Today I am so pleased to introduce you to another new author to me, WRP and Candy Hearts Romance author Heidi Kneale. Heidi’s CHR book, MARRY ME just hit the new release block and it’s a goodie! After you read her interview, stick around for a little sumthin’ sumthin’ from the book.
Heidi: The Writer
- What drives you to write? Possibly the need to be able to change the world. I want to be able to explore the possibilities of human choice, and what happens when we choose for the better. That, and I can’t not write. Drives me nuts, sometimes. A character or a plotline natters on in the corner of my brain and won’t leave me alone until I get it out.
- What genre(s) of Romance do your write, and why? Anything but contemporary. Also I tend to stay on the sweeter side of spicy. I’m more interested in the emotional and psychological impact of love. I’m especially fond of blending genres–Fantasy Romance, Historical Romance, Science Fiction Romance. Fantasy Historical Romance…
- What genre(s) of Romance do you read, and why? I’ll read nearly anything, but confess a strong preference for Regency Romance.
- What’s your writing schedule? Do you write every day? Nearly every day. I’ve got a Day Job and some volunteer work. Sometimes between those two I find my day eaten up with no time to write. But I do have one day scheduled that’s ONLY for writing. Nobody touches my Tuesdays unless it’s an emergency. Also, I’ve booked out the hour between 5:45-6:45am to write every weekday morning. I belong to a Write Club. We meet once a fortnight at a central library and we spend three hours (or so) just writing. Not talking, not being distracted, but writing. We all find this highly motivational.
- Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table? I’ll write nearly anywhere I can get a comfy seat. My office is a terrible mess, so until I get it cleaned up, I can’t write much in there. Instead, I’ll retreat to the lounge or the theater or prop myself up in bed. I’ve sat in the car and on a padded pew in a church.
- Are you the kind of writer who needs total quiet to compose, or are you able to filter out the typical sounds of the day and use your tunnelvision? I prefer quietude. Sometimes I can filter out ambient sounds, but if music’s involved, I get lost.
- Do you listen to music while you write, and if so, what kind? If not, why not? Absolutely no music whatsoever. None. It distracts me. I’m a musician in another life and it’s too easy to be absorbed by the music and taken off-track. This is why early-early morning and a Tuesday (when the kids are at school) are ideal writing times for me. If I’m not “writing”, but daydreaming about writing, sometimes I’ll hum an earworm that’s suitable to a particular character. But when it comes time to write, it must be relatively silent. When we built our house, we put in solid, sound-resistant doors to my office so I could shut out the household noise.
- How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current WIP? I’ve developed the skill for writing to order. When my editor told me about the call for subs for the Candy Hearts Romance series, I did a bit of research into candy hearts. I feared it would be Contemporary only. However candy hearts are 150 years old. Awesome. Let’s write an historical. I spent an hour brainstorming, then pitched the idea to her. She wondered if I was going off-brand, and I thought, why not throw magic in? So I did. It seemed like a whackadoodle idea, but she loved it. Apparently, so do my readers.
- Which comes first for you – character or plot? And why? I find I am more successful when the plot comes first. With a plot, the characters have a goal, so their motivations are in that direction. When I come up with a character first, I have trouble getting them motivated.
- What 3 words describes you, the writer? Complex, far-sighted, creative.
Heidi: The Person
- Tell us one unusual thing about yourself – not related to writing! I’m also an astronomer and citizen scientist. Most people find this odd, as my bachelor degree is an arts degree. (My forthcoming masters degree is in Astronomy.)
- Who was your first love and what age were you? Puppy love or solid I’ll-never-forget-you? First puppy love? I fell in love with Jeff when I was three years old. We moved when I was five, so he faded from my heart. First forever love? I fell in love with Paul when I was twelve. He was never interested in me in that way, alas, but we remained good friends. As I watch how well he treats his wife and children, I take joy in the fact that I did choose well.
- If you could relive one day, which one would it be? Think GROUNDHOG DAY, the movie for this one – you’ll have to live it over and over and…. When I was a teenager I belonged to an orchestra. Every summer we’d go on tour. I remember one particular day when we had a really good day. I can’t remember what we did in the morning, but we had a concert in the afternoon which I found rather enjoyable, and we all got together for dinner that night. I wish I could remember details. All I remember is that from start to finish it was a really good day. I would live that over and over.
