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Writing means different things to me. I'm a storyteller, a book editor, and a songwriter. For me, it's like breathing.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Are Writer’s Socially Inept?

I’ve been wondering about this lately because I have finally admitted that I am socially inept. Or slightly autistic. I’m not sure which yet. And yes, I am totally serious and not trying to make fun of an illness. I asked my mom about this because I just found my report cards from when I was in pre-school on up to high school. A majority of the teachers said I don’t socialize enough and need to participate in class. I did get really good grades in reading and English. It appears that from an early age, I didn’t like or was unable to socialize well.

The biggest problem I am having lately is making and keeping friends. I guess I shouldn’t say that I don’t know how to make friends. Making friends is easy. It’s trying to keep a friend that boggles my mind. I don’t like to call people because I feel like I am bugging them. But now I think that maybe people think I don’t want to talk to them. And I’m beginning to suspect that I say things that turn people off and I’m not even aware of what exactly I am saying to make people un-friend me. I’m not even sure how I made it this far in life.

I’ve never been a touchy-feely kind of person. I’m pretty sure I’m related to the Vulcan Spock and I have hermit-like tendencies.

But what does all of this have to do with writing? Maybe nothing or maybe writers are naturally drawn to an occupation that doesn’t involve interacting with people.

Kelley Heckart
'Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic'
http://kelleysrealm.blogspot.com/ Check out my long hair hotties!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Sunday, May 15, 2011

In Fiction: What Happened to Lengthy Descriptions?

I remember reading thick, five hundred page novels filled with lengthy descriptions that transported the reader to another time or place. The descriptions created the right atmosphere to forget about everything else except the story. I would be enthralled by an exotic location, or glass blowing in ancient Crete and even the art of blacksmithing. Cool stuff, those descriptions. But they seem to be passé in the writing world.
Lately, I have noticed that stories are filled with lots of action and short sentences that move the story along, but leave me feeling jolted, as if I just got off a wild, but short roller coaster ride.

I wonder if this has to do with our society today and how everything moves at such a fast speed. Maybe people just want the meat of the story and the action, but want to pass on all the descriptions because they don’t have time to read a long novel. Another thought I had was that with the rise of ebooks, it seems that ebook readers prefer to read shorter, action-packed stories. In today’s fiction, is there room for lengthy descriptions?
While reading a fast-paced story might appeal to some readers, I still prefer the lengthy descriptions. I want to get lost in a story for an hour or two a day for a couple of weeks, not for only thirty minutes a day for two days. I want to languish in the story and reflect on the characters, not feel like I barely met the characters.
I hope there are still readers and authors that enjoy a longer, descriptive story. I can’t think of anything that’s better for calming a hurried mind except getting lost for a while in a good book.
Kelley Heckart
'Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic'

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Characters with Disabilities or Health Issues

In creating a character for one of my books, I decided to give him migraine headaches. This came about because I started having migraines a couple of years ago and I thought by giving him a health problem, it would add a touch of realism to the character. This character was an invincible king and I wanted to make him seem a little vulnerable to make him more likeable.

Do readers like to read stories with characters that are disabled or have a health issue? I know there are a lot of romances with heroes that are depressed or somewhat mentally scarred from dealing with a painful past, but I don’t see many heroes in romances with physical issues. Some of the heroes I’ve read about had scars, but not any other physical disorders. Beauty and the Beast is a great example of a story with a character that has physical scars. These types of romances are popular, but what about a hero that is crippled?

I would like to see more stories like this. Maybe I will write one. I had an idea for a romance with a crippled hero—he can walk but walks with a pronounced limp and it limits him from doing things he used to do. Being crippled can make a man feel less of a man and I think this is a great concept for a romance—how does he overcome his fears? Or his frustration and anger? How does the heroine help him cope with his disability? This was something that came to mind—what if the heroine caused his crippling injury?

This gives a writer a lot to think about.

Kelley Heckart

'Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic'




Friday, April 01, 2011

Long Hair Hottie for April!

For the month of April, I picked a personal favorite of mine. This American actor has been on my radar for some time now. Jared Tristan Padelecki grew up in Texas and has appeared in television shows like Gilmore Girls and several Hollywood movies, but he caught my attention when he starred in the CW show called Supernatural. Both of the stars of this show are hot, but only Jared has the long hair requirement to be a pick for my blog. Enjoy!

