A former journalist, Heather is an avid researcher and skillfully weaves truth in among the fictional story lines. She loves exploring the American West, especially ghost towns and museums. She has walked parts of the Oregon Trail, ridden horses through the Rockies, climbed to the top of Independence Rock, and even held an outlaw’s note in her hand.
She writes Westerns because she grew up on a steady diet of Bonanza, Gunsmoke, and John Wayne movies. Her most fond childhood memory is of sitting next to her father, munching on popcorn, and watching Lucas McCain unload that Winchester! For more, visit her at https://ladiesindefiance.com/
Welcome to the blog, Heather. I’m so happy to have you here today. Congratulations on your recent release, A Promise in Defiance.
Which character in this story do you most relate to and why?
I have two sisters. That sister dynamic inspired the Romance in the Rockies series. And while Naomi and Rebecca bear only a passing resemblance to my sister Dawn and me, Hannah is the mirror image of my sister Susan. I lost her to breast cancer in ’99 and the Defiance stories are a tribute to her. That said, I will always identify with Naomi because of her fiery spirit and never-accept-defeat outlook.
What a special thing to share with your sisters. Thanks for sharing that. Out of all the books you’ve written, is there a particular hero and heroine that still stand out to you the most?
Readers always comment on Charles McIntyre. I think we women love to see a strong bad boy brought to his knees because of love. And Naomi does her level best to keep life simple, but a black-and-white perspective never works. Plans, dreams, goals, they all get overlapped by life’s challenges, and therein you find the shades of gray. These two together are stronger, but they have baggage. Working out the kinks makes for good drama and complex characters.
If you could go back to any place in time and meet anyone, where would you go and who would it be?
Someone asked me this question recently and I thought long and hard about it. Who would I have dinner with, she asked. Well, besides Jesus, I would love to spend some time with the Marx Brothers. Three of the funniest, smartest, keenest men Hollywood never managed to destroy. They stayed close as a family and created some of the finest humor the planet has ever seen. I laugh thinking how the evening would go, what, with Groucho’s snarky one–liners, Chico egging on Harpo, and Harpo throwing his leg into my hand. Yep. Good times.
Ha! Love it! 🙂 What’s one of the strangest things you’ve had to research for a novel?
The most macabre was hangings and gallows. There is a real science to hanging and sometimes the hangman didn’t do his homework. The most depressing was researching a San Francisco madam named Mary Hastings who was shameless—to put her antics mildly. The coolest, or arguably strangest, was coincidences. Try that some time. There are some seriously spooky things that have happened in this world. I would call them God-things for sure.
I read on your website that you love exploring out West. What’s one of your favorite places to visit?
Any place west of the Mississippi. If I had to narrow it down, though, the ghost towns in Colorado. I could spend the rest of my life exploring them. I also hope one day to pack out into the desert on the Ute Mountain Indian Reservation and see some ancient Anasazi ruins that are rarely visited by people because they are so remote.
That would be incredible! Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Heather! Is there anything else you’d like to add? Any upcoming projects you can share with us?
I have a short story coming out in a collection with several other authors. It’s a BIG twist on the mail order bride plot. And I also step into the 20th century for a Christmas novella that is set in Cheyenne, WY during World War 2. Both stories are romcoms, lighter fare than I normally write and I’m enjoying the humor.
That’s exciting! Looking forward to them. 🙂 Have a great rest of the summer!
Heather has graciously offered to give away one copy of Winner’s Choice of her books to one lucky winner. Enter below and it could be YOU!
Thanks for entering! Contest is open to US residents only and ends August 16, 2016. The winner will be notified by email. Happy Reading, everybody!
I would love to visit the Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon!!
Oh, gosh, everyone should see it at least once!
Yes, Amanda, Yellowstone is on my bucket list as well. I visited the Grand Canyon years ago and it was amazing! I hope to take my husband there someday. It’s worth the trip! 😉
I would love to visit the Grand Canyon
Aww, hope you get that chance, Connie. It’s a beautiful sight!
That’s one place out west I haven’t been!
Awesome interview! Thanks for featuring Heather.
Glad you enjoyed it, Diane. Good luck in the giveaway!
Thank you, Diane! 😉
The first place that comes to mind for some reason is I’d like to visit Tombstone, Arizona. Not sure why really. Thanks for the interview and the giveaway. Good luck everyone.
I’ve heard of that place, Debbie. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? Thanks for sharing!
Debbie, I’ve been all over the West, but the SW is under-explored by me. Hope we both make it!
