Kelley Heckart, I would like to take this time to thank you for granting Coffee Time Romance this interview. I would like to tell you that I love your intriguing website. I noticed that you live in Arizona. I was able to live there for a year and really loved it! Not to mention visiting it many times. Lake Havasu is really beautiful and, Tombstone, I have visited twice and am anxious to return. It is a town that seems to captivate and carry one into visions of days gone by. I love the picture of you and one of your doggies.
For those of you who haven’t visited Kelley’s website, after the interview, be sure to drop in and take a look around. Not only does she have some great pics but there is so many interesting things going on sure to please. Today we will talk about her book Of Water and Dragons. Plus she will be telling us a little about herself. Welcome Kelley. I am so excited to be interviewing you today.
I have to tell you that Of Water and Dragons is terrific! I could almost get a visual of the reflection, the water and the whole ambience of the story. The fantasy moves the reader and keeps going and going until they are completely consumed with the whole being of the story. And the emotions of the characters practically leap from the pages. Wow, incredible. I really was blown away. And the characters names, how did you come up with the names? I fell in love with Nemu and Ambiorix, Okay, why not tell the readers about Of Water and Dragons?
Hi Cherokee, I am glad that you enjoyed the book. Ambiorix is the name of a chieftain in Gaul who defied Julius Caesar. I wanted my hero to be raised a Roman, but have a name that reflected his Celtic roots. Nemu is a name I made up for my heroine—a half-human, half-water faery. I wanted a name that was exotic and mysterious for her. This story actually started as a short story set in a fantasy world. When I decided to turn it into a novel, I changed the setting to ancient Britain and Scotland. I did some research and discovered a key battle had been fought between the Roman legions and the Celts around AD 84 so I thought this would be the perfect place for my faery woman to live and meet a Roman soldier.
How long did it take you to write of Water and Dragons?
This book took a couple of years to write because I wasn’t sure how I was going to go about publishing it so I set it aside for awhile.
At any time, did you feel like you had jumped inside the book and was an actual part of the story?
Yes. I like to get inside the heads of my characters to get a feel for their actions and emotions so I did feel like I was a part of the story.
How long does it normally take you to finish a novel?
It takes me between six and nine months to complete a novel. This depends on how much research is involved.
If a reporter were to follow you around for a day, what kind of schedule would they find?
It would be pretty boring for them because I spend most of my time in front of the computer. I start my day at 6 am, feeding my dogs and doing my exercises. Charmed is usually on the television while I do this. I get any cleaning or errands done in the morning and then I am writing the rest of the day until my husband comes home at 4:30. If I am on a deadline, I am back at the computer for a couple of more hours. My life sounds so boring. Yikes!
I believe your first love was music. Has being a writer changed or affected your life in anyway?
Yes, my life has changed a lot. My life used to be wild when I played in a rock band. As a writer, my life is mellow, but I am content with my life now. With my health issues, I have to take care of myself so staying out all night playing gigs is not good for me anymore. But music is still a huge part of my life and an inspiration for my writing. A song inspired my Arthurian based novel, White Rose of Avalon, by Blackmore’s Night.
Kelley do you have a certain routine to write, or just when the mood strikes?
I really enjoy writing and doing research, but sometimes I just don’t feel like working. I have to motivate myself with music sometimes. Suddenly, ideas will come to me and I can work. When I am working on a book, I get so involved that I work day and night. I keep a notepad and pen by my bed because I will often wake up during the night with a thought.
How did you feel when you got your first contracted book offer?
Wonderful. It feels great to have someone believe in your writing.
If you could say one thing to readers, what would that be?
I would like to thank everyone who has purchased my book. Feel free to email me. I would love to hear from you.
Just for Fun: You have been asked to appear on Iron Chef America. Which of the chefs would you choose to compete with and what secret ingredient would you hope they would choose to cook with that hour?
I have a confession to make—I don’t cook very often and I have never seen an episode of Iron Chef. I went to the Iron Chef website and I will go with Cat Cora. My secret ingredient is Lawry’s Seasoned Salt. I use it on everything and it tastes great.
You have been given three wishes and are told to choose wisely. What would you wish for?
Good health, success and happiness.
And what is your favorite TV Show?
Oh, gosh. I have so many. I watch way too much television. My favorite shows of all time that are no longer running are Highlander the Series and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Right now, my favorite shows are How I Met Your Mother, Criminal Minds, Bones, House, American Idol, Lost, Battlestar Galactica, The Dresden Files, Supernatural, Smallville, Heroes, Ghost Whisperer and Numbers. I also like Men in Trees.
Kelley Heckart, thank you so much for joining me in this interview. Are there any other upcoming works you would like to mention or anything you would like to add about Of Water and Dragons? By the way, the cover is awesome.
White Rose of Avalon is scheduled to be released in November 2007. This story is a re-telling of the Arthurian romances, with a few twists, set during the fall of Avalon. RavenWolf, the sequel to Of Water and Dragons is scheduled to be released in 2008 and I am working on a prequel to those two books. I just finished Cat’s Curse, a historical romance with paranormal elements set in sixth century Scotland. This is book one of my Dark Goddess trilogy, which is about the faery/goddess Cailleach/Cat Anna whose destiny, is intertwined with the destiny of an Irish clan.
Again Kelley thanks so much. I have enjoyed our chat. And you are a trooper. Even though you had never watched an episode of Iron Chef America, you did a research, and still answered the question. Thanks so much. Be sure to check out Kelley’s website and don’t miss the talented works of this great author.
Cherokee, thank you for taking the time to interview me.