What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
* Heather Heyford learned to walk and talk in Texas, and then moved to England. ( “Ya’ll want some scones?”) Now a recovering teacher, Heather writes love stories, feeds hardboiled eggs to suburban foxes, and makes art in the Mid-Atlantic.
* Additional Bio: Born in the Northeast, Heather Heyford learned to walk and talk in Texas, and then moved to England. (“Ya’ll want some scones?”) While in Europe, Heather was forced by her cruel parents to spend Saturdays in the leopard vinyl back seat of their Peugeot, motoring from one medieval pile to the next for the lame purpose of ‘learning something.’ What she soon learned was how to allay the boredom by stashing a Cosmo under the seat. Now a recovering teacher, Heather writes love stories, feeds hardboiled eggs to suburban foxes, and makes art in the Mid-Atlantic. She is represented by the Nancy Yost Literary Agency (NYLA, @nyliterary) in New York City. The first book in her Napa Wine Heiresses Series from Kensington Publishing, A Taste of Chardonnay, is now available!
So, Heather Heyford, What/Who inspired you to become a writer? When did you attempt your first story? What length was it? What's become of it? How many stories did you complete before you sold your first?
* Ever since I wrote A Taste of Chardonnay, people have been asking me if I always wanted to write. The answer is, no! I didn’t start writing until about five years ago, when a love story rolling around in my head wouldn’t leave me alone. Naively, I thought, “I can do this. I went to college.” Ha! I had no idea what I was doing. I made every mistake a writer could possibly make in that book. It was my teacher. I got a bunch of rejections—deservedly so—but I also got a lot of positive feedback. After that, I studied hard, including researching the market to see what people wanted to read. I ended up selling my second effort, the Napa Wine Heiresses series.
What are the best and worst pieces of writing advice you ever received?
* Oh my goodness, I’ve received so much help along the way from other writers. The romance writer community is the most generous group of people I’ve ever met. Probably the best piece of advice I ever got was to “show, don’t tell.” It’s so obvious once you know that, but it had to be pointed out to me. The worst advice? For me personally, it would be to join a critique group. That never felt right to me. Why would an amateur take the advice of other amateurs? Besides, I sure didn’t want to be responsible for steering someone wrong! Now, I know lots of writers who swear by critique groups, and a clutch of experienced professionals is something entirely different from a group of newbies trying to find their way.
The book you’re promoting, is it a stand-alone story or part of a series?
* The Napa Wine Heiresses series consists of 4 books: A Taste of Chardonnay, A Taste of Merlot, A Taste of Sauvignon, and A Taste of Sake. It’s best to read them in that order, though they can stand alone. They are all about how the four daughters of Napa’s’ most notorious vintner carve out their own niche in the world…and find love along the way, of course!
What sparked the idea for the story/series?
* I was inspired to write the series after my husband took me on a dream-come-true trip to the California wine country. After all, most romance readers are just like me. Our favorite things are reading, romance, travel and wine. What could make a better series than those?
*** Now for some fun info… ***
Would you/have you own(ed) a snake or some other exotic pet?
* My daughter’s guinea pigs outlived all her friends’. Why? Because long after she lost interest in them, I continued to care for them out of my love of animals…even though the slightest scratch from their long nails gave me big, red welts.
Which do you prefer: rain or sun & warm weather or cold weather?
* Oh, I’m definitely a sunshine kinda girl. I lived in England for three years as a child, and it’s true what you’ve heard about their gray skies. Once when the sun shone for three days in a row, it broke some kind of record.
If you could live anywhere in the universe, where would it be and why?
* Are we talking pure fantasy? I’d have three houses: a ranch in Wyoming, an apartment in London, and a villa in the Caribbean!
If you were stranded on a desert island and were only allowed to have five modern conveniences with you, what would they be?
* I can see it all now…me sitting under a rustling palm with my Kindle in my hands, watching the sun go down. On a little table next to me are a lamp and a laptop. Inside my hut is a TV and fridge stocked with wine. What time’s my flight?
*** About Heather Heyford’s book… ***
* “Thanks,” she said in a subdued voice.
* “You can’t afford any more notoriety.”
* Char lowered the ice pack and turned to him. “How do you know?”
* Here it came. She braced herself for his accusations.
* When he didn’t respond, she asked more sharply, “What about my notoriety?”
* It was making her crazy, not knowing what he knew.
* In the dark, he sighed audibly.
* “My mom told me some stuff. She’s lived in Napa city all her life. She knows everyone. Hears everything.”
* “Like what, exactly?” Char braced herself for the worst, taking scant comfort in the idea that he couldn’t be that outraged, or he wouldn’t be here, driving her home. Or—to wherever they were headed.
* “It’s not important.” Whatever dreck he’d heard, he was downplaying it. That much was for sure.
* “How’s your cheek? Keep that ice on it.”
* “Just tell me what you’ve heard. I’ll tell you which parts are true or not.”
* He slid down the windows, letting in the night air—unusually balmy for early June—and combed his fingers through his hair.
* Char sat stiffly, waiting. But after a few minutes, the steady whoosh of tires on pavement helped normalize her heart rate, and her spine relaxed a bit. There, in the shadowy cab of his truck, his striking good looks were obscured. And he couldn’t see her, either…or her top-of-the-line running shoes…her one-of-a-kind silver jewelry. For the moment, he wasn’t an egotistical movie star, and she wasn’t an empty-headed heiress. For just this moment, she could almost pretend they were ordinary people with ordinary lives.
* And ordinary, if powerful, feelings.
***Buy Heather Heyford's book here***
Kindle | Nook | Kensington Publishing | Print: Available Oct. 13, 2014 from Amazon
***Find Heather Heyford here***
Website | Facebook | Twitter
Thank you for joining us here today, Heather Heyford! It was a pleasure getting to know you and your work.
ANNOUNCEMENT! Heather will be awarding a digital copy of A TASTE OF CHARDONNAY to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour! So be sure to leave your name and email with your comment AND use the Rafflecopter below. Also, visit the other tour stops (find them here: goddessfishpromotions-vbt-taste-of-chardonnay) for a greater chance of winning!
a Rafflecopter giveaway