Friday, May 31, 2013

The Amazing Worlds of Heather Hiestand

I've been a fan of Heather Hiestand, as both a person and an author, for about 7 years now.  I remember being in awe at the number of books she was writing and publishing every year. In addition, she always wrote in multiple genres, ranging from sweet to erotic and from SF/Fantasy to mystery, paranormal and straight contemporary romance.  At this date she has successfully published over 20 novels and novellas.  That is quite an accomplishment in any writer's career. In the last two years, like many traditionally published writers, she has also decided to jump into the Indie waters and put out some books through her Coffee on Sundays press label.

I have been extraordinarily remiss in keeping up with her books for the last few years. In fact, when I looked back at the blog posts and reviews I've done as a blogger, the last time I featured Heather was in December 2010 under her Ahn Leod name!  Yikes. Way too long and I'm not sure I've ever featured her as Heather  Hiestand.

Fortunately, she agreed to do an interview and get all of my readers up to date.  Not only did she say Yes to the interview, but she is also doing a giveaway.  So be sure to participate in the RaffleCopter at the bottom of the blog, along with leaving your comments.

I know I'm excited to go download many of her new Indie books and I can't wait to see her next Kensington book (which I will be part of a blog tour to review on July 9th). Please welcome Heather to the blog.

Contact Heather on the Web: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter |

Interview


Many people may not know you have more than 20 books/novellas published now. That’s quite an accomplishment.  I’ve noticed that you like to write in a number of different genres. Do you have a favorite?
I can find something to love in anything I write, but I’m a plotter at heart so I do like best the stories that don’t demand a large ratio of sex scenes to other scenes so I can complicate things for my characters. I’ve been writing pretty faithfully in the Victorian period the past few years, and I love it, but I did have one contemporary idea manage to jump the list a couple of months ago. It’s under consideration at publishers now.

I’ve known you primarily as a small press author with Ellora’s Cave, Cerridwen and Wild Rose Press though I know you’ve also published with others.  What brought you to putting some books out as an Indie author under your Coffee On Sundays press, and do you plan to do more books independently in the future?
I had a child in 2009. He had a lot of health issues and I found it crazy-making to deal with editorial deadlines when he was in the hospital and then at home needing a lot of care. Especially, after a bad experience, it was easier to do everything on my own timeline with my own professionals when my son needed me almost constantly. Also, everything I’ve self-published is steampunk, which is a do-it-yourself kind of movement, so it made sense for me to be open to that spirit. I’m open to self-publishing more, but these days I’m in the New York camp with an agent and major publisher, so we’ll see how it goes. Publishing rarely goes the way you expect it to.



 

You have three novellas in the Steampunk Smugglers universe that look really fun.  Can you tell us a little about those?
 
I do love my smugglers! An image of a girl at a garret window, an airship overhead dropping a ladder with an invitation to adventure, had been on my mind for quite some time before I started the series. I wrote the stories at a time when my attention was too scattered for novel-length fiction, but by August 2012, the third one was almost done, and I had my contract offer for the Redcakes series with Kensington. It was time to let the Smugglers go, for now, at least. All it takes is a bestseller to change my mind about ending a series.

To be more specific, the series is set in the United Kingdom in an alternate 1890s, where there are automatons, airships, and all sorts of steam-powered gadgets. The series follows a smuggling outfit that has fallen on hard times after the government caught most of them, as they struggle to rebuild and again take to the skies. Each story is a “sweet” romantic adventure. In other words, no sex scenes, so they are suitable for teens and up.
Wear Black Cover
Your most recent release, Wear Black, is a Victorian Vampire story you co-wrote with Eilis Flynn. This sounds like new ground for you both in terms of genre and writing with a partner.  Is this a one off or the beginning of a new adventure?

I am known for my werewolf stories as Anh Leod. I originally wrote werewolves and not vampires because back in 2006, vampires were getting saturated and werewolves were pretty fresh. (and boy were my werewolves fresh) But, don’t most writers want to tackle vampires at some point? Eilis and I thought adding vampires to a well thought out alternate 1880s London would be fun stuff. We had a blast writing it and would love to continue the stories about Lucas and Nellie, time permitting. We haven’t revealed what Nellie is, or who Jack the Ripper is yet! Lots of sales would, of course, grease our writerly brains. That’s really what it comes down to in self-publishing. Having said that, we do have a sequel started and completely plotted out.

What else is coming up for you this year?

My first two novels in the Redcakes series are out this year. July 4th is the release date for Marquess of Cake, and One Taste of Scandal is probably out December 5th. I’ve got book three with beta readers now, and I’m drafting a special novella as we speak. This series begins in 1886 and is centered around a family that owns a teashop in London. My first two heroines are cake designers, and the heroes are the aristocrats who love them. The series is traditional big-publisher Victorian romance, sexy but not erotic, and I just saw my first review today. Five stars! I was so excited.

Find all of Heather's Books at your favorite vendors: Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Mark your calendar for July 9th when we get to learn all about Heather's realse, Marquess of Cake from Kensington! 


* * * GIVEAWAY * * *

Heather is giving away three great prizes: A $5 Amazon Gift Card, An Amazon Gift Card for Marquess of Cake, and an Amazon Gift Card for Wear Black.  So, participate in the RaffleCopter below for your chances to win. She will draw a winner on August 1st, so no time to lose getting in on these prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

4 comments:

Maggie Jaimeson said...

Thank you so much for being with us today and over the weekend, Heather!

Heather Hiestand said...

Thanks for having me to visit!

Evelyn Bohn said...

I answered your question but your link to Kensington didn't work for me. I wonder if it is because I use Safari.

Anyway, I am going to download the steampunk ones. They sound fun. But more than that the Wear Black one sounds even better and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the cover. It looks like a bit of batman or bat woman in London. Cool!

Heather Hiestand said...

Thanks, Evelyn! I've never used Rafflecopter before so I'm still figuring it out. I'll see if I can fix whatever is wrong. Meanwhile, here is the link to the blurb: http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/22722

I hope you enjoy the stories!