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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Interview of Author Kelley Heckart

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Kelley Heckart.

Latest Book: The Bear Goddess

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Multi-published author Kelley Heckart lives in Arizona with her musician husband, dog and a number of backyard “pets,” including Godzilla the desert iguana. Her stories reflect her passion for ancient and medieval time periods, storytelling and the supernatural. Inspired by the ancient Celts, her tales are filled with fierce warriors, bold women, otherworldly creatures, magic and romance. When not writing, she works as an editor/proofreader and practices target archery. She can be found online at

Q: How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
A: I think most of my female characters have some of me in them. Their boldness comes from me, but my characters are way more courageous and adventurous than I am.

Q: If you could change something about your first book, what would it be?
A: I wouldn’t change anything. I like to keep moving forward and focus on new stories instead of looking back at old ones.

Q: Do you eat comfort food/listen to music when writing?
A: I listen to music, usually Icelandic Metal like Nightwish or Apocalyptica. It’s great mood music for the genre I write—myths and ancient history.

Q: How do you choose names for your characters?
A: I choose character names based on the time period and ethnicity. Usually I have to make up the names, but sometimes I have to use specific names because they are real historical names. This can lead to unfortunate hard-to-pronounce names like King Suppiluliamas (Hittite), but it can’t be helped.

Q: Give one advice tip to an aspiring author.
A: I’ll give two advice tips. Write from the heart and always, always use a professional editor.

Q: If you could give a younger version of yourself advice, what would it be?
A: When dad offers to pay for you to go to college, do it.

Q: What genre would you like to try writing that you haven’t yet tried?
A: Non-romance fantasy or horror. I grew up reading more of these genres. Not sure how I ended up writing romances.

Q: Have you ever used an incident from your real life into one of your books?
A: I haven’t used a major incident, but I have used some interactions from my life with my husband between my main characters that are in relationships. I think I understand long-term relationships the best because I’ve been with my husband for almost 30 years. I remember one interaction had to do with narrating. My husband hates when I narrate what I am doing, so I used that in one of the Dark Goddess trilogy books for some humor.

Q: Out of your entire backlist, which book has the best opening line? What's the line?
A: I can’t decide so I’m going to use the one from my latest book, The Bear Goddess. Her skin prickled. Uneasiness spread through her body, the sense of being watched by malevolent eyes gripped her.

Q: How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?
A: This can drive me crazy sometimes. I have so many notebooks with stories I’ve started. Some are on the computer, but I like using notebooks for some reason until I start writing the story, then it goes in the computer. Most of it anyway. I still keep notes when I get sudden ideas.

Fun Stuff:
Q: What is your favorite holiday and why?
A: Halloween. I love it because I get to be anyone I want to be for one night. It’s magical. I can be a vampire, a faery or a vampire slayer.

Q: What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
A: I am a musician and played bass guitar in an all-female hard rock band in the 90s. I’m also an archer. I prefer using the traditional recurve bows like those used in Medieval times.

Q: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I can’t remember. LOL

Q: Favorite food.
A: Mounds candy bars. Yummy.

Q: Favorite happy memory.
A: Wow. There are a lot to consider. Any moment I spent with my dogs. Or laughs shared with my husband over inside jokes that only we understand. I’ve had some happy Christmas moments with just my husband and our dogs, nice intimate moments opening presents, and the dogs get treats or toys in their stockings. Yes, I hang stockings for the dogs. LOL

Q: Favorite drink.
A: Hot chocolate.

Q: Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
A: Hot summer days. Except where I live in the AZ desert, the summers get a bit too hot.

Q: What is the top thing on your bucket list?
A: Visit Scotland, Britain or Ireland, or all three.

Q: If you could have a super power, what would it be?
A: Shapeshifter. I think it would be cool to change into a wolf or a hawk.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!

Forbidden love… Broken vows… Betrayal…

A nymph. A centaur. Enemies in love.

On the run, danger and betrayal follow Callisto and Kasin. To survive they must evade those who want to keep them apart and no place is safe.

Will their love for each other be enough to save them?

In a flashing blur of altering limbs, Kasin stood before her, naked from the waist down in his human shape. He pulled on the rest of his clothes.

She held out her bound hands so he could free them.

He studied the chain for a moment, searching for the clasp. “Hmm.” He unbound her hands, inspecting the silver chain. “I have never seen anything like it.”

She frowned. “I am grateful for that,” she said, watching him in wide-eyed wonder.

Raising one eyebrow, he asked, “Why are you giving me that questioning look?”

She raised both of her eyebrows. “When were you going to tell me you are a centaur?”

He crossed his arms over his wide chest. “Never.”

Tightening the blanket around her shoulders, she gave him a hard look. “I do not think I heard you correctly because it sounded like you said you were not planning to tell me your true nature.”

“I knew you would be displeased. You speak so harshly of my people,” he said in a defensive tone.
“And I have good reason to speak thus of your people.” Even if he was different, there were too many stories about the savagery of the centaurs for them all not to be true.

He unfolded his arms. Looking weary, he grasped her shoulders. “I do not want to have a battle with you now. We should rest. Tomorrow we must start before daybreak.”

“Where are we going to go? I have no clothes.” She looked down at the blanket covering her naked body. All she had was her moonstone choker, the only item that remained on her when she shapechanged into animals.

“Yes.” He rubbed the dark stubble on his chin. “I cannot bring you unclothed into a village full of lusty centaurs.”

She glared at him for his arrogant assumption that she would want to go to a centaur village, but she held her tongue, realizing he was only trying to save her life. And she had no desire to start another argument. The events of the night began to weigh on her. She suppressed a yawn.

He pulled off his tunic and then took the blanket from her shoulders. Gently, he dressed her in his tunic.

His baggy tunic hung just below her knees. The short sleeves of his tunic reached to her forearms. Accustomed to her clothing that hugged and flattered her female curves, she wrinkled her brow in disapproval. She stared at him, at his taller, more muscular body that made her seem small even though she was considered tall for a female. “It looks like a lumpy grain sack.”

Tearing a long strip from the blanket, he said, “I am not finished, love.” He fastened the belt around her waist.

His expression of affection left her with a tender sensation beneath her breast. She watched him, her lips forming a pensive smile, enjoying the feel of his hands lightly brushing her as he dressed her and, at the same time, troubled about their dangerous situation. She couldn’t fully comprehend what had happened yet or the consequences of being discovered breaking her vow and then running off with a centaur. This night seemed like a strange dream to her. She wanted to pinch herself to see if she would wake up.

Anything else you’d like to add?
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Cara Marsi said...

Thank you for a great interview, Kelley. You've got an interesting history. Love that you were in a rock band. Love the premise of your story too. It sounds like a great read. You live in one of my favorite places.Best of luck.

Lynda Bailey said...

Great interview! Best of luck with all your endeavors, Kelley! ;)

Judy Baker said...

I enjoyed your interview, Kelley and getting to know you. Your books sounds like a great read. Thanks for sharing.

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Very nice interview, Kelley! Congratulations on the book.

PRM said...

Great advice about accepting Daddy's offer to pay for college! You sound like a fascinating lady with all your varied interests. I'm also a musician but nothing as cool as a rock-band member. Congratulations on the new release, Kelley. Love the cover!

jean hart stewart said...

A delightfully different interview and excerpt...thanks for sharing....

Kelley Heckart said...

Thanks for having me at the RB4U blog today.

And thank you to everyone for the nice comments and for taking the time to read my interview.


Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful getting to know you Kelley. I love the cover of your book. :) All the best!

Janice Seagraves said...

Great interview, Kelley, and I enjoyed reading your excerpt.


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