ancient curse that has plagued Aedan’s clan and the three women–Cailleach, Brigit and Domelch (who used to be Cardea). The title of this third book has to do with Cailleach because she sleeps in spring and awakens in winter. This final book is where I reveal who she really is and how she came to be imprisoned by the seasons. There is a lot of heartache and self-discovery in this book, but of course there will be a HEA or at least a HFN. I wouldn’t want to disappoint anyone. All the questions are answered in the final book and there are some surprises for readers.
All of my books can be found at www.awe-struck.net and other online bookstores.
Q: Any recent appearances that you would like to share with us about/any upcoming ones?
I will be at the Flagstaff Celtic festival this Saturday, July 18, all day at the Tea & Sympathy booth signing copies of my books. On Saturday, November 7, I will be at the Tucson Celtic festival all day at the Tea & Sympathy booth signing copies of my books. Info for both can be found on my website at www.kelleyheckart.com.
Q: If you could leave your readers with one legacy, what would you want it to be?
Oh wow, I guess I would want them to remember me for my stories and knowledge of the ancient Celts and mythology.
Q: Do you have a favorite hero in all your books? For any particular reason?
I love all my heroes so it’s hard to pick a favorite. I actually have a favorite that is not a hero, but actually his nemesis. He is a Pict king named Galan who appears in the first two books of my Dark Goddess trilogy. I love him for his unpredictability and for his unending love of the heroine who cannot love him.
Q: Where can readers find you on the World Wide Web?
Join me on Saturday Naughty Boys and Girls to read an excerpt from Kelley’s newest book, Cat’s Curse.
Until then be Naughty 🙂