Kelley Heckart
Historical fantasy romance

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Writing a Virgin Heroine

I’m trying something different for my latest novel—a virgin heroine. This is a bit challenging for me because all of my heroines so far have been sexually experienced women. This has me a little nervous about this book.
I want to avoid mistakes in creating this kind of character. One thing I want to make sure I do right is writing a realistic scene when she loses her virginity. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. Too many times I’ve read books with virgin heroines and that didn’t seem realistic to me because the characters experience the perfect first time sex. Seriously? Not one bit of awkwardness? Or pain? I know what I’m talking about here. Most sexual encounters are imperfect, but for sure the very first time a woman has sex is painful.
I realize that romance books are supposed to be a fantasy for women—the guy is a total hunk and the sex is so hot. And that’s okay with me, but how about putting some reality into at least one sex scene, especially if the heroine is losing her virginity.
And just because she’s a virgin, it doesn’t mean that the character has to be completely innocent and stupid. That’s stereotypical to me. The character I am working on has been trained to wed a king, an enemy king, so she is well versed in the workings of court and her role as a queen. She’s intelligent and strong-willed. But when it comes to love, she is inexperienced—unsure of her feelings and easily charmed by the wrong man. I think most women remember being fooled by a guy at some time in the past because of inexperience.
Who knows, the virgin heroine may end up being my favorite character to create. At the very least I will get to revisit my own past as I recall what it was like being a virgin—if I can remember that far back.

Kelley Heckart
'Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic'

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Long Hair Hottie for March!

I stumbled on this hottie by accident when I decided to check out the new ABC show called Off the Map. I ended up liking the show and one of the main characters (Ben Keeton) played by Aussie actor, Martin Henderson. What is it about these Aussie men that make them so hot? Is it their accents, looks or both? This Aussie hunk has two qualities that I like in a man—long hair and a rugged, unshaved look. Hope you enjoy my March pick as much as I do.



Kelley Heckart
Historical fantasy romance

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Stepping into the Action

One of the hardest parts of writing a book for me is the beginning. I have to remind myself of this writing rule: ‘never start your story at the beginning.’


Exactly what I thought at first.

Then I gave it some thought. How a writer starts the story is really important. A story that starts too slow might lose readers.

Gone are the days when a writer can start a story with pretty prose and no action, and be able to lull readers into the story. Modern stories have to begin with action or at a significant part of the story.

As I was writing a new book I thought about this writing rule, and ended up cutting the first three chapters. Since I already know that beginnings are my weakest point, I took a hard look at this latest WIP and decided it needed to start with more action. The great thing about writing today on a computer is I can always go back and add the three chapters if I want to, but I doubt I will. If I thought the beginning was too slow then readers will certainly think it is slow.

Writing a good story is about making hard choices. A writer needs to be able to step away from the story and take an unbiased look at their work. This isn’t easy to do. I had a hard time with deciding to make changes to the beginning after slaving over the first three chapters. In the end though I decided the changes were necessary to improve the story.

So, get out there and write your heart out, but don’t be afraid to take scissors or that delete button to that beginning.

Happy writing and reading!

Note: In addition to my long hair hotties feature on the 1st of each month, I will also be posting on the 15th of each month about writing tips or life experiences.

Kelley Heckart

'Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic'




For some, spring’s song is the sound of a harsh battle horn, for others, new love, for all—certain danger.


My book page at Awe-Struck


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Long Hair Hottie for February!

For February, I found this Scottish hottie while channel surfing and landed on Smackdown on SyFy. Andrew 'Drew' Galloway is a Scottish professional wrestler signed with the World Wrestling Entertainment where he wrestles on SyFy's Smackdown as Drew McIntyre. While he looks hot in his tight little wrestling shorts, this 6' 5" hunk of Scottish man meat also looks hot in a kilt. I like him better in a kilt. :)


Kelley Heckart
Historical fantasy romance

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Long Hair Hottie for January!

Welcome to 2011! I thought I would start the new year off with a guy I found by accident while looking through a Phoenix Home & Garden magazine. Who would think to find a long hair hottie like that? I guess me. I'm always on the look out for a new hottie.

The hunky guy for January is from Spain. Of course all the hot ones are from another country. He is Roni Benise a Spanish guitarist with an edgy, exotic sound that is also romantic and sensual. Nice. His bio also describes his music as fiery melodies with high energy rhythms. I like.

Happy New Year!

Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author


Monday, December 13, 2010

The Pagan Conspiracy

I found this post to be interesting and enlightening. Perhaps it will be an eye opener for some, or not. This was posted with permission.

Dear Daily Mail

An open letter on behalf of The Pagan Conspiracy.

Just to make it absolutely clear that there is a pagan conspiracy. We have systematically infiltrated every profession, and each branch of government. We are subtle, and clever and we get everywhere. This is of course a deliberate attempt to take over the country and undermine all its traditional values - you know those values about fear, racism, ignorance and intolerance, shafting the poor to uphold the rich, and wrecking the planet for short term material gain. In our attack on these oh so important values we are, of course, threatening to destroy western civilization and bring about the end of the world as we know it.

When we have taken over the world, you will all be forced to accept our liberal and tolerant policies. There will be no escape from this. We will inflict upon every man, woman and child the horror of having to listen to their own consciences. We will demand that people act responsibly and treat each other with respect.

Once we have secured enough positions of power we will be promoting education and waging war on bigotry, stupidity and the kind of people who make money by feeding off the fear of others.

You are right to be afraid of Paganism. If everyone goes Pagan, who will read the Daily Mail?

(Join The Pagan Conspiracy today. Copy the above, and then email it to your friends, post it on your own blog, spread it about as a facebook note, #paganconspiracy on twitter, print it out and pin it to the toilet door...)

Kelley Heckart
'Timeless tales of romance, conflict & magic'

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Long Hair Hottie for December!

This blond hunk is the perfect Christmas gift. Did you hear that Santa? LOL. Eicca Toppinen is in the Finnish metal band Apocalyptica. This unique band uses cellos. The cello is one of my favorite instruments with its melancholy rich sound. Eicca is the embodiment of that sound with his elven features, solemn pout and long flaxen hair. He looks like an otherworldly prince and damn sexy holding his cello. This is another of my favorite bands to write to. Who knew there were so many hunky guys from Finland? You can bet I will be sharing more of these luscious finds next year.



Monday, November 01, 2010

Long Hair Hottie for November!

I picked another rocker for November. This hunky guy is the long haired axeman for the band Daughtry. Josh Steely looks like the hot guy next door with his boyish looks and tangled mane, but you know there is a bad boy rocker lurking just under the surface of that charming smile. Nothing is hotter than a long hair hunk wielding a guitar, crunching out heavy riffs and soulful solos. Oh yeah.



Friday, October 01, 2010

Long Hair Hottie for October!

This hottie is for all you metal maidens out there. For the supernatural month of October, I decided to pick this Finnish metal god. Tuomas (Thomas) Holopainen is the songwriter/keyboardist for the awesome band Nightwish--one of my favorite bands to write to. He is one gothic hunk of dreamy darkness. Who could turn away a guy whose favorite animal is the wolf and favorite television show is MacGyver? And as proven in one of the pictures below, he looks pretty damn hot as a pirate--and comes very close to upstaging Johnny Depp. I think Tuomas also looks like a darkly handsome vampire. Tall, dark and handsome never looked so good to me. Enjoy and have a happy Halloween!



Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Long Hair Hottie for September!

For September I thought I would go back in time to an oldie but goodie, one that still sticks in my mind. This Spanish hunk came on the scene with long black hair. I loved Antonio Banderas best in a movie called Desperado where he played a gun wielding hero, a former mariachi seeking revenge on the drug lord that killed his lover. The movie was directed by Robert Rodriguez and reminded me of those old spaghetti westerns that Clint Eastwood starred in. Okay, I know my age is showing. Anyway, it was a really cool outlaw movie with even cooler music.



Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author


Sunday, August 01, 2010

Long Hair Hottie for August!

I had no idea who this English actor was until I saw the trailers for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. Ben Barnes makes one hot knight that's for sure. He reminds me of a young Lancelot or how I would picture Lancelot with long dark hair and a rugged, handsome face. Yummy. This hottie looks pretty damn good off the big screen as well and appears to have kept his long hair. I sure hope so. I hate it when a hot long haired hunk cuts off his hair. I have not seen this movie yet, but you can bet it is on my Netflix list.



Kelley Heckart, Historical fantasy romance author


Thursday, July 01, 2010

Long Hair Hottie for July!

I know football season has not started yet, but I thought I would get the ladies ready. I'm not a football fan, but occasionally I will sit and watch a game with my husband. I'm lucky I did because I found this athletic hottie--Clay Matthews. He plays for the Green Bay Packers and he reminds me of a big, sexy Viking warrior with his long golden locks. Nice legs too. I bet he looks awesome in a kilt. Wow! At 6 foot 3 inches tall and 250 pounds, he is all man muscle.



Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Long Hair Hottie for June!

I am not much of a country music fan, but I have to admit that some of the guys in country music are hot. This guy is one of the hottest on my radar right now. Jake Owen wanted to play golf, but got hurt so he switched to writing and playing country music. There is nothing hotter than a long haired hunk singing and playing a guitar. I think I just might have to give country music another chance.



Saturday, May 01, 2010

Long Hair Hottie for May!

This young Brit slipped by me until he became part of a new series called Sons of Anarchy. Charlie Hunnam is one of those chameleon actors that morphs into each role so much so that he is sometimes unrecognizable. He usually plays odd characters. He is probably best known for his role as a psycho in Cold Mountain. I like his scruffy biker look in Sons of Anarchy and I thought I would make him my long hair hunk for May. You gotta love a hunky Brit, especially one with long golden locks. He reminds me of a handsome, fierce Celtic warrior. A girl can dream.