About Me

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I spend most of my time daydreaming and creating otherworldly tales steeped in myth, magic, and romance. All of my heroes have long hair, and my heroines are strong-willed. Prior to being a writer, I played bass guitar in an all-girl hard rock/metal band in southern California. When I'm not writing, editing, or reading, I enjoy practicing target archery.
 

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Well, I have been taking my time to finish my second book (sequel to Of Water and Dragons) and now I have to bust my butt to get it to the publisher. That is what I get for procrastinating. I had been messing around and not making final decisions about certain character names and dates so I just stopped working on it. Well, I was forced to make the decisions and I am glad because sometimes I need a kick in the butt to get a project finished. Is that the way with other writers? Or am I damaged in some way?

Anyway, I should have it completed and ready to send to the publisher by the end of next week. I still have to finish the synopsis, which is my least favorite thing to write. It is the opposite of how a writer thinks and I have to switch to the other side of my brain to do it. There is no room for outstanding prose in a synopsis. Publishers want a concise summary of the complete story. It really is a challenge to describe in one or two pages an 80,000 word story. The best advice is to keep it simple and to the point.

I am off to read through my manuscript and make the final changes.

Happy writing!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I am often asked how I come up with my story ideas. For me, it is not something that I can force out. Ideas come to me at their own will, but I do try to stimulate my mind to help the creative process. Something as simple as a song can give me a story idea. For example, 'Ghost of a Rose' by Blackmore's Night inspired an erotic romance that will be released by HeatWave Romance in 2007.

I read a lot of books on Celtic mythology and a lot of ideas come from this. I try to read as much as I can about ancient history. Currently, I am going through 'The White Goddess' by Robert Graves and taking notes. This book has a wealth of information on history relating to the Great Goddess cults that thrived in the Middle East and Europe for thousands of years. Another great book that has inspired me is 'When God Was a Woman' by Merlin Stone. A book on faery lore gave me the idea for one of my main characters (Nemu) in 'Of Water and Dragons.' From there, I devised a whole history for her just from one paragraph out of this book. Even fiction in the genres I like can help inspire a story. Reading is probably, for me, the best way for the Muse of Inspiration to grant me story ideas.

Sometimes ideas will come to me out of the blue when I am sleeping. I will go days with no ideas and then all of a sudden an idea will come to me--it's truly magical sometimes.

Is this the same for most writers? I would love to hear what other writers have to say about their source of inspiration.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

New Release from Awe-Struck--Of Water and Dragons

Of Water and Dragons is now available in ebook format from Awe-Struck.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with ebooks, I will be happy to enlighten you. Ebooks do not take up space in your bookshelves and they are a lot cheaper than print books. You can either read them from your computer monitor in html or pdf format or purchase an ebook reader, which can accept other formats. I just bought an E-Bookwise reader for 115.00 and it takes pretty much all formats except for pdf. A memory card enables storage of numerous books in the reader. Book files can also be stored on your computer. This E-Bookwise reader is about the size of a paperback and you can buy from fictionwise.com, which also has New York Times bestselling books available for download. That is the other positive thing about ebooks--you can download your book and not have to wait 2 weeks for it to be shipped to you. And you save some trees by not buying a print book. See how good they are? Have I convinced you yet?

I know that you are probably thinking that ebook publishers don't publish great books, but I can say from experience that I have read some ebooks that are way better than some of the bestselling NY Times books. For one thing, ebook authors have a little more control over what they write and don't have to stick to a certain formula, which always bugs me about "big publishing houses." Ebook authors can cross genres without being punished for it. For example, my book crosses over into romance, historical, fantasy and erotica. Of Water and Dragons is an unusual romance, not your typical Harlequin Romance. (No offense meant to any Harlequin authors out there) I was able to pick my own cover design, which I know won't happen with a big publisher. The author has very little input over their creative work with a large publishing house. Have I convinced you yet? You can't knock it until you try it. Download one ebook onto your computer to check it out--just make sure it's my book. I'm kidding of course! Psyche!

Happy Reading!

New Review for Of Water and Dragons at Coffee Time Romance

4 Cups! This tales speaks of another time. A time of faeries, soldiers, druids, and magic. Ms. Heckart draws the reader into the pages and enchants them with her words, making them believe for just a little while that they too can call on dragons or control armies. For the time it takes to read this book, we just might have the power to control the universe. Of Water and Dragons is a romance to make you believe again.
Karen MagillReviewer for Coffee Time RomanceReviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books

Coffee Time Romance is another review site for authors who write any type of romance--in any format. I think they have even branched out to other genres like mysteries and non-fiction. They are easy to work with and authors and/or publishers can contact them to request a review. A review is a great way to promote your book even if it isn't a great review. Everyone has their own opinion.

Happy writing!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Writing and stylistic preferences

When writing stories set in historical settings, a writer needs to make a choice between using historically accurate dialogue or dialogue that compromises between modern phrasing and historically accurate words so the readers can best understand the dialogue. This was a choice I had to make and I know I will take some flack for it.

My books, though set in historical settings, are not true historicals. They lean more toward fantasy. To gain a wider range of readers, I have opted for the latter choice. I avoid any modern slang from slipping into the story, but my phrasing is more modern and simple. I admit that I even have a hard time reading a historical novel that uses "historically accurate dialogue." I realize by not sticking to the historically accurate diologue that it could discolor the atmosphere somewhat, but I make up for this by writing detailed descriptions to pull the reader into the story. I realize that some readers (especially those that are sticklers for accuracy and those that read straight historicals) may not agree with my stylistic choice. But maybe these readers would not be interested in my book anyway.

Hopefully, readers will still enjoy my stories. So far I have received favorable reviews. I stick by my choice, but I welcome comments related to this topic.