Friday, January 29, 2010

Sharon Sala visits the blog

Today's guest author is the multi-published, multi-talented author Sharon Sala.
Sharon is a long-time member of RWA, as well as a member of OKRWA. She has 80 plus books in print, written as Sharon Sala and Dinah McCall. First published in 1991, she’s a seven-time RITA finalist, winner of the Janet Dailey Award, four-time Career Achievement winner from RT Magazine, National Reader’s Choice Award, and Colorado Romance Writer’s Award of Excellence winners five times each. Her books are New York Times , USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly, WaldenBooks mass market best-sellers. Writing changed her life, her world, and her fate.

DRose: Start by telling us a little about yourself. Where are you from? When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Sharon: I’m a native of Oklahoma. When I was little, I always thought I’d grow up to be an archaeologist, then I found out how hard and dirty the digs were and decided against that occupation and in favor of something with real beds, electricity, and running water.

DRose: Musicians often note the musicians who influenced them. What authors have influenced you and your work?

Sharon: My first favorite author was Zane Grey. I loved that his heroes were always ordinary men who endured an extraordinary event and maintained a sense of honor. I’ve carried that characteristic throughout my writing journey, as well.

DRose: Do you have a favorite book or series?

Sharon: If you’re talking about my own work, that’s hard to say. I’ve written several books that stick with me more than others. Out Of The Dark. Jackson Rule. The Chosen. The Healer. The Warrior. Sweet Baby. There are others, but those are the first to come to mind.

DRose: When you're not writing, do you have any hobbies or interests?

Sharon: Yes. I love to cook. My favorite thing is big family dinners. I love movies. But action/adventure movies…dramatic movies that lean toward the dark side. My favorite movie scene of all time is from Daniel Day-Lewis version of Last Of The Mohicans. The scene where they’re in the cave behind the waterfall and he’s about to jump into the water to ensure the heroine and her family aren’t killed. He looks into her eyes and the look that passes between them always gives me chills. Then he grabs her by the shoulders and shouts to be heard above the roar of the water. “Stay alive! Stay alive! Whatever you do, stay alive! I will find you. I WILL find you!” Just writing that give me the chills.

DRose: Tell us more about your book. What's it about and what inspired you to write it?

Sharon: The last new book I had released was The Warrior. It’s about eternal love. Love that never dies. And it’s about revenge. I usually dream my stories. That one came in a dream as well.

DRose: How long did it take for you to get published and what was the journey like?

Sharon: I wrote my first two books in 1980 and 1981. They were terrible and I stuck them under the bed. But the writing bug had bitten me enough that I didn’t let go of the dream. Then in 1985 my father and sister died within 2 months of each other. That prompted me to go back and resume my pursuit of getting published. I didn’t want to be on my deathbed some day wondering what might have happened if I’d just written that 3rd book. Oddly enough, that was the first one I ever sent to a publisher, and it sold to the first place I sent it.

DRose: Any current projects you're excited about and can share with our readers?

Sharon: I just finished the last book in a trilogy I did for Mira Books that comes out in June, July and August of this year. The trilogy is called Storm Front. The books are called BLOWN AWAY, TORN APART, SWEPT ASIDE. They’re stories of what happens in one Louisiana town when it’s hit by a hurricane-spawned tornado.

DRose: Do you plot your story before you write it or do you sit and let it flow?

Sharon: As I mentioned before, I usually dream my stories. I wake up, write down what I dreamed, and that’s the story and plot. Sometimes I’ll get a few key phrases of dialogue and sometimes I dream in color.

DRose: Do you write to music or the TV?

Sharon: I can write with the TV low, but I prefer quiet.

DRose: Do you consider yourself eccentric as a writer? Is there something you must have or do before writing?

Sharon: Time. I need time, and that’s a fleeting commodity for me these days. My 90 year old Mother lives with me and has Alzheimer’s. Taking care of her and her needs is often overwhelming. Finding time to write is a gift.

DRose: Most people see writers as hermits, closed off in a room, clacking away at the keyboard until the final page is typed. Do you consider yourself this disciplined as a writer?

Sharon: Lord no. I write during cooking a meal. I write during TV commercials. I write at night when my Mother finally goes to bed. I’ve never been that disciplined or needy. Actually, never had the opportunity to become a diva. Too many family issues. Family comes first with me.

DRose: They say you can learn a lot about a person by their surroundings. What does your work area look like?

Sharon: It’s a bit messy. I have a few stacks of research pertaining to the current WIP. I share an office with my Mother, who still likes to pretend that she needs an office, although she can no longer remember how to count money or balance a checkbook. It is what it is. I don’t dwell on having things perfect.

DRose: What do you consider your guilty pleasure?

Sharon: Frozen custard and movies and massages. Not ice cream. Not frozen yogurt. Frozen custard… Lord. And I’m a 3 year veteran of Weight Watchers. It’s a daily battle not to succumb. LOL

DRose: Is there anything we didn't cover that you'd like to mention?

Sharon: Not really. Just might mention that I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting some new ones as well.

DRose: Can you tell us a bit about the workshop you’ll be doing for the Desert Rose Conference?

Sharon: Along with the workshop I’m doing with Libby Banks about finances, I’m doing a workshop on building suspense from the ground up.

Thank you so much for spending the day with us Sharon. We’re looking forward to seeing you in April.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Meet Author Vijaya Schartz

Today's spotlight is on multi-published author, Vijaya Schartz. Born in France, award-winning author Vijaya Schartz never conformed to anything and could never refuse a challenge. She likes action and exotic settings, in life and on the page. She traveled the world and claims she comes from the future. Her published books collected many five star reviews and literary awards. Her books have been compared to Indiana Jones Adventures with sizzling romance.

DRose: Thank you for spending the day with us Vijaya. Start by telling us a little about yourself. Where are you from? When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Vijaya: I was born and raised in France, near Paris, and at the time, while studying for an acting career, I dreamt of world wide travels, discovering little known civilizations, and writing about it. I interrupted my acting to go live in India for an extended period of time. When I look back, I realize that I did travel extensively and lived in Europe, India, Hawaii, and other parts of the United States, including Florida, Philadelphia, and Phoenix Arizona. I traveled to Japan, Thailand, Egypt, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, and now I’m writing novels where I use my knowledge of other cultures to create characters and social conflicts on imaginary worlds.

DRose: Wow, that’s a lot of traveling. I can imagine how inspiring those places are. Are there any authors that have influenced you or your work?

Vijaya: In college I fell in love with the French classics, particularly the great romantics of the Nineteenth Century. Victor Hugo (Les Miserables), Balzac (Madame Bovary), Alexandre Dumas (The three Musketeers), George Sand, Jules Vernes, and later the poets like Charles Baudelaire, Guillaume Appolinaire, and novelists like Collette, Frank Herbert (Dune series), Hemingway, Falkner. Then in America, I discovered Sci-Fi fantasy and Indiana Jones and found my calling. When I settled down to write, I knew I would write unusual adventure in exotic settings. The romantic element came later, and I incorporated it into my Science Fiction.

DRose: Your literary tastes are pretty eclectic. Do you have a favorite book or series?

Vijaya: I had many: The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley was an important book for me. I also liked her Darkover series. The Dragons of Pern by Ann McCaffrey were some of my favorites. I loved The Clan of the Cave Bear, but the series didn’t live up to the first book. More recently, I got hooked on THE RELICS OF MERLIN series, by Kathryne Kennedy.

DRose: When you're not writing, do you have any hobbies or interests?

Vijaya: I am a black belt in Aikido (Japanese self-defense), I used to surf in Hawaii, I have been known to jump out of perfectly good planes and ride the river wild, and hike. But these activities are fast receding into the background. It seems that writing is taking over my life. Somehow these interests find their way into my books as well.

DRose: Speaking of, can you tell us more about your book. What's it about and what inspired you to write it?

Vijaya: I had a dozen books published. Most recently two novellas from Sapphire Blue Publishing, A DESPERADO FOR CHRISTMAS and COYOTE GORGEOUS, both contemporary romances, one of them a shapeshifter story. Then last year Desert Breese Publishing asked me to write a series titled THE CHRONICLES OF KASSOUK, based on an award-winning book of mine, WHITE TIGER, which they re-released in August 2009 as Book One. Originally, WHITE TIGER started as a writing exercise and was supposed to be a short story about snow. Then it became this elaborate romance set in a medieval society controlled by intergalactic beings worshipped in the temple as gods. They keep large felines as pets and the heroine learned to fight with tigers.

DRose: How long did it take for you to get published and what was the journey like?

