Friday, September 6, 2013

Joining me in the Hot Seat today is author, Heather Kinnane

Welcome, Heather, can you tell my readers a little about yourself?


Bio: Heather Kinnane writes steamy stories in almost every genre, though fantasy realms with all their magical possibilities have always been her favourite setting. She lives with her partner, two children and a variety of pets in the idyllic island state of Tasmania, Australia, and spends her spare time (when not writing, or fulfilling the many roles required of motherhood) reading, or walking through the lush Tasmanian bush, which gives her the inspiration for many of her fantasy writings.

Q:  Can you tell my readers a little about your writing? What genres do you enjoy writing?
My writing tends to be fairly minimalist, I guess. I don’t go into great detail about my characters appearance, or the setting, letting a few details guide my readers imagination to fill in the rest.
As I mention in my bio, I love writing fantasy. There is just something about the many magical possibilities of such worlds that really allows my imagination to soar.

H.C. I love writing fantasy too, but I'm the opposite, I tend to lead my readers into an exploration of other worlds. I want them to see what's inside my mind...good or bad LOL.

Q:  Do you write on a schedule or when the Muse decides?
I like to write to a schedule, and I find that if I do that long enough, then the muse usually finds me! On saying that though, I do find that when I’ve finished something long (like a novel) my brain often takes a week or two holiday to get over it. Sometimes it can take time for me to get back into routine and get the words flowing again.

Q: Can you tell us about your writing process, for example, do you write an outline first?
In the past I’ve been what some call a ‘pantser’, just sitting down and letting the story come to me, but I’ve discovered in the last few years that if I have a basic idea of where my story is headed my writing is all the better for it. Sometimes that idea can be something as simple as an image of where the story is headed, or how it might end.

Q:  What qualities do you instill in your heroes?

I hope that my heroes come across as real men,

Q. Coffee or tea?
Tea, preferably Chai. J

Q. Beach or countryside?
 Definitely the countryside! I love the beach too, though it’s more the sea I love, and less the sand!! But the country just has something peaceful about it. The view from my home is one of cow pastures, with lower, hills behind and majestic mountains in the distance (currently with a sprinkling of snow). It’s just gorgeous!

Q. Do you write about the places you know or prefer to take your readers to exotic places?
A bit of both, I think. My places rarely have names that are familiar (though in A Faery Dream, I do name Tasmania and its capital city, Hobart), but they are generally loosely based on places I’ve been to.

Q: Where do you get your inspiration?
I’ve written several blog posts on this topic lol. The forest is my main source of inspiration,

 H.C. The forest is a magical place.

Q: Would you change anything in your life to make writing easier.
This is a hard question… yes and no. I’d love more time to focus on writing, with two young children I rarely get a moments peace, even when they are trying to be quiet for me!! But on the other hand I know that sooner or later they’ll be grown (next year they will both be at school full time), and so I am trying to be aware of the precious moments and enjoy them while I can.

Q: We have all suffered submission rejections. How do you cope? Do you have any advice to other writers on coping with rejection?
It depends really on how I feel about the story. Sometimes I will just ‘know’ that it’s not going to be accepted, and so if it’s not then I am not too disappointed (and if it is, well, that’s a great surprise!). Other times I am more confident in a story, which of course is when the rejection hurts. My coping strategy for this situation is to simply put the rejection aside and just keep writing. Later, when my head is clearer and I’m not feeling the sting quite so badly I go back to it, and consider the points made, and how I might improve that story or my writing in general in the future.

Q: What do you like to read and who are your favourite authors?
Fantasy has always been a favourite, and I’ve recently discovered Laurell K Hamilton. I’m working my way through her Meredith Gentry series, on the recommendation of a friend, and I love it! Her characters are amazing, and the way she builds a story is brilliant!
  H.C. Yes, I've read all of her books too.

Q: Do you write one novel at a time or do you move between works in progress?
I usually focus on one novel at a time, writing, or editing or planning. When I’m writing a story I like to keep working at it so it is always fresh in my mind, I find if I don’t add to the story for a couple of days it’s harder to get back on track. But recently I’ve found the need to write one story and edit another – so I’m attempting to organise my days so that I take some time out to write in the morning, and edit in the afternoon. It’s working well, so far.

Q: Do you have times when the Muse is away on holiday?
Haha! Yes! Absolutely! Usually I find when I’ve finished a novel the muse takes a break for a week or two (or longer), and I can’t seem to write anything new.

Q. What motivates you to write?
Seeing other people succeed in their life’s dreams is a great motivator for me. Being a published author has been a dream of mine since forever. I guess you could also say that seeing people who never attempted their dreams and now have regrets is another motivator. I don’t want to have those sort of regrets at the end of my life, I want to say I gave it my best shot, regardless of the outcome.

Q. What advice would you give to unpublished authors approaching an e publisher?
Read the submission guidelines, would probably be Number 1. Read them, and reread them. Make sure you follow instructions. But I guess the step before that is to make sure you have a polished manuscript; edit, edit, edit. And beta readers make this stage so much easier – if you can find a writer’s group, join one! They exist online if you can’t find one in your local area. I am a member of the best writers group ever – the member’s are so supportive and encouraging. We’ve achieved a lot in the two years since we began and we’ve never spoken face to face. We’re spread literally across the globe, New Zealand, Australia and the USA.

