Q&A WITH HEATHER BLANTON

Hi, Heather! Welcome to my blog. Obviously we need to cover our bases first, so: tea or coffee?

Oh, I think one of the most fabulous inventions God ever put on this earth is coffee. I love it so much I have decided I will be getting my own espresso machine. A Christmas present from me to me!
 

What’s your preferred writing snack?
I am a machine when I write. Down to business. Hunger does not distract me…facebook does.  If I snack, I’m happy to nibble on oranges, bananas, apples, but I cut them into pieces and to eat them with a fork, so I don’t have a wipe off my fingers. That’s a little life hack that weight watchers taught me.

What inspired you to write?
I am old enough to remember the dark ages of television. You know, three networks. Period. A concept millennials can’t  even get their heads around today. But, back then, when the cartons were over what was a kid to do? I carried a notebook around and jotted stories down in it. Then I went into journalism and communications as a career. But my first novel was born out of the loss of my beloved sister to breast cancer in 1999. Simply as a way to deal with my grief, I wrote my first version of A Lady in Defiance in 2000, but it didn’t see the light of day (or anybody else’s eyeballs) until 2011. 

I hear you’re releasing a new novella soon. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
Ask Me to Marry You came out September 21 and is currently doing very well at Amazon, praise the Lord. I call it my MALE order bride story. And yes that is spelled correctly. Audra needs a man to help her save her ranch. Being a practical, strong-willed woman, she gets herself into an arranged marriage. What could go wrong? This is actually book two in the Brides of Evergreen series, a 12-part collection of short stories all focused on characters from Evergreen, Wyoming.

That sounds great! Could you share a snippet from it that you’re a little bit proud of?
In the tiny courtroom in Evergreen’s town hall, Winston snagged Sheriff “Dent” Hernandez and a cowhand paying a fine, to act as witnesses. Audra’s heart beat out of her chest as the Justice of the Peace said the words to a simple ceremony.
She repeated this isn’t real, it’s just for show over and over in her head, but when the justice of the peace pronounced them man and wife, she felt a terrible explosion of panic. Oh, Lord, what have I done?
“You may kiss the bride.”
She and Dillon leaned toward each other, then backed away, shock and confusion on their faces. Awkwardly, he shoved out his hand. Dent snorted at the absurd gesture. Audra didn’t know what to do and stared at Dillon, horror and humiliation washing over her. Winston cleared his throat and bobbed his chin slightly. Though this was a lie, a charade, people had to believe she was married.
She closed her eyes and lifted her face to Dillon. The time felt like an eternity until his lips pressed against hers. Warm and gentle. Then his hand came to rest lightly on her cheek. Something inside her sparked to life. Her breathing hitched and her legs suddenly felt all wobbly. He deepened the kiss—
“Congratulations, you two,” Winston said, stepping forward quickly.
Heart pounding like a stampeding herd, Audra pulled away from Dillon, but didn’t miss the mischief in his eyes. Or was that desire?
That’s really good! Could you share a little bit about your writing process? Plotter and Panster?
Oh, I once was lost but now I’m found! I used to be a complete pantser. With one little scene flailing about in my head, I would sit down and start writing a full-length novel. I wasted a ton of time and energy building story layers, layers that did not necessarily further the tale. Hallelujah! I have seen the light, and now I try to run an entire story in my head before I even outline it. It has definitely made me a faster, more efficient writer, praise the Lord.
Other than your novella, what are you currently working on?
I have a western historical romance coming out in the fall. I say historical, but it is a story set much later than my usual 1870s and 1880s. Love, Lies & Typewriters is set in 1943 Cheyenne, Wyoming. Dale and Lucy are thrown together because he saves her life. Billed as the next Clark Gable and Carol Lombard-kind of couple, the two go on a war bond drive throughout the west. Their budding romance is documented by newspaper reporter Bryce, a real city slicker who is as out of place in Wyoming as an elephant. As the tour progresses, Bryce falls in love with Lucy and finds himself competing with all-American boy Dale for her affections. But Lucy has all kinds of reasons to ignore Bryce and stick with Dale. Then Bryce gets an offer that will take him off the tour. He and Lucy both have to face some tough decisions that not only impact their immediate future, but may echo for generations.

For those of us who haven’t read your books, could you share a little about them?
My Defiance series is built around three sisters who get stranded in the tough mining town of Defiance, Colorado. This is an edgy series with adult issues because Christians don’t live in bubbles and I think sometimes you have to address certain things, like teen pregnancy, domestic violence, and prostitution. The Love and War in Johnson County series is also a bit edgy and is based on the real range war fought in Wyoming in the 1890’s. The hero is a fictional Cattle baron, but all of the events in the story actually happened. I lighten up for the Brides of Evergreen series, as well as Love, Lies & Typewriters.
Lastly, where can we find you on social media?
Thank you Heather for visiting. I can’t wait in dive into one of your books!
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