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.
 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tucson Celtic Festival Book Signing


A beautiful sunny day greeted me on Saturday morning for my book signing at the Tucson Celtic festival, but it could have been about ten degrees cooler. A desert rat, I am accustomed to hot weather in the summer, but not in November. I felt sorry for the people dressed in traditional Scottish wear made for the damp, cold Scotland climate, not for desert heat. The hot weather must have made people really thirsty because they ran out of most of the ale by mid-afternoon and by the condition of some of those I spoke to, I think they were the ones who drank all the ale. It made for an interesting day, that's for sure.

This was my third year attending this particular Celtic festival. I enjoy the scenery every year of men striding about in kilts. Even the security officers wear black Utilikilts. Yummy. Oh, and the solemn, commanding mountain range was a beautiful sight to look at too.

This year I signed with best-selling author Amanda Scott. For those not familiar with her, she has written at least fifty books from regencies to Scottish historical novels so you can imagine how nervous I was to be sitting next to her. In fact, I almost cancelled this year because I thought with the sagging economy and Amanda Scott's presence my sales would be lower than previous years. In the end, I decided to attend if only for the promotional opportunity and the chance to meet a best-selling author. I was not sure what kind of person Ms. Scott would be. I wondered if she would be a diva. Well, she turned out to be a really nice lady and I was glad I decided not to wimp out and miss the festival. She even signed a copy of one of her books that I had bought, but had not had the chance to read yet.

It started out slow for me and at first more people approached Amanda making me feel invisible, but things eventually picked up for me. One technique that always works well for me is to hand out bookmarks to people who dare to glance my way. I learned this from another author and it works wonders. I ended up selling more books than previous years and a few people came up to me saying they read my first book and had to have my second book. A couple of them even bought my third book. I was thrilled and Amanda leaned over and said, "That's when you know you are on your way." Cool. I expect more sales will come from all the bookmarks I handed out. Some people were thrilled to know that my books are available on Kindle, which made me happy to know that e-books are gaining popularity.

It turned out to be a wonderful way to spend a Saturday sitting there selling books, watching men in kilts, meeting some fans (even if it was only three or four), talking with a best-selling author, watching men in kilts…

Kelley

Friday, September 26, 2008

Writing Meaningful Sex Scenes in Romances

One thing I have struggled with as a romance writer is trying to write sex scenes that have some significance and are not just thrown in to spice up the story. I like to keep my romantic scenes sensual and not graphic, preferring to leave something to the imagination. After all, a reader wants to use their imagination, right? This has proven to be a challenge because I do not want to write purple prose, but I have managed to avoid this by keeping a balance between the two and avoiding terms deemed too flowery.

Sex scenes like any other scenes should reveal something about the character. Is she shy, bold or somewhere in between? Does he prefer to have control or does he like it when she takes control? Humor is something I like to add to these scenes sometimes to show how characters will react. I recently wrote a sex scene where the bed broke. I think readers can identify with the characters more if reality steps in to the love scenes. It is not all perfection as in life it is not all perfection. By writing scenes where the hero and heroine are most vulnerable, it reveals something about their personality.

The way men and women think in the bedroom are different too. Ladies, how many times do we want our man to stay awake after the coupling only to have him role over and start snoring? Or, what about the man feeling frustration because he still cannot figure out how to please his lady? The time period a story is set in also makes a difference in how characters will act, but I think the above scenarios have been happening in bedrooms for centuries.

It has taken me some practice, but when I write sex scenes between my hero and heroine, I think about each character and pull pieces of their personalities into the scenes. Well-written romantic scenes can reveal a lot about a character and add to the story.

Kelley
http://www.kelleyheckart.com
http://www.myspace.com/phantomqueen3

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Review for Ravenwolf


I received a wonderful review from Historical Novel Reviews Online and I wanted to share it on my blog. As an author, it feels good when a reviewer understands what you are trying to convey to the readers. I am so stoked! Here is a clip:


RAVENWOLF

Kelly Heckart, Earthling Press, 2007, $15.95, pb, 390pp, 1587496569


"It might be easy to categorize this book as fantasy because of its supernatural elements or as romance because of the explicit sexual content and story of lovers in jeopardy, but the lovely writing and incorporation of well-researched Celtic history and mythos elevates the book to something beyond either clich├ęd genre. Below the sensual surface, the book seems to touch on themes of balance and unity between genders. Women are empowered in the story with the depiction of powerful female goddesses, but Heckart carefully avoids the trap of choosing one sex over the other by emphasizing the need of each to come together as a balanced whole.
The story will be entertaining to most and fascinating to anyone interested in Celtic history and myth." -– Amanda Yesilbas

Historical Novels review online

To view the entire review, click on this link:
http://historicalnovelsociety.org/hnr-online.htm

For more info on Ravenwolf, visit my website at http://www.kelleyheckart.com/

Slainte!