Vijaya: I started to write seriously for publication in 1991, and my first novel was published in 2000. The second and the third novels were released in 2001. Then came a dry spell for three years. I switched genre and found a new publisher in 2004, writing sci-fi romance series. Then Triskelion Publishing closed in 2007, and I currently have two publishers, Sapphire Blue Publishing for my novellas (eBooks and audiobooks) and Desert Breeze Publishing for my sci-fi romance novels, in eBook and print.

DRose: Any current projects you're excited about and can share with our readers?

Vijaya: I’m now finishing the second book in the Chronicles of Kassouk series, RED LEOPARD, to be released in April 2010, and I am starting work on Book Three, BLACK JAGUAR, to be released in November 2010. More books in the series will follow.

DRose: Do you plot your story before you write it or do you sit and let it flow?

Vijaya: It depends on the book and on the publisher. For my first books, I wrote by the seat of the pants. These manuscripts necessitated many rewrites, not just edits, but major recasting. Then when I started writing sci-fi series, I had to write them fast from a publisher’s idea and deliver a full synopsis before signing the contract. I learned to plot ahead, and writing from an outline made the writing easier and much faster. I also noticed that the books were shorter. But now, with The Chronicles of Kassouk, since the first book was written years ago by the seat of the pants, plotting the others would change the style and make the story too direct, too linear, and probably shorter. In order to keep the feel of the first book, with its original charm and its atmosphere, I had to trust my muse to lead me on a sinuous path while I developed new characters and new conflicts in a more organic way. Right know, I’m enjoying that process.

DRose: Do you write to music or the TV?

Vijaya: Depending on what I’m writing, I’ll listen to the kind of music that transports me into the world I’m writing about. While writing medieval series, I listen to ancient medieval music. When writing Ashes for the Elephant God, set in India, I was listening to Indian music. While writing my Archangel series, I listened to country music, because it was the main character’s background. More ethereal music sometimes helps me focus when I’m writing science fiction. But TV would be too much of a distraction.

DRose: Most people see writers as hermits, closed off in a room, clacking away at the keyboard until the final page is typed. Do you consider yourself this disciplined as a writer?

Vijaya: Almost. I am definitely a hermit by nature, and I have a strict, full time writing schedule. If I don’t respect it, I won’t make my deadlines, and my publisher is counting on me. I am a Capricorn, in other words a workaholic, and I take my responsibilities very seriously.

DRose: They say you can learn a lot about a person by their surroundings. What does your work area look like?

Vijaya: Not as neat as I would like it to look. I only clear my office three times a year. Piles of papers on the desk and on the work table, but I know what’s in each pile. My cats love to nap on the bench next to my desk, to the sound of the keyboard strokes. Sometimes the cats, too, want to write, and step on the keyboard to get closer to me. My youngest kitten once pushed the delete key when I had a whole chapter highlighted to print. Thank God for the “undo” key.

DRose: What do you consider your guilty pleasure?

Vijaya: Dark chocolate peanut Reeses, a glass of red wine, and a good movie, after I’ve written my quota for the day.

DRose: Can you tell us a bit about the workshop you’ll be doing for the Desert Rose Conference?

Vijaya: My workshop is titled TAMING THE BOOK PROMOTION MONSTER. The promotion side of a writing career is baffling to most writers and first time authors. Even multipublished authors struggle with promotion. The most popular best-selling authors hire publicists because they know the importance of promotion. It’s even more important for a fledgling author. It used to be the publisher’s job, but more often than not, nowadays, this responsibility falls back on the author, who is often judged by how well the book sells. It’s a vicious circle.

Fiction authors, with their introverted personality, are ill-equipped for the marketing scene. My workshop simplifies and clarifies what is expected from an author, with useful lists, countdowns, guidelines, and inexpensive ideas to help them navigate successfully the murky waters of book marketing, without breaking the bank or sacrificing their precious writing time.

More about Vijayay: Since her first release in 2000, Vijaya had a dozen books published in Sci Fi, mainstream and romance, in print, audio books, and electronic format, often mixing genres. With four different publishers, her early experiences with small press forced her to quickly learn the art of promotion in ways she never thought possible. Vijaya speaks at conferences, and spearheaded the Write Path Seminars.

