I love discovering new authors, so I wanted my blog to be a place where readers and my author pals could come together. Only we like to do this Speed-Dating style. Check out a new author and her work here every Wednesday, and if the spark is there, you’ll have a match.
This week’s guest: Heather Novak
1. Picture yourself inside an airplane with the door open and a parachute on your back. Would you shout “whoo-hoo” and leap out or hold on for dear life and beg the pilot to land? Or is this question moot because you would be waving up at the plane from solid ground?
Someone explain to me WHY I would be jumping out of a perfectly good plane?! I need more information. Is the plane on fire? Will I get $12 billion dollars if I jump? Saying as how I broke my arm on a kitchen cabinet last Thanksgiving, I’m going to opt to stay firmly on SOLID GROUND. (If my insurance company is reading this, I expect a thank you letter in the mail.)
2. Name a character from one of your novels that is most like you. Now name one least like you. Explain why?
I’m most like my character Charlie in the book I’m releasing later this year, called SORRY CHARLIE. It’s an #ownvoices Contemporary Romance about a passionate heroine who has big dreams in the music world, but the diagnosis of a rare disease changes her life. I’m least like Romi from HUNTING WITCH HAZEL. She’s calm, collected, and trusts herself. She’s also a ghost, so…
3. What is your favorite writer’s “uniform,” and how much do you love that you get to pick it out?
When I’m at home, no bra, baggy dress or shirt. Leggings if it’s cold. Fun slippers are required. I will write in just about anything on just about everything if you turn me loose. I even have a waterproof pad in the shower for when I want to write while shaving my legs. I’m gifted like that.
4. Would you consider yourself an exercise fanatic, a couch potato or somewhere in the middle? And when you do get out to exercise, what is your favorite way to sweat?
I have a physical limitation that prevents regular exercise, but I do love to dance. Mostly, I just take walks with my Prince Charming. You know, the PG stuff anyway 😉
5. How many books have you written and in which genres and sub-genres?
Around ten screenplays and fifteen books. Some of those will NEVER see the light of day, but I’m prepping five for release over the next several months. They range from New Adult Contemporary Romance to Adult Paranormal Romance.
6. In 10 words or less, give your best advice to aspiring authors.
Make many friends and listen to their stories.
7. Name a talent you have that your readers might not know about? (Keep it PG, of course.)
I used to be an international competing theatre organist! In 1999, I took first place nationally and third place worldwide.
8. What are the steps you take when you start writing a new book? Character sketches? Extensive research? Fly by the seat of your pants and figure it all out later?
My therapist says it’s not crazy to talk to my characters…so I interview them. Then I brainstorm the story’s high points with a buddy, fill a bulletin board with pictures, and make a cheat sheet (places/people/pets). Finally, I open the computer, buckle up, and let the characters drive.
9. From the over-30-action-hero-hotties list: Will Smith or Chris Evans?
Both. They can rotate weekends and holidays. Well, wait, who does dishes? I’ll take that one.
10. If you had it all to do over again, what would you do differently in your writing career?
I think the journey is important so I wouldn’t change much. I wish I got over the stigma of reading romance younger than I did.
11. If you could have dinner with one living celebrity or world leader, who would it be, and what would be on the menu?
Why do you do this to me, Dana?! I thought we were friends. ONE PERSON?!
Um…probably Ellen DeGeneres, but Josh Groban would have to be in attendance. Ellen’s life amazes me, and she is such a strong woman and role model. And Josh because he’s my future husband (wait…is my actual husband reading this?). Tacos would be on the menu. Because tacos are the best food that humans have ever created.
12. Preference for a great evening with your significant other: dinner out and possibly dancing or takeout and your control of the remote for Netflix?
This question implies that we don’t usually have take out and then I pick a show on Netflix (giggles). I’m all for dinner out and dancing. But like a concert or ballroom dancing.
13. Do you have a book that you been dreaming of writing for years, and what has kept you from writing it?
I’ve been trying to write a fairy tale for years now. One day, I will get there.
14. Were there other authors who helped you along the way on your writer’s journey, and how did they make a difference for you?
