Monday, November 17, 2008

My author interview with Felicity Heaton

1.Did you always know that you wanted to be an author or did you have another dream?
No, I didn’t always know that I was going to start writing. I come from a creative family, meaning we all have artistic genes, but I had never really considered writing until a school assignment saw me scribbling the opening chapter of a gothic horror story. When the assignment was over, I wrote a little more for the story, and then abandoned it. I was fourteen after all and teenage minds don’t have the best attention spans. I stayed with the art side of things though and trained in graphic design. My main dream when I was younger was to be either an archaeologist or an astronomer. I never followed through on those ones. I’m still interested in both, but I’m happy now I’m firmly walking a more creative path. Writing is now my obsession and my dream.


2.How long did you write until you were published?
I only started writing back in 2003, and that was fanfiction. An author friend of mine read my work and convinced me to take a shot at writing something original. I was more than a little skeptical at first, but it wasn’t long before I was published in ebooks. That was in 2005 and I haven’t really looked back. Has it been three years already?


3.You write under both Felicity Heaton and FE Heaton. Is there a different writing style for each?
At first it was just my Vampires Realm stories that were written under my F E Heaton name to keep them separate. Then, when I decided to write more stories in my Tri-Kingdom world, I wrote that under F E Heaton too (although my original Tri-Kingdom story is still under Felicity Heaton). I was going to use my F E Heaton name to write all my series, but decided that I would reserve it for long series, or ongoing series that were very world-based. The style is no different to my Felicity Heaton stories, although perhaps a little darker. I write my shorter series under Felicity Heaton as that’s the name I’m most well known for.


4.You write about shape shifters, vampires and science fiction, do you have a favorite? Or is it like trying to pick your favorite child?
It’s difficult, but it has to be vampires, or anything demon/witch. I love that side of the paranormal and it’s something that I have always been interested in since I was young. I used to watch Hammer House of Horror films all the time and grew up reading such classic authors as Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allen Poe and H P Lovecraft. Of course, my vampires, demons and witches have to be dark. I love to explore just how dark I can go with them, especially the vampires. I make no excuses for how brutal they can be because I want to write vampires that are more like they used to be before people humanized them. They’re merciless, seductive, strong and sexy, as well as vicious, deadly and dangerous. Perfect bad boy and alpha material.

I have enjoyed writing science fiction though. It’s something that I’ve only recently attempted for the first time but had always wanted to try. I like how I can make up everything when it comes to space and beyond. I’ve even managed to bring vampire-like species into my science fiction!


5.Did you pick this genre to write or did it pick you?
I think I’ve tried a fair chunk of the genres out there and I always come back to paranormal. I blame long school days spent day-dreaming about vampires and all those movies I watched and books that I read back then. Vampires, shape-shifters, demons and witches fascinate me. I don’t think I’ll ever escape them. In fact, my next few stories are all paranormal. There isn’t anything in the world that I would rather be writing.


6.I counted 6 series total, is that right? What are they?
Five series at the moment, but I do have another one coming out next year. If you can count it as a separate series. I wrote a science fiction series of four short stories this year entitled Sons of Lyra, and they proved so popular and I had so much fun writing them that I couldn’t resist writing a Daughters of Lyra series too, which will be available next summer.

The Sons of Lyra series is science fiction romance and all about the four sons of the Lyran royal family and the women who tamed their passionate hearts. These are men who don’t take no for an answer and who have a reputation for their good looks and the fact no woman has caught them. Of course, the women they come up against match their passion and capture their hearts. The Daughters of Lyra series follows the daughters of the original four sons. Of course, their children are just as feisty, headstrong and passionate as their fathers, so they get into all kinds of trouble. It takes a strong man to tame them!

Two of the first books I had published were The Merciless series, which is a historical pirate romance that follows a captain with a dark past and the woman he accidentally kidnaps, thinking that she’s someone else. She gives him hell and he finds himself falling for her, enough that he reveals his past to her and she falls for him in return, which leads them into a constant battle to be together.

The Tri-Kingdom series is an ongoing series which I only have two stories written for so far. It’s a dark fantasy world full of magic and everything fantastical—witches, faeries, vampires, shape-shifters, castles, gods, pirates and knights to name a few! I have around three more stories planned for it but apparently just not enough time to write them! I really enjoyed crafting the world and I think that once I’ve written the next two novels I have planned, I’ll return to it and write another for this series.

The In Heat stories are my top sellers. People really loved the story of Erik Blackwell, a black panther shape-shifter who has waited twenty seven years to find his mate. When he does track her down, it turns out that she’s his lawyer and although their deeply erotic dreams make her ache for him, she’s convinced that her plain Jane appearance is no match for a sexy millionaire like him. Of course, Erik will do anything to convince her and convince her he does.

Finally, there’s my Vampires Realm series and it doesn’t come better than this. It follows the seven pure bloodlines of Europe and all of the stories are intrinsically linked to their dark world. These are deadly, dangerous vampires but ones with societal structure and laws. They are sexy, violent, mysterious, powerful but still have weaknesses of emotion like humans. I’ve written five novels in this series so far. Three of those make up the Prophecy Trilogy. The fourth is Seventh Circle which came out on November 16th. The fifth is Winter’s Kiss and will be available in February 2009. You don’t have to read the novels in order. It’s only the world that connects them although there are a few cameos here and there by characters. I have also written the first in a series of short stories about one of the oldest vampires in the series, and a free novella. If this sounds like your kind of series, check it out at the website – http://www.vampiresrealm.com


7.When you sit down to write, is there a ritual you have to do before you start?
Yawn. Rub my eyes. Wake up. Normally the first bit of writing I do on week days is at around 6:55am on a train to work. Needless to say, I don’t have a ritual other than checking I’m awake enough. I always write during my lunch time and then on the journey home too. I basically write when I can. No ritual necessary. The muse sees to it that I’m always ready to write. Of course, coffee helps.

8.What is your favorite couple or character that you have written?
That’s such a difficult question! I love all my characters, especially the heroes and heroines. I even like some of the bad guys. I really don’t think I have an answer for this one but if I was forced to choose, I would have to go with the heroine and hero(es) in the Prophecy Trilogy. I love Prophecy (yes, that’s her name!) because over the course of the Trilogy we see her grow from a naïve young vampire into a strong, powerful and determined woman. She’s put through Hell and comes out the other side with her head held high. The hero of the story, Valentine, is her total opposite. He’s far older than her in vampire years, intelligent, skilled, loyal and calm under pressure. He’s a vampire who hunts vampire hunters and isn’t afraid of anything, until he meets Prophecy and his entire world is turned on its head. The other hero of the story is Venturi, who is kind of a sub-hero. He’s headstrong, passionate, impulsive and will do anything to get what he wants, which is mostly Prophecy.

9.What character is more like your personality?
I put a little piece of my personality into all my characters, but the two I would have to say are most like me are Prophecy from the Prophecy Trilogy, and Lincoln from Seventh Circle. Yes, it’s odd to have a woman say that a male character is most like her but he has a lot of my traits. There’s also a healthy dose of me in Lilith from Seventh Circle too.

10.Do you have anything new in the works? Inquiring minds want to know.
I always have things in the works. Right now I’m editing a short werewolf story, Embracing the Wolf, which will be out in December. I’m also editing Winter’s Kiss, the next Vampires Realm story, which will be out in February 2009. And I’m also editing my Daughters of Lyra series too! I’m editing a lot. On the writing front, I’m planning two new novels, both paranormal, which I’m writing with a view to sending off to agents and traditional publishing houses. And I’m planning another seven book series. As usual, I’m swamped.


11.Do you think it is easier to publish your own books or harder?
I think it really helps me learn about promoting my stories, writing effective summaries and creating eye-catching covers. And because I don’t have the benefit of a large team of editors, I have to pay closer attention to my stories to get them just right with the one editor I can afford. I’ve done e-published and self-published and I just prefer self-published as it does give me more control and I find I sell more books and the promotion is better. I think it all depends on your mind-set in the end. I don’t mind the work involved in formatting files, preparing promotion, sending books out for review, setting up advertising and chats and stuff like that. I really love being hands on with my work. It gives me a real sense of satisfaction and it’s wonderful when readers come back to me about my stories because I know I’ve put my heart and soul into it.

12.Do you have any tips for those aspiring authors out there?
Read as many books as you can. That’s my first tip. I’m still reading books on writing, as well as reading fiction in general. Every book that I read influences my writing in a positive way. You have to read to be able to write. My second tip is the old adage – get it written and then get it right. Don’t compulsively edit every chapter while writing your novel. Write the whole first draft without looking back (unless you’ve lost the plot and need a recap) and then sit down and do the second draft. It’s better to write it all and then fix it. Believe me, even if you spend forever editing each chapter as you go, you’ll still need to fix it all again afterwards when you read it through in one go.