Her latest romantic science-fiction series, THE CHRONICLES OF KASSOUK, from Desert Breeze Publishing, started with WHITE TIGER in August 2009. RED LEOPARD will be out in April 2010, and BLACK JAGUAR is scheduled for November 2010. More books in the series will follow next year. Her latest Novella from Sapphire Blue Publishing is a contemporary shape shifter romance featuring a girl with a gun in ranger uniform and a Native American hero, set in Arizona, and titled COYOTE GORGEOUS.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Spotlight on Deborah LeBlanc

Award-winning and best-selling author, Deborah LeBlanc, is a business owner, a licensed death scene investigator, and has been an active paranormal investigator for over fifteen years. She's the President of the Horror Writers Association, Mystery Writers of America's Southwest Chapter, and the Writers' Guild of Acadiana.
Deborah is also the founder of the LeBlanc Literacy Challenge, an annual, national campaign designed to encourage more people to read and Literacy Inc., a non-profit organization with a mission to fight illiteracy in America's teens. Her latest novel is WATER WITCH.

DRose: Welcome Deborah. Let’s start by telling us a little about yourself. Where are you from? When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Deborah: I was born in Scott, Louisiana, a small town just outside of Lafayette. For anyone wondering, yep, I am 100% Cajun. J As to what I wanted to be growing up, I think it would be easier to name what I didn’t want to be! Let’s see…I wanted to be a teacher, a psychiatrist, Superman, a famous rock star, a nun. . . get the picture? lol

DRose: Musicians often note the musicians who influenced them. What authors have influenced you and your work?

Deborah: So many authors have influenced me over the years-- Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, James Lee Burke, Tom Robbins. But the storyteller who influenced me the most was my grandmother. She was a no-nonsense, hard-working woman, who told it like it was. When she told a story, it was never fiction. It was always an accounting of something that had actually happened to someone in the family years earlier, and more times than not, those stories included the supernatural. She told those stories with such passion, her hands gesturing for emphasis, her eyes widening or narrowing to punctuate a point that I'd sit at the foot of her rocker spellbound, not wanting the story to ever end. When I wrote Family Inheritance, which does revolve around a treateur, I wrote from experience because my grandmother was a treateur, as was her mother and her mother's mother. She was indeed one remarkable woman!

DRose: Do you have a favorite book or series?

Deborah: In all honesty, no. As long as a writer tells an interesting story well, his or her story becomes my favorite for the day.

DRose: When you're not writing, do you have any hobbies or interests?

Deborah: Lawd, yes! I enjoy reading, horseback riding, motorcycle riding, paranormal investigations, and hanging out with my daughters.

DRose: Tell us more about your book. What's it about and what inspired you to write it?

Deborah: My latest, published novel is WATER WITCH, and it’s about a dowser from west Texas with unusual abilities. She’s called to a small town in south Louisiana to help find two missing children who are feared lost in the swamps. What she discovers, though, is a heck of a lot more than she bargains for!

Oddly enough, the book came to mind when I heard a woman at a local writers’ conference talking about her grandfather. She claimed he was a Water Witch, someone who doused for water, especially in dry country. I’d never heard anyone called a Water Witch before, and the name fascinated me…and also took root in my head. Before I knew it, I was sitting at my computer writing the novel.

DRose: How long did it take for you to get published and what was the journey like?

Deborah: My pen to publication story is a little different than most I think. I acquired an agent one month after writing my first novel, FAMILY INHERITANCE, and the agent sold the book about a month and a half later.

DRose: Any current projects you're excited about and can share with our readers?

Deborah: I have quite a few projects going on at the moment. My next book comes out mid 2010 and it will be the third book in a trilogy I'm writing with Heather Graham. The working title of that book is WOLF'S BANE, and it's set in the heart of New Orleans.

In 2011, I have six books scheduled to be released. The first three will be from a trilogy called Ghost Trackers. The main character in each book (GHOST BOX, 1313 ROYAL, and ZOMBIE ROAD) is a female paranormal investigator named Tess Bienville, who's driven to find out the truth about the afterlife when her four-year-old son is murdered. From all indications, even before the first book is released, it looks like the publisher is interested in making this a series instead of a trilogy, which means there should be many more Ghost Tracker books to follow those three. YAY!

On the heels of Ghost Tracker, I have another trilogy that will be released by another publisher. This one's called The Grimoire Trilogy. It's also set in New Orleans and involves triplet sisters who are master witches, and each sister is responsible for a certain sect of underground creatures that thrive in the city. Vampires-werewolves-and zombies. And, yep, these are going to include sex. J

DRose: Do you plot your story before you write it or do you sit and let it flow?

Deborah: I’m going to cheat here and say both. I usually start with a general, loose chapter outline. For example, if I guesstimate that the book will have approximately 40 chapters, I’ll number a sheet of paper one through forty, then write one sentence next to each number that will prompt me to what that chapter should be about. After that, everything else is up for grabs.

DRose: Do you write to music or the TV?

Deborah: Neither. I prefer quiet when I’m writing. It’s easier to transcribe the scenes I’m seeing in my head. Sometimes even white-noise bugs the heck out of me.

DRose: Do you consider yourself eccentric as a writer? Is there something you must have or do before writing?

Deborah: All I need is a good storyline in my head, a computer, and a bit of quiet. With that, I’m good to go.

DRose: Most people see writers as hermits, closed off in a room, clacking away at the keyboard until the final page is typed. Do you consider yourself this disciplined as a writer?

Deborah: I think the word obsessed is more apropos than disciplined. Once a story plants itself in my head, I become a mad woman until it all comes out on paper. It’s not unusual to find me at the computer 16 hours a day, six days a week until it’s done. See what I mean?

O-b-s-e-s-s-e-d!

DRose: They say you can learn a lot about a person by their surroundings. What does your work area look like?

Deborah: Think mudslides off Mt. Everest . . .

DRose: What do you consider your guilty pleasure?

Deborah: Sitting in front of the boob-tube with a tub of chocolate ice cream, watching old Abbott and Costello movies.

DRose: Do you have any advice to someone wanting to be a writer?

Deborah: Remember . . . if you’re a writer, the fastest route to failure is doing nothing while your muse is off visiting some other writer. The simplest cure is to keep your butt in the chair, your fingers on the keyboard, and just write!

And if you’re a reader, you’re one of a dying breed, so please help save the species. Read to your children. Encourage your friends to read. Give books for gifts instead of gismos and gadgets. And most importantly, don’t stop reading!

DRose: We’re looking forward to seeing you at the Desert Dreams Conference. What can you tell us about the workshops you’ll be presenting?

Deborah: I’m thrilled to be attending the Desert Rose Conference! So far, I have two workshops scheduled. The first one is called The Good, The Bad, The Unforgettable—Ten steps to creating memorable characters. (Pretty self-explanatory)

The other is called Working with the Dead. At this workshop we’ll discuss:

1. What really happens when a body is removed from a death scene?

2. What truly goes on behind morgue and embalming room doors?

3. What happens to a body after it has been in a casket for a year—five years—sixty years?

4. What about after death? Are ghosts real or are those paranormal “reality” shows a bunch of bunk?

This workshop will give attendees answers to questions they may wish they’d never asked!

DRose: Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us, Deborah.

Deborah: It’s been my pleasure! Thank you!!


To learn more about Deborah visit www.deborahleblanc.com and www.literacyinc.com

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Introducing Agent Jill Marsal

Desert Rose is thrilled to offer you some of the best agents, editors and authors to the Desert Dreams conference and our blog. Today's guest is super agent Jill Marsal.

Jill has been in the publishing industry for over 10 years, previously working as a Literary Agent with the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency for eight years and at Dorchester Publications and Tudor Publishing, editing women's fiction, romance, and suspense/thrillers. In early 2009, Jill partnered with longtime agent Kevan Lyons to open the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency


Jill looks for romantic suspense, paranormal, women's fiction, mysteries, and thrillers that keep the pages turning and have an original hook. She is also looking for general commercial fiction and welcomes a dramatic storyline and compelling characters in interesting situations or relationships. If you have a novel that has a highly original concept or voice, Jill would love to see it.


On the non-fiction side, her areas of interest include business, current events, health, self-help, relationships, psychology, parenting, history, and narrative non-fiction.



DRose: Thank you for joining us today, Jill. Let’s start with something easy. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Jill: I wanted to be a teacher. I loved playing school, much to my younger sister and brother’s dismay!


DRose: What or who influenced you to become an agent?

Jill: When I was in high school, we had a career day, and one of the speakers was a literary agent. I had never heard of the profession, but I thought it sounded fantastic. I loved books and reading and looked into getting an internship with a local literary agency. I did that during my senior year and loved it and had found my calling.


DRose: With all the manuscripts you read are there any books that you like to curl up with for pleasure?