- Do you like a guy in boxers, briefs, or commando? Boxers.
- If you had to give up one necessary-can’t-live-without-it beauty item, what would it be? Tough call. I have two can’t-live-without products: a good lip balm and a good conditioner. But if I had to choose one, I’ll cry as I give up my conditioner. Ain’t nobody touching my lip balm.
- What three words describes you, the person? Curious, polymath, spiritual
- If you could sing a song with Jimmy Fallon, what would it be? Heck, we could sing anything and have a great time! Actually, I’d write a comedic duet just for him and me. Maybe something along the lines of “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…”
- If you could hang out with any literary character from any book penned at any time line, who would it by, why, and what would you do together? In my inventory I have a Fantasy trilogy with a demi-god as the main character. I’d choose him. He’s powerful, he’s got a sense of humor and doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s excellent company when he’s in a good mood. What would we do? Why, just hang out. He’s got an extensive repertoire of funny jokes.
I love the Actor’s Studio show on Bravo, so this is my version of it:
- Favorite sound Full choir singing.
- Least favorite sound Martian call-to-arms during invasion: https://youtu.be/w1hURW6Vxqs
- Best song every written Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen.
- Worst song ever written My mind has blanked out so many bad songs…
- Favorite actor and actress Actress? Can’t say I have one. Actor: Richard Armitage forever.
- Who would you want to be for 1 day and why? ( It can be anyone living or dead) Honestly? No idea.
- What turns you on? Smart people with good senses of humour. That, and Richard Armitage.
- What turns you off? Stupid people who don’t know when to shut up.
- Give me the worst 5 words ever heard on a first date ( here’s mine: “Is that your real hair?”) “You aren’t fun, are you?”
- What’s your version of a perfect day? Getting everything done I wanted to get done. I mean, EVERYTHING.
Peggy here: Heidi it has been an absolute pleasure getting to know you! I feel as if I have a brand new literary friend for life! Cheers. And now, dear readers, here’s that little sumthin’ sumthin” I promised you: A sneak peak at MARRY ME
MARRY ME ( A Candy Hearts Romance)
In 1905 New York City, affluent Millie Moore wants to be outspoken like the suffragettes she admires. She also wants to rid herself of an annoying and controlling suitor. For a well-brought up young lady whose mother fears her impending spinsterhood, speaking her mind is an uphill battle.
When Raymond Wilson sees Millie at a rally, it’s love at first sight. Not wanting his stutter to ruin his chances, he enchants a little candy heart to do his talking for him.
For Millie, Raymond is a breath of fresh air. And maybe, just maybe, someone she could love. But for her social-climbing suitor Guy Elliot, he’s a threat to his plans. And Raymond isn’t the only one who knows something about magic. Now the ante has been upped and Millie is the prize…
A giggle rose up inside Millie. “Do you always carry around candy?”
“A g-g-ood uncle is a-a-a-always p-prepared.”
Raymond patted down his pockets. His hand rested over his heart for a moment. A coy little smile played his lips. Then he reached into another pocket and brought out a rumpled white bag from Smith’s. He pulled out a heart.
“I—I been s-s-aving th-th-these in c-c-ase I f-found you ag-g-gain.” From the inside of his jacket he produced a pencil. He wrote a tiny message on the heart before he gave it to her.
“Eat me!” it squeaked.
Her laughter bubbled up unrestrained. “Is it safe?”
She looked at the heart, hesitated, and then held it up to his lips. “You first.”
He opened his mouth and accepted the heart from her delicate fingers. He sucked on it and closed his eyes in delight. “Mmmm…” He leaned back against the iron railing and gave himself over to the joys of a little conversation heart.
Millie let out a breath. “Are you teasing me?”
He lifted a single eyelid. “Yep.”
Extracting another heart, he wrote, “Sweet Lips.”
He held it up for her. “Y-your t-turn.”
Heidi Kneale is an Australian author of moderate repute best known for her escapist fiction–especially Fantasy and Romance. She lives in Western Australia, near the ocean. Like most humans, she has a family. She also associates with the World’s Most Boring Cat. When not writing novels, she composes music and stares at the stars.
FInd Heidi Here: