Friday, June 25, 2010

Heather Kuehl is in the House!


CJ: Hello, Heather Kuehl. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to talk to us. We’re excited to have you here today!

HK: Hey! Thank you for having me.

Q: So, first of all, we want to know about your latest novel. What can you tell us about PROMISES TO KEEP?

A: PROMISES tells the story of Starlette DeFore, a young woman on a quest to save her kidnapped father from a sorceress; the Dark Lady Dreashae. Starlette has to travel to Verella, a fantasy realm filled is dragons, centaurs, and magic. Thank goodness she has the handsome yet secretive Sivad Night to help her.


Q: I think everyone would love to know what inspired this particular novel. Can you tell us about that?

A: Sadly, I can’t remember. I wrote the original draft of PROMISES over ten years ago when I was still in high school. I know I was reading a lot of Anne McCaffrey at the time, so her Pern novels might have been the inspiration.


Q: I’m dying to know more about the Main Characters of your novel. Can you give us a brief description of each?

A: I’ll tell you about Starlette, Sivad, and Dreashae. Starlette is twenty-three, with long black hair and lavender eyes. She’s not a fighter, but will do so when she must. Her main goal in life is to find and save her father. Sivad Night is twenty-seven, with curly brown hair and blue eyes. He was once enslaved to the Dark Lady Dreashae and is helping Starlette because helping her will lead to Dreashae’s destruction. Dreashae is one of my all-time favorite bad guys. Her skin is milk white and her eyes and hair are as black as her soul. She doesn’t care about anyone or anything other than herself. She wants more power, no matter the cost. I think she should have thought that through before she kidnapped Starlette’s father.


Q: Okay, I’m a huge fan of quotes taken from novels. Would you tell us one of your favorites quotes from PROMISES TO KEEP?

A: “Puny!” screamed Diamonte from inside me. I heard his voice come out of my mouth, I felt my tongue forming his words, and fear rose up inside me. He told me that he was just going to be in my skin, letting me use his magic. I knew that I should have made him promise not to possess me.


Q: A little about you. When did you decide to write your first novel?

A: As I said earlier, I wrote the first draft of PROMISES when I was in high school. I knew back then that I wanted to get my work published and see it on the shelf in bookstores. It wasn’t until 2007 when I started taking my writing seriously. In 2009 my first book was accepted for publication by Eternal Press, entitled FADE TO BLACK.


Q: Do you have a system or particular ritual you do before/ during writing to keep the words flowing?

A: Ha! I wish. Whenever I get a spare second I try to sit in front of my computer and write. I usually listen to music, depending on the character and their mood. Starlette didn’t like music, but Sarah from FADE liked Evanescence and Avenged Sevenfold.


Q: What do you find the easiest part about writing? The hardest?

A: I’d have to say that the easiest part is the actual writing. Sitting down and playing in a world that you created is so much fun. Anything is possible! The hardest is editing. When I finish a book I want to move on to the next project, not sit down and tweak it. Although I’ve found that letting the newly finished manuscript sit for a month or two before editing, allowing myself time to start something new, has helped me not violently hate editing. :o)


Q: We all know writers spend a great deal of time researching. Can you tell us one of the most interesting things you’ve discovered while doing research for your writing?

A: Research? We’re supposed to do research? I’m kidding! While writing the Sarah Vargas Series, I’ve had to research guns. One of my favorite characters, T.D. Drake, loves guns and uses them every chance she gets. So research, for me, is going to the shooting range and trying out all sorts of guns. In doing so I’ve discovered that my aim is really good.


Q: If you could physically visit the world in any book, which book would it be and why?

A: I’d love to visit Pern (series by Anne McCaffrey) as long as I could be a dragonrider. The connection between dragon and rider is magnificent. No matter what happens in my life, when I read a Pern book I feel like I’m coming home. Kind of like I’ve been to High Reaches Weyr or Half-Circle Sea Hold before.


Q: What one work of fiction do you think has made the biggest impact on your life? How?

A: I feel like I should list some classic, but I think the decades I spent reading them in high school and college has made me resent them. Any time I feel like life is against me, I pick up my ratty copy of either Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern by Anne McCaffery or Pearls of Lutra by Brian Jacques. I’ve read those so many times I worry that the next will be the last because my copy is in such bad shape. I’m sure, in some way that I have yet to discover, these have impacted my life.


Q: Last question before we wrap this interview up. Please finish this sentence in a way that best describes you, for us. “People would be surprised to know that_______.”

A: People would be surprised to know that I collect coins. My dad was in the U.S. Navy and whenever he would go out to sea, he’d bring back currency as souvenirs for us. Currency from different countries fascinates me. A couple of years ago my husband and I went to Mexico to see the Mayan ruins and my souvenir was getting $1 worth of Mexican pesos.


CJ: Thank you, again for visiting with us, Heather. I would invite all our guests to check out PROMISES TO KEEP by Heather Kuehl on sale now at Eternal Press or Amazon.com. Below is an excerpt from Heather’s novel, PROMISES TO KEEP. Please read on!

Excerpt from Chapter 7:

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.







Want to know more? Grab your copy of Promises to Keep or Fade to Black, available now from Eternal Press.


Heather Kuehl was born near the Great Lakes, but made her way to South Carolina where she lives to this day. While working at her local library, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree and worked on her writing. She is the author of Promises to Keep and Fade to Black (#1 Bestseller in fantasy eBooks on Fictionwise.com) as well as numerous short stories and poems. Visit Heather online at http://www.heatherkuehl.com/ or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

6 comments:

  1. Great interview, Heather! You are a terrific writer. Keep up the good work!

    Maggie

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  2. Great interview, CJ and Heather! I love that your characters have different tastes in music. :) Best wishes for many sales!

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  3. Another great post, Heather.
    A coin collector huh? Very interesting. My Uncle also is a collector.
    I wish you well with the story. The excerpt is just a tease. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Thanks for being a guest on my blog today, Heather! It was so much fun having you here!

    xo;

    CJ

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  5. Thank you for having me, CJ. Thank you for stopping by Cate, Maggie, and Lorrie!

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