HAHA…first of all I live in the West, West coast that is 😀 But I don’t think that’s quite what you mean 😉
Kentucky & Tennessee come to mind for places to visit. The Grand Old Opery would be my first destination. From there, I’d just play it by ear. My husband and I are really wanting to do more traveling in the near future and I really hope we get the chance to go to those two states!
Thanks for the fun author interview & book giveaway chance. Heather looks mighty fierce with that pistol in her hand, I’d not want to cross her for sure!
Haha! I knew I’d probably catch a few of you who already lived out West. 🙂 You’d love Kentucky and Tennessee, Trixi. There’s so many beautiful, cool places to see. The Grand Ole Opry is on my list too.
I’m glad you enjoyed the interview. Isn’t her bio picture fun? She’s holding it like her hero on the cover! 😉
Aw, I’m a little pussycat, Trixi. LOL! Be prepared for the humidity when you come to the South!
Heather, I grew up in Illinois, so I’m quite familiar with what heat and humidity feel like!! And I can tell you, I do not miss it, whew! That’s one reason I moved to the Oregon coast, the weather is so much milder in the summer. 🙂
You are a lucky girl. I hope to be living out West before too much longer.
Just love Heather’s books! She takes me to the west where I’ve really never been…and with such great stories…I guess I’m not missing much 😉 I do think it would be great to take a trip and check out some of the sites but doubt I’ll be do it anytime soon, so I’ll continue to read Heather’s books 🙂
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with traveling to those places through good books like Heather’s. 😉 I’m so glad you could join us, Bhriv.
Oh, gosh, I hope you make it someday. It’s beautiful out there!
I live out west! 😉
Ah, lucky you, Amada! 😉
Yep, I’m jealous!
uI would like to go to Montana. Just finished Hearts in Defiance and cannot wait to read A Promise! Here’s hoping…
Thanks you for sharing.
I would like to see Montana someday too, Anne. 🙂 That’s awesome you just finished another one of Heather’s books. Hope you get to add another to your collection soon!
Howdy, Anne, and thank you! Montana is sure something to see! I look forward to hearing what you think about A Promise!
Southern Arizona. I seen the northern part of the state beautiful and cool things. I been to utah, colorado and idaho. Have no interest in california at all.
That would be cool! You’ve been to some pretty places, Kim. I’ve only driven through those states. Hopefully some day I can spend some extra time there. 😉
I’m with ya on that CA thing. Not missing much there. LOL! Nah, really northern CA is gorgeous!
Well, since I live out West (Arizona) I’ve been to The Grand Canyon and Yellowstone. (I grew up in Tennessee). I guess I’d like to visit Colorado again.
That’s cool, Kim! What beautiful places to live close to. 🙂 I’d love to spend some more time in Colorado myself! My husband wants to teach me to snow ski!
Kim, you’re a lucky girl. Yellowstone is my fave. Though it is tremendously crowded. Even in winter.
Out west any ranch that is secluded and The Grand Canyon
That sounds PERFECT, Linda! I like your thinking. 🙂
Lots of places!! Yellowstone, Montana, Jackson Hole, Glacier National Park are on my bucket list!
How am I not surprised that my fellow Missourian shares my bucket list of Western destinations to visit?! 🙂 I hope to go to all those places someday too, Joan!
I have never been to Glacier but I will make it some day!
Love her books!!!
I’m a homebody and don’t like to travel very often.
I’m so glad you could join us, Karen. Hey, I hear you there! All of us homebodies should unite! 😉
Definitely the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone!
Yellowstone always leaves me breathless!
Hope you make it there someday, Patty! 🙂
Great choice! Beautiful country!
Yes, me too, Joan! 🙂
I would like to visit California again. You can’t run out of things to do in California.
And I here the variety of scenery is amazing!
Never been there myself, but I’d like to see it someday. 🙂 So glad you could join us, Dianne!
I would go back to Yellowstone.
In a heartbeat!
Awww, someday I hope to see it! 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Melanie.
I would like to go to Colorado, my husband and daughter have been there and they say it’s beautiful. Thank you
God’s country. Most of the my books are set there! 🙂
I’ve only driven through the state. My hubby wants to take me there to ski someday. I love the mountains! Good luck in the giveaway, Linda.
I would love to see Mount Rushmore.
Yes, me too, Lucy! 🙂
Me too! Hoping to do just that in September. Fingers crossed.
I want to find a ghost town to visit. Are there still some around?
Yes, Jeanette! I have visited many. They are wonderfully haunting. I recommend the ones in CO and Montana!
That would be soooo fascinating. Hope you get to visit some, Jeanette. 🙂
I have always wanted to see the Grand Canyon and I would also like to visit Mt. Rushmore.
I totally agree, Connie. Here’s hoping we both get those road trips someday. 😉
Both would be spectacular to see!