Friday, May 09, 2008

Contest on Kelley's Enchanted Grove


Hi all,

In honor of the recent Freya's Bower release of In the Gloaming: An Anthology of Faerie Stories, I thought I would do something different for entering this contest. To enter the contest to win a coaster set featuring the faery art of Amy Brown, all you have to do is read this short excerpt (posted below)from my short story, The Enchanted Meadow, and tell me the color of the warrior's eyes by joining by Yahoo Group at
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kelleyheckarts_enchantedgrove/message/62
and putting the answer in the message box. The contest runs to the end of May.
Good Luck!

Kelley
http://www.kelleyheckart.com/
http://www.myspace.com/phantomqueen3

Excerpt from The Enchanted Meadow:
She studied him, admiring the confident way he commanded his men even as he faced the unknown. He stood regal and powerful, the blue warrior marks he earned shadowing the austere planes of his handsome face. Long, golden-copper streaked hair plunged down his back in a wild tangle. She yearned to run her hands through his thick mane again.

As if reading her thoughts, he glanced back at her tree, his bright blue eyes darkening to a deeper hue in the shifting light, his face softening from its usual hardness. When he looked in her direction, he let slip his true feelings he hid from his warriors. Her heart sang with compassion for him.

She felt herself blush at his penetrating gaze. His eyes awakened that feeling of familiarity in her again, but she still could not place it. If she escaped her prison, she could go to him now.

Frowning, she thought how she hated the tree that felt like a tomb. The world beyond the tree taunted her with its bright autumn colors, a world so full of life and freedom. She could not bear to look upon it any longer.

To help her bide her time, she thought about their coupling. Her body flushed at the memory. She recalled how wonderful his muscles had felt beneath her touch and the way he had kissed her, caressing her secret places with his skillful tongue, making her moan and quake. A twinge of desire flickered inside her at the thought of having him touch her again tonight.

When they discovered another missing cow, they would have to stay. At least she hoped so. She continued to hide some of their cattle to keep the warrior there so eventually he could help her escape.

At first, she only wanted to use him to help her escape, but now her body trembled with affection for the golden warrior. After he rekindled what had been dormant for so long inside of her, she began to yearn for him and his tender, passionate touch. Could she let him go? And if he should eat of the apples….
Purchase link for In the Gloaming: An Anthology of Faerie Stories:http://www.freyasbower.com/content/view/368/77/

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Reviews for In the Gloaming: An Anthology of Faerie Stories


Faeries come from all cultures and countries and range in appearance from lovely to terrifying to looking like an everyday person. Some are benign, some malevolent. Based on actual faerie lore, this anthology incorporates the work of five spectacular authors who have penned tales of irridescent ice beings, fey men who love you into forgetfulness, frightening creatures who wear caps of human skin, enchanted lovers from a long lost era, and the land of faerie dreams.

Step into the world of glamour where the beautiful, the dreamy, the vicious, and even a bit of the sexually bizarre will captivate you--but beware of the fey’s beguiling ways!

This anthology is a fabulous collection of Faerie stories by Cora Zane, Esmerelda Bishop, K.M. Frontain, Nita Wick & Kelley Heckart.

"All of these authors did a superb job in writing such vivid adventures that I felt I was right there in the middle of it. In the Gloaming was a quick read, I would recommend this anthology for faerie and non-faerie lover alike! 5 Delightful Divas."
Reviewed by Eliza Knight at Dark Divas

"In the Gloaming is a collection of amazing stories written by five very talented authors. Each story is so unique and well written. From finding true love to defeating evil, there is something for everybody in this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I know others will too."Reviewed by Beth Senters at PNR reviews

Rating: One whole champagne bottle plus a flute!"In The Gloaming really is a superior set of tales."Reviewed by Nutty Nana at Cocktail reviews

Purchase link for In the Gloaming http://www.freyasbower.com/

Slainte!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

In the Gloaming: An Anthology of Faerie Stories is now available!

In the Gloaming is now available. I am thrilled to be part of this anthology with four talented authors. The heat levels range from tangy to spicy so there is something for everyone to enjoy. Happy reading,
Kelley

Blurb:
Faeries come from all cultures and countries and range in appearance from lovely to terrifying to looking like an everyday person. Some are benign, some malevolent. Based on actual faerie lore, this anthology incorporates the work of five spectacular authors who have penned tales of irridescent ice beings, fey men who love you into forgetfulness, frightening creatures who wear caps of human skin, enchanted lovers from a long lost era, and the land of faerie dreams.

Step into the world of glamour where the beautiful, the dreamy, the vicious, and even a bit of the sexually bizarre will captivate you--but beware of the fey's beguiling ways!

