Today, my guest is Heather Kuehl talking about her latest release, Far and Away, a collection of poems and flash fiction.
*Tell me about yourself?
Well, I'm a stay at home mom who writes paranormal romance. When I'm not chasing my two year old monster around the house, I can be found gardening, clipping coupons (my newest addiction!) or plotting my next paranormal adventure.
*When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I finally published Fade to Black. Before that I had published numerous short stories and poems, but it seemed to be more of a hobby than an actual profession. Now that I'm working so hard, constantly editing and writing, I consider myself a writer.
*What inspired you to write your first short story?
My first published short story was called "Dawn of Hope." It appeared in the 2000 Wild Tales for Cool Kids writing contest sponsored by Charleston's Post and Courier. I was reading a lot of R.A. Salvatore at the time, and I think that's what inspired that particular flash fiction story.
*What do you think is the difference between writing short stories and novels?
Short stories are just one plot, unless it's turning into a short series. Novels have to have one major plot and several sub plots. Another difference is that with short stories, they can be written in just one sitting while novels take weeks to months (even years) to write.
*Why did you decide to create this collection and is there a common theme to the stories?
Far and Away is a collection of over 30 previously published poems and flash fiction pieces and 12 works that have never seen the light of day. Far and Away takes readers into a world of possibilities. Join a bride on her wedding day where all isn't as happy as it seems. See life through the eyes of a beloved pet as he tries to make the great escape. What is hiding in the dark? Includes award winners such as "Miscommunication" and "Beauty is the Beast."
Genre: paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, romance, contemporary.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? (Has anyone ever realized it?)
Many experiences within the stories I've written are based on my own life, such as the events in my story "The Grave." However, I do occasionally use events that have happened in someone else's life or that I have overheard someone talking about. Occasionally someone notices that I'm writing from my own personal experiences, but usually it's my family that notices it.
What book are you reading now? What do you like, or not, about it?
Right now I'm reading Switched by Amanda Hocking. So far it's all right, but I'm hoping that it'll start to pick up soon. The pacing is rather slow.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I was in sixth grade. My English teacher, Mrs. Martin, had the class do a project where we wrote a short story about the origin of Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, and Easter as well as a story about our favorite teacher. We wrote the stories on special pages and drew illustrations, then she laminated our covers and bound them for us. I still have all of my little books, and I remember the feeling that I had when I saw them; I wanted to see my name in print.
Do you ever have problems with writers block? If so how do you get through it?
I think every writer has a problem with writer's block. I've discovered that mine occurs when I do something that the character doesn't like. The story grinds to a halt and I have to backtrack and figure out what I did that my character didn't like. Sometimes it's an easy fix. Other times, it involves a complete rewrite. Either way, the book is much better once I fix the error and flows much smoother too.
What do you do when you’re not writing/editing or thinking about writing/editing?
I like to garden, and recently I've discovered couponing. Not the extreme couponing that you read about or see on TV. I make a list of the items I use, and try to get them for the best price possible. I also have a two year old that keeps me on my toes. He's my world.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Far and Away took years to write. Stories, like "Hidden," I wrote back in 2001. But I think it was harder to get them all together and make sure that each story complemented the one that came before or after it than it was to sit down and write them.
Any special appearances or events coming up that you want to mention?
2011 is a busy year for me. I have several books and stories slated for release. On August 7, Dream Lover will be released from Eternal Press. "Raising the Dead" will be in the October issue of Aoife's Kiss. In December, MuseItUp Publishing will publish my short story At All Costs. Epiphany will be published by Decadent Publishing sometime this year as well, but I don't have the actual date yet. "Into the Dark" will be in Ruby Red Cravings, also due out sometimes this year.
*Who is your publisher and how did you choose this publisher?
My publisher for Far and Away is Smashwords. I choose them because I wanted to publish my previously published short stories, and many publishers don't accept short story collections. My author page with them can be found at http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/hkuehl where you will see that I also have a free read entitled Struck By Beauty as well as two other short story collections, Amythist Dreams and Dragon Sent.
*What are your current projects?
I recently started work on the fourth book in my Sarah Vargas series. I'm halfway through writing Gray Magic, a paranormal romance about my favorite witch, Tabitha Desdemona Drake. I'm also trying to find a home for a young adult paranormal romance entitled Of Wolf and Man.
*How can we find you? Website, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. - please share your public links.
My website is http://www.heatherkuehl.com and my blog is http://heatherkuehl.blogspot.com. My Facebook fan page is at http://www.facebook.com/Author.Heather.Kuehl and my Twitter is @heatherkuehl.
*Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never ever give up! Work hard and keep trying. It's a long, hard road to finish writing a book and getting it published, but all that work is worth it in the end.
Excerpt from "Fire and Brimstone," found in Far and Away.
The woman is there, just like I knew she would be. Where I am dark, she is light. Where I have black hair and deep amber eyes, she has blonde and blue. While I am wearing a crimson scoop-neck sweater with black slacks and a black leather duster, she is wearing a simple white tank-top and pale jeans. She must be cold, but it doesn’t show. She smiles, and it is then that I know her.
“Gabriel? Is that you?”
“Yes, Lilith, it is.” She looks down at Daniel. “Did you have to kill him?”
“He’ll live.” I sigh. “And my name is Veronica now. I haven’t been Lilith for a very long time. What do you want?”
“I was sent. Your existence has gone on too long.”
I raise an eyebrow. “How so?”
“Succubi were never part of His plan. You are a stain on this pristine world.”
“He created me, as He did you,” I quickly say. “I did what I needed to in order to survive. Gabe, am I not worth saving?”
“You’re a demon, Lil.” Gabriel pauses. “You’re a demon, Veronica. Demons cannot be saved.”
“I wasn’t always,” I say with a sigh.
“You’re right. You were supposed to be the wife of Adam, to tend the garden for Him, but for whatever reason you left.”
“I never said I was perfect, Gabe.”
“And here you are, tainted with demon blood and feeding off the desires of mortals to live.”
“There must be others like me.”
“Are there?” she asks with a smile. “I have searched the Earth, but I haven’t seen nor heard of any others. If there were, I wouldn’t be here. But since there aren’t…”
“He sent you to kill me,” I finish.
Heather Kuehl Buy Links
Fade to Black (Sarah Vargas Book 1)
Malevolent Dead (Sarah Vargas Book 2)
Blood Moon (Sarah Vargas Book 3)
Promises to Keep
Through the Rosebush
Free Read - Struck by Beauty
Far and Away.
Heather Kuehl Coming Soon
Dream Lover. Eternal Press, August 7, 2011
"Raising the Dead." Aoife's Kiss, October 2011.
At All Costs. MuseItUp Publishing, December 2011.
Epiphany. Decadent Publishing, TBA.
"Into the Dark." Ruby Red Cravings, TBA.