Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spotlight: Heather Kuehl

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Today we have Romance Author Heather Kuehl visiting us at Just Write!  Let's ask Heather a few questions . . .

~  What kind of stories/books do you write?

I write paranormal/fantasy/romance. I love anything with fantastic characters and a happy ending.

~  How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing since 1996. I started writing after my teacher had us write short stories about how the holidays were created. She’d laminate and bound them for us to give to our parents. I loved the idea of seeing my name in print, and decided that was my goal in life; to become a published author.

~   How long have you been writing and seriously pursuing publication?

I started taking it seriously in 2007. It’s like I woke up one day, realized that I wasn’t going to reach my goal just dabbling in the world I created, and got to work.

~  How many manuscripts did you complete before you sold?

I had written quite a bit of short fiction that had gotten published, but I think I had only two longer works finished when Fade to Black was sold.

~  Please tell us about receiving “The Call.”

Well, “The Call” for Fade to Black took the form of an email from Eternal Press. I was excited, but I didn’t start screaming and doing my happy dance until after I read through the contract.

~  To expand on your "Call Story"— What did you do when you got the call or read the email?  Scream?  Faint?

Well once I read through the contract and realized that this was the real deal, I started jumping around and squealing. I mean this was it-the goal-and I had finally made it.

~  How did you feel when you found out you sold?

Both ecstatic and afraid. I was ecstatic because Fade to Black sold and someone other than me thought it was good. I was afraid because I didn’t know if other people would like it. I was also overwhelmed because I knew I was going to have to do a lot of the promotion myself, a task I had never done before.

~  Who was the first person you told?

My husband. He thought something was wrong when I came tearing through the house screaming. *laughs*

~   How did you celebrate?

My husband and I went out to a Japanese restaurant for delicious sushi. Then it was back to work on edits, promotions, and writing my next book.

Now here’s a little bit about Promises to Keep, my latest release from Eternal Press.


SUMMARY:

Starlette DeFore knows that her father is alive, even though her family buried him ten years ago. And when a faerie confirms this she travels to Charleston, South Carolina to hunt down Sivad Night, the only person to have ever escaped from the hands of a powerful sorceress, The Dark Lady Dreashae. With help from a witch they travel into Verella, a fantasy realm filled with centaurs, dragons, and magic. Starlette is very close to finding her father, but first she must defeat Dreashae. Will Starlette, a mere mortal, have the strength needed to finish her quest and save her father?


EXCERPT:

I looked up to the sky, at the rainbow-colored dragons trying to kill one another.

“Wow, talk about your bad divorce,” I said to no one in particular.

“This isn’t funny, Star.”

“I don’t think it is.” A green dragon was scorched, wings ruined. It fell down, spiraling until it hit the ground with a sickening crunch. “We have to do something.” I said my thoughts aloud. I knew the dragons were not our friends. They wouldn’t help us in our time of need. But there was no reason we couldn’t help them.

“Sivad, get on Zarzia. We have to get to the highest point on this island.”

“Starlette, that would be suicide!”

“I don’t care. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if they died and I didn’t try to help.”

Sivad looked up once again, his jaw clenching when another dragon fell from the sky. His eyes met mine as he nodded curtly. We mounted Zarzia, her wings lifting us up into the air. It was no surprise to me that the highest point was the top of Lady Cleoante’s throne room. I reached into my bag of hairpins and pulled them out. A large red dragon flew past us, whipping my hair about my face.

“Which one is Kalin?” I shouted above the din of the battle. Sivad pointed at the large red dragon that had just flown over us.

