Interview & Contest: Heather Snow

Jen: Today we are excited to welcome Heather Snow to RtB as she celebrates the release of her debut novel.  Heather, will you please share a short bio with us?

Heather: Heather Snow is a historical romance author with a degree in Chemistry who discovered she much preferred creating chemistry on the page, rather than in the lab. She is forever trying to wrangle her left and right brain to work together (some days with more success than others!), but if her two sides had to duke it out, left would win every time—which can be a creative challenge. Luckily, she loves challenges…she just goes about solving them analytically.

Heather lives in the Midwest with her husband, two rambunctious boys and one very put upon cat. She sincerely hopes you find her stories have just the right chemistry…

Jen: Tell us about SWEET ENEMY.
Heather: Absolutely! SWEET ENEMY is the first in the Veiled Seduction series, featuring science-savvy heroines and a touch of mystery. In it, a Regency-era lady chemist goes undercover as a husband-hunter at a house party to investigate the earl whose family she suspects of murdering her father. So there a little mystery, a little match-making and little mayhem, as well. It went on sale February 7 wherever books are sold.

If you’d like to read the Prologue and first Chapter of Sweet Enemy, you can find it here (http://heathersnowbooks.com/uploads/Sweet_Enemy_Prologue_and_First_Chapter_Excerpt.pdf).

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When where you first published? Tell us your call story.

Heather: You know, I never did any writing outside of homework assignments until I graduated college. I was always an avid reader, though, from before I can remember. Reading great books is a fabulous way to start learning the craft of writing. It wasn’t until my early 30’s that I decided to try my hand at being a novelist, and since historical romance and mystery are my favorite genres to read, I decided to mix the two and see what happened. SWEET ENEMY is actually my first completed manuscript. It was a finalist in the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® contest, along with some others, that helped me attract the attention of a few agents, including the fantastic Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman agency, who offered representation in front of an entire room of people at an award ceremony for one of the contests I won. It was very exciting! Barbara sent the book out, and three weeks later, SWEET ENEMY sold, at auction, to NAL. I was actually getting a pedicure when Barbara called with the first offer (something I rarely get to do, having small children at home!), so, of course I danced around the spa barefooted and wet-toed. Then I got this little flower painted on to celebrate. 😉

Jen: How does your family feel about your career?

Heather: They are very proud, of course. My novel was the first romance my mother had ever read (though my Nana was a huge romance fan!), and now she’s hooked. Even my husband read it (and claims to love it—oh, wait…maybe I wasn’t supposed to tell anyone that part…) My 3 year old can pick “Mommy’s book” out at a glance and is probably the only toddler boy who regularly totes around romance paperbacks as a normal part of his day. That’s not to say there aren’t challenges, though. Our eldest was just 1 ½ when SWEET ENEMY sold, and while on deadline with book 2, our second son was born. It’s hard being a writer with small kids. Not only the sleep deprivation, but all of the extra time that things like promotion take, particularly on a debut novel. Children don’t understand deadlines! It does put some strain on the family. We think it will be worth it, though (and pray it will get a little easier to juggle once the boys are in school!)

Jen: Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?

Heather: I used to! I used to have to have complete silence and all my nice, organized stuff around me. But after being on deadline with babies, I’ve learned to throw on some earphones and be able to write with whatever I’ve got! I am still a writer who needs larger blocks of time, though. I can’t just write in 20 minute bursts like some authors do. Oh, and I recently had LASIK surgery, so I do have to have eyedrops with me to help with the dryness when looking at the computer screen so long.

Jen: What are your biggest motivations to write? What keeps you going?

Heather: Can I say I’m not sure yet? My career took off so quickly that right now, what keeps me motivated is deadlines and the fear of failure! Also, my first book just came out yesterday. I imagine that as readers connect to my stories, they will be a huge motivation! The hope that I can continue to create stories that sweep people away while they spend time in the book is very inspiring J.

Jen: What is it about the romance genre that appeals to you?

Heather: The Happily-ever-after. There is a lot of ugliness out there in the world, and when you look around in real life, you can see a lot of stories that just don’t end happily. I also love that romance novels put a positive focus on love, mutual respect, personal (character) growth and commitment. Plus, I love the fairy-tale quality of historical romances.

Jen: How much of your actual life gets written into your fictional stories? Have you ever written yourself into a story?

Heather: Having only written two at this point, I can say that there is a bit of me in both of my heroines. For example, Liliana, the heroine in SWEET ENEMY is a chemist, and an analytical thinker, like me. I also notice, as I’m writing, that little things that have happened in my life, or things people have said to me, find their way into my stories. I’ve noticed some of my own insecurities in them. Some of my values or quirks, or quirks of people I know well—I don’t know if you can write without exposing some part of yourself. It makes your voice uniquely YOURS.

Jen: If you could travel back in time for one year, what time and place would you choose? If you could only take 3 things with you, what would they be?

Heather: I’ve given this a lot of thought, and while I’d love to see many places and times, and give a super historical romance author answer, if I had to be honest, I would go back into my Nana’s lifetime and spend a year with her. She and I were incredibly close, and she died too young, at the age of 61. I’d give a lot to have one more year with her. It might be fun to go back to when she was in her 20’s or 30’s and see a new side of her, though!

The three things I would take would be 1) my book. My grandmother started my historical romance reading passion when I found her Judith McNaught, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsay and Julie Garwood novels stashed behind her recliner in my early teens. I think she’d have gotten a real kick out of the fact that I now write them. 2) The Heir (my eldest son) and 3) The Spare (my baby). Nana would have gotten a real kick out of the men in my life—probably more than the book ;). *If you argue that the boys are not “things” and therefore I can’t take them, I understand. So I guess I’d just take 2) Pictures of my husband and kids to show her and 3) a video camera, so I could capture her voice and the way she moved and carried herself on camera. I have still photos, of course, but I miss her voice.

Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?

Heather: I hate answering this question, because there are SO MANY awesome authors out there that I could go on and on and leave out way too many people. I LOVE Lisa Kleypas (Dreaming of You, Devil in Winter being faves). I love Julie Garwood (Castles is probably my favorite, though I love that entire series), Julia Quinn make me smile until my cheeks ache with her dialogue (The Viscount Who Loved Me is probably my fav), Sabrina Jefferies always delivers. I’ve recently discovered a bunch of new-to-me authors I’m really liking like Emma Wildes, Shana Galen, Vanessa Kelly, Katy Madison, Stefanie Sloane, Maya Rodale, Miranda Neville and so many more that I want to try, like Vicky Dreiling and Joan Swan and—okay, I have to stop, now.

Jen: What do you do in your free time?

Heather: Free time? I’ve literally forgotten what that is! I used to enjoy movies and theatre, reading, travel. I think, when the kids get a little older, I’ll love those things again… We do love to go to the lake, as a family, as it’s close to home with little ones in the car.

Jen: What’s next for you?

Heather: Well, SWEET DECEPTION comes out on August 7th, and I am currently working on the 3rd book in the series, tentatively titled SWEET MADNESS. Then, I don’t know!

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Heather: www.HeatherSnowBooks.com
Heather@HeatherSnowBooks.com
www.facebook.com/AuthorHeatherSnow
www.Twitter.com/HeatherSnowRW

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Heather: How do you choose which debut authors to try? Tell me which new books coming out that you’re excited to read!

Contest details:

  • The prize is a signed copy of SWEET ENEMY.
  • The contest is open to everyone, international readers included.
  • You must leave a meaningful comment for entry.  This means your comment needs to be more than “please enter me in the contest”.
  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT gmail.com.  You can also send a message to this email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Wednesday, February 15.
Purchase Links