Anthology authors:
Cora Zane
Nita Wick
K.M. Frontaine
Kelley Heckart
Esmerelda Bishop

"In The Gloaming really is a superior set of tales." Reviewed by Nutty Nana at Cocktail reviews

Purchasing link:
http://www.freyasbower.com/content/view/368/77/

Slainte!
Kelley

Kelley Heckart, author of Historical Celtic fantasy romances Available now! Of Water and Dragons, Ravenwolf, White Rose of Avalon http://www.kelleyheckart.com/ and http://www.awe-struck.net/
Join my Yahoo. group! http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kelleyheckarts_enchantedgrove/

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Research mode

I am now in full research mode, my brain trying to absorb all that I am reading. After reading Warlords and Holy Men, I have moved on to Bede: Ecclesiastical History of the English People. This is to prepare myself to write the second book in my Dark Goddess trilogy. As I read, I am taking some notes and have compiled a timeline so that I can link important events. Though I am only writing about a certain area and time period, I want to be well informed about everything going on at that time. The research is actually interesting because I love learning about history, especially the Dark Ages. The time period I am writing about is especially turbulent as Christianity fought to make its mark on the people of northern Britain and Scotland (Alba). I find that exciting to learn about and write about. My only problem with some of the research sources I read is that most of the material is influenced by Christian monks because they were the ones who put everything in writing. The pagan people, the Picts and Celts, were an oral society so I have to read between the lines on some of the information and rely more on archaeological evidence.

I am finding Bede to be a great source for the history of Britain even though some of his views have been criticized and I know some of his writings are biased toward Northrumbia (English), but it is interesting to read about the events of a long lost time through the eyes of someone who lived in that time period. I am getting closer to the actual writing process and I cannot wait. It is always exciting to start a new book, but I want to make sure I am prepared first. My fingers itch to start writing and my brain is whirling with ideas, but I have to hold back until the research is done. I am an impatient person so this is not easy for me. I hate that lull between books because I have all this creative energy that is ready to burst, but I know I will be thankful that I took the time to do the research and I am sure the readers will appreciate it too.

Kelley

Writing Update

I have been very busy writing and am thrilled that I have finished the prequel to Of Water and Dragons and Ravenwolf. The title changed to Night's Daughter, which is another name for the Greek Erinyes and Roman Furies. After tons of research, the story came together for me fast, which pleased me because I wanted to have it finished before February. This story takes the reader back to ancient Crete and Anatolia and is a new twist on the conflict between the Titans and Olympic gods. The mysterious Tuatha de Danaan of Ireland are also introduced in this book and their origins are revealed. Night's Daughter is scheduled for release in early 2009 by Awe-Struck.

While I was finishing Night's Daughter, I took a break to write a short story called The Enchanted Meadow. This story will be in an anthology from Freya's Bower titled In the Gloaming: An Anthology of Faery Stories. I am very excited about this because this is my first anthology. The release date for this is March 2008.

Currently, I am working on the second book in my Dark Goddess trilogy. The first book, Cat's Curse, is scheduled to be released in early 2009.

Anyway, that's what I have been up to lately.

Kelley

My new release--Ravenwolf

I am very excited about this latest book, the sequel to Of Water and Dragons. This was not a planned series, but the characters had more stories to tell. Ravenwolf was fun to write and is more of an adventure romance, incorporating body switching and a trip to the Celtic underworld. Since this was not a planned series, I approached it differently by making each book a separate story so they can be read together or separate.

Currently, I am working on a prequel to these books, which is set in ancient Greece and Antatolia (Turkey). The working title is Goddess of the Flame and is a different twist on the conflict between the Titans and the Olympic gods. I did tons of research for this book, studying not only Greek mythology, but also pre-Hellenic, Egyptian, Anatolian and Sumerian myths. I hope to have this finished by February 2008.

Stay tuned!
Kelley

Monday, January 21, 2008

History know it alls

One of my pet peeves in the writing world are other authors who think they know everything about history. Usually they claim to be historians or hold some fancy degree in some irrelevant subject. Normally I just brush them off and go about my business, but an article in the newspaper caught my eye and raised my ire. The way I look at it is there are two kinds of authors: historians and storytellers. Guess which one I am? I am not trying to say that it is okay to get lazy on research when writing about a historical period, but no one can possibly know everything.

This article is titled Life's a blur: When biopic movies blend fact and fiction. It talks mainly about movies, but the same information can be applied to books. It seems no matter what story is told there are always people who will pick it apart with their annoying fact-checking. Don't they have anything better to do? I feel if I have to shorten a timeline to make the story move faster then I should be able to do that without being criticized for it. It's called 'fiction' for a reason. I do what it takes to tell a compelling story. If I wanted to tell a detailed story about a historical figure then I would write a boring history book.

A couple of phrases stood out to me in this article. One is "The best biopics transcend their subjects." The other phrase is "No one is a reliable narrator of a life, not even the person living it." This is so true and some people will do right by remembering this. I don't even remember every detail of my own life. How can someone write a perfect story about someone else? It's just not possible. Why can't certain people just enjoy a book or a movie? Unless there is some major anachronism, just enjoy books and movies for what they were meant to be for--pure entertainment.

Everyone has their own way of doing research. I would say do your best to read as many sources on the subject as you can and don't rely only on the internet. Even reading respected sources on some subjects are iffy. The time periods I write about are hard to research, but I find whatever I can and then compare notes. I don't believe everything I read on the ancient Celts because the Roman writers were biased and called them 'barbaric' when archaeological evidence proves otherwise. Even the classical Greek writers were biased. I try to read between the lines and come to my own conclusions. I am proud to call myself a storyteller.

To read the entire article click here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2007/11/23/ST2007112300970.html