H.C. Great advice, thank you.

Growing up without a mother, Melissa has always felt different. Now in her 30s, and plodding along in her failing relationship with Tom, she begins dreaming of Kellen; confident, strong, everything her heart desires. But though these dreams feel more real than reality, Melissa knows it’s fantasy–Kellen’s tribe live in the forest, and he doesn’t call her by her real name, but another: Nyssa.

When Kellen steps out of her dreams and into her life, she feels that her wishes have come true–especially when he reveals he knows about her mother. Kellen has always known about Nyssa. Like her mother, Kellen is one of the Fae, the man Nyssa would have been joined with had her mother not run off to the mortal realm with a human lover. With strife brewing in the Faery Realm, Kellen visits Nyssa in her dreams, knowing her return will prevent tragedy. Convincing her she has faery blood turns out to be easier than Kellen imagined, especially when Nyssa remembers those awful conversations with her father, about a mother who was ‘different’. But Kellen fails to tell her everything, risking not only their growing relationship, but the peace of all the Faery Folk.
“Do you think you could drive?” Tom asked when they got back to the car. “I’m exhausted.” Without waiting for an answer he climbed into the passenger side, tilted the seat back, and closed his eyes.
Perhaps I’m being foolish, Melissa thought, watching him. Maybe I should be happy with what I’ve got, and not expect a fairy tale. She felt a twinge of sorrow about the situation. But his day had worn her out. This time away was supposed to be their chance to reconnect. He had begged her for it, the chance to reignite their relationship. But all he’d managed to do was show Melissa he did not want to face their issues any more than she did.
They arrived back at the campsite at dusk, Tom feigning sleep the whole way, Melissa exhausted.
“Who’s that?” Melissa noticed the car first, and just behind it, another tent set up opposite their own.
As they got out of the car, a young woman emerged from the tent, a bright smile on her face.
“Hi,” she said. “I guess this is your campsite?”
“Uh, yeah,” Tom answered.
“Sorry to barge in on you, but we couldn’t find anywhere else to camp, and your tent looked lonely.” She laughed. Tom and Melissa managed a weak smile.
“I’m Nerida by the way.” She held out her hand and in the glow from the fire Melissa thought the other woman looked familiar.
“Melissa,” she shook Nerida’s hand. “And this is Tom.”
Nerida turned back to the fire. “We’ve got some left over fish if you’d like some? Cooked up too much.”
“Thanks, we’ve eaten,” Tom replied.
A movement in Nerida’s tent caused Melissa and Tom to turn as one.
Melissa gasped, heart pounding as a familiar figure emerged from the tent, a figure she had seen so often in her dreams. She felt the spark between them the moment his eyes met hers.
“This is my brother Kellen.” Nerida said over her shoulder, apparently unaware of the chemistry. Melissa fought to keep from fainting.
Tom stepped forward and put out his hand to shake Kellen’s.
“Tom,” he said. He took a step back and placed the same arm protectively around Melissa. “And this is my partner…”
“Nyssa, right?” Kellen smiled and Melissa felt her knees go weak. “I heard from inside.” The desire on his face was clear as his eyes wandered the length of her body.
“Actually it’s MEL-issa.” Tom frowned.
“We were surprised to find anyone else here,” Kellen said, shooting Tom a winning smile before returning his gaze to Melissa. “They say this is a weak spot, one of the points where the fair folk have a doorway – giving them access to this world, and of course us access to theirs.” Melissa turned her attention back to the fire, forcing them to break eye contact, though she couldn’t help but sneak glances as he spoke. She felt her face flush with the heat of his attention, his gaze a tangible weight on her skin. Tom must’ve noticed, moving her to the opposite side of the flames.
“So you’re saying that we shouldn’t camp here, because the fairies might come through?” he said with a scoff.
“No,” Kellen said, finally taking his eyes from Melissa to look at Tom. “I am saying it’s what the locals say. No one said not to camp here; they said they wouldn’t recommend it.” He stopped and glanced at Nerida, laughing. “But when we saw your tent we thought we’d stop anyway, safety in numbers, hey.” He finished the sentence with a smirk on his face, and Melissa wasn’t sure if he was joking or serious. She closed her eyes. Just because he is identical to the man from my dreams doesn’t mean he is that same man, and even if he is, I am with Tom. But for how long? The voice came unbidden but she could not ignore it. She glanced at Tom and he turned as though he felt her gaze, and smiled. He was a good man. He told her often he loved her, and didn’t seem bothered she rarely replied in kind. The guilt tore at her. How could she end things and hurt him? Maybe passion was a fantasy out of romance stories, and she was thinking of throwing away a good relationship based on the desire for something which may only exist in her dreams. But he’s here, he’s real! Once again she felt Kellen’s gaze, the warmth of it bringing her body to life. She glanced back at him and a thrill travelled her spine and she shivered.

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Author’s links:
Twitter: @heatherkinnane


  1. Thanks so much for having me today, HC! :)

  2. Interesting interview and great advice for aspiring authors too Heather.