Jill: Unfortunately, I get much less pleasure reading done than I would like since most of my time is reading manuscripts and proposals I am working on or books to stay current with the market. I have a big stack of books – both fiction and non-fiction -- that I want to read for pleasure, but only read Three Cups of Tea this past year over the holidays so that shows how far behind I am.


DRose: What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

Jill: Journalism.


DRose: It’s said you can tell a lot about a person by their surroundings. What does your workspace look like?

Jill: Generally, things are piled on my desk – query letters, proposals, partial manuscripts, my calendar (and full manuscripts on my bookshelf). I think it helps to have it all close at hand and know where things are, especially when you work on several projects at once. Also, I like to be able to remove a pile when I have finished something. As the desk gets cleaner, I feel I am accomplishing things.


DRose: Do you have any hobbies?

Jill: I like to exercise and am just learning to play tennis.


DRose: If you were stranded on an island… what four things would you want with you?

Jill: Books, dark chocolate, music, and good company.


DRose: What was the most dangerous or scariest thing you’ve ever done?

Jill: I swam with sharks and stingrays and was told by the guide for our group that it was safe because the sharks “know” to stay on the other side of the rope.


DRose: If you could live in another time period… when would it be and why?

Jill: I would love to live 100 years in the future to see where things are. I think so much has changed from 100 years ago and so much is changing. It would be fun to get a peak at how different things are. I would not want to live in the ICE AGE – I am always freezing.


DRose: Tell us something about you no one else knows.

Jill: I was a clown in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus.


Flash Round:

Favorite Ice Cream flavor? Coffee chip

Favorite Food? Pasta & pizza (ok, that’s two foods).

Favorite flower? Star Gazers

Guilty Pleasure? Eating desserts

Jill enjoys working with both new and experienced authors. A few of the authors and projects Jill has represented include former Assistant Secretary of State Susan Shirk's China, Fragile Superpower (Oxford), which made the L.A. Times bestseller list, world-renowned health and beauty expert Dr. Howard Murad's The Water Principle: Saving Your Looks and Your Health Through the Science of Cellular Water (Wiley), "The Love Doctor" Terri Orbuch's 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage From Good to Great (Bantam), San Francisco Chronicle bestselling Pat Montandon's Oh, The Hell of It All! (Harper Collins), Victoria Zackheim's The Other Woman (Warner), Dakota Banks Dark Time: The Mortal Path (Harper Collins), Angi Morgan’s See Jane Run (Harlequin Intrigue) and Martin Limon's The Wandering Ghost (Soho).


For more information, go to her website http://www.marsallyonliteraryagency.com/index.asp

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Q&A with Editor Heather Osborn

A longtime lover of the written word, Heather Osborn is the editor for the Tor Romance line. A former bookseller, Heather relocated from sunny Southern California to New York City (by way of Ohio) several years ago. Despite this strange thing called snow, she loves the East Coast.

When she isn't editing, Heather can be found baking, reading, playing RPG video games obsessively, and watching entirely too much Ninja Warrior.

Heather plans to continue publishing great paranormal romances for Tor, while at the same time acquiring her other loves—Urban Fantasy and Paranormal YA.

DRose: Welcome Heather and thank you so much for joining us. Let’s start with something easy. When you were a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

Heather: Well, I never had a firm idea of what I wanted to be – I just knew I didn’t want to be a teacher. I come from a long line of teachers; my grandmother, mother, aunt, and now my sister are all teachers. So I know exactly how hard a job it is. And probably the #1 question I got as a kid was “are you going to be a teacher like your mom?” And I always very quickly answered NO!

That being said, I always knew I wanted to work with books. I have always been a crazy bookworm, and I can think of no better job than one where I am paid to read all day. Too bad editing is much more than that! My absolute perfect job would be to own and operate my own indie book store. HEAVEN.


DRose: Is there someone who influenced you to become an editor?

Heather: Well, no one person actually influenced me. I think it was more a gradual realization that there was a magical job out there that involved picking manuscripts to be made into books. It seemed like a sweet deal to me! There was just one problem with my plan. I grew up in Southern California – a long way from the publishing hub of the United States – New York City.


DRose: I imagine that move was quite a culture shock. Was there anything you found surprising about New York as compared to California?