Oh my goodness, this is a question that would need a page-long answer. Patti Shenberger, our late GDRWA president, took me under her wing when I joined. She introduced me to Shelly Bell, Aliza Mann, Sage Spelling, M.K Schiller, and Elizabeth Heiter, and for that, I will always be thankful. In addition to my wonderful GDRWA friends (you too, Dana!), I’d have to say Penny Reid, although it’d be too much to explain how in a short answer. So many, many others I just don’t have room to mention.
15. If we imagine that a reader has lived on a desert island and missed the opportunity to read one of your books, which title do you recommend that she order as soon as she returns to civilization?
I always like to start at the beginning, so let’s say HUNTING WITCH HAZEL! However, as soon as SORRY CHARLIE hits the shelves, I’d highly recommend that one as well ;).
Hunting Witch Hazel
By Heather Novak
Only my twin would want a happiness enchantment placed on Hayvenwood University’s scariest bridge for her birthday. I set the vials down on the stone wall of the Pont d’Amour and turned toward my sister, Romi. “I can’t believe that this is what you want. You sure you’re okay with getting your present two months early?”
Between the possibility of destroying the bridge and overly nosy neighbors returning from summer vacation, it was just too risky to do the spell once school started. Luckily, classes didn’t begin until next week and this place was practically a ghost town. Romi swung her legs over the edge of the bridge and stared at the completely black sky.
Magic during a full moon was too dangerous, despite the stories. I preferred to use a new moon. Especially for spells I barely had enough power to cast.
“Definitely. Don’t you think it’s romantic to make the legend true? ‘Que les âmes perdues contemplant ce pont fassent leur vœu, à ce moment là seulement le chemin vers l’amour véritable s’ouvrira à eux.’ All of the feels!”
I raised my eyebrow at her. “Romi. Do I look like I speak French? I barely speak Spanish after taking it all four years of high school.”
She huffed on an exaggerated eye roll. “‘When lost souls look upon the bridge and make a wish, they will find their true path to love.’”
I made a gagging sound. “Barf. That’s so gross.”
“How do you not know the legend?”
“How do you think I’m a romantic person?”
“Live a little, Zee! I can’t do magic anymore. It’s fun to watch you! All I’ve got left is haunting French classes.” She waved her hand at me and sighed. She was remarkably solid tonight for being a ghost. “Vicarious living and all that.”
I set my battery powered lantern on the cobblestone wall and pulled a copper bowl from my bag. It took all my effort not to roll my eyes.
The chances of this spell working at all were the same as me winning a car on The Price is Right, but I was happy to go through the motions for my sister. After all, it was our twenty-first birthday this year; and tragically, she couldn’t drink. “Well, happy early birthday,” I smiled.
Her smile practically split her face in half as she kicked her feet. “Stop stalling, Zee!”
“You’re sure?” I triple checked as I opened my journal to the spell.
“Hazel Evanora. When have I ever been unsure about what I want? What else can you possibly give me? While I’d love jewelry…” she shrugged one shoulder, “can’t really wear it.”
My breath caught as I remembered what we both tried to forget. She was more solid than usual tonight, and I was comforted by that thought. We still weren’t sure what made her more solid some nights than others. I’m sure it was just something simple like weather or the moon cycle. But whenever she was too translucent, I panicked she’d just disappear and never come back.
HUNTING WITCH HAZEL, Book 1 in the Lynch Brothers Series and a May 2016 release through CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, may be purchased from Amazon.
Romance writer Heather Novak is in an open relationship…with the love of her life and the fictional characters in her head. After deciding her expensive film/screenwriting degree from Wayne State University should be used to make the world smile, she started writing Happily Ever Afters with a preternatural twist! (Don’t worry, she had to look up that word, too). Focusing on powerful imagery and emotional storytelling – you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll laugh so hard you’ll cry.
Heather resides in Metro Detroit with the love of her life and several imaginary (and hypoallergenic) pets. She is Vice President of Communications for her Romance Writers of America Greater Detroit chapter, coordinator for the Booksellers’ Best Awards, and the Thursday blogger for Nights of Passion blog. She strongly supports the use of sarcasm and the Oxford Comma.
Connect with Heather through her website, www.heathernovak.net; on social-media – Twitter, Instagram and Facebook; and through her weekly romance blog, Nights of Passion. She is also a regular contributor to the Faces of Preexisting Conditions Authors Blog.