13.When you have a moment to sit down and breathe, what kinds of books do you read?
I grew up reading gothic horror and classic romance novels. I still love to sit down and read my favourites – Jane Eyre, Persuasion and North & South. I also enjoy reading Terry Pratchett and wish that I could write funny stories. At the moment, I’m reading books about writing. Not very exciting, but I love finding new techniques for writing and editing.

16 comments:

Destiny Blaine said...

Fabulous interview, ladies! I'm popping by to say hello early but I'll run around online later and tell others you're over here blogging it up.

Hugs,
Destiny

R Jensen said...

How do you go about giving names to your characters? Do they start out with names before the story or as the plot develops? Do you change their names sometimes before the end of the book?

Lee Anne said...

I really enjoyed your interview. Your books sound wonderful. I love to read about vampires and anything else paranormal.

Anonymous said...

I have read a number of your stories and have enjoyed them - Who are some of your favorite authors? I find that the genres I am interested in change with the seasons, tending to rotate through different styles and themes - does your writing change seasonally or over time?

Rachel said...

Great interview!!

What is your take on e-book readers like Kindle and the Sony reader? Will any of your books be offered as kindle books in the US?

Thanks for being here today!

Alitheia said...

You said you wrote fanfiction before going original, what was your favorite book/movie/series to write about?

Awesome interview btw, I enjoyed your take on self-publishing and your books sound very interesting :D

TamiC said...

Great interview! Thanks for having Felicity over here. It is always great to find new authors.

ddurance said...

Hi Felicity! Do you find it difficult to keep your series separate from each other?

Deidre

Shirley said...

Enjoyed the interview & thanks for introducing me to another author. My wishlist knows no bounds!

FH said...

Hi Janelle aka Anonymous. Hehe.

I do love the classic romance authors like Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, but I also love writers like J R R Tolkien and Terry Pratchett. I don't normally read much paranormal unless I'm checking out the competition in one of my vain moments of hope when I consider submitting stories to agents and traditional publishing houses.

I don't think my writing changes seasonally, but it does improve with each book (give or take) and it's wonderful for me to see my progress. In summer I do have a tendency to write shorter, lighter stories though. Perhaps that's my trend.

FElicity

FH said...

Hi Rachel!

I think ebooks will never replace paperbacks. Unfortunately people really love the feel of a book in their hands and I'm one of those people. I do think that they're coming along but they still have a while to go before they're perfect. The one big factor in all this is the formats. A lot of readers resent being tied to a specific format. I think that if we could find one format, like music did with the MP3, then we'd be on to a winner. Until then, readers will continue to be frustrated. Of course, the insane prices of the readers don't help matters. Over here in the UK, most ebook readers like the sony one set you back around £400. That's around $700!

I wish my ebooks could come out in kindle format but Amazon are cruel and won't allow those outside the US to participate at present. I wish they were as foward in terms of technology with their UK site. I'm quite envious of those authors who can sell kindle formats.

Felicity

FH said...

Hi Alitheia

I did indeed write fanfiction many moons back. It was, probably unsurprisingly, Buffy fanfiction and I was of the Spuffy (spike and buffy) persuasion.

Thanks for stopping by!

Felicity

FH said...

Hi Deidre,

A lot of my series aren't ongoing so I don't have a problem keeping them separate. My fantasy series based on my Tri-Kingdom world is quite a different feel to my Vampires Realm series, so those two remain quite separate all by themselves. I do have a tendency to inject a little paranormal into my science fiction stories though... but then I like to squeeze paranormal in wherever I can.

Felicity

Anonymous said...

great interview!! My friend just told me about your books and i've just started reading the prophecy trilogy, so far an awesome book...i cant wait to finish the rest..oh and does anyone have any suggestions as to other books about vampires and paranormal, some of the books i read arent that great so any ideas would be appreciated thanks...


JULIE
silhouettedesire@yahoo.co.uk

FH said...

I've drawn the winner of my Prophecy Trilogy and it's Deidre!

I've had a blast being on the blog. Thanks to everyone who posted a question and made this a fun day!

Felicity

Katie Bug said...

Thank you Felicity for stopping by and letting me interview you. It was a lot of fun. Good luck with your realease.

Congratulations Deidre! I hope you enjoy your prize.

Thank you everyone for coming by and I hope you had as much fun as I did.

Katie