Heather: Well, I don’t know if I found much surprising. I am a pretty pragmatic person, so I knew to expect different weather, culture, etc. I suppose the biggest change for me is the amount of people out and about at any given time. California is such a car culture. You can drive around town all day and rarely see a person on the street. In NYC, cars are the minority and people walk everywhere. In fact, when I go back to SoCal to visit family, it is always a bit of culture shock to see the empty streets! Oh, and I jay-walk against traffic all the time now. Just like a true New Yorker!


DRose: As an editor your bookshelf must be crammed with novels. Are there any particular books you read for pleasure?

Heather: The same things I edit. Honestly! My favorite fiction genre is romance. And my favorite sub-genre of romance is paranormal romance. So I really am working my dream job. In addition to romance, I read urban fantasy, and regular science fiction and fantasy.


DRose: If you could attempt another profession aside from Editor, what profession would it be?

Heather: Well, as I mentioned above, I would love to own and operate my own bookstore. I was actually a bookseller for close to 10 years, starting at Waldenbooks and moving to Barnes & Noble. I can’t see myself ever doing something that isn’t related to books in some way.


DRose: What one word would you use to describe yourself?

Heather: Man, this is hard! One word, huh? Okay. GREGARIOUS.


DRose: A person’s surroundings can be very telling. What does your workspace look like?

Heather: Indescribably messy. I manage to keep the area directly in front of my monitor and keyboard clear, but to either side is nothing but clutter. I do eventually get sick of it and do an epic cleanse, but that happens about once every 4 months or so. For some pictures of my workspace the way it looks right this second, please check out these links: http://twitpic.com/xpjgj, http://twitpic.com/xpm2d, and http://twitpic.com/xpmq5.

DRose: When you’re not working do you have any hobbies?

Heather: Well, I read. Yes, even in my free time! I also play RPG video games – Final Fantasy is a fave, watch lots of questionable reality TV – catch my recaps of RuPaul’s Drag Race and Toddlers & Tiaras on Twitter! – and I love to travel, although I haven’t done much non-business related travel in the last few years.


DRose: You will likely be inundated with questions this week so how about a few you won’t be asked? Like, If you were stranded on an island… what four things would you want with you?

Heather: An e-reader with internet, a portable battery charger, sunscreen, and a satellite phone!


DRose: What was the most dangerous or scariest thing you’ve ever done?

Heather: Hmmm. I haven’t done many daredevil-y things, actually. I guess the scariest thing I have ever done is picking up and moving across country to a place where I knew no-one for a job. Scary!


DRose: If you could have lunch with anyone living or dead… who would it be?

Heather: That is a tough one! I guess it would be Jane Austen. Love her books.


DRose: If you could live in another time period… when would it be and why?

Heather: I would live in the future. Maybe 100 years from now? And why? Because I want a hovercar and a jetpack! Oh, and I really want to live in an age of teleportation. I haaate flying. Not because of a phobia, but because of how much time it wastes.


DRose: What is your favorite word? What is your least favorite word?

Heather: Well, growing up in Southern California, I have what you would call a … creative vocabulary. About half the words I use on a regular basis are slang. So for my favorite not really a word word, I would have to go with ridonkulous. It has such a nice ring to it.

For my favorite actual word, it would have to be tintinnabulation. It means “a ringing in the ears” and was an extra credit spelling word in 4th grade. I never forgot it. As for my least favorite word? Hmm. Oh! That’s easy – their! I always misspell that damn word. For some reason, I really want it to be t-h-i-e-r. So frustrating!


DRose: What was your most embarrassing moment (that you are comfortable sharing).

Heather: Oh heck. I am always good for some embarrassing moments. The trouble is, when you have so many of them they tend to all run together. I guess one of my most embarrassing moments was inadvertently arriving a day early to a conference, having no hotel room, and having to find one in a fully booked city at @2:30 a.m. That was definitely a shining moment.


DRose: Tell us something about you no one else knows.

Heather: I second-guess myself. Every. Single. Day.


DRose: And now the Flash Round:

Favorite Ice Cream flavor? Chocolate-Peanut Butter Swirl

Favorite Food? A rib-eye steak.

Favorite flower? Gerber Daisy.

Guilty Pleasure? Trashy BBC documentaries. Have you seen “I Married the Eiffel Tower”?! SO CRAZY.


Thank you so much, Heather. It’s been a pleasure.

Heather will be stopping in regularly to answer your questions, so don’t be afraid to ask.