Interview: Felicity Heaton

NRR: Can you share with us how you got started in writing?

I actually started out in fanfiction, which isn’t that uncommon. I wrote fanfiction for around two years and then decided I was ready to make the switch to original romance stories with characters of my own creation. I was lucky to have a lot of support in my early days and the unwavering belief of a friend and my husband. I wasn’t convinced that I could write my own story from scratch but once I started dreaming up my own characters, I was hooked. I was writing a mixture of romance genres when I started in e-publishing, mostly contemporary romances. Eventually I found my way back to my true love, paranormal romance, and I’m never quite sure why it took me so long to write my first vampire romance novel. Since then, my main focus has been paranormal, fantasy and science fiction romance, and I don’t think I’ll be changing genres again anytime soon, not now that I feel I’ve come home.

NRR: What authors/books inspired your writing career?

I’m not really sure. I read a lot of classic romance novels when I was a teen, books like Jane Eyre, Persuasion and Pride & Prejudice. I think the romance in them combined with the fantasy novels I was reading, and my love of horror novels and everything paranormal to bring me to where I am today. I’ve read a lot of books about writing and have done a fiction writing course too, although the teacher was very discouraging about romance novels, and I think those have inspired me to take leaps forward with my style and ability to craft and tell a good story. I haven’t been inspired by one or two authors individually, but everything I have ever read inspires me to keep writing.

NRR: What is in your to be read pile?

A lot at the moment because I rarely get time to read. I even had to challenge myself to read 24 books this year, and I’m doing well considering I only started it in March. I have various books by Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and others to read. All of them are paranormal romances. I had never read one before I started writing them, well, except Dracula if you could call that a paranormal romance. It was only after I started writing them that I decided to read them too, and now I can’t stop. I just wish I had more time to read! I’m a huge fan of Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breed series because she writes stories in the way I like to write them, and she’s fantastic with her words and her characters. 

NRR: Out of all the books you have written, is there one scene that still sticks as one of your favorites? If so can you share with us?

I’ve written a lot of books, over forty since I became e-published in 2005. It’s hard to recall all my favourite scenes but I know there is more than one of them out there and that they’re all pivotal scenes in books and usually involve a lot of emotion, whether it’s because of a character coming close to death or dying, or two characters struggling to overcome a barrier that stands between them emotionally. They’re all the sorts of scenes that I can’t share without giving away a twist or key moment in the story, but some of my favourite scenes are in Love Immortal, Her Guardian Angel and Forbidden Blood which are all under my Felicity Heaton name, and Winter’s Kiss and Hunter’s Moon, which are both part of my Vampires Realm series I write as F E Heaton.

NRR: You have a lot of releases this year! Can you tell us about them?

I have had a lot of releases this year, and I have a couple more to come too. After January’s release of Love Immortal, my epic vampire romance novel that gives vampires and werewolves a new origin in Greek mythology and has an amazing cast of supporting characters with incredible powers, I released the next book in my Vampires Realm series, Hunter’s Moon. Hunter’s Moon is a werewolf and vampire romance novel that is packed with emotion and a seriously complicated and forbidden relationship, as well as some dangerous hunters. I followed that book with the first in my Shadow & Light Trilogy, Ascension, which is the story of a powerful witch and her half-demon hero and her fight to survive her ascension, a time when her magic reaches the pinnacle of its power, and an evil force that is out to kill her. Forbidden Blood came next, and it’s a vampire romance novel and the first in my Vampire Venators series. The vampires in this series are very unique and a new take on vampires that I think readers will really enjoy if they’ve read my other vampire stories. I like to write vampires dark and deadly, drinking blood from the vein, and in this series I deal with the effect of a certain blood type on them and they’re a different breed of vampire to the usual undead type I write. My most recent release is the fourth book in my ongoing Her Angel series, Her Guardian Angel, and it’s an epic tale of love against the odds and a fight for survival. In fact, it’s a love so powerful that it shakes Heaven and Hell!

I have another release on October 22nd, which is a stand alone vampire romance novel entitled Heart of Darkness. I’m in second draft with that one right now. Again, it’s a different take on vampires, but they’re just as dark and deadly as ever. I’m yet to decide whether I’ll have another release after that or whether I’ll wait until January 2012 for my next one.

NRR: Which character do you find more seductive, angel or vampire?

That’s a tough one. I find them both seductive but for different reasons. I mean, who wouldn’t want to live forever with a dark sexy vampire? And who wouldn’t want to fly above the world in the arms of a gorgeous angel? To me, they’re such polar opposites. Light and dark. Vampires are mysterious, vicious, violent, and very dangerous, and part of the appeal of them is bringing that nature to heel by making them fall for you until they don’t want to live forever without you. Angels are pure, benevolent, but strong and powerful, and I think part of their appeal is the thought that being with one feels forbidden, even if it wasn’t, and wicked. With angels it’s the thought of leading them into temptation or perhaps saving the soul of a fallen one that lures us in. I think both are equally seductive for their own reasons, but my first love is the vampires. I think I would sacrifice a chance to walk in the light with an angel at my side so I could tread the darkness with my vampires.

NRR: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

I think that it’s really important to study the craft of writing and to never take the easy route by settling on the first idea you’ve come across, or the first draft of your story, or the first character you’ve created. It’s important to question your idea and keep delving into it until you find one that sings to you, and to question your story and keep honing the words, phrasing, dialogue and description until you can’t make it any better, and to question your characters and keep interrogating them until they’re larger than life and feel real. I’m an indie author and I’m seeing an increasing amount of new indie authors who are just settling for what they have. They’re putting stories out into the world that aren’t doing them any favours, or the name of indie in general, and show little consideration for readers. If a writer is serious about writing, then they’ll take the time to learn how to write and how to make a story come alive, and they’ll do a professional job of it, working until their story can’t become any better because they care about the reader. The reader is everything and if you don’t approach writing in a professional way, with your heart set on giving the reader a great experience and a story that will stay with them long after they finished the last sentence (for a good reason, not because it was so badly written), then you’re not only letting yourself down but you’re letting your readers down too. I can’t stress enough how important the craft of writing is and taking pride in your work. Anyone can type out a story into a word document and throw it online to make a quick buck, but it takes dedication, respect for yourself and your readers, and many long hours of work to really write a good book. Read as many books on writing as you can, attend writing classes, read articles online or ask authors for advice. We’re really a friendly bunch who are normally happy to help aspiring authors by answering their questions. Hone your craft and never stop learning, and always act professional and approach writing with a passionate heart and a desire to reach readers with your words, not a yearning to make some fast bucks and a total disregard for putting out a quality story.

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