So that was Kalin. He spiraled around and flew toward us again. As he passed, I threw one of the hairpins. I hadn’t had much practice with throwing a knife. My hit rate was only one out of ten. It never hurt to try, though. The hairpin flew up with deadly accuracy, finding its home in the red dragon’s eye. He screamed, flapping around and pin-wheeling through the sky. I knew it wasn’t a mortal wound as the dragon regained his balance, turned around and headed straight toward us. Zarzia landed and I ran to the gap that led into Lady Cleoante’s throne room. I was just praying that the drop wasn’t too far. I jumped, my heart going up in my throat as I fell through the hole and onto the large stone slab that was Lady Cleoante’s throne. My legs went numb and I collapsed, gasping for breath. I needed to move. I heard a dragon scream, a sound that would forever haunt me in my nightmares.

I rolled off the slab onto the stone floor. My legs still didn’t want to cooperate and I had to force myself to crawl toward the exit. I needed to get out of here before Kalin came after me. The earth started to tremble again and I wondered if the island would survive this battle. I heard the echoing of footsteps walking toward me.

“Sivad!” I cried out. I wondered how he had gotten down here so quickly.

A man with thick black hair stood in front of me. He would have had iridescent red and brown eyes, except one of them was nothing but a bloody mass. I tried to stand to run, but nothing happened. I must have jarred my legs pretty good. Kalin didn’t miss a step as he walked over and kicked me, sending me flying into the wall behind Lady Cleoante’s throne. My head hit the wall, causing spots to burst across my vision. I lay on the floor, trying to reorient myself, but Kalin grabbed a handful of my hair and dragged me to my feet. His face was only inches from mine. I shifted around and found my feet were now agreeing to work. I lashed out, kicking him in the knee as hard as I could. He fell to the ground, releasing my hair as he went. I turned and ran, trying to get some distance between the angry dragon-man and me. I reached in my bag, pulling out another hairpin but cried out in pain as I was once again grabbed by the hair and forced back.

Kalin, with his hands on my shoulders, roughly turned me around to face him. Without thinking, I struck, imbedding the hairpin in his chest. It went in all the way to the decorative jewel. Kalin howled in pain, shoving me back so he could rip out the hairpin. His hand swung out, backhanding me across the face and causing me to land in a heap on the floor, once again seeing stars. I reached out, trying to crawl away. Kalin shimmered and transformed back into his red dragon form. I screamed as he opened his fang-filled jaws with a roar and struck out at me.
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You can visit Heather at http://www.heatherkuehl.com.


Great interview, Heather!!!




AM  :)

10 comments:

Margaret West said...

The first persin I told was my husband too lol. Enjoyed the blog.

Lorrie said...

I love to hear how authors react to an acceptance. Happy dance indeed. Great post, Heather

Debra St. John said...

So many "calls" these days seem to be e-mails...it's the new way, I guess! Doesn't change the excitement of getting the news, does it!?!?!? Dancing and telling the hubby seem to be the celebration of choice!

Heather Kuehl said...

Thank you.

If the hubby's at work it just kills me to wait. I don't want to start posting good news online or telling someone else because I feel that he deserves to know first. After all, he's the one who has to put up with "Crazy Writing Heather" 24/7. :o)

Diane Scott Lewis said...

I told my husband first, too, when he came home from work.

Enjoyed the excerpt and how you write.

Kelly A. Harmon said...

Great excerpt, Heather. I'm moving Promises to Keep up higher on my wish list.

Heather Kuehl said...

Thank you Diane!

I can't wait to hear what you all have to say about PROMISES. It's my ultimate literary baby and I am so happy to have had the chance to share Starlette and her quest with you all.

AnneMarie Novark said...

I want to thank everyone for stopping by.

And thank you, Heather, for a great interview!!!

The cover is awesome!!! And I loved the excerpt.

Here's to lots of sales!!!

Cate Masters said...

Great interview! Email "calls" do seem to be the norm lately, but it's still exciting! Congrats on your release Heather!

Heather Kuehl said...

Thank you AnneMarie for having on on Just Write. It was a blast to do.

Personally Cate, I prefer the email "calls." That way I can flake out, do my squealing happy dance, and come up with a mature response later once I